12 Tasting Notes

100

Sometime ago I tasted this tea from a friend and I enjoyed it but I was unaware of parameters used so I’ll base my review on the revised parameters I used as using water under boil makes the bitterness more pronounced.

Upfront bitterness comes through immediately followed by a great sweetness which makes one salivate and wanting more tea. Just before the bitterness hits you there is a pronounced earthy/musty taste comparable to a well matured shou.

Colourwise it is deep copper colour at the beginning but it reduces to lighter levels as one goes through the session. The aroma after the initial 2 rinses is slightly earthy but sweetness comes to mind all the time This sweet aroma remains throughout the session in the tea liquor, teapot and sharing vessel signs of a very well matured tea.

No signs of astringency have been found.

Revised parameters: 2.5gms tea leaves 40ml water 90 degrees C first steepings time was around 5 seconds which increased slowly with later steepings.

Flavors: Earth, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 40 ML
Rui A.

In my rush to post the review (and slightly tea headed) I forgot to say that this tea’s liquor is visually transparent.

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80
drank JINGMAI 2006 by Terre de Ciel
12 tasting notes

Back to this tea today. Its deep gold colour is hypnotic. Lightly sweet and a very well rounded smooth tea. On my 4th steep and it id getting better all the time.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 40 ML

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78

After the early morning stint with a young sheng I have now moved to the opposite extreme. I am now sipping a 1999 sheng that is trying to be shou. It is a half fermented raw pu’er with around 17 years of age: 1999 Hua Yuan “Jing Brand” raw pu’er from Yunnan Sourcing. A very clean and pleasant tea that was very well stored with the only light wet piling aspect coming through from the wet leaves and not transpiring to the liquor. Next week I am buying a cake for further storage.

2.9gms 100 degrees C 55ml pot

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 55 ML
Kirkoneill1988

hi, its me kirk from facebook, i stsrted following you on steepster here. i have a question did you see my review of the 2003 iron cake in my group?

Rui A.

Hi Kirk. I must look for it as I cannot recall it offhand. There are so many teas going through my mind at the moment… How long ago was it?

Kirkoneill1988

http://steepster.com/Kirkoneill1988?page=2

should be down the list, a big review with links look for “2003 CNNP “Mengsong Qiao Mu Iron Cake” Raw Pu-erh tea review”

Rui A.

Ah thank you.

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78

Very much of what Lindsay said a couple of months ago.

Today it was time for me to try one of the teas of the four cake set of raw pu’er White2Tea Basics. This is the 2015 Spring with a mushroom aroma and beautiful sap green coloured leaves and burnt sienna twigs. The tea is of light to medium thickness of a yellow ochre colour with the liquor slightly astringent and bitter apricot flavour due to its young age. Back to humidor storage it goes to mature further.

2.2gms 90 degrees C 55ml pot

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 55 ML
Kirkoneill1988

we call the humidor the “pumidor”. :D

Rui A.

That makes sense, pumidor = humidor for pu(er). I must get used to it.

AmnesTea

What do you think of the basics set? I wasn’t quite sure it was worth it, but i’ve gone for the new Terrior W2T set… on a slow boat from China presently.

Rasseru

Haha me too, amnestea. Waiting for the post

Rui A.

I just received the terroir set. After the tasting of the first cake of th Basic Set I put them back to the humidor.

AmnesTea

I need to construct me one of those! Let me know your thoughts on the terrior set :-)

Rui A.

It is going to rest for at least two weeks as it came in a bamboo wrapped tong. Beautiful stuff!

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90

This is a sheng tobe sipped slowly and savoured rather than gulp it down. Very high quality tea. Completely transparent liquor.

The aroma of this tea, dry and wet leaves is sweet with the liquor of honey colour. Very dense tea reminds me of a lightly viscous honey.

Flavours (I am inexperienced): honey, creme brulee.

Short steepings of 5-7 seconds with 90 degrees C filtered water.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 55 ML
Rasseru

I like honey taste in my tea, will have to try some of this. and thick creamy is another

Rui A.

Thanks. It is an excellent tea this one. In what part of the UK do you live?

Rasseru

ah you are uk as well. I’d be up for some swapping of stuff if you want to :)

Rui A.

Since you are in London please check my work address I sent you and I can come out for few minutes at lunch time which I never take if it is convenient to you.

Kirkoneill1988

any earth/fermentation?

Rui A.

Just gone back to check my tea diary and there is no mentioning of earth or fermentation but these are flavours I usually associate with ripe pu’er teas.

Kirkoneill1988

some aged sheng have earth/fermentation taste (from experience)

TeaLife.HK

Humid storage (if humid enough, and long term enough) will impart those fermentation flavors. Shu is meant to replicate HK-aged sheng, and HK-aged sheng (up until the 88 Qing Bing) always had fermentation flavors

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78

In 2015 I bought 2 cakes of this type in continental Europe from 2 different retailers. I’ll be addressing them as cake #1 and #2.

Aroma of both dry and wet leaves: #1- smoky and heavy smoke when wet while #2 slight camphor aroma
Taste: both cakes teas are copper colour, pleasant, smooth and slightly sweet. With #2 being a bit more rounded off in the mouth
Neifei: #1- none and #2- yes
Inside label: both yes but with differences and slightly different printing. #1 spelling: Chitsu pingcha, puerhcha. #2 spelling: Chitse bingcha, puechcha. Also the label of #1 is a lot more yellowish.
Leaves: #1 leaves tend to be smaller on top of the cake and they crumble a lot more with the centre of the cake unlike an iron cake. #2 leaves on top of the cake are larger and looser although the centre of the cake is very hard still almost like an iron cake. Overall appearance #1 is redder brown with #2 darker umber colour.
Wrapping: #1 was wrapped with a final flap across the diameter of the cake. #2 was wrapped radially with no final flap.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
TeaLife.HK

Both sound like fakes, but that doesn’t matter if they are good drinking

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69

Still a bit too bitter for me. Nice but I like smoother and sweeter teas.

Steeping times: between 5 seconds to start with to 7 seconds towards the 8th steeping.

It has gone back to the pumidor until next year’s tasting.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML
DigniTea

For me, Mengku’s Arbor King needs several years of age before it is enjoyable. Drinking my 2006 now.

Rui A.

Thank you DigniTea. I agree, tea definitely needs more time as it is still bitter.

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72

The cake was easy to pry and it contains a very good amount of light coloured buds. The wet leaves have a beautiful yellow tinted sap green colour with few burnt sienna twigs.

The wet leaves and the liquor is very aromatic and with a pleasant taste. The first three steepings have a yummy orchid / oyster taste followed by a very nice caramel burnt sugar taste. Afterwards the burnt sugar aftertaste falls away somewhat but over it still remains a very plesant young sheng for one to sip. The density of the soup (gumminess) is medium to high which made it even more pleasant.

The first steepings were very rounded off with smoothness to the palate with no astringency or bitterness. On the third steeping and later ones a little astringency came through but nothing for me to worry about.

Like all young raw pu’er it has caffeine that made my ears ring a bit after the second steeping. I must be getting too old for young raw pu’er teas.

All the first 4 steepings were done in around 5 to 7 seconds steeping time.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Orchid

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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81
drank Jingmai 2008 by Terre de Ciel
12 tasting notes

Thanking the generosity of Terre de Ciel in France I have obtained samples of their Jingmai teas of which this is one of them.

The tea leaves required two rinses to remove the slight storage aroma. The liquor is firstly deep yellowish orange turning in later steepings to a combination of burnt sienna to which it was added a bit of Indian yellow.

The leaves are of a burnt umber colour with burnt sienna twigs after the two rinses. Both the wet leaves and to a less extent the liquor have a burnt sugar aroma together with the typical orchid aroma of gushu pu’er teas.

Comparing to the 2006 version of this tea unsurprisingly it is less rounded off on the taste but it has no bitterness and very little astringency if at all. It has, also without surprise, more caffeine than the 2006 tea.

The first three steeping times were 5 seconds each.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Kirkoneill1988

burnt sugar? :O i never taste that in any puerh before. what is burnt sienna?

Rui A.

I think it is the way I express myself as English is not my mother tongue although today it is my main language. Burnt sugar is the white sugar that gets burnt literally for desserts like the French creme caramel. It tends to be not as sweet as caramel.

Burnt sienna is a reddish brown. Often I use typical colour names as one of my hobbies used to be (and hopefully it will become again when I retire from work) painting.

Kirkoneill1988

very interesting :D

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80
drank JINGMAI 2006 by Terre de Ciel
12 tasting notes

This is a slightly tight compressed tea cake fairly well matured in China except for the past few months in the south of France all in dry conditions. After a rinse, the first four steepings have a golden orange colour and a caramel like aroma but not over-powering. For most part the liquor is smooth with no astringency or bitterness. Not much caffeine has been found as expected for a middle aged tea like this but it made me feel relaxed. After 4 steepings the leaves have a burnt sienna colour still with a burnt sugar aroma.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Orchid

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
Rasseru

Im drinking this one right now, really enjoying it

Rui A.

Yes this 2006 one has matured very well.

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Bio

In March 2013 we were in HK when I first tried a pu’er tea. I still recall being a 19 year old Imperial loose leaf tea, after that it was uphill from there.

Mostly I drink sheng rather than shou because of the fear of the creation of kidney stones but once a month I spoil myself with a shou session.

Location

UK

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