Hummingbird 2013 Spring Jing Mai Ancient Tree Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Citrusy, Citrus, Floral, Sugarcane, Thick, Astringent, Bitter, Creamy, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Butter, Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Tobacco, Wet Wood, Fruity, Nectar, Brown Sugar, Mineral, Raisins, Peach, Grass, Herbaceous, Maple, Powdered Sugar, Sap
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Edit tea info Last updated by mrmopar
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 oz / 92 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

From Bitterleaf Teas

The flagship of our collection, this raw Puer is best described as sweet, floral, fragrant and complex. Made solely from spring ancient tree material that has aged slightly in two years, its flavour profile has already started to develop.

This tea brews consistently well, even producing good results from accidental over-steeps. The Huigan is gentle in its approach an long lasting, accompanied by a salivating sensation. As with all of our teas, this was chosen because it is great to drink now, but also shows excellent potential for storage of any duration.

About Bitterleaf Teas View company

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13 Tasting Notes

8 tasting notes

5 sec steeps gradually increased up to 10 sec. Don’t push too hard.
Tea is light and refreshing.

Flavors: Citrusy

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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14850 tasting notes

Gongfu Sipdown (605)!

Finished this one off last weekend, I believe. I’ve been holding onto this little coin for a long time; I got it in a travelling tea box years ago – back when I was still living in the condo building in Regina. I don’t even remember which travelling tea box, it was such a long time ago…

About six of seven steeps total; it was late at night and I was only loosely tallying. Plus, after the fourth steep I was pretty tea drunk and I felt like I was floating. To be fair, I hadn’t eaten in, like… Six hours? So I was riding that sheng pretty hard. This was sweet citrus/lemon (with pithy peel notes), floral undertones that built in intensity throughout the session, and a bit of a greener note with some “snap” to it. I like a tea that bites back! This is a lovely tea though, and I’m glad I waited to brew it because I doubt I’d have appreciated it as much three(ish) years ago when I first acquired it.


Song Pairing:

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529 tasting notes

All the Pu-erhs #2
These were little individually wrapped cakes. I ended up using 3/4 of one (about 5.8g), but I think I should have used the whole one.
5.8g, 100ml shibo, 212F
Steep time: 5s rinse/10/10/10/15/20/30/40/60/60/3min/3min
I tasted the rinse – watery, sugar cane and floral. Really liquid-y. The liquid/watery note continued through the first few steeps, until I realized that it was still really caked up. Once the chunk had been separated, it shifted to citrus, floral with a hint of astringency. Later, longer steeps had a return of the sugar cane note, becoming thicker and with an oily mouthfeel. It still had the floral and citrus.
Really nice tea, one of the older shengs that I have.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Sugarcane, Thick

Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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358 tasting notes

Just finished a nice dinner and ready for some more tea. I’ve been really wanting to try this one. The coins smell so fruity in the sample bag, and they easily break in half. One half goes into the gaiwan, weighing in at about 5 grams. I give it a rinse, let it rest for a moment, and then do a quick steep. The liquor comes out a light gold with a very subtle aroma, while the wet leaves remain very fragrant.

The first sip is light and buttery with a very creamy mouthfeel. The next steep remains lighter in flavor, and the third steep (after I had to step away from the tea for a while) comes through stronger and sweeter, with more distinct florals quite similar to the aroma of the leaf.

It doesn’t take long for this one to mellow out, and I feel like its 3 years of age is very apparent, as it has definitely been softened enough that it does require some attention to get the most out of what it has to offer.

I didn’t really get any noticeable bitterness or astringency from it, and I didn’t steep it particularly carefully either. That could just be my tastebuds, though. In any case, it was very delicious, and definitely one I can see myself drinking again and again. I will probably revisit it in the morning, as I’m sure the leaves still have plenty to offer me.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Thick

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

A favorite of mine. This is a super easy steeper, and it does well during travels.

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676 tasting notes

Backlog. The second of my Bitterleaf puerh samples.

This tea had an inviting wet earth and woodsy aroma. I detected a little fruit as well – plums, or maybe raisins?

The 1st steep was rich and earthy. I get wet wood and autumn leaves. Very smooth with no off flavors. It helps to have a cookies or other sweets nearby to counter the small tinge of bitterness that creeps in towards the end. Matcha pocky paired well with this tea.

In the 2nd steep, the earthiness softens and notes of tobacco emerge. In later steeps, it develops a more vegetal, green tea like character.

While I liked this tea, I preferred the Spring Yiwu Puerh more. Compared to it, this is less sweet and earthier. It also lasts longer without becoming metallic.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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1271 tasting notes

Great texture on this jing mai sheng – I got nice creamy feels. The flavor notes are sweet vegetal, cream, buttery, wet stones mineral, tobacco, and raisin with a floral fragrance. I also boiled this sheng, so you likely can get sweeter if you played with it. Just a light amount of bitterness, but overall easy to drink and flexible to steep.

Full review on Oolong Owl

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML

Yea I definitely would like to try a sample off a big cake to compare with the little coins. The coins certainly seemed a bit more chopped to me.

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485 tasting notes

I’ve tried this one from Bitterleaf a few times in the past few days. It’s another pretty good one. I got the sample made up of three 10g mini-cakes. The dry leafs smell incredibly sweet, with mostly floral qualities. They smell a touch fruitier but still quite sweet after a rinse.

The first two steeps are decently thick with a very sweet nectar flavor. There also could be some fruitiness in there as well.

For the next three steeps, as the chunks that were in there started to open up a bit, I had to watch out for the astringency. It came on quickly, but as long as I kept the steep times short, it was easy enough to hold in check. The astringency did still present itself on the tip of my tongue when I sipped, but was followed up by a very sweet note on the finish. Some of that sweet nectar, but also a straight sugary, whipped cream type of note as well. It was almost too sweet on the finish.

For the next six steeps, bringing the session through 11 infusions, the flavors were more pleasantly balanced. I was still doing flash steeps for most of these ones, as I found that was the only way to keep the tea from getting to astringent. There was still a very slight prick of astringency on the front of the sip, less than before, and a nectar sweet finish, but not as cloying as previous. I think the best part of this tea was most evident in these steeps: the lingering aftertaste. It was a nasal, floral flavor/aroma that remained in my mouth for a few minutes after taking a sip. The texture was still nice and thick, more creamy than oily. The texture mixed with the fruity notes caused me to write “banana” in my notes at least once.

I got another five or six steeps out of this one, by now being able to raise the steep times more drastically without worrying about any of the astringency previously looming. These infusions were lighter, with less of a deep sweetness and some higher/more airy fruity notes. A pretty good finish to the session!

I think this was a pretty good tea, but that astringency was unexpected. It’s a mean hummingbird if you don’t treat it well. I have a slight suspicion that these mini-cakes are composed of slightly more chopped material than the large cake would be, as my leaves were kind of chopped up looking. Nowhere near the extent of say a factory tuo, but much more than most of the teas I try from BLT, W2T, CLT, etc. That would explain why I need to keep the steep times fast for much of the session.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Fruity, Nectar, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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11 tasting notes

Got this tea in the “RAW & RIPE PUER TEA GIFT PACK”.
First, the small coins are so great! I haven’t gotten a full cake yet so these feel like a nice start. I ran it through a wash and then picked the leaves apart, mostly keeping them unbroken. The dry leaf is floral and raisin. The wet leaf, like many ancient trees has a great mineral sent and still has that raisin or musk grape. The smell is surprisingly watery and mineral but The flavor is bright and lively.

They say 12 steeps on the package, It seemed like around steep 4 it died and I almost gave up on it. But the color of the liquor was still bright so I steeped it again and it blew up! The energy hit and the sweetness was soo strong like a thick brown sugar.
I’m on my 6th right now and it’s getting even better, my forehead is hot, the sweet is melt in my mouth.. the leaves are super full now.
It’s amazing how much this little coin expanded!!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Mineral, Raisins

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g

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400 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to get to this sample sooner than later, but considering the large amount of samples already building in my cupboard, I haven’t had the chance to sit down for a session with this one until last night/today. Plus, I’ve been bad at noting everything I drink, so the reviews are lacking considering the tea being consumed on a daily basis. However, it is my goal to take the time eventually to backlog everything that I have been drinking, and get those reviews out there.
Now, back to this tea….
I must note that I was unsure about this tea after steep 2 & 3, considering there were so many bitter notes to the tea, that it was almost unpalatable. Fortunately, because the first steep was so sweet & floral, I knew that there’d be potential for the tea to improve as time went on. After steeps 2 & 3, the tea started to round up with the floral notes again. This had lasted a few steeps in, at which point, there was a slight peachy profile during steep # 7. This hadn’t lasted as long as I had hoped, but the consistency with the floral notes had remained throughout the session—which made me happy.

I hadn’t noted anything else about the profile, other than it had lasted 16 total steeps. I’ve been wanting something good to drink, and had found a majority of the teas I had started, weren’t exactly the teas I had wanted. The Hummingbird was pleasantly delightful, and had satisfied the necessary needs for a quality & delicious tea. I was happy that the session continued for as long as it had, too.

Flavors: Floral, Peach

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64 tasting notes

(Reviewed in the 10g “coin” format)

First off, this tea is just the cutest. I want to hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him, and call him George. But probably not squeeze him TOO hard, his compression isn’t all that tight.

The dry leaf aroma is enchanting. I double checked after steeping, and I did in fact use artesinal spring water, which I was wondering if I hadn’t accidentally swapped with water from the river Lethe. I drank several steeps without having any particular memory of this tea.

I think the biggest flaw here, to my tastes, is that this production is the epitome of “all right”. The very definition of “okay”. If there was a Best Choice or Great Value brand for sheng, I’d expect it to taste pretty exactly like this, only less cute and without the great dry leaf aroma.

The wet leaf actually looked to be in very good condition, and leads me to wonder if perhaps the smaller quantity pressing here has led to faster aging, causing a tea that should still be relatively young to mimic the “awkward phase” of sheng where it’s neither young nor aged but just sort of… there.

Or it could just be I had an off day.

Either way, though, if I’m buying something youngish from Bitterleaf, Secret Garden, 24K, and Winter Wings were all stellar choices. This however… unless you’re planning a sheng tasting for 500 newbies and need something to be inoffensive to as many of them as possible, I’d stick to their other options.

Stinks to give a review like this to a company I’m very fond of, but if I don’t “call ’em as I see ’em”, these notes are useless to everyone.

Fortunately, I still have many other of their teas on my radar to order. Release your new teas Bitterleaf… pretty please? <3


I think the 30g I have coming are in the teeny coin format :P


Yeah, both the 30 and 70 g options are coins. Of course, the coins could be unrelated to my preferences, maybe I’m just allergic to Jingmai.


The honest opinion is much appreciated! We’ve been so caught up in our 2016 teas that I think today is a good day to return to this one, in both coin and full cake format. The brewing parameters require tweaking between the two, but results can also be quite different.

Don’t worry, we have a few more tasty treats on the way ;)

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