Year of the Monkey 2016 Spring Yiwu Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cranberry, Fig, Hay, Mineral, Raisins, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Honey, Sweet, Astringent, Cut grass, Earth, Fruity, Metallic, Butter, Graham Cracker, Candy, Caramel, Herbaceous, Lemon Zest, Sugarcane
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Bulk
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Bitterleaf
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 15 oz / 435 ml

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From Our Community

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #46 A tasty sheng! Sadly as usual with sheng, I probably couldn’t tell any of the shengs apart in the teabox. Sheng is all so very similar to me. ...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “I feel like I’ve had this one in my cupboard for a long time; and I feel bad that I just haven’t gotten around to trying it. In fact, I probably would have continued to take ages trying it were it...” Read full tasting note
    77
  • “The leaves, dry or wet, smell absolutely amazing! Steep/Time: Notes 1/12s: Light and sweet with a very soft touch of astringency. 2/15s: Picking up some nice fruit notes. Plum, honey and currant....” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Dry leaf: Prune, raisin, and figs with an overarching sharp, tart dried cranberry aroma. Very hard compacted dry cake material. Dried hay comes out when leaves are sitting in a warm vessel before...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Bitterleaf Teas

This Yiwu raw puer is one of our two Year of the Monkey puers. The material for this tea comes from a recently transitioned fang yang (“left to grow”) garden that receives minimal human interference. The tea itself has an initial and surprising honey-like sweetness at the front, which yields to some slight roughness and unique lasting aroma. With good cha qi/tea energy and a solid mineral fragrance that lingers, this is a strong candidate for storage.

Typical of Yiwu teas, this one is on the softer side of things, but still maintains a solid backbone with plenty to offer. This also makes it a very drinkable young raw puer, and well suited for beginners and experienced drinkers alike. Don’t be fooled though, Yiwu teas tend to age well, even if they seem lighter in their early years.

About Bitterleaf Teas View company

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14 Tasting Notes

82
2482 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #46
A tasty sheng! Sadly as usual with sheng, I probably couldn’t tell any of the shengs apart in the teabox. Sheng is all so very similar to me. Occasionally there is a unique one. This was very sweet and light, almost a lemon flavor to it.

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77
6401 tasting notes

I feel like I’ve had this one in my cupboard for a long time; and I feel bad that I just haven’t gotten around to trying it. In fact, I probably would have continued to take ages trying it were it not for the fact that I let my little sister pick my final tea out for the night.

This was obviously what she picked; I think it’s the first time ever she’s gone for a tea that wasn’t flavoured. I’m almost 100% positive the deciding factor was the smoking monkey on the packaging. Now, I probably would have preferred to try this one Gong Fu but it’s just too late at night now to get into a Gong Fu session/commit to that much tea consumption. Plus, like I said, I’ve put off trying this one for so long now that even if it IS Western style, at least I’m finally trying this one!

So, here are my jot notes from the cup:

- I did forget to do a rinse; I’m just not in the habit of doing one with Western teas…
- Lighter in flavour than expected and very fragrant
- Thick mouthfeel and medium bodied flavour
- Body notes: apricot, peach skins, raisins, fresh clipped grass, and peat/moss
- It’s surprisingly sweet and bright!
- Top notes: raisins or craisins? Something sort of in that vein…
- Finish reminds me of lemon peel/zest; just a HINT pithy
- Also a bit herbeceous, especially in the aftertaste: almost a thyme like flavour?
- And then overall there’s just a very mineral/wet rock kind of undertone

I don’t know that it would be fair to say that I really enjoyed this one; but it was a lot better than I’d kind of expected it to be. To be completely fair, Raw Pu’erh just generally isn’t my thing – I much prefer ripe. I’ve noticed though that Yiwu pu’erh is probably as close an exception to that rule as I’ve gotten though: they’re generally fruitier and I can handle that kind of profile much better than I can other sort of Shengs.

I will try this one Gong Fu – but it may take a while for that to happen. At least, in the mean time, I can say that I have at least tried it in general.

MrQuackers

Try this trick for young puehr. Place a bit in a travel mug. Pour in hot water and seal up the mug leave it for a while. You should get something dark like coffee but with a lot of flavour. It blends those fishy notes and brings out fruit notes.

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88
97 tasting notes

The leaves, dry or wet, smell absolutely amazing!

Steep/Time: Notes
1/12s: Light and sweet with a very soft touch of astringency.
2/15s: Picking up some nice fruit notes. Plum, honey and currant.
3/20s: This opens up nicely. Very soft touch of astringency with great huigan. Sweetness throughout the tasting experience, though fruit note is now harder to pinpoint as something specific (plum, currant, etc). Great cup of tea.
4/25s: Thicker perhaps, but same as the previous… wonderful!

Have to cut this one short as I have to pack for a flight, but I’ll take some along with me! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85
8 tasting notes

Dry leaf: Prune, raisin, and figs with an overarching sharp, tart dried cranberry aroma. Very hard compacted dry cake material. Dried hay comes out when leaves are sitting in a warm vessel before brewing and vegetal notes appear after 5 sec. rinse.

Taste: Very light vegetal, seaweed, hay, nice sweetness. Dried cranberry flavor very apparent across all steepings.

Liquor: Bright yellow to gold color.

Spent leaf: Olive to dark olive. No discolorations. Material was fairly broken but it was a tightly compressed sample and took some coaxing to break apart.

Vessel: 125ml clay pot

(Warning folks: This is my very first taste of a sheng and I’m having a good time with it! I’ve waited a long time to get some shengs and am looking forward to drinking through them and reviewing them all. Thank you to Bitterleaf Teas for including this as a free sample in my first order!)

Wow. When I first smelled the dry leaf in the bag, I imagined my nose was inside a bag of moist dried cranberries. The dried cranberry tartness of the dry leaf actually carried over into the cup. I got a nice sweetness and a mouthwatering minerality with no astringency – very pleasant. Overall, I really enjoyed this tea and will adjust my rating/recommendation as my tasting experience expands. Very much looking forward to trying this one again on another day.

Stay tuned for more sheng madness!

03/10/17 Update: I’ve edited my tasting note after a second session with this tea using my dedicated sheng clay pot which I didn’t have when I first tried it. The clay pot plus a little more resting time seem to have made a HUGE difference in the brewing. My first tasting using my glazed gaiwan was ridiculously astringent and not very sweet. I believe time and the use of a clay pot really brought out the true flavors of this tea.

Flavors: Cranberry, Fig, Hay, Mineral, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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9 tasting notes

Dry leaves have an absolutely delicious smell, sweet and very floral.

Wet leaves smell of freshly mowed grass and grilled zuchinni, with the floral notes returning as they dry.

Initial steeps were freshly mown grass and floral, with a bit of honeyed sweetness. A bit of nuttiness developed as it went on. Very vibrant and appealing, with a good bit of complexity. It’s really fresh and fragrant, and that sticks around through quite a few steeps.

I’d definitely get this one again. Punches way above it’s price range, both compared to other puerhs I’ve tried and just compared to teas in general.

Flavors: Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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80
4 tasting notes

First review here! Eeek!

Steep times: Rinse/5/10/15/20/20/25/30/40/60

The dry leaves were so fragrant and sweet. After the initial rinse, the inside of the pot lid smells like a summer day in my childhood backyard after the grass has been mowed. The taste is somewhat (not overly) sweet and not really bitter; mouth dries out after sipping by the second steep but just a little; third steeping tasting a little more grassy and less sweet, dry after taste; 6th steeping is grassier and a little more astringent; 9th steeping is milder with less grassy notes and astringency. Feeling a pleasant little head lightness in these last few steepings. No noticeable huigan.

Flavors: Astringent, Cut grass, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 9 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
mtchyg

Congrats on your first review! :)

Laura B

Thanks! :)

mrmopar

We have all stood on the same ground. Keep on writing!

Laura B

Thank you! :)

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90
342 tasting notes

Nomnomnomnom Session

I’ve yet to review this?! Well, here it goes:

I really like this sheng. Yes, it’s quite young and will need some aging; however, I’ll have to get another cake soon to age. I’ve shared 80% of the cake with friends via swaps and locally. I’ve had two sessions with others in a small group setting; which one friend really clung to this and loved it (he’s getting the rest of the stash for Christmas (all the more reason to get more ;) )). I’m happy that I’ve had the chance to introduce this tea to others, as well as dip into it myself. I’ve a few grams left, so I’ll leave the rest for storing until I can get another cake. :)

Now, this session started late last night and I’m currently still steeping my way through the leaf. I’m having to push this tea a little currently, but the increase of time/temp is proving to draw the sweet notes, with a touch of bitterness, from the leaf. I do like the subtlety of the bitterness with sheng—and the sweetness that usually comes out of the leaf further into the session—however, this is reverse. I’m hoping to see where the leaf is at within the next few months, and will review it then too.

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89
297 tasting notes

Received a generous sample of this with my Bitterleaf order. I’ve been seeking to expand my tea repertoire beyond green tea and oolong and this sheng was a great intro to the world of puerh. My puerh experience, while limited, has been a mixed bag. This is the first puerh I’ve not only liked but truly enjoyed.

The dry leaf is has a deep fragrance of brown sugar/molasses, flowers, and wet clay. The first few steeps were sweet, full-bodied yet light with lots of fruitiness. Low on bitterness and the earthiness that characterize puerh. Later steeps though became metallic, typical of a young sheng.

This is a nice tea for easy sipping. It’s gentle character will appeal to green tea drinkers and puerh noobs like myself. I can definitely see myself buying more of this tea.

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Metallic

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML
Matu

This one is really one of the best bang for your buck puerhs of 2016 imo.

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52
239 tasting notes

Even half strength, tastes like sheng.

I thought I didn’t have any sheng samples left in my stash, but I was wrong. Perhaps this one is the last.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89
456 tasting notes

First tea I’m trying out of my big Bitterleaf order. Probably the best Yiwu I’ve had (though I have not done much exploration of that region yet). Now that I’ve ordered 2016 teas from White2Tea, Bitterleaf, and Crimson Lotus, I think I’ll finally be able to lay off ordering for a while. I brewed some of this baby up in my Jianshui teapot – 6.6g to 100mL.

This tea is pretty consistently sweet and soft from start to finish. I got some honey and mineral notes for the sweetness. Often those kind of came together and reminded me an awful lot of graham crackers. I didn’t note any astringency, which is nice for such young puerh. In a couple of the middle steeps I sometimes got just a slight sour finish. Every once in a while that sourness took on a bit of a fruity character, but I could have just been imagining that. The body is pretty good, but not amazing. In the first half of the session, it has a bit of a buttery taste/texture as well, which I really enjoyed. Not thick and oily, but kind of silky. The tea starts to die off around 10 or 11 steeps, so pretty standard longevity. I noticed a bit of a buzzy feeling building in my upper body towards the end of this session, so I’d characterize the tea as having a gentle, slowly building qi.

Glad I get to try Bitterleaf’s tea, and if this cake (and Diamond Cutter, which I’ve already had) is any indication, there’s going to be some really good stuff in my box from them. At the current price, this cake is a hell of a deal, and I could definitely see myself picking one up next time I make a Bitterleaf order.

Flavors: Butter, Graham Cracker, Honey, Mineral, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
S.G. Sanders

I really like this one, too.

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