Alter Ego 2016 Spring Mansa Ancient Tree Huang Pian Raw Puer

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Camphor, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood, Apricot, Grass, Honey, Hot hay, Red Fruits, Tobacco, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cedar, Dried Fruit, Earth, Lavender, Menthol, Mineral, Moss, Oak wood, Orange, Raspberry, Smoke, Stonefruits, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Broth
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by curlygc
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 oz / 106 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “From Liquid Proust’s Sheng Olympiad! This is the first time I’ve opened up this package with it’s cute cats and it’s pretty fonts. The tea itself is kind of ugly—it’s very flattened and in brownish...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve had two samples, one free with an order and another gifted by a friend. I have yet to meet a Hung Pian I didn’t like and this one was no exception. Before finishing the second sample I ordered...” Read full tasting note
  • “I received a sample bag of this through Liquid Proust for the 2017 Sheng Olympiad. I drank this sample once before and didn’t take notes. It’s been in crock storage for awhile with the rest of my...” Read full tasting note
  • “This stuff is so tasty. Pretty sure I drank some back in December, but I guess I didn’t note it, shame on me. I was probably too focused on Zelda. Anyhow. I usually start my mornings with green...” Read full tasting note

From Bitterleaf Teas

Made using the huang pian from our 2016 WMD ancient tree raw puer, Alter Ego is arguably one of the best bang-for-your-buck teas out there. This tea retains all of the best qualities of our WMD raw puer: Complexity, depth, sweetness, high fragrance, and of course an immediate cha qi/energy.

Huang pian material consists of the larger and older yellow leaves that are sorted out when processing raw puer. The result of pressing these leaves is often a tea that is somewhat softer and sweeter, not to mention considerably more affordable than its fresh-growth counterpart. While this tea can be considered a reflection of our WMD, it is still a powerful and full-flavoured raw puer in its own right – absolutely not your typical huang pian.

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13 Tasting Notes

73 tasting notes

From Liquid Proust’s Sheng Olympiad! This is the first time I’ve opened up this package with it’s cute cats and it’s pretty fonts.

The tea itself is kind of ugly—it’s very flattened and in brownish dark green shapes. Despite that, I’m hoping it’ll taste good. I even found my first hair (as far as I know) in this tea—but I suppose those things happen.

The smell of the leaves after a rinse is sweet apricot. Probably my favorite part of younger sheng is this, so I hope it’ll persist well into the tea itself.

The first steep comes in as a light yellow. I flash steeped this one, so it’s somewhat light on flavor, plus the leaves still have quite a bit more room to open up in this tightly compressed tea. Nevertheless, it has a present body and maybe the ever-so-slight hint at a smokey aftertaste, though no fruity high notes yet (this is where I’d usually find them!). There’s no bitterness to be found here either.

In the second steep, a hair of bitterness and astringency work their way out, making an appearance at the back of the throat. The main qualities here seem to be the smooth body and overall rounded flavor profile. There is a hint of a fruity sweetness at the tip of the tongue, but it’s barely perceptible. It’s smooth and easy to drink, but overall falls in the realm of mellow and overall not super interesting to drink.

Steeping for a long time seems to make this taste super vegetal as well. All in, I only managed to get a few good steeps out of it. I’m kind of surprised with the outcome—maybe since it’s a huangpian it doesn’t have the same longevity? To be honest, I’m not too sure. Overall somewhat disappointed, but I’ll definitely revisit again another day.

Preparation
8 g

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82 tasting notes

I’ve had two samples, one free with an order and another gifted by a friend.

I have yet to meet a Hung Pian I didn’t like and this one was no exception.

Before finishing the second sample I ordered a brick which I think is a good buy especially for the quality.

In a 160ml gaiwan half full of dry leaf I did a quick rinse and steep, gradually increasing the length of the steeps over the course of a long session.

My scale is rarely used as I prefer to eyeball the amounts used, having samples first is a good trainer.

Although my palate for puerh isn’t developed yet I did note the stone fruit, sweetness, camphor and full body. There was some bitterness as I raised the temperature of the water and I enjoyed that too.

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23 tasting notes

I received a sample bag of this through Liquid Proust for the 2017 Sheng Olympiad. I drank this sample once before and didn’t take notes. It’s been in crock storage for awhile with the rest of my sheng. Strangely, the smell in the bag is like sweet barbeque sauce. I don’t remember that from before…

A rinse and sniff of the lid confirms it – it’s a super rich and sweet scent. It’s making me hungry for some Kansas City barbeque. It steeps up pretty clear and light. There’s a savory spice note but that’s about it. I think the leaves need a little more time to get going.

The second brew is darker in color but still pretty light on taste. I can detect some faint sweetness and florality in the cup. There’s a cooling camphor aftereffect happening as well.

Rolling the third steep around in my mouth, I get a sweet and slightly sour taste on the sides of my tongue – I think this is where that barbeque sauce scent was coming from.

Four steeps in, the soup is pretty thick and dark in color. The taste is still pretty light but vaguely sweet. The main feature of this tea so far is the camphor aftertaste. This stuff has it in spades.

At this point I bumped up the temperature. The result is a thicker, woody brew.

With longer steeps, the soup is a light orange and some astringency comes out of the leaves. It has some body to it but there’s just not a lot of flavor. I’m using pretty light parameters here because I’m working with a smallish sample but I would recommend leafing harder than usual for this tea. I think I would’ve had better results with ~7.5g/80ml instead of 5g/80ml.

It seems like people really love this tea so who knows. I’ll have to come back to this again later on.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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356 tasting notes

This stuff is so tasty. Pretty sure I drank some back in December, but I guess I didn’t note it, shame on me. I was probably too focused on Zelda.

Anyhow. I usually start my mornings with green during the week, but I figure the weekend is a good chance to drink pu all day, right? 7 grams of this into my gaiwan, quick wash, quick steep. The complexity is apparent from the start. Thick, smooth and mouth-coating, with sweetness, fruit and camphor, and a hint of freshly cut wood. The empty cup smells of a very subtle, floral perfume.

Qi starts to hit a few steeps in. It comes on gradually, and the cooling camphor and huigan get stronger as the session progresses. Eventually, these aspects pull back, giving way to more hay-like notes and a more subtle sweetness.

Flavors: Camphor, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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141 tasting notes

I found this teapot on bitterleaf I’m planning to buy and I have all these sheng samples from them, so I figure I should grab a cake of something if any of them are really good enough, then I can get the free shipping and I have a coupon code thing that ends at the end of the month so I gotta go through them quickly-ish

It’s pretty tasty, nothing overly special, dryness starting from steep 4, very nice textures for the first half of the session, goes down easy with a moderate to strong qi, tasting notes:

Hay, seaweed, sweet and thick, milk, slight apricot/nectarine || creamy, earths/woods || astringency, earth, rocks, sweet, honey, cream || dry, hay, spices, medicinal

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85
2 tasting notes

It’s young, still, but the taste is palatable enough. But the buzz…wow! I could barely sit through the 5th steeping after a long day at work. This is what I call “housework tea.” It’s almost like a small bump of coke without the disgusting crash. I got another 10 steeps the following day and would’ve kept going but I cold brewed the leaves in a pitcher of water…still good to go.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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84
36 tasting notes

Brewed about 8g in a 120ml zisha.

First brews are full of grass, honey, and some florals – Then the tea starts to take a twist getting a bit drier and woodier. Solid mouth characteristics with a decent lingering aftertaste. Good huigan with a decent amount of cooling. savory herbs on the wet leaf aroma. Qi is energetic, but not a qi bomb for me. At the price this is a good tea, but I’m not crazy for the smooth sweetness that is huang pian. Recommended if you like huang pian.

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90
338 tasting notes

haha those are some ropey looking leaf, looks like free internet huang pian, not 1080p blu-ray huang pian.

Shoved it all into my gaiwan & it was a few steeps in when I thought ‘must go on steepster!’, so i stopped what i was doing, jumped up & started writing this review.

I havent tasted this taste before & i like it. Its the kind I can mash about with my gaiwan lid & leave for a while & the sour taste hangs around in my mouth.. i just dont know how to describe it but the complexity is something I really go for, maybe not all the time but its nice to have this taste around for when you want something Yiwu-but-sour.

- i like the taste in the mouth but the huigan is odd (drymouth) – but there & interesting.

Its a weird one, defo not to everyones tastes but that price is great.

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86
98 tasting notes

Dry leaves smell of sweetness, candy and apples with a bit of smoke.
Wet leaves smell of apricots, apples and a touch of tobacco. Delicious smell!

Steep/Time: Notes
1/10s: Light with notes of honey and grass. Nice crisp finish.

2/15s: More body. Grassy note tastes more like hay, but the honey flavor still bright and upfront. Tiny bit of astringency, but it’s almost minty. Very interesting. In a good way :)

3/20s: Definitely feeling some cha qi at this point. Honey has faded a little and the grass/hay note has mellowed a great deal.

4/25s: Now there’s a bitter note that immediately turns a bit sweet after swallowing and then a few seconds later it blossoms into amazing huigan! Still a taste of grass, hay & honey. Cha qi is building nicely. Pretty thick brew this time.

5/30s: This tea has some punch! Perhaps I’m pushing the steeps too fast, but the taste has devolved into hay and bitters, but still has that nice huigan on the backend so I’m still drinking. :) Seriously though, the cha qi is strong with this one.

6/35s: Getting more honey back in the cup, but a pleasant bitterness remains. Same as previous in terms of taste.

7/40s: Ok, lots of honey in that one. Sorry I’m brewing with such a small pot. Also picking up a bit of fruit with this one. Bit of bitter and hay in the background. Very good!

8/45s: Same taste profile as previous. This is a remarkable sheng. I’m trying to lay off more tea purchases for at least a few months given how much tea I currently have, but I wouldn’t mind having a cake.

9/50s: Bitterness is gone. Astringency is just the nice dry finish. Honey and grass.

10-15/?: I started a steep and forgot about it so long that it had time to get cold. _ No problem! Did it somavar style! Just poured to my pitcher and added hot water until I hit a sweet spot with the bitter notes and astringency. Awesome!

So over the last 4 months I’ve spent more than $2000 on tea and I’m not a seller, LOL. I love this tea, but seeing that number will be the one thing keeping me from buying a cake of this tea. Of course when I am ready to buy more tea it’ll be my luck that BLT are all out of this lovely cake.

Flavors: Apricot, Grass, Hay, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
Bitterleaf

Perhaps we can put a brick away and forget about it in case this one fits your 2017 budget ;)

Glad you liked it though!

tanluwils

I’m afraid of looking at my annual tea expenditure, but I am convincing myself that I have just enough left to treat myself during the holidays. :)

LucidiTea

@Bitterleaf Thanks! _

LucidiTea

@tanluwils I still have a YS shopping cart that I missed the black friday sale on. I can’t seem to talk myself into going ahead and pulling the trigger, but I’ve yet to empty that cart, LOL!

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88
504 tasting notes

I had a few people talk me into giving this a try. I am not a big fan of Huang Pian. I always seem to have bad run ins with them; however, tea is tea and I needed to open my mind a bit to let new experiences in. I warmed up my gaiwan as I inspected my little chunks. The brick is heavily compressed with large sticks protruding from the sides. The mass gives off a subtle scent of fresh sweet grass and some hot hay. I lifted my gaiwan and scooped some inside. After a bit or warming, I opened to see what scents I could spot. Immediately, I was hit with heavy wood, buffalo grass, and some dark fruit. I could also hint at a tobacco twang in the background. I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The brew can be described as rustic. The tastes are rough yet sweet. A harsh wood persists throughout steeping and a long lasting sweet aftertaste makes its prescience known early on. The small brick chunks took an incredible amount of steeping, stirring, and prodding before they fully opened up. The brew is not complex, and it is nothing super special taste wise. The drink continued in a basic consistent fashion of mild harsh, sweet, woody, and grassy. Then, the qi began to creep up. The qi was a delayed reaction for me. So much so, that I was able to be just about finished drinking until I really felt what this brew was dealing out. The sensation began in the gut and slowly moved up my spine. A nice cooling winded feeling fell over my temples, lungs, and throat. The sensation then expanded to be body encompassing and can be described as “white noise flying”. I could hear a constant slight eeeeeeee, and I felt as though I was lightweight. The feeling lasted for most of the rest of the day. The qi grew into a confusing effect, and at one point I was unsure on exactly what I was doing, so I decided to lay down and rest it off. This was an oddly intensive feeling. This would make a good conversation tea. All and all, don’t drink this for the flavors; drink it for the qi.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BM1VaN-AAQU/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Grass, Hot hay, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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