2005 Guan Zi Zai Sheng Yi Wu Jing Xuan Ancient Tea Cake

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Pu-erh Tea
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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Life In Teacup

Production Year: 2005

Production Season: Spring

Production Region: Yunnan, Xishuangbanna, Yiwu

Factory: Guan Zi Zai

Style Sheng (Raw)

The taste is almost like some green tea with rich flavor, which may or may not be appreciated by people depending on what they are looking for. The flavor is very mellow, no astringency or bitterness (with 15-20 sec. for initial infusions).

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6 Tasting Notes

A tea shouldn’t be judged by its name, price, or outfit. That being said, I just can’t help being a visual tea drinker!

People say Guan Zi Zai puerh is often over-priced for its pretty wrap. Probably that’s true. But I just can’t help loving the pretty wraps of Guan Zi Zai. This is a relative plain design for Guan Zi Zai. But I love it as always! As for tea quality, I am not experienced enough to judge. But my heart often leans toward successful, small factories like Guan Zi Zai. Puerh market can’t be without the good old Xia Guan and Da Yi. But as in all other tea genres, the perpetual vitality is from small factories.

When it comes to tea leaves, again the visual sense kicks in. Many people said it, and I agree, that in puerh, pretty leaves are not that important. But probably because I grew up as a green tea drinker, I just can’t stop being judgmental on outlook of tea leaves.

This is not my favorite puerh, but I have to say, I started to admire it the first moment it was unwrapped. Look at those big leaves! It is generously made with nice big leaves from old tea tree, inside and out consistent (although it’s a common practice nowadays that better leaves are spread on the surface of a tea cake to make it look better).

The tea cake is quite easy to break. And I did it very carefully so that most leaves are uncrushed. Love the big leaves!

Ok! Puerh is not about pretty leaves. But I just can’t help admiring these beautiful, long leaves.

The taste is almost like some green tea with rich flavor, which may or may not be appreciated by people depending on what they are looking for. I like it very much, but suspect some seasoned puerh drinkers will think it’s not strong or aggressive enough. The flavor is very mellow, no astringency or bitterness (with 15-20 sec. for initial infusions). But again, some of my friends would say, “A tea (especially puerh) is not worth it if it’s neither bitter nor astringent!” It all depends on what you are looking for. The tea tastes rich, dark, vegetal, with immediate prominent sweet aftertaste.

Overall I think it’s a great beginners’ tea for people who want to try puerh but don’t want to handle the astringency or bitterness. It may also be appreciated by people who have a heavier taste on green tea. Besides, for a 5-year-old sheng, it’s one of the most drinkable. On the other hand, it may not have the “kick” demanded by seasoned puerh drinkers who are after a strong taste that hits you all the way into the throat. After all, puerh, by origin and basic characters, is a tea of nomads and warriors. This one, in my eyes, is more of a tea of literati.

Pasted from my blog. And there are additional pictures.

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Very informative! Pu’erh is like the Great Unknown to me right now, so this helped. Thank you!

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865 tasting notes

Pu Erh Sampler 1 (Sheng): Tea #1

Aaaahhh… I have sheng again! I just couldn’t resist when Gingko graciously offered to throw in a free pu erh knife w/ a pu erh purchase and decided to get this because it allowed me to try 4 different shengs at (what I think to be) a very inexpensive cost. I also got my order extremely fast. Just 1 1/2 hrs after I placed my order on Fri. it was shipped and I recieved my order on Monday! By far the fastest service I’ve gotten- especially considering the distance (MA to WI).

3g sheng rinsed in 3oz just below boiling water for 15sec, then discarded
1st steep 20 sec.

The aroma of the raw leaf (raw raw pu erh? lol) is complex and vegetal yet sweet. The rinse is darker than the only other pu erh I’ve had before.

The liquor of the 1st infusion is also darker than my 1st sheng experience. It is still not nearly as dark as a shu, but a lovely golden color.

The flavor is smooth and complex with notes of sweetness, nut, and pepper that makes Yunnan teas so distinguishable.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

2nd infusion, 20sec: The liquor is just a bit lighter which is surprising and the peppery notes are gone (a yay for me) and are replaced by extra sweetness.


3rd infusion, 20sec: The liquor is a bit darker than the last, with gorgeous pinkish tones. The flavor is also stronger, but just as sweet.

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280 tasting notes

I recently won a Valentine’s Day sampler from Life in Teacup, and as my free samples, I chose these two Pu-erhs from the Guan Zi Zai factory.
I’ve never had Pu-erh before. After reading enough tasting notes from Steepster users the_skua and cultureflip, my interest was finally perked. Also, I have to point out this article: http://hojotea.com/article_e/puerh_e.htm
After reading it, my impressions of Pu-erh were very much changed and I think it was this in the first place that helped me to even to start paying attention to what people said here on Steepster about various Pu-erh they enjoyed.
It’s a long article, but I recommend it.

Enough rambling… anyway, the first steep or two was smokey tasting and also earthy. But not unpleasantly so; I thought it was kind of calming and smooth.

At about steep four or five, my wife and I both noticed it that it was getting flowery as well (it may have been like this, but this is when we noticed it, at least), and the smokey faded to become more like the smell of tobacco. The earthiness was also less present.

I think it’s pretty yummy, and really fun to have a first-time experience not be a gross one, which seems to be a potentiality with Pu-erh in particular.

I have to really thank Ginkgo again! She is the reason I found my favorite black tea (Yunnan Gold!) and now she’s selling a tasty Pu-erh. Thumbs up to Life in Teacup!

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144 tasting notes

This one went fast. Woody, nutty, and sweet with a little bit of a wild, smoky edge. Mostly sweet on the back end. Nice.

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7 tasting notes

I must admit I have been ignorant to the teas from southwestern China but this is truly a delightful surprise. It’s rich and flavorful, perfect for an after meal tea treat.

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3262 tasting notes

I’ve been enjoying steepings of this one for the last couple of hours. I warmed the leaf in my hot mixing, & upon opening the lid, I was greeted with a sweet apricot-like aroma! Apricot & green-ness, smelled awesome to me!

This is very nice mellow sheng, sweet & kind of fruity, & rich in a way that I can’t quite describe.

Other teas I’ve drank today:
Tiger Assam – A & D
Yi Mei Ren – YS
Imperial Grade Jin Jun Mei from Tong Mu Guan Village – YS
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong – Verdant

I feel tea starved, like I haven’t gotten enough, but I’m headed out to a gig, so that’s all I get for now!


Love apricot-y sheng. Hope you had a good gig tonight.

Terri HarpLady

I did!
Also I just noticed that my damn spell checker changed Yixing to mixing…lol, I really need to shut off the spell checker.

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