2008 Yi Wu Mountain Bamboo Roasted Pu-erh

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Pu'erh Tea
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Bamboo, Mango, Pineapple, Resin, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jillian
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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From Norbu Tea

-Vintage: Spring 2008
-Growing Region: Yi Wu Mountain, Mengla County, Xishuangbana, Yunnan

Yi Wu mountain is located in Mengla County, Xishuangbana Prefecture in the far south of Yunnan Province. It is a well known growing area for excellent quality, mild flavored Pu-Erh. In early Spring 2008, Yi Wu Mountain tea was picked and processed, then lightly compressed into lengths of an aromatic subspecies of bamboo native to Southern Yunnan. Traditionally, the bamboo tubes were then roasted over a wood fire dry out the tea and the bamboo for storage. In this case, the tea-filled bamboo sections were then baked in a low temperature oven room to dry them out and to prevent mold from forming. These oven rooms are sometimes used in the manufacture of the more commercial forms of Pu-Erh tea also to prevent mold formation from the moisture that has to be added during the compression process. During this low temperature bake-drying process, the aromatic compounds in the bamboo permeate the tea leaves and infuse them with a beautifully vivid & unique sweetness.

The steeped liquor is a lovely deep amber-gold, and it is good for several infusions when steeped Gong Fu style. Highly recommended for people new to Pu-Erh tea.

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16 Tasting Notes

311 tasting notes

A lovely tea put through a tea torture test today: Fill kettle with water. Pour some (cold) over chunk of tea in kamjove. Let sit a few seconds, pour off rinse water. Add more water, now slightly warm. Let sit while doing things in another room for 45 minutes. Return, pour off first cold infusion into thermos, add boiling water, leave for a 1 hour meeting. Return, pour off the long steep into the thermos, and pour hot water through the leaves several times while tossing papers together for afternoon clinic on another floor. Thermos filled with water, all of which has touched the leaves, at least. How can it possibly be good? And it is!

Gotta love this stuff.

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Jesse Örö

Sound weird! How did you come up with that kind of brew? Have you done any comparative tests with weird brews like that vs. “standard” way of brewing tea?


This kind of brew is only done under pressure of knowing I have no more than about 1 minute now, 1 minute in an hour, and maybe 2 or 3 minutes after that to brew up enough tea to last me for 4 hours away from my office, and have enough to share. It’s nothing I can really recommend, and it doesn’t bring out the best of this tea, but it still manages to be quite nice.

Jesse Örö

Ah ok, that explains.


I’m in that situation rather oftener than I’d like, and have a handful of go-to teas, that I know won’t let me down. This one, a couple of shu puerhs, and a couple of mellow roasted oolongs.

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64 tasting notes

WOW! Just made it with water from my new brita pitcher. It’s like the tea has come alive mmmmmmmm… crisper feel to it.

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144 tasting notes

I find myself getting excited about puerh more so than any other tea now. It’s that same inner excitement I used to get as a kid when I would unwrap some new video game (the ones that rule your life) or like now when I get some new machine to make sounds with. Yay. The excitement is easier to hide with age but the inner working is still the same.

I have been particularly looking forward to trying this type of tea for a while and finally grabbed some while ordering a new gaiwan. I opened the package and smelled it when it came in but I didn’t cup it right away. The inner excitement built without me really noticing and proves further that good tea is a very simple, healthy pleasure. Simpler and much, much healthier than video games. Cheaper than music equipment. Amen to that.

The initial wet leaf smells like apricot fruit-leather and piss; bright, sweet and yeasty. Bear with me now. The color of the liquor is a deep, translucent goldenrod. An aroma of collard greens comes up in subsequent infusions and also provides depth to the taste of the liquor. This is by no means a bottom heavy tea, however, as there is much more going on in the mid to high range of flavor. Dandelion, butterscotch, canned green beans. Turkish kebab. Bergamot, cocktail bitters. What’s funny is that I am not doing this tea justice right now. I absolutely love it and just said it smells like piss. Cupped eccentricity. Do not let my descriptive deficiency fool you, this tea is delicious, easy to drink and more than the sum of the parts that I have given you to work with.

Let me also say that it is very energetically invigorating. Qi or no qi, call it what you will, there is a tangible effect that’s nice and admittedly a little off-putting. Electric floatyheadedness, tingling hands and slight perspiration go along with a vigorous heart-rate.

So, to recap: it smells like pee and gets you high. Book it.

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18 tasting notes

So today has been interesting. I had a slow day at work, but with a full tip jar! (bought How To Cook Your Life by Dogen, a very interesting read, and a mini Munny to color with Sam [the girlfriend] when she gets back from CT….just from tips!). Anywho, I came home to discover 1….2….3! Three boxes on my doorstep! I knew one was my Moroccan Mint tea from Davidson’s (review up later!), but what were the others? Oh wait, it’s this tea from Norbu and my new gaiwan from JAS eTea!

Norbu was kind enough not only to send me my order very neatly packaged, but also included a free sample of 2009 Norbu Lao Mansa! I was excited to try both, but for now let’s stick to the Yi Wu.

The leaves in this are really nice dry, they look just ready for the brewing. Rinse, dispose, pour in more water. 30 seconds-ish……omg.

This is amazing. I love this, it’s sweet and delicate but has that blunt woody finish that I know from the other Pu I’ve tried. Kind of like someone hitting your tongue with a hammer made of marshmallow.

Second infusion: Just as much amazing. This one added a lot of astringency at the end of the taste, at first I didn’t care for it, but it quickly grew on me.

Third Infusion: A liiitttlllee less flavor here, but not much. The astringency dropped back down to only a little.

Fourth Infusion: I had to answer the phone during this infusion, so I goofed it. Woops!

Fifth infusion: very light crisp earth taste, like wet sweet leaves. Started to get that kinda hay-ish taste. I wanted to try the mint, so I tossed the leaves after this infusion.

Overall, this was an amazing experience. Highly recommended! Now to go write on the mint :p

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

yeah but did it get you high?


haha if it did, I don’t remember :P

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160 tasting notes

Received a sample of this with my order from Norbu, consisting of two roughly 5g chunks. Compression seems quite loose, though I’m no expert. Brewing the first 5g chunk up at work in 100ml porcelain gaiwan — tap water. Temperature unknown, but last measured at 195F.
Rinsed twice at 30sec, resting 20sec in between. Like another reviewer mentioned, the wet leaf does indeed smell like acrid leather, reminiscent of horseback riding as a child. Over subsequent infusions, this smell transforms into slightly sweeter, but remains a clean scent. The brewed liquid smells sweeter.
First infusion is light orangey brown, very little astringency, sweetish aftertaste somewhere between floral and vegetal. Second infusion brings in more of the astringency I’m starting to become used to in sheng, though the mouthfeel remains rounded. Aftertaste is more sweet — actually reminds me of jasmine green. Further infusions remain similar in character. I can’t quite articulate the main flavour, though it is there.

I like this tea a lot — it’s impressive even with the sub-optimal brewing environment (an office kitchen).

Post-brewing leaf dissection reveals mostly smaller to medium leaves, with a few huuuuge (!) leaves mixed in. Fairly stemmy.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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2036 tasting notes

I think I’ve had sheng before, but it has been so long I don’t remember. And I certainly didn’t remember how to steep it. So I looked up an old Steepster thread and followed the instructions, including a suggestion of mrmopar’s to rest the leaves for 15 minutes after a rinse, and a suggestion by AllanK to start with 5 second steeps. I went 5/5/7/7/10 and after that I sort of improvised: 10/20/30/40/60. I used 2.8g of tea in a 50 ml gaiwan.

I find this tea somewhat fascinating. I was prepared for… well, not really sure what I was prepared for, just not this. The tea out of the packet is compacted into tubular shapes that are mostly dark green but also have some silvery leaves in the mix. They don’t have much of a smell. Mostly just a sort of vague woodiness.

The tea’s color is golden yellow, and its aroma and flavor reminds me first of bamboo shoots, which I think may be power of suggestion. But it is mild and vaguely woody, resiny. It also has a fruity note. Through the early steeps I had it pegged as pineapple, because it had a bit of a sharpness to it (not very sharp, just slightly) but over time that filed off and it reminded me more of another tropical fruit. Mango, maybe.

No bitterness, and a sort of non-sugary sweetness on the tongue. It doesn’t feel like pop rocks, but something about how it tasted reminded me of them. I also thought of linen and cloth fibers while drinking this. Part of that was probably because of the color.

It has a pleasantly fresh, but unobtrusive aftertaste.

I didn’t pick this to taste today because it said it was good for beginners. I picked it at random. But the fact that it says it is good for beginners is a happy accident.

I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to further experiments.

Flavors: Bamboo, Mango, Pineapple, Resin, Wood


You did well! I had to learn the hard way so I am glad this worked for you too!


Thank you for your help!

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35 tasting notes

This morning I finished off the last of my stash of this tea. I’m not a huge fan of puerh; I’m one of those who isn’t keen on the “dirt” taste. Believe me, I’ve tried several types of pu-erh as some part of me used to think I was missing something. At any rate, this is one of the few puerh teas that I find (found) drinkable. It is lighter and sweeter than other puerh, and not as earthy.

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301 tasting notes

I have an interest in bamboo puerh teas because the method of production is so intriguing – fill sections of bamboo with tea leaves and then steam, roast, dry and age in the bamboo. The bamboo is reported to provide a unique sweetness to the leaves. I am able to appreciate the process by looking at this photo of a farmer making bamboo puerh: http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/-/galleries/the-galleries/countries/asia-australasia/china/yunnan/-/medias/ed820fb8-090f-11e0-bee4-852ca0e067a1-bamboo-tea?gallery=b6bf0ad4-0192-11e3-99e7-2bf391fc38b8&hit_num=1&hits=2&page=1&per_page=50&search=bamboo&search_in_gallery=1
The scent of this YiWu dry leaf is sweet with an interesting spicy note. The tea soup is deep dark gold in color. The wet leaves are whole and nearly 2 inches in length. The tongue and mouth feel alive and tingly after the first few sips. The initial taste sensations are earthy and spicy. The honey-like sweetness works well with a light woodiness. A bit of astringency is found in later infusions but not at all off-putting. Interestingly, I did not detect any remaining smokiness in the smell or taste. These leaves produce cup after cup of highly flavored sweet mellow tea. Multi-layered – sweet and woody with a light spiciness. This is a very approachable raw puerh.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Neat picture! Intriguing tea.


Steph – yes, helps you appreciate the tea even more. Don’t you think?


For sure!


This tea sounds unique.

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39 tasting notes

this has been one norbu’s top selling teas for a long time….its good,its cheap and its not your typical sheng because of the bamboo roasting….

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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28 tasting notes

Very much liked the sweetness and delicacy of this tea.

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