2003 Farmer's Cooperative (Mt. Banzhang) Wild Arbor Sheng

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Pu'erh Tea
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Nutty, Bark, Camphor, Marzipan, Smoke, Chestnut, Citrus, Creamy, Honey
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Edit tea info Last updated by Spoonvonstup
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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 oz / 83 ml

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64 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have to admit I’m somewhat new to the world of Pu-erhs. My first taste of Pu-ehr was the Kim Fung Brand. I knew when I bought it that it was going to be very different. I am now trying to...” Read full tasting note
  • “Today this tea is completely kicking my head in. After a good 18 steeps on the wang shu over the past day and a half, and today’s on again off again rainy day pattern, I wanted to take things to...” Read full tasting note
  • “Another Sipdown, from Sil. I drank the last of this from my cupboard awhile back, so it’s nice to find a sample in my collection of teas from Sil. This is a savory sheng, with strong...” Read full tasting note
  • “Woke up with a cup of Zhu Rong and now I’m a few cups into this and it’s really helping wake me up nicely. This is a nice, creamy, sweet and slightly smoky sheng. There are hints of spice and...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2003

Dry Leaf: Very dark, large curled leaf, unbroken with longer stems. Loose hand-pressed ball of tea.

Aroma: Smoke of a campfire deep in a wet forest of redwood and eucalyptus after fresh rain.

Tea Color: Small floating down gives this Chardonnay color a darker opacity that turns orange in sunlight.

Taste through early steepings: Immediately creamy with a tingling sweetness like the finest spring Gyokuro. Assertive notes of toasted walnut and hazelnut linger in the throat. As this continues steeping, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom spice with mucovado brown sugar play across the palate.

Taste in middle to late steepings: The intriguing muscovado sweetness carries through even as the intense tingling texture subsides. The spice of early steepings slowly moves towards baked apple. Very late in steeping, the texture of licorice root comes through across the tongue accompanied by notes of malt and barley.

Steeped Leaf: Enormous dark green leaves that are thick and strong with abundant buds and long stems.


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64 Tasting Notes

294 tasting notes

I have to admit I’m somewhat new to the world of Pu-erhs. My first taste of Pu-ehr was the Kim Fung Brand. I knew when I bought it that it was going to be very different. I am now trying to expand my tea horizons by delving into the 2 samplers that Verdant offers. It will be trial and error I’m sure. How much tea and how long to brew it?? I have been watching numerous videos on YouTube to learn. For this tea I washed it once in the Yixing. The first steeping was a lite orange liquor with a lite aroma. I broke the leaf up which I did not do with my tasting of the Artisan Revival. Verdant states that the samples are good for 2 or 3 tastings. Maybe I should increase the leaf in my brewings. The second steeping was a darker liquor and the aroma was more intense. When I was pouring the water on the leaves for the 3rd I could tell I was in for a treat. I was getting the Redwood and the numbing which Geoffrey spoke of. When I brew again I will definitely not be as stingy with the tea. Each sampler will yield 2 brewing sessions for me to better evaluate these precious teas. Until then, I can only say I am still too Green to render a rating. One thing I can say is when I do brew again I know I will be in for a treat….


The Farmer’s Cooperative tea is very interesting! For my part, I found that less is more with this one. If you can break off a piece that is about the size of a teaspoon, it will quickly come apart by itself with a couple rinses. I always rinse this one twice before drinking it. I think at larger leaf quantities this one can get unruly for some people. In that sense it is a “loaded” tea. Once you hit your own sweet spot with brewing it though, prepare yourself for a fascinating 15+ steeping journey! Many repeated steepings have a synergistic effect with this one; it grows on you the more you drink it, with the previous infusion priming your senses to experience the next one. I have to return to this one myself now! You note is making me remember how good it is…

Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you Geoffrey your advice is appreciated….


love Banzhang pu erhs….lovely and complex

Charles Thomas Draper

Ok. I had to mention this. I brewed 4 maybe 5 pots and then decided to go out. I left the wet leaves in the Yixing. I came home and decided to boil some water and make iced tea out of the rest. I used boiling water and I let it steep for maybe 15 to 20 minutes. The result was a fruity, peachlike nectar. I am steeping another so I can fill the Mason Jar. I think I have a winner….


Fruity, peachlike nectar… Amazing. I’ve not encountered that face of it yet. Further testimony to this tea’s complexity.

I gotta say, Charles, some of your intrepid adventures in tea brewing just captivate me. I recall the old tagline from Star Trek, “To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

Jim Marks

In my opinion, and please know that I am a minority of one on this point as far as I am aware, this business of “washing” pu-erh accomplishes nothing but ruining the first steep. As far as I can tell, it is a tradition borne out of priorities related to hospitality, not good cups of tea. You’re ensuring your guest doesn’t get dust or fannings in their cup (and probably in an era before quality control systems and procedures also making sure they didn’t get a twig, bat droppings, or whatever else accidentally ended up in or on the brick while it aged in the cave).

But with a tea where your first steeping is usually less than 2 minutes, sometimes as little as 1 minute, the 10-15 seconds you spend rinsing — that can be upwards of 20% of your total first steep time and you’re letting all that liqueur go down the drain.

Try a short first steep without rinsing sometime and see if you don’t prefer the results. Purists yell at me every time I bring this up, but what harm can it do to “just try it”?

I used to steep pu-erhs for 20-30 minutes even on the first steep, and then just treat the result like a concentrate, adding hot water to it in measures out into a cup to make many cups of tea. So it doesn’t surprise me that your long steep produced a great cup, especially late in the number of steepings.

Charles Thomas Draper

Jim I like your way of thinking. @ Geoffrey, I was going to use that Star Trek line….


I’m not certain but I believe that the first ‘wash’ is also to make sure that ‘storage impurities’ are washed away, packaging dust, fannings, concrete dust/uncured ceramic powder, ect…things that are not actually tea that might have accumulated on the tea during storage, transport, handling, and sale. It also illiminates lingering pollen, so depending on the type/style this can also blanch or wash away floral elements and ‘pollen’ texture/throat coat (but then using water that is over 200 can do that a bit as well). While I don’t generally wash teas in that way, I do believe it has a purpose that helped to inform cultural considerations towards ‘guest respect and service’, but I would tend to think that such considerations originated with the individual perception that the tea might be ‘unclean’ with transport dust and storage and it was a ‘safety-cleanliness’ issue 1st and a guest consideration second.

Jim Marks

Yes, this is what everyone always says. And, as I said, I think that was probably a much more real concern decades or centuries ago than it is today. This is why I have a point of view, and near as I can tell, hardly anyone agrees. There’s basically one line of support for the rinsing process, and I’m highly skeptical about that line. Most people aren’t, for whatever reason. It isn’t a big deal, one way or another.

What I don’t understand, though, is that any tea is just as likely to have some form of “non-tea” presence and yet rinsing is only done with pu-erhs. In fact, one could argue that other teas are more likely to have such concerns because pu-erh spends much of its life wrapped up, whereas other teas do not.

Additionally, there’s very little reason to believe that simply rinsing and dumping off the water will actually clear those impurities from the leaves. Particulate matter is even more “sticky” when wet than it is when dry. If you have concrete or ceramic dust in your tuocha when it is dry, running water over it isn’t going to wash that away from the leaves, it is going to hydrate it into concrete or clay, which is going to cling to the leaves.

I think what’s really being rinsed away are fannings and tea dust which are unsightly in the cup — something you wouldn’t want a guest to have to see.

It’s just an opinion, though. :-)


@ Jim – I usually do many very short steepings when drinking Chinese teas in particular. My first infusion is 3 to 5 seconds, and I increase the time by that measure with each additional infusion. It takes a while for me to get up to 1-minute+ infusions. I prefer this method for gaining a comprehensive sense of a tea’s flavor profile. In the context of the way I drink, the 3-second rinse I do doesn’t have as much impact as the scenario you mention. I’ve tasted the rinse from a lot of my teas, and in many cases it’s not all that interesting to me.

But why rinse, when I could do a 6-9 second initial infusion instead? I suppose I enjoy the ritual of it. They way I drink, I don’t really think it’s wasting anything. I’ve been told that aside from the hospitality considerations you mention, pouring off the rinse was traditionally a sacrificial offering to ancestors, which I guess is hospitality of another kind. I like being somewhat of a traditionalist in most things, to the degree that I can be, but I understand where you’re coming from and don’t think your approach is any less valid. To each his own enjoyment. It’s too bad that people yell at you over this stuff. I think those kind of folks need to just stop and smell the tea. Happy drinking!

Jim Marks

I don’t begrudge anyone who is being traditional for the sake of being traditional. I’m just skeptical of people who are participating in a tradition who insist it has practical purpose when physics and chemistry would suggest that to be extremely unlikely.

Steeps that short are definitely not on my radar. I haven’t met anyone else who engaged such practices. That being said, the length of the steep isn’t the issue, it is the physical act of the rinse that’s in question.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling.

Charles Thomas Draper

LOL. I enjoy your " Rambling "

Charles Thomas Draper

@ Geoffrey, interesting notes as well on tradition….

Charles Thomas Draper

@ Kashup, I am truly enjoying the various viewpoints


I know what you mean, Jim. I mentioned the “sacrifice” aspect of pouring off the rinse because I sometimes wonder if this was perhaps the original purpose of it, and if – by extension – all the practical explanations people now make for it are ways of rationalizing a purely symbolic act with a metaphysical significance that people no longer have any frame of reference to understand. Studying a lot of history, myth and comparative religion, this kind of stuff fascinates me. Other instances of the modern rationalizing of old, essentially non-rational, practices have occurred.

Regarding the short steeps, I learned it directly from David at Verdant Tea about a year ago, and he in turn learned it from his tea friends and mentors in China during the years he lived there. Apparently it’s pretty widespread practice there. Doing tea this way blew my mind. Completely changed the game for me.

Jim Marks

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m referring to. “Reverse engineering”, in a sense, a modern(ist) rational justification for a pre-rational act. I’m all for participation in myth, tradition and religion — I can’t very well be a member of the Orthodox church and not be in favor of those things — but to do that you have to abandon the rational(ist) context to participate.

The super-short steeping, is that just with pu-erh teas or is that with all Chinese teas? I’ve interacted with some fairly hardcore tea wizards and never heard anyone talk about such things — but none of them were pu-erh people.

How does that idea jive with the use of the gaiwan?


On the mentioned steeping method, it’s the standard method I use for almost all Chinese teas, regardless of type. I always a gaiwan or yixing pot for this. For the more delicate whites and greens, I typically get about six really good infusions this way. For oolongs, depending on the kind and quality, the method is good for 10 to 20+ infusions. Blacks typically go through their profile in about 10 infusions. And with pu-erh I’ll normally do a 15-20+ infusion session, given their complex flavor profiles. The upper limits I’m mentioning are not when the tea completely loses flavor, but rather when the profile has gone through its full arc and the flavor is starting to wane. Although there are some pu-erhs that will stand up to being steeped almost indefinitely, such as the Ya Bao late-winter budset pu-erh.

Keep in mind though, this is certainly not the only way that people brew tea in China. It’s probably most common to the tea culture in southern China, and among tea market people especially – the folk who live and breathe tea all day, every day. Some tea brewing methods are different, like with David’s green tea from Jingshan the locals customarily brew it by trowing a small bunch of leaves in a glass tumbler filled with boiling water, and just wait for the floating leaves to fall to the bottom and sip directly from there with the leaves still in cup. Given the proliferation of language dialects in China, I imagine there may be a comparable proliferation of tea preparation methods. Gongfu Cha itself has different schools of thought about the detailed practices, but the general methodology has a many centuries old history of development and refinement. With regards to pu-erh in particular, this short steep Gongfu approach is in my opinion the most suitable way to fully appreciate it, but the proof is in the pudding, so I’d recommend trying it sometime and forming your own conclusions. Cheers!

P.S. Interesting perspective on participation in myth, etc. My thinking on it is pretty similar. Thanks for sharing, Jim.

Jim Marks

I guess my question wasn’t well articulated. My understanding of the “typical” (although clearly we are to some extent in this conversation problematizing the very notion that any one practice is typical) use of a gaiwan is that leaves are placed into the gaiwan, and then water, and then after “some” amount of time, one begins to drink directly from the gaiwan without in any sense straining the liqueur away from the leaves. In other words, sip #10 from the gaiwan is going to be a tea that has steeped longer than sip #1 was.

So, what I’m wondering is if you’re using a gaiwan but “steeping for just a few seconds”, do you mean that after a few seconds you are straining off into some second vessel, or do you mean that after a few seconds you begin sipping the tea, but that of course the tea is in some sense continuing to steep as you finish the cup?

Charles Thomas Draper

I will return soon….


Ah, I see. The method I use is to use the lid of the gaiwan to hold the leaves in and pour the liquor into another vessel. In my case, I pour the tea from my gaiwan into a small (8oz.) glass serving pitcher, and then serve my guests if I have any, or fill one of my small (3oz.) Gongfu cups 3-4 times when I’m drinking alone. For me, one cup of tea is really just a few sips. Some Gongfu tea cups only allow for one full sip! When drinking with five or six people, sometimes one or two sips is all you get of a given infusion. I think it works to make you appreciate what you have in front of you with full attention, and not take the tea for granted.

I’ve heard that some people drink directly out of the gaiwan, but I don’t do that. When using a yixing teapot, some people don’t use an extra pitcher, and will just fill all the cups directly by clumping them close together and pouring a little of the tea out to each cup in a circular motion so to avoid one cup being weaker and another being stronger, but I think the pitcher is still easier to use for managing consistency. Does that make sense?

Jim Marks

Serving multiple people isn’t confusing at all, the technique is basically the same (in terms of raw mechanics) in both China and Japan (and I have a strong understanding of chado — both matchado and senchado) and “makes sense” in both the pre-rationalist hospitality sense and in the post-rationalist sense of chemistry and physics.

But I’ve only ever seen people drink directly from a gaiwan, so that’s where the disconnect was.

And yes, the longer I have drank tea, and the more tea I drink, the smaller both the pots and the cups get. ;-) Those uber-long pu-erh steeps were done in large pots as a way of making tea in the corporate office environment without having to go through the ritual every 15 minutes and ending up in front of a manager who was curious about my productivity, but now that I work from home I have a lot more flexibility to do things more correctly.

We need a chat room or a BBS forum…

Jim Marks

AHA. Now I see an additional gap in our communication.

Rinsing in the gongfu style has a very specific meaning. Most Western folk I have talked to who insist on the practical value of “rinsing” are not doing it in the gongfu manner, but are pouring hot water into the pot with the leaves, and then pouring it out as one would pour out the actual liqueur, rather than via the over-flowing method. I am willing to concede that this overflow method might have practical value ;-)


Haha! That office anecdote is funny. I work from home too, and sometimes my productivity suffers a bit from preoccupation with the tea ritual. :P

It’s interesting that you’ve only seen people drink out of the gaiwan. I guess it’s pretty common, but I find the gaiwan always gets too hot for me to comfortably drink from directly. The depression in the handle of most gaiwan lids is well designed for holding in such a way as to keep the leaves in while you pour the liquor out. David did a couple youtube videos on gaiwan use that pretty much cover all the same stuff I learned from him directly. He actually addresses some of the questions that came up here as well. You can check them out here if you want:

(How to Use a Gaiwan, Part 1)

(How to Use a Gaiwan, Part 2)

Charles Thomas Draper

I am enjoying this….

Jim Marks

If you hold it via the saucer and the lid, you aren’t touching the part that’s in direct contact with the hot water, which helps.

Then again, I fairly calloused finger tips that seem to handle heat much better than most (white collar, Western) people.

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368 tasting notes

Today this tea is completely kicking my head in.

After a good 18 steeps on the wang shu over the past day and a half, and today’s on again off again rainy day pattern, I wanted to take things to another level. I have wuji qigongquan tonight and I want to take that to the next level as well.

So one turns to sheng.

Wild Arbor is right. This tea is a haggis fueled Scotsman like my college roommate of 20 years past. Huge, rough, uncouth, but tenacious, warm and giving.

I cannot claim that I am enjoying the flavor profile right now. I feel like I am drinking cups of mothball soup with an insulation garnish.

But the energy is stretching straight to my toes, and fingers, and my yi has grown full and heavy. And right now, that is a delicious feeling.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Ha! Good description. Try it next time with less leaf and maybe even less steep time (though I see you’ve got 15sec there.. as low as Steepster lets you go). Yes- less leaf, and this will be more gentle with you. You certainly don’t have to worry about this being light. ;)

Jim Marks

Yeah, my actual steep times are much shorter than that.

Charles Thomas Draper

Your reviews are always on the mark. This is Sheng.

Jim Marks

After about 8 steepings, this calmed down quite a bit, and the last 8 to 10 steepings were enjoyable as a beverage in addition to being enjoyable as a medication and meditation.

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3294 tasting notes

Another Sipdown, from Sil.
I drank the last of this from my cupboard awhile back, so it’s nice to find a sample in my collection of teas from Sil.
This is a savory sheng, with strong skull-shining tendencies. I’ve been sipping it all afternoon, while working on my taxes, which, disappointingly, are not finished.
Oh well…next week…
Tony is picking me up soon to go have dinner at the Greek place. I have no gigs this weekend, so I foresee a slackers weekend of relaxation, much needed.


i was trying to find older ones you might like to revisit heh

Terri HarpLady

You did good!

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172 tasting notes

Woke up with a cup of Zhu Rong and now I’m a few cups into this and it’s really helping wake me up nicely.

This is a nice, creamy, sweet and slightly smoky sheng. There are hints of spice and aromatic wood along with a slight mustiness and fruitness. My favorite part about it is the creamy texture and sweet aftertaste. This is very nice. I’m feeling ready to tackle my interview now.

Update: I GOT THE JOB!


What interview?!


Just got back. I was applying for a job at a local thrift store. I’m a little cynical right now though, they interviewed like four other people and they were all fully grown, outgoing and friendly adults and I was very nervous. : /


None of them can write a tea review though. Next interview take some tea and a copy of your reviews heh!


Good luck :D

Hesper June

Do not let this discourage you!
My first job there was 3 other people who were ‘full grown’ and very qualified, however that was not what they were looking for…they were looking for someone who was trainable and I was that:)

Hesper June

YAH!!! Congrats!!!! ( wink, wink…I told you so;)


WOW! Congrat’s! Hope you have a thermos!


Hehe thanks Hesper.


congrats!! maybe you can convert them to tea drinkers ;P


Thanks everyone. :)

Daisy Chubb

YAY congrats!!!




Thanks guys. I didn’t know it was possible for people to not get the job because they’re TOO qualified, but it worked out for me! :)




Yay for you!



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58 tasting notes

I was surprised at the recommendation to only use 2.5 grams so I tried 3 and it was still too light for me. For this review I used 5 grams in a 120ml gaiwan (I usually use 7 for sheng) and it was much more to my taste.

Smell: This tea has a very strong, assertive smell when it is wet and dry. It has a mustiness all throughout combined with a deep peppery and mushroom aroma. When I close my eyes it smells a lot like a miso soup that someone spilled their pepper shaker in :)

Taste: This tea is one of the few that tastes much like it smells. It is like the broth of a very mushroomy miso soup. It still has the peppery taste and has a very creamy sensation. There is a slight musty flavor that reminds me a bit of a traditionally stored puerh but a lightness and tingling on the end.

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76 tasting notes

“Well, this is interesting,” I thought as I opened the little sample packet. My experience with pu’er is extremely limited (I guess that’s what inspired me to step out and order the samplers from Verdant Tea). The dry leaf was, well, chunky, as one would expect from a tea that had been chipped off a compressed cake, but it was exciting to my pu’er-noviceness.

My first impression of the leaf smell was…wood. Like the wooden desk I had when I was a little kid that for some reason, I enjoyed licking. I don’t know why, I was a weird kid, but that’s the first thing that came to mind.

After two rinsings, I had a bit of trouble getting this down for the first couple of steepings; it came off very astringent to me, despite near-instant steep times. But there was a nuttiness that was very apparent, along with more of that woody-flavor. Happily, a few steepings later the overbearing astringency subsided a bit. The emerging flavor is one I’m not quite sure how to describe; seeing as I have so little experience with teas like this I’m not really sure what to compare it to. There is sort of a light sweetness, almost like that in a white tea, and maybe a sort of whole-grainy flavor, like a hot breakfast cereal.

Overall, I’m not sure I’m exactly wild about this tea, but it’s certainly something I’d like to revisit later after I’ve had more experience with teas of this sort. Pu’er really is a whole world of its own.

On a side note, occasionally when I drink tea, I get this weird heady, cloudy, relaxed feeling that I half-jokingly refer to as “teahigh”. So far it doesn’t seem tea-specific; it seems to be pretty random. It’s not strictly caffeine or tea-related either, since I’ve experienced the feeling with herbals as well, and occasionally even coffee. But when trying this tea, almost as soon as the cup touched my lips I started getting that heady feeling, and much stronger than usual. I actually had to space out the steepings throughout the course of the day because I had some projects I needed to focus on. While I’m still pretty sure the feeling isn’t tea-specific, I figured I would make note of it anyway, just in case.


Hi Aiko. I enjoyed reading about your heady “tea high” experience with this one. We experience what you’ve described on a regular basis when trying some of the more exceptional samples our sourcing agents send us, and “tea high” or “tea drunk” end up being the same words we use to talk about it in earnest when we’re evaluating a tea.

Anyway, I notice that you mention your first couple steepings of the Farmer’s Co-op being overly strong, and I’m just curious what kind of leaf to water ratio you used this time? This is one that we’ve found to be extraordinarily potent, and typically recommend using much less leaf that one might for other sheng pu’ers. I usually use a small bit, like just enough to fit in a teaspoon for about 3-4oz of water. Otherwise I’ve found it can be somewhat unruly in those first several steepings. Do you have a sense of how much leaf you used?


Tea Drunk, hah. That makes sense too! It’s neat to know I’m not the only one.
Hmm, I used 4 grams to 90ml, too much, you think? I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time, thanks :>


Ah yes. I just spoke with David about it. For Farmer’s Co-op I would suggest using half that leaf quantity, so around 2 grams (or just enough to fit in a level teaspoon) for 90ml of water. My gaiwan is about that size and I use the teaspoon guideline. It doesn’t look like a lot of leaf when you’re preparing to brew it, but the stuff is loaded with flavor. I hope this helps produce a better experience for you next time. Happy drinking!


I too have experienced a “tea high” without any apparent connection to caffeine content. Last night, I got it from a flavored green tea! Hahaha, it’s always a surprising feeling to me.

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16 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking a lot of Puer lately. Truth be told, they sometimes run together or are remarkable for the wrong reasons. Much to my relief and happiness, today I’ve found a puer that is a standout because of its high quality.

I thought I might have had a wrong ratio at first. The first couple steeps lacked that typical puer “bite” that I have come to expect. I fiddled around with the amount of leaf in my small Yixing until I was sure I had to be on the max amount. Even then the brew was as smooth and mellow as any puer. Only when I left it sit in the pot an unthinkable amount of time was I able to find any trace of bitterness.

The first few steeps produced a very flavorful tea with a significant tingle and very pleasant throat. I was left with impressions of marinated grape leaves smoked over a campfire. The smell of that same campfire deep in a misty forest early in the morning is coming out of my little cup right now.

I’ve been drinking this pot for more than 4 hrs now. The taste has evolved immensely from when I began. What began as direct, slightly wild, and smoky has become a very, very pleasant mellow sweetness. I started drinking this with a nice European chocolate laced with cayenne, which worked nicely, but switched to lightly salted almonds and pistachios now. Both of these combinations really made this puer “pop” or maybe the other way around.

I think Verdant has a stellar line-up in their stable of tea. Although this puer probably isn’t at the top of their list of stars, it surely deserves significant recognition for quality, in my opinion.
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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6073 tasting notes

In keeping with my mom’s interest in pu’erh, I brewed up a couple from Verdant to see what she thought of them.

This one was a winner!! She likes it much better than black tea, and commented that there was a bit of a smoky flavour. Of course, she didn’t try it until after midnight, so didn’t want to finish the whole glass, which works out well for me because I haven’t drank this one myself either!

I’m sitting in the kitchen and the TV is loud, so I’m having trouble focusing on the flavours here, but it’s really enjoyable. Somewhat sweet, mildly smoky. Nice sweet tea-ish aftertaste. I gave this about a 10 second rinse in water straight from the tea kettle prior to brewing it. Definitely a tea I’m glad to have tried! Can’t believe it took me so long, though. I might reduce the infusion time just a touch next time, as I feel it’s a little stronger than necessary, but still pretty good.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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300 tasting notes

Astringent horses, astringent horses, I miss riding, astringent horses… Oh hey! Looks like I should be using 195 F water, sigh, that’s better. See previous note.



Autumn Hearth

For the record this is quite good with chocolate covered craisins and animal crackers. Also Verdant is an amazing company with really wonderful pu’erhs, I’m just still leaning how to appreciate (and brew) the shengs. I love all the shu’s of theirs that I’ve tried, which would be five. But I’m glad I can be silly on here sometimes, it more fun and rewarding than posting to Facebook sometimes… most of the time… always.

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1220 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure this was the right tea but then I read tea color and I was indeed certain this was right. Chardonnay for real!

I did a rinse first and I am steeping as quickly as I can.

First steep: As soon as I raised the cup to my nose I could smell spices. I love how peppery it is mixed with that typical puerh hay taste. I love that there’s this smokiness to it that melds into the peppercorn. Is smoked pepper a thing like smoked salt? Because it should be. This is the way I can handle smoky, in such a savory way.

They are! http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/spices/pepptelsm.html

It’s also pretty creamy, like almost even has that whipped cream feeling where it has coated your mouth, minus the actual gross film feel on the roof of your mouth. I can see how it’s kind of not one to drink, should have rinsed twice but whatever!

Second steep: really, really reminiscent of leather. That was almost all I got. It was starting to get a bit much for me to drink but I must keep on~

Third steep: Still a lot of leather, but there’s something like hazelnuts coming through too.

Fourth: leather leather leather Pepper was back for just a fleeting few sips. I am going to go for one more steep, I can’t take much more of the smoke.

Fifth: I don’t like this much anymore :( I know I should keep going and hopefully get past the smoke but since it’s lost that savory peppercorn I just really don’t like it and it doesn’t taste good to me.

The day is young, time to pick out a new one.

Thank you for the sample, Terri HarpLady!

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoy this one, so I’m glad you got a chance to try it. :)

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