Wild Arbor Lancang Sheng

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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From Verdant Tea

Workshop: Mengku
Year: 2006
Tasting Notes: This is our first pu’er imported from a larger workshop. Our goal here was to find a sheng pu’er in a much more affordable price range. We are very pleased with this offering, a 500g brick pressed from large broad leaves and silvery buds picked from old tea trees, not bushes. The first steepings are very silky and smooth, with some of the cinnamon spice of Yunnan Golden Needle, with floral notes in the background. Later steepings introduce greater complexity, with a pine needle flavor, and something in the aroma of a cedar wood sauna. The tea gets juicier as it steeps out, and becomes tinged with hints of white peppercorn.
Note: While this tea is truly a complex and incredible offering, there is the slightest dryness on the tongue as it steeps out. The dryness never gets to the back of the throat, but this tea’s young age is more apparent. We believe that given another year aging, the slight dryness will subside. The complexity of this tea given its much lower price not only balances out this slight dryness, but makes us even more excited to see what this will become.

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4 Tasting Notes

53 tasting notes

My throat is killing me again. I seem to come down with really bad, persistent sore throats on at least a quarterly basis since moving to Texas. I’m not sure if it’s just the air or the fact that I’m living in very close quarters with five other people or if my immune system is just shot due to having absolutely no sleep cycle, 4am shifts alternated with 8pm shifts, but whatever the cause, it usually results in my drinking tea around the clock.

This stuff is absolutely hitting the spot today, I was so excited to have some warm liquid soothing my throat that I unfortunately burned my tongue on the first steeping. That might affect my perceptions a bit, but I am loving it all the same.

I find that I really like just looking at this tea in my cup. The liquor is this lovely solar yellowish-orange, and contrasted against the white of the porcelain cup, it reminds me very much of a runny egg yolk setting in a perfectly cooked white. And I am reminded that it’s been far too long since I’ve had eggs, but now I’m just completely derailing what’s supposed to be a tea review.

I’m really feeling that tea-high fog now though. I had it pretty strong the last time I tried a sheng too.. I’ll have to keep tracking it to see if the pattern persists.

Getting this really nice, almost fruity sweetness in the back of my throat with this. The woody/earthiness early on has actually mellowed out a lot in these later steepings, it’s reminding me a lot more of a white tea now.

I have been seriously contemplating investing in some bricks/cakes of pu’er lately. I just know I would get such a joy out of seeing how a tea changes over the years, and since I expect I’ll still be enjoying tea late into my years, I figure if I buy now, I’ll have something really special by that time.

But I still know next to nothing about buying pu’er, what characteristics to look for that will develop over time, not to mention I’m not in a living situation that allows for me to construct any kind of fancy storage for them. And then there’s every tea-drinker’s greatest fear of developing some kind of caffeine intolerance later in life, essentially throwing the investment out the window.

Ooh, I just got this really nice cracked pepper note. And that teahigh fog grows ever stronger. I forget what steeping I’m on now… I’ve refilled my little water pot twice, so probably around… 10-12? It’s sort of got this cooling mint-like sensation too, without actually tasting minty. Really nice on my sore throat.

Another tea-expense I’ve been contemplating is yixing pots. Right now my trusty gaiwan is serving me faithfully, but as my little tea-habit becomes more serious, I continue to wonder what could make my experience better. At the same time though, I know I should probably wait until I’m in a less-crowded living situation to collect more material objects, especially ones that could be easily broken by housemates.

But something else on my long tea-wishlist is a few clay animals or “tea pets” to include in my little ceremonies. As an animal-lover as well as a mythical-creature enthusiast, I would really get a lot of enjoyment out of incorporating these symbolic guests into my tea-rituals. Problem is, I’m rather picky about them and I’ve only seen a few that I really like, most of which are of unfortunate expense.

I also find it a little difficult to spend money on something which seemingly won’t directly enhance the tea itself, but a recent article on Verdant Tea’s Tea Discovery blog about Tea Ceremony really has me re-evaluating the importance and benefit of the ritual, regardless of the quality of the tea (or occasionally, regardless of it there is any actual tea present at all!)

Oh look, I’ve gone way, way off topic again. I blame this tea-high fog. I feel so relaxed right now and the pain in my throat has almost completely subsided for now. Pretty happy with this stuff.


I believe that if something enhances the experience for you the tea itself will be a better experience as well.

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300 tasting notes

I’m just enjoying my first steep of this and will edit note over several infusions today, but I just wanted to say how impressed I am with this. The first sip is light and sweet and has a sparkling mineral quality. There is also something smooth and savory going on, but its hard to pin point. I feel like I’m sipping on a glass of chardonnay, except I don’t think I like chardonnay or that this tastes anything like it, its more of an experience. Definitely silky, definitely something I could drink everyday. Wish I was sharing this with others. Ooo was that a hint of clove?

Second steep, much stronger and much more like what I’ve tried of pu-erh, which is very little. Mmm leather. I’ve been trying to discern other notes, but its all leather and that’s okay. It is also noticeably dryer than the first steep, but I tend not to like second steeps as much as first and all that come after (with the recent exception of Leadenhall). Brewed leaves did have that sweet, sweaty horse smell btw. Ah tiny bit of caramel and wood at the bottom of the cup.

Mmm getting the spice on the tongue and woodsy scent in the cup now. Something is reminding me of sandalwood and amber? Yes it is a little musty, but I’m also tasting mint and… lilac? Love the complexity.

Didn’t care much for the fourth or fifth steep last night, they were more barnyard and winey. Husband wanted a British blend after dinner, so I switched to that. I did a quick rinse and a bit longer steep this morning and it was quite nice, back to light and mineral with subtle undertones of everything else, wood, wine and leather. May try a few more this afternoon, but so far first and third were my favorites.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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60 tasting notes

Dry Leaf: Has a sweet earthiness aroma.
Wet Leaf: There is still that sweetness with a woody slight earthiness and even a very faint vegetal aroma.
Liquor: Was a golden honey or amber color.
Taste: This started out sweet and earthy. But as you further steep this tea the earthiness starts to mellow and you get a smooth leathery flavor I can even see someone say they get a raisin after taste. Also you get hints of a peppery taste along with some slight dryness with this tea.
Overall Opinion: I give this a 90 it was a good enjoyable tea.
Vessel/Leaf: Leaf use sample. Sama Doyo Gongfu/Kungfu teapot 500ml inner cup holds 220ml or aprox.7oz similar to the piao i teapot.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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11 tasting notes

I brewed this up perhaps a bit weaker than others might advise – the wet leaves about half filled my yixing pot, or 4.5g leaf to 120ml. However, the resulting tea is just right for me – not overwhelming like I’m used to from pu-erh. The shiny silver coated dried leaves are actually quite gorgeous, and the rinsed scent is sort of mushroomy. There is a slight greenish astringency to it, but I love the sweetness that takes over the sides of my tongue a moment after I’ve sipped it. The actual tea has more of a vague woodsy feeling to it, but not smokey or offensive. Really a nice every day tea, actually – good price, easy to brew, goes a long way and has a lot of flavour profiles hidden away in it.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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