Lao Tong Zhi 2011 Sheng

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From Verdant Tea

“A wonderful investment-quality sheng with frothy sweetness and woodsy notes. . . .”

This high-quality 200g mini-cake was a wonderful find. The aroma has notes of Japanese cooking wine, toasted seaweed, and savory undertones. Steeped up, we get a frothy, creamy sweet brew with no dryness at all.

Instead of drying qualities, the youngness of the tea comes out through a very well-balanced light smokey quality, and a sweet mineral quality that you might get from fresh spring water. The main body is dominated by a wood-like taste more commonly found in Dancong oolong. The wood-taste is made dark and satisfying by savory root vegetable notes and a lingering sweetness.

The small size makes this a very accesible acquisition to start your pu’er collection, or as an affordable gift for pu’er-inclined family and friends.

NOTES: cream, wood, smoke, yam

Date of Picking: 2011

Location of Picking: An Ning, Yunnan, China

What Was Picked: Small leaves and buds, Laotongzhi recipe 918.

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4 Tasting Notes

3262 tasting notes

I’m the first to review this?
I’m home from my gig, relaxing in my PJs, & haven’t had any puer for a few days (sorry, from now on I’m leaving out the apostrophe & the h, there’s just so many ways to spell this, I’m making it easy on myself.)
The dry leaf smells very green, & wet it smells smokey as well.
1. My formula: 3G + 4oz (one rinse) + 4 sec = a very drinkable yellow infusion, slightly saline, but in a pleasant way.
2. 10 sec: It’s still mildly salty, but not so much sea salt, more like a mineral salt. I’m getting a nice mouthwatering up the center of my tongue. Bright yellow! I’m steeping in my Earthen Gaiwan (Butiki) & drinking out of my glass Gaiwan (TeaVivre) so that I can really enjoy the color.
3. It looks like I’m drinking a urine sample, sorry, I know that’s crude, but little Terri can be pretty crude…
I forgot to count, but I’ll guess 20 sec: Umami! I’m thinking fish sauce. It doesn’t really taste like fish sauce, but with it’s pleasant saline mouth-feel, & savory greens taste, my mouth is really watering.
This also reminds me of the soup broth I used to make with Kombu &/or Wakame.
4. 30 sec: Now a sweetness begins to emerge. It is both sweet & savory at the same time, and a little creamy texture under my tongue. I’m tasting a faint hint of bitterness up the center of my tongue, so maybe 30 sec was a little long, but I actually like a little bitter edge occasionally, as it makes the sweet taste more noticeable.
As in tea, so in life: Sorrow enhances Joy, Having less helps to heighten appreciation for what we do have. My mouth is watering wonderfully!
5. Another 30 sec infusion, still bright yellow! One thing I’ve noticed about drinking puer in the early evening. It doesn’t make me wired, but instead I feel very relaxed, very present, very open. I don’t have to do anything, so I’m sitting here in a semi-meditative state, breathing deeply & enjoying this cup. I’ve got the skull shine on a little bit, I feel subtle movement in my body, & this moment is fine!
6. 45 sec: A fresh taste, like spring green sauteed & sprinkled with a few drops of Mirin, tingly numb tongue, watering in the back of my mouth.
7. I’m letting this one steep for 1 min. (Meanwhile, I still had the Laoshan black in the other Gaiwan from earlier today, & I drank a cup of that. So sweet! It’s caramel & chocolatey goodness!) This cup has a quality & can’t quite define. It’s sweet & savory & mineralize & …earthy! That’s the only word I can think of.

I’ll continue to steep this out for a little while longer.


“Sorrow enhances joy”, insightful and telling. Wonderful review! I have this one and intend to enjoy it soon. thank you for the preview.


This was a little confusing. There is the 2012 Lao Tong Zhi which this review tasting sounds a lot like that was in cake form. Then, there’s a Lao Tong Zhi 2011 Tuocha. There may have been a quick special sale of some 2011 cakes, can’t remember.
When did you get this one since it’s not listed outside of the 2011 tuocha?

Terri HarpLady

Bonnie, if you look on the verdant site on the puer page, it’s at the bottom of the page, right in the middle,the “lao tong zhi 2011 sheng mini-cake”.
Anyway, I didn’t enter the info on Steepster, I just added my review of it. I got it during the puer monday sale.

Terri HarpLady

Steelhead, thanks for your comments. :)


OK see it, it’s sold out. Thanks.

Terri HarpLady

Hey Bonnie, do you want me to send you a sample? I’d be glad to do so :D
Paul, I’m mainly getting the ‘chaqi’ feeling from Puers, & at first it freaked me out a little, due to my own personal history of hallucinogen usage from 30 years ago. It feels in many ways to me like the beginning edge of a shroom trip. But it’s just the edge!

Terri HarpLady

I also liken it to what Deepak Chopra (& many other) refer to as the ‘observing mind’ or something like that. It’s the Namaste part of me.

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8269 tasting notes

i’ve been drinking this over the morning. It appears as though i’ve had less success this round with this tea. Today it’s a bit too vegetal and bitter for me. Not sure what i did differently this time around but this morning, none of my steepings have been overly delicious though i do know i liked it quite a bit last time. hmmm ah well. You can’t win them all! thanks again for sharing this with me terri!

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