No matter what I did this tasted like hot water and nothing else. Just fake hype.
“No matter what I did this tasted like hot water and nothing else. Just fake hype.” Read full tasting note
“So I totally admit to buying the tea for the hype, especially given last year. I thought it was gonna sell out, but as of writing this there is still plenty in stock. I just bought a sample and let...” Read full tasting note
“Got this one as a sample. 5g, ~100ml, at 200F, starting with a 5s wash. First thing I want to say is that it isn’t as woody + astringent as other sheng pu’erhs. This is a nice thing for me, as I...” Read full tasting note
“Alright, it’s Friday and I want to drink something unique or good. My first thought was some Pubertea, but I don’t feel so happy about some BS shipping on it so I’ll wait till the sour feeling goes...” Read full tasting note
Located at 24°16’13.6"N and 101°12’19.6"E, we selected this approximately 1300 year old tree with Master Zhou for its beautiful microclimate. For this 2016 Single Tree pressing, every leaf was hand picked & gently sun dried before being hand pressed by Master Zhou in a custom carved stone mold. This is a chance to taste tea from one of the oldest trees in the Mt Ailao National Forest Preserve. This true single origin tea has a sparkling texture and incense aroma for wonderful aging potential.
Company description not available.
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So I totally admit to buying the tea for the hype, especially given last year. I thought it was gonna sell out, but as of writing this there is still plenty in stock. I just bought a sample and let it sit for a while, but decided to finally break it out.
And WOW this actually pretty good. First, it’s not very bitter or astringent. Very smooth, which may turn some sheng drinkers off but is perfect for me as I’m kind of a wimp about bitterness. I DID use a lower brewing temperature (190), but I’m sure it could have held up at a higher temperature.
I got LOTS of steeps out of this and a little bit of a nice tea buzz too! Overall, I was quite impressed. Now, as for how old the trees REALLY are? Eh.. we don’t have to get into that. I’m just judging the tea on the tea.
Got this one as a sample.
5g, ~100ml, at 200F, starting with a 5s wash.
First thing I want to say is that it isn’t as woody + astringent as other sheng pu’erhs. This is a nice thing for me, as I personally dislike that a bunch.
First steep wasn’t too strong of a taste, but everything was soft. So it was just a poor steep or I didn’t let the leaves open up enough yet.
Second steep brings the flavours out. Leave the mouth dry, but it’s a strong combination of that woody sheng flavour with a minor plum backdrop.
Third steep, i forgot about it and kinda oversteeped it by a minute instead of 15s. Surprisingly, not much of an astringency detected, but more of an increased plum flavour that balanced out the wood.
With the leaves open, the woody astringent taste starts to take hold and overwhelm what very little plum flavour there is.
In short, this is a soft sheng pu’erh compared to the other sheng pu’erhs I’ve tasted. But do take this review with a grain of salt. I dislike sheng pu’erh in general and this one is no different. But if you do like sheng pu’erh, just keep in mind that this is a more mild taste than others.
Flavors: Astringent, Plums, Wood
Alright, it’s Friday and I want to drink something unique or good. My first thought was some Pubertea, but I don’t feel so happy about some BS shipping on it so I’ll wait till the sour feeling goes away. I went to the stuff I’ve bought and found this 2016 single tree sample I bought for those who helped with the Sheng Olympiad because I didn’t want to have another year of controversial tea; even if the highest end was great. Whatever I write about this please know that Verdant provides great service to me as a customer and I value the teas they bring to the community regardless of claims. I drink for myself and at the end of this session I’ll let you know how I feel.
First thing, 100g is $49.00! That’s a hefty price on a sheng; not to mention 100g cakes are pretty much just an enlarged beenghole. Opened up my 5g sample and saw this was maocha from which makes sense for sample portions and all but I wonder if that changes the taste. Either way, brewing will be much easier. From the looks of the leaf, this has the look of terrible Dacong or some ugly mocha from 4 years ago; like the stuff I bought on Aliexpress once. Not the best first impression, but shou looks like cow patty so who’s to say looks will determine anything. So here go!
Steep one and I can smell the darker notes on this rather than the lighter ones of fruit. I suspect there will be some medicinal taste within some forest elements of damp wood if the smell aligns to the taste.
It was at this very sentence that I decided to stop taking notes. Then it was this sentence that I got back to my computer to let you know that I ate oreos with milk after the 6th steep because my mouth and throat were feeling dry. Also, just so you know, I decided to go back to this sheng after the sugary snack… what am I doing to myself?
So this session lasted roughly three hours by time I was done and only 16 steeps; not sure if I pushed the heck out of this or if it goes that long. The look of this leaf is just pure ugly. I had a huge stick going through my pot the entire time with many stems showing me their side that the sun never saw. Just not appealing looking. The aroma stays constant of wet leaf steam and light mossy bark. There’s no taste of moss, but the medicinal taste is somewhat like what you get when a little aloe for a sunburn gets in your mouth. A little cooling feeling and a little ‘oh that is nasssssssssssssssssssty’ going on.
For me, this tea is 100% void of bitterness which is awesome for a sheng. Admittedly, I’m not sure if this is the same type of material being picked as others due to the look and taste. With no sort of feel at all, other than wanting some oreos, and the look I’m kind of suspicious. The taste never has a sweet side to it and the to the best of my ability I would say this taste like a girl cologne; you know that kind marketed towards a ‘sporty’ man but it smells kind of sweet like whoever is wearing it wants to smell like the candy at the bar around beers. Anyways, I tried this tea and pushed it pretty hard because I had one shot at it. With that said, I wouldn’t want to revisit it within the next year but I am also curious to how easily the cakes break or if they were pressed very loose like the Bill Clinton I have downstairs. I wonder if someone could name a cake Bill Clinton or Snookie… wait, there should be a loosely pressed shou named Snookie.
Verdant has the best roasted oolong period when it comes to the Autumn Laoshan Roasted Oolong and some great black teas for someone who isn’t a black tea drinker, but this is just not my thing. The tea they put out in the spring that was older than the USA was pretty good and had the notes of fruit I enjoy… it’s just this is for a different set of taste buds.