2012 Huron Gold Needle Shou Pu-erh

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Pu Erh Tea
Cocoa, Cream, Mineral, Moss, Forest Floor, Chocolate, Earth, Smooth, Creamy, Sweet, Mushrooms
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 6 oz / 172 ml

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21 Tasting Notes View all

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

A beautiful pu-erh that was produced in Xishuangbanna province but stored away from the intense aging conditions there after production. All of the rough earthyness has faded already and this shu shows great potential for further aging. This high-grade loose shu pu-erh was an exciting find. Gold needle grade generally accounts for less than 0.5% of a fermentation batch, and is usually used sparingly to smooth out blends before pressing. Finding loose gold needle grade shu pu-erh is exceedingly difficult because of this.

Our Huron Gold Needle is the silkiest tea we have ever tasted. It feels at though there isn’t even tea in your mouth, and the flavors are being magically transported by a thick, weightless warm air. It floats across the tongue and down the throat on a carpet of moss, cocoa, and sweet fruit with a lasting creamy warmth in the aftertaste.


Learn more about the Great Lakes Label here: http://whisperingpinestea.com/puretea/great-lakes-puerh.html

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

21 Tasting Notes

61 tasting notes

Seems like people have waxed poetic about this shou – I see the appeal but I’m maybe too new to shou (shoubie?) to pick up on what’s described as cocoa and mushroom.

I do detect: minerals like river rock, clay, salt

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4522 tasting notes

Sipdown (128)!

This is a special note…

It’s my 3333th Tasting Note! What a fun number!

I chose this tea to write about for that tasting note for a couple reasons. Firstly, it’s definitely a more popular tea here on Steepster and I liked the idea (which I think was suggested by Equusfell) of dedicating a more monumental tasting note to something I’ve been saving for a special occasion or a tea that’s very well regarded within the community. Secondly, it’s sort of a miracle I’m trying this at all. And by that I mean that, when I placed my Whispering Pines order on Black Friday there was a definite goof made on my part. Instead of sending the order to my new address in Regina I accidentally sent it to my old Saskatoon address.

It shouldn’t have made it to me. By the time I noticed the error and managed to get in contact with Brenden the tea had already been shipped off and there was nothing he could do. I spoke to postal workers both in Canada and in the states and there was nothing they seemed to be able to do to reroute the package. Initially, my former roommate wouldn’t reply back to me about sending it my way either (we didn’t part on good terms). It seemed like a lost cause and a write off of an order. However, like a week after tracking was showing the package as delivered in Saskatoon I got a message from him saying he’d sent it my way. Three weeks pass and, well, nothing. Saskatoon and Regina are three hours away from each other so that’s not normal shipping times. Then, out of the blue, Whispering Pines order! I think that’s my 2016 ‘tea miracle’ all used up already. But hell; I’m not complaining.

So yeah; I think this tea has a fair bit of significance that makes it worthy of being note number 3333! And of course I drank it Gong Fu! Actually, I had the session with my mom who’s starting to appreciate pure teas quite a bit more as of late – though she still prefers, as she puts it, things that are “Coconut Cream Pie” flavored over “Mud Tea”. But we’re getting there…

Here’s the TLDR; of my tasting notes from the session:

- Eight+ Infusions
- Starts off very robust with a brothy, thick mouthfeel
- Very mushroomy with kind of meaty notes, earth notes, and wood notes
- Also starts off surprisingly sweet despite a strong savory/umami profile
- Evolves into a more lightly woody/earthy body sip
- With definite rich vanilla notes!
- My mom described it as a sweet pork rind flavour…

Very awesome Shou all around! I can see why people who are drinking WP Pu’erh as some of their first time pu’erhs fall for Pu’erh so hard. It’s such a unique and interesting kind of flavour and it really holds your attention.


hahaha I think your mom and I are on the same page with regards to “mud tea” :P


Wow, that is a lot of 3s!


Ha! Sweet pork rind. That’s an interesting note. :) Congratulations on 3333!

Christina / BooksandTea

Happy 3333!

I love reading your tasting notes because you describe flavours that are really subtle, unusual (to me), and precise. I wish I had your palate!

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1158 tasting notes

Thank you for the sample Brenden!!

The pretty gold leaves went into my infuser with an earthy aroma of creamy dark cocoa and a hint of fruit. This translates well into the taste as well. The flavours and cocoa notes are a little lighter than the other pu’erh I tried but I don’t mind to have on days that I want something a little on the lighter side. I enjoyed this cuppa and have more for another cup or two.

Resteeped for 4&5 minutes.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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192 tasting notes

My first tea from the Pu TTB!
The dry leaves are tippy and medium brown to gold. It’s a very creamy shu with mineral, moss and cocoa notes, and it gains a bit of fruityness as it goes on. A nice young ripe that could definitely benefit from further aging

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Mineral, Moss

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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266 tasting notes

I will start by saying if you like stronger shou puerh than this is not a good tea for you. When using the vendors recommending gongfu brewging spects (and even with extra leaf) the puerh comes out as very light and delicate. The two main things about this tea that stand out to me is that is is both sweet and smooth. This tea also has a bit more complex flavor profile than most of the shou puerh. To me the “flavor notes” if you want to go there are more of of a little fruity and a little forest like which I think is what the vendor was talking about with the moss. The 3rd infusion does indeed have a bit of cocoa notes which to be quite honest I was quite skeptical of the claim in s shou puerh. Upon the 5th infusion I would say the tea had died and had produced “colored water” so one must really enjoy really really light tea to be able to get all 6 infusions out of this tea. Regardless I have to admit this is clearly a really high quality shou puerh even through it is much lighter than what I generally go for.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Glad you enjoyed this! I’d recommend grabbing a cake or cake sample of this one. Compression greatly increases infusability in shou, and this one is SUPER strong and much longer lasting in the cake. :-)

John Grebe

Opps, I just realized that I write this under the wrong heading as I was drinking the cake version of this tea when I wrote up the review. You are my first introduction to the more delicate puerh teas or at least ones that I could get into and I come from a background of a lot of HK wet storage style shou puerh so my definition of a shou dying is likely not the same as yours or at least at the moment.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ahhh gotcha! Yeah the puerh I press is definitely dry-stored and more delicate fermentation than the majority of stuff out there :-)

John Grebe

You are having a good influence on me and will enjoy the next reviews I write up soon … Ontario 1357 is now one of my favorite teas.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:D It’s my comfort shou. I’ve got a lot more shou cakes in my lineup coming out over the next couple years too :)

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27 tasting notes

Oh you silky smooth shou, you. New to shou? This shou is for you! Shou newbie like me? Fear not, this pu-erh is gentle and as smooth as silk. I will not rate this gentleman, but I love this warming, subtle, silky tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Forest Floor, Moss

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601 tasting notes

a lovely tea!

when i smell the leaves dry, they have a chocolate/musty smell.

when i smell the leaves wet, they have a stronger chocolate smell.

when i look at the brewed tea, the tea looks chocolaty brown.

when i smell the brewed tea, i smell earth and slight chocolate.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes like earth and slight chocolate.

i rate this tea a 100 because of the tastes, aromas and that its smooth.

im not sure if this came from scribbles or amanda’soggyenderman’wilson, but id like to thank both just in case.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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340 tasting notes

I’m drinking this western-style tonight, which is probably heresy, so… serious pu-erh people, avert your eyes. ;) 3g in an infuser basket with my 10oz mug, boiling water (but it cools down to low 90’s pretty soon after hitting the mug), steeps of 3min, 4min, 5min, etc. I forgot to rinse (seriously, avert your eyes, this is ridiculous).

For the first couple of steepings, the primary flavour was that earthy “shou pu-erh” flavour, which made me think that I must just completely lack a palate for pu-erh because I wasn’t tasting any of the other flavours listed. The texture/mouthfeel of this tea is pretty cool though, definitely light and silky-smooth, and then creamy in the aftertaste.

A few steepings in, the earthy/musty flavour has decreased substantially, and a light sweetness is coming through, accompanied by some fruity notes. I think I’m getting a bit of that minty-ness in the aftertaste as well. I’m glad I stuck with this tea and am looking forward to trying it gongfu style. :)

Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Smooth, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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1812 tasting notes

Sipping this for the first time with a tea chum…musty, smooth, creamy, and mmm-inducing.

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1014 tasting notes

Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #4

So I drank this tea five months ago and since that time I have probably drank over 300 different variations of tea leaf which makes this an interesting revisiting of a tea.
I read my past review before drinking this which was probably a mistake because I smell the muskiness of this tea; maybe it’s just me, but a lot of ripe pu’erh have this scent.
Now that I can steep pu’erh tea the way that I like it, I am able to brew this in a way that isn’t too dark but gives the 30% sweet / 60% wet earth and 10% darkness. I’m too lazy to look into it, but I believe I read that loose ripe is sweeter than cake form or the other way around. Regardless, this is clearly a step above all but two other ripes I have drank since five months ago which is to say that this is a top notch ripe. If I could eliminate my personal preference I would be able to make comments on how the bottom of my mouth has a more appealing taste than the back of my mouth which is were the lingering taste seems to come from (maybe it has to do with taste buds).
Like last time, this is a great pu’erh to pair with chocolate.

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