2012 Yunnan Sourcing "Yong De Blue Label" Ripe Pu-erh tea cake

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cocoa, Coffee, Wood, Sweet, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Cake, Oak wood, Vanilla, Cacao, Smoke, Smoked, Rose
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by sansnipple
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 8 g 17 oz / 499 ml

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16 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Had this over the course of the last two days. It has been a good cup to come home to after the cold weather. This tea seems to be lightly fermented. It gives an oak type note with sweetness and a...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “This is probably the most tippy looking shou I’ve had so far. This was another sample from YS and is quite likely to translate into an order, provided I can figure out the local customs situation....” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “This bing looks like a bundle of worms wriggling around in dirt. Whether you find that aesthetically appealing or unappealing is up to you. Anyway, I thought I’d already drunk some fairly tippy...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is my first foray into gong-fu style brewing and… not my first ripe pu-erh, but I’m definitely a newbie in that department as well. Suddenly tea trays make a LOT of sense after getting water...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Our Blue Label production celebrates the tail end of this Year of the Dragon. We selected the highest quality ripe tea fermented from Yong De county spring harvest material. Unlike most cakes from large producers our Blue Label cake is blended from mostly small leaf grade material with plenty of golden fermented buds. We have also blended a large percentage of gong ting into this cake.

The tea itself is an aromatic affair, with hints of camphor and molasses. Although young it delivers a thick and full soup with a nice mouthfeel not unlike a good raw tea. A high quality tea worthy of aging that is also priced affordably. Stock up on a tong or two for future years!

357 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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16 Tasting Notes

80
289 tasting notes

Had this over the course of the last two days. It has been a good cup to come home to after the cold weather. This tea seems to be lightly fermented. It gives an oak type note with sweetness and a touch of bitterness but not in an unpleasant way. I think the high bud count in this will make it sweeter in the future. I don’t quite get the molasses in it but this has been a good tea and it re-steeps very well. A good buy for a younger shou to age. 15 grams in the Yixing started with a 10 second steep and added 5 to each from there. Pretty solid cake.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Pretty label.

Sammerz314

Agreed. Very nice label! I am sure its a fine tea as well.

mrmopar

Yeah the label with the Dragon got me.

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83
21 tasting notes

This is probably the most tippy looking shou I’ve had so far. This was another sample from YS and is quite likely to translate into an order, provided I can figure out the local customs situation. (I got stuck with a $57 customs charge on my last $100 tea order from the US – not a YS order).

I used 10g in a 130ml gaiwan. Did a flash rinse and even that came out quite dark. Steeped it for 10 seconds the first 3 times before adding on 10 seconds on each steep. This lasted over 10 steeps in total with the last one being 2 minutes.

It was thick and dark from the first steep, just how I like it. A very small amount of fermentation flavour but not at all fishy. This was enjoyable though I struggle to describe the taste. You could say rather typical shou but not the earthy kind at all. Maybe more of a woodsy note, with hints of cocoa or even coffee. No smokiness. After the 5th steep an underlying sweetness emerged. I would recommend this if you like really bold and thick shou. Now if my local customs and postal services can clear up the issue of crazy fees on importing tea, this will be a part of my next YS order.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
mrmopar

Can you get a package from a friend customs free? That may be a way to do it. Ship your order to a friend and then they reship it to you.

Sqt

@mrmopar well this particular package was shipped as a gift by the vendor, so I assume not.

The frustrating thing is that per my reading of the rules and regulations there should be no extra or special charges for importing tea. However, I can’t get anyone at the post office or customs office to agree to that and I wonder if its as simple as not wanting to admit that they made a mistake. They keep insisting tea goes through a special handling process without being able to quote a specific part of the law to back it up. So its possible it was an error they wont confess to and future packages may have no trouble, but that’s a bit of an expensive risk to take.

Will send in a written complaint to the ombudsman and keep my fingers crossed.
mrmopar

Yeah, hopefully you can get it sorted out. It just seems too high a tariff for something like that.

looseTman

High tariffs that discourage the free-market are never a good idea.
Perhaps Scott may have some insights?

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22 tasting notes

This bing looks like a bundle of worms wriggling around in dirt. Whether you find that aesthetically appealing or unappealing is up to you. Anyway, I thought I’d already drunk some fairly tippy shus (this is only my fifth, so make of that what you will), but this cake takes the… cake. The leaves are all of such a small leaf grade that it is virtually impossible for them to become entangled with one another and thus the bing is close to coming apart on its own. It’s not even necessary to use tools to pry leaves off if you don’t want and you can practically just rub the edges a bit to make the leaves start coming off. I noticed a smaller amount of dust and smaller particles than typical and most of the stuff that has come loose on its own and you find lying inside the wrapper is good to use for brewing. If you wanted to break this cake into loose form for daily drinking, I imagine it would take hardly no time at all.

I used 11.5g of leaves in my 160ml Jianshui teapot. My intention was to use 11g instead of the 10.5g I’ve been using in the past as I felt upping the amount of leaf a tad might yield better results, but when my scale said 11.5g I was too lazy to take some leaves out. I managed to include a couple of smaller chunks amid the individual leaves. The dry leaves had a typical shu pu’er scent, but while I was smelling them it occurred to me that since I’m storing my ripe cakes stacked atop one another in a box, I may very well be smelling the neighboring cakes when sniffing the surface leaves, which makes paying attention to the aroma of the dry leaves somewhat moot. In any case, after a brief 10s rinse the wet leaves didn’t display the typical manure smell I’m used to smelling in a lot of shu and instead I got a dark scent more akin to coffee beans, dark chocolate and the like. After giving the leaves a ten minute rest, I got to brewing.

I steeped the leaves nine times, for 10s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 4 min. I am unsure whether the leaves could have gone on as I did not try. I don’t recall what the rinse had looked like, but the first infusion surprised me by being much darker than I’m used to. The taste was also much bolder than shu pu’er typically is in my experience. Both of these I attribute to the very small leaf grade. I’m bad at even attempting to describe ripe pu’er, but the taste was perhaps a bit sweet and it seemed to leave a similar aftertaste in your mouth as coffee.

The second infusion brewed even darker, yielding probably the darkest color I’ve seen in shu pu’er thus far. Unless you had a light source directly behind a transparent vessel, you could not see through the dark liquor. Only when shining a light through could you see that the liquor was actually red and not black, but the red was such a dark shade that it almost seemed to have a purple hue to it. The flavor remained strong like in the first infusion and the taste was akin to almost something like diluted coffee, which seems very common for the second steep of the ripe pu’ers I’ve had. I’m not really a coffee drinker, I may drink a couple cups a year if that, so flavor profiles like this are not necessarily something that appeal to me particularly, but my tasting notes say “not bad, not bad” nevertheless, so it was pretty okay. This infusion had the longest aftertaste I’ve encountered in shu thus far, and it remained very stable as well. The more I drink high-quality teas, the more I start to appreciate things like long, stable, enjoyable aftertaste that are not a given at all even in some really nice teas, and thus I definitely give this tea/infusion points for it. More so than the front flavors.

As I continued to flash brew the tea, the third infusion wasn’t quite as dark in color as the last one. While the strength of the flavor remained strong, the flavors themselves started to become lighter in nature. As I said, I struggle to describe the flavors, but if you’ve ever drunk shu pu’er they were pretty typical ripe flavors. I would not use the word earthy. The tea was sort of sweet without being actually sweet. Again, if you’ve ever drunk pu’er, you probably know the deal. After lengthening the steep time a little for the fourth steep, the color was once again very dark albeit not quite as dark as at its darkest in the second infusion. Like before, the tea continued to brew quite strong while the flavors themselves continued to get lighter in flavor. The exact same thing can be said about the fifth infusion, but now the tea was starting to taste better than in earlier steeps and the person I was drinking with echoed this sentiment.

From the sixth steep onward the color of the tea soup finally started to get lighter. The sixth steeping itself while not exactly sweet was beginning to get sweeter. Starting with the seventh steep the strength of the flavor started to come down as well. As the nature of the flavor continued to get lighter, it was difficult to tell if the tea was getting watery or simply lighter. As the eighth steep produced a much, much lighter color than before, more of a dark orange than a red, I decided to ramp up the steeping time for the last steep I did straight to four minutes. This, while yielding a bit more color than before, was nowhere near as dark as before. The tea soup had more sweetness now, and in fact I’d call it a mineral sweetness albeit not necessarily the same kind you typically get in many teas as they begin to steep out. The steep was pretty okay. If the tea still had more in it, extracting it would have probably required steeping the tea for closer to fifteen minutes if not more and so I just decided to call it there.

Overall the tea performs as you’d expect and you trade off longevity for strength of flavor. Objectively this is neither a good thing or a bad thing as it’s a quite fair trade-off. In my limited experience shu pu’er can be quite light when it comes to taste, so those seeking a bolder flavor and especially those not interested in stretching out a session may find a nice daily drinker in this one. Like certain other ripe pu’ers I’ve tried, this came across as a tea that might appeal to those who are coffee drinkers. I myself while thinking a couple of infusions were fairly nice still struggle to find an appreciation for shu pu’er, but I will continue to try.

This tea taught me that with ripes that have this small a leaf grade you need to start pushing them much more aggressively once they start to drop in color. How aggressively, I don’t know. Next time I’ll need to brew this one in a gaiwan so I can monitor the color before I pour. Flavor-wise nothing really jumped out at me about this one. Everything I tasted here I’ve tasted before in other shus. I will need to drink this one more to formulate a more conclusive opinion on it, but my first impressions of it were not particularly strong one way or the other. If you are a shu drinker, you will likely enjoy this one, but that is just a guess on my part.

Flavors: Coffee, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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78 tasting notes

This is my first foray into gong-fu style brewing and… not my first ripe pu-erh, but I’m definitely a newbie in that department as well. Suddenly tea trays make a LOT of sense after getting water absolutely everywhere on my cutting board-turned-tray and the table. Towels were needed, fingers were burnt. Overall I enjoyed the relaxation aspect of it though! I love the gaiwan I got, it’s got a good heft to it and doesn’t feel flimsy: http://teaware.house/collections/gaiwan/products/blue-blessing-ruyao-gaiwan-115ml

Not too keen on this tea, I think I may have over-leafed it, it was very barn-y. Any tips for a newbie? I did two brief rinses.

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90
1728 tasting notes

This is a very tasty ripe with a fair amount of fermentation flavor left to it. It is sweet with little or no bitterness to it. There were some notes of chocolate in there and a fruity flavor developed in later steeps. The initial steeps were thick and rich to say the least. This is one I just hadn’t gotten around to buying before. It is quite good and the fermentation taste that is there is not fishy but sweet.

I steeped this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. Judging by the color of the tenth steep I think this would definitely go a few more but I have had enough tea at about 1.5 liters of this stuff.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 9 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

I had this one in my basket, but removed it to save on shipping.

AllanK

It was definitely good. I had seen it before and may have even been given a free sample but had never tried it before. It was as good as other ripe I have had by Yunnan Sourcing that is for sure. I really enjoyed it.

AllanK

I got it from the US site, he has a flat $7 shipping rate. Much better shipping than the China site but less variety.

tea123

Lucky you. The shipping is what puts me off. I prefer free shipping from eBay vendors.

AllanK

EBay vendors just make you think the shipping is cheaper. They build it into the price.

tea123

If that is true, where can I buy similar teas including delivery for these prices (Note: I bought these teas after reading your reviews :) ):

ShanghaiStory: 00s Organic Premium Aged Loose Pu-erh Ripe – 250g for $12.99.
streetshop88: 2007 Top Organic Yunnan MengHai Spring No.1 puer Pu’er Puerh Cake Raw – $27.98
berylleb: 2011 Yunnan Menghai Dayi Meng Song Teardrop Raw – $42.74

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90
38 tasting notes

This is my second or third go at this tea. I used 7g in 100ml just off boil. Two short rinses. Man I really dig this one for sure. I am not sure where this comes from or who presses this one. Mine is YS but I have seen this cake with the same label elsewhere. Either way I am buying another. Wet leaf smells of un-iced chocolate cake. Smaller gong ting grade leaves but give pretty well. First few steeps are really nice and no wait for the goods. A very nice lightly fermented ripe taste that has such a great sweetness to the taste and nose. Hints of vanilla, chocolate, slight oak and the nice coffee bitterness (not astringent) that we expect. Its not an older ripe but has no fishiness or pond water qualities. Its ready to drink now. This one warms me and tonight that is exactly what I need. Its my hot cocoa if you will. I don’t know if its an aged and obscure tea snob’s first choice kind of tea but I personally go by the taste not the hype (with that said hyped tea can be good too :). This one does the trick and is cheap. It gave 7 or 8 steeps maybe more ( I don’t count, I just brew by color). I usually don’t try to get every little bit out of my ripe like I do sheng as I find that the fishiness does start to show its face at the end of a ripe session. Overall this tea kicks some ass to me and I would recommend.

Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Oak wood, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90
41 tasting notes

A solid shou, I like this one a lot! From what I understand, Yong De area leaves are not the highest quality or most sought after but I really like shou produced from Yong De area. The taste is great for a daily drinker. Smooth, dark but not too rich, some dark notes of dark chocolate and molasses but balanced with lighter notes of toasted straw and a smores / lightly spiced pumpkin pie taste (I’m tasting some toasted graham cracker in there). Tastes like a combination of a Dayi (say, a 7452) and Mandala’s Noble Mark. I’m just finishing my 25g sample today, but I have a cake in the mail. Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 13 g 7 OZ / 220 ML
jschergen

Nice! I like this too. Hits the right chords for me. Still pretty damn cheap too.

mrmopar

Agreed on all points.

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75
10 tasting notes

Just starting in the world of Pu-ehr so I don’t have the best vocabulary yet. This one is enjoyable overall.
Scent of wet wood from liquor. Aroma of sweet candy from lid. Cacao, smokey flavor, yet very smooth and not bitter at all. Sweet actually.

Brewed in my glass flask as close to Gung Fu style as I can get. Quick steeps.

Flavors: Cacao, Chocolate, Smoke

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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199 tasting notes

I didn’t really enjoy this shou much at all. I guess it’s just not to my tastes yet :) I used 8g in 100ml at 200F.

jschergen

You should try dialing back the leaf to water ratio a bit. This tea has alot of small leaves and will hit quickly as a result (especially when compared with larger leaf ripe pu’erh). I’d try it again using half the amount of leaf. If you want to strengthen your brew later, I’d add leaves as it brews out.

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100
28 tasting notes

A very nice tea for its price, has a very nice sweet vanilla/cocoa aroma. First couple of steeps brew up rather sweet. It balances out nicely after the first few steeps, was able to steep this quite a few times. Would definitely make a good daily drinker, although I didn’t really enjoy the first few steeps.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Kirkoneill1988

i tried this before i think

Tommy2_morrow

Yea I checked and I guess you have, I got this one from last months tea of the month club.

Kirkoneill1988

was it a full review? i forget if i did one or not

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