2012 Yunnan Sourcing Impression Raw Pu-Erh Tea

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Bitter, Sour, Vegetal, Floral, Sweet, Tart, Tobacco, Fruity, Smoke, Tannic
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Roswell Strange
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 oz / 138 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This young sheng has a nicely balanced demeanor, gives strong astringency and a tannic impression with aromas of oat straw, and chlorophyll. It has a strong character to my taste, one which says...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “Mid afternoon cuppa. This one came with my last box from Sipsby – I was excited to get something from Yunnan Sourcing as I’ve not explored many of their offerings, though less excited when I saw it...” Read full tasting note
    70
  • “Yikes! Too much for me. Has that sour, vegetal taste like zucchini. It’s bitter and astringent with that shengy kind of flavor that I can’t really describe yet.” Read full tasting note
    33
  • “I am revisiting this one from about a year ago. When I first tried this tea last year it was mostly bitter and not very interesting to me. I pulled this one out as I am off the Shou Train at the...” Read full tasting note
    82

From Yunnan Sourcing

Our new blend is composed of spring and autumn 2012 plantation and wild arbor mao cha from Lincang, Wu Liang and Simao. This is our first attempt at creating blend suitable for long-term aging that is priced affordably. A variety of teas with different characteristics were tirelessly blended together to create a nice balanced tea that has both bitterness and astringency, as well as a nice taste and good cha qi. The brewed tea is a vibrant floral affair, with very slight smoky notes and strong caramel sugarcane aroma and taste.

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

This production is suitable for re-sellers of tea who prefer to sell tea without Yunnan Sourcing logos and markings. The wrapper and nei fei make no reference to Yunnan Sourcing whatsoever! **

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

14 Tasting Notes

83
41 tasting notes

This young sheng has a nicely balanced demeanor, gives strong astringency and a tannic impression with aromas of oat straw, and chlorophyll. It has a strong character to my taste, one which says it will age well. I agree that it has slight smoky notes on its lengthy finish, but do not get the honey notes mentioned. It would be nice to see where this tea goes with time. Right now, I say not outstanding but good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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70
6361 tasting notes

Mid afternoon cuppa.

This one came with my last box from Sipsby – I was excited to get something from Yunnan Sourcing as I’ve not explored many of their offerings, though less excited when I saw it was a raw pu’erh rather than a ripe.

I made this one Western, but will eventually try it Gong Fu. I just didn’t want to commit to a whole Gong Fu session with a raw I hadn’t tried yet – I have no clue if this is gonna be up my ally or not. Flavour wise it’s very interesting; there’s a touch of astringency but mostly it’s quite smooth with some interesting flavour notes to it. Sort of a caramelized sugar and sweet smoke note mixture – with just a bit of fruityness to the top notes; almost like a starfruit kind of fruit flavour with aspects of under ripe peach? It’s such a weird mash up; exotic and stone fruits, smoke, and caramelized sugar…

I can’t decide if I’m into it or not – but hey, at least I don’t hate it!

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33
239 tasting notes

Yikes! Too much for me. Has that sour, vegetal taste like zucchini. It’s bitter and astringent with that shengy kind of flavor that I can’t really describe yet.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Sour, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Kristal

I’ve only had green yunnan teas (cheaper and more expensive varieties) and I always find they are incredibly finicky with regards to temperatures and steeping times :( .

Hoálatha

I just don’t think young sheng is for me. I’ve tried several and haven’t liked them. This one actually went through several temps and steeping times, and no matter what I did I didn’t like it.

mrmopar

Age as it was blended similar to a Dayi sheng. It is still a youngster.

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82
38 tasting notes

I am revisiting this one from about a year ago. When I first tried this tea last year it was mostly bitter and not very interesting to me. I pulled this one out as I am off the Shou Train at the moment and am limited in my Sheng collection (though I am waiting on some W2T fare). I brewed up about 7 grams in 100ml Gaiwan. Two quick rinses and let it rest for about 10-15 min. I steeped in about 205F water for about 10 seconds increasing steep time and temp a bit as it thinned out. First couple of steeps were not that dynamic but had a nice floral and sweet aroma on the out breath that lingered. After the usual astringency in the 3rd and 4th steeps that was not at all unpleasant to me the tea started to show itself. Not a very oily or viscous mouthfeel but not water thin either. The material is not the highest quality out there I am sure but this turned out to be a nice session. Some nice sweet and tart flavors presented themselves into the later steeps as well as the lingering sweet/floral in the nose. Notes of tobacco, hay, flowers, and slight syrup made it pretty damn enjoyable. This is a decent average daily drinker. For the price and the taste I would recommend for sure. It’s not some ancient Gushu fertilized with White Tiger blood and Buddha’s piss that will open your third eye revealing the true nature of The Camellia Gods. But its not bad at all.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Sweet, Tart, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kromey

“It’s not some ancient Gushu fertilized with White Tiger blood and Buddha’s piss that will open your third eye revealing the true nature of The Camellia Gods”

Brilliant, had to stop myself laughing aloud at night!

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75
639 tasting notes

One of my old samples of tea I am working on sipping down. I am on my 5th steep (or somewhere around there) and it’s been pretty consistent. This tea hasn’t really been stored properly since it’s a sample so it probably hasn’t aged much.

I found it slightly sweet with a bit of bitterness. There’s also a bit a fruitiness. More in the earlier steeps but still pretty consistent. I haven’t noticed too much caffeine or buzz from it; which is a good thing. I guess it all depends on what you want in a tea; and how you feel at that time of day.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Sweet

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66
199 tasting notes

Sheng/Shou TTB
Strong levels of astringency with wet tobacco notes. I don’t particularly like this tea right now, but it shows a lot of promise – it just needs to age for a few years more.

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82
239 tasting notes

I found this to be a nice balance of flavors. Easy to drink and good quality. A nice cake for the price.

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9659 tasting notes

Another raw from Dexter this has no bitterness and begins right away with a mild, sweet taste. This isn’t vegetal and is quite a lovely tea. Just started in with this one so more later….

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84
19 tasting notes

If you are a puerh drinker living outside of China, then you have definitely stumbled upon Yunnan Sourcing at some point. Browsing Yunnan Sourcing is like window-shopping at the Mall of America. The selection is unrivaled, but it’s also a bit overwhelming. Hundreds and hundreds of cakes from all over China fight for your attention. This black hole of puerh tea grows even deeper if you shop at www.yunnansourcing.com, the international wing of Scott Wilson’s tea empire. As a puerh tea enthusiast living in rural New England, Yunnan Sourcing’s online store is a godsend.

Although Yunnan Sourcing is most well known for its puerh selection, Scott also carries some lovely green teas and oolongs that I enjoy. I’m a big fan of the 2014 Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai Yunnan green tea in particular.

On to the review!

This lovely guy is the 2012 Yunnan Sourcing Impressions cake from www.yunnansourcing.us.

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This tea has received numerous positive reviews online, so I figured this would be a nice one to try. But if I’m being completely honest, I really wanted to buy this cake because I loved the label. Check out that beautiful yin and yang!

I suppose that buying a puerh cake based on its packaging may seem a bit silly. It’s like buying a wine just because you want to keep the bottle. Luckily, this time I was rewarded for my impulsive tea buying. I snagged a nice cake at an incredible price.

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This puerh cake is made of a blend of wild arbor mao cha and spring and autumn plantation mao cha from Lincang, Wu Liang, and Simao, three of the most famous puerh producing areas of Yunnan Province, China. This blend was designed for aging, so I look forward to trying this tea again in a few years. Or maybe I’ll pass it along to my children one day. Of course, this is assuming that my hypothetical children are as interested in tea as I am. There’s a good chance my kids will say something along the lines of “Dad, what the hell is this? Is this a cow patty?” That seems to be how most non-tea drinkers respond to seeing the stacks of puerh cakes I have in my dorm room.

In case you want to recreate my tea tasting experience, here is the musical accompaniment I chose. A lovely live performance from Kishi Bashi! KEXP never lets me down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NPTWXKB0C4

Dry Leaf

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This puerh cakes is loosely compressed, but still broke off in nice manageable chunks. I weighed out 9.2 g of the tea to use. That’s a bit more tea than I normally use, but this adorable huge piece of tea broke off and I didn’t have the heart to break it up. Isn’t it cute?

It is quite apparent that this cake is made from a blend of leaves. There are some beautiful gold and white leaves sticking out from the mass of green and green-grey leaves. The dry cake is very fragrant, with a lot of the tobacco notes that are common in young sheng puerhs. There is also a very noticeable fruity fragrance. I also picked up on a lot of smoky accents, which other reviewers didn’t seem to mention.

Teaware

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I used my lovely dedicated sheng puerh Yixing for this sample.

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Check out my tea pet/tea toy!

Although I have been the proud owner of this tea pet for almost six months, I still haven’t decided on a good name for him/her/zir. If you have a suggestion, please let me know!

Brewed Tea

I rinsed this monster sized chunk with two ten second steeps. I figured I would rinse the tea pretty vigorously, since it takes a while for these large pieces to open up and release their true character.

After the rinse, I took a big whiff of the leaves. Whoa, incredible! This tea smells so fruity and complex that it’s very hard to describe. The tobacco and fruit scents of the dry leaf were amplified. The aroma is actually quite similar to a fruity flavored shisha tobacco, just like you would use for a hookah. Although I despise hookah, I find the smell mesmerizing.

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The first real steep was a beautiful golden yellow color, even after only ten seconds in the pot. This tea is pretty high up on the astringency spectrum, which you will probably notice right away. But this not the bad kind of astringency, it’s actually very pleasant. The word “astringent” seems to have a negative connotation to it, which shouldn’t be the case! I find that a little bit of astringency adds a lot of character to a tea.

This tea is very well balanced, but the smoky character is definitely noticeable to me. I noticed the smokiness in the aroma and the taste, although other tea bloggers don’t agree with me. Perhaps I am just more sensitive to smokiness.

The smoky taste is buffered by the other flavors, such as a very noticeable fruity accent. I can’t quite decipher what the fruity taste is…perhaps raisin, dried fruit? The tea has a light sugar cane/honey sweetness to it towards the end. Lovely!

The aftertaste is very grassy and minerally, as others reviewers have mentioned. A lot of young sheng puerhs taste minerally to me. I’m not sure if that’s just my palate, or if that is a characteristic taste for many young puerhs. I enjoy the mineral taste either way! Mmm, just like licking a rock. Before you call bullshit on me for saying that I know what a rock tastes like, I actually do! Earth Science/Geology major, woohoo! I’ve licked many a rock in my life.

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The orange color starts to sneak in by the third steep. You can see the orange color in my cha hai.

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This tea finally started to mellow out on the 7th steep. The tea is still quite powerful, but the fruity taste and aroma have faded away and have been replaced by a strong mineral note.

I started to feel profoundly “tea drunk” at this point. I felt pleasantly warm from the inside out. This high was coupled with a pleasant caffeine rush thanks to my heavy hand…9.2 g of tea certainly adds up! Ah, what a wonderful feeling. All is right in the world!

I got 9 or 10 steeps out of this tea. I could have probably gone for a few more steeps, but alas I had other things to do in my day besides taste fancy teas. Hopefully one day tea tasting can be my sole focus, and silly things like college can be out of the picture.

Finished Leaf

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The finished leaves look super high quality. There are some very light green leaves alongside some darker green leaves, with a few dark grey-green ones thrown in. The blended character of this tea gives it a very unique appearance. The leaves are very large and intact, with no rips or tears.

Conclusion

I enjoyed this tea a lot. It’s really great, especially for the price. $20 is about as cheap as you are going to get for a puerh cake, so this one is certainly worth a shot, especially if you are new to puerh or are buying cakes for aging. I’m interested to see what this tea will be like in a few years. Perhaps it will smooth out a bit.

$20 for 357 grams…wow. Considering that I got 9 or 10 steeps out of my 9.2 g of leaf, you can do the math and see that 357 grams is a ton of tea. We’re talking like 10 cents a cup here, guys. Fancy tea doesn’t have to be expensive!

http://www.yunnansourcing.us/store/index.php?id_product=334&controller=product

I’ve got some exciting reviews coming up, so stay tuned! My 2002 White Whale cake from White2Tea should be coming in tomorrow along with some samples. I also just received my sample from Tea Ave out of Vancouver, Canada. I haven’t cracked into those yet, but the samples look wonderful.

Thanks for reading everyone. My last reviews have been read by over 200 visitors. I feel very fortunate to have access to such a wonderful audience!

“A man without tea in him is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”-Okakura Kakuzo, Book of Tea

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
mrmopar

The Whale will give you the smoke as well.

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34 tasting notes

Gonna hold off on scoring this tea until I know it better. So far so good though. Really hit the spot with a big hit of energy coming from it. Has a nice tannic/bitter bite coming from it. This is balanced by a light sweetness and a little smoke. Really good. Gonna analyze this later. Today I just enjoyed it.

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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