2011 Yunnan Sourcing "Chen Yun Yuan Cha" Wild Arbor Raw

Tea type
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Dirt, Earth, Smoke, Sweet, Camphor, Honeysuckle, Peach, Tobacco, Astringent, Bitter
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaExplorer
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 oz / 135 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

“Chen Yun Yuan Cha” (陈韵圆茶) means “Aged Rhyme Round Tea”. This lovely tea cake is composed entirely from Spring 2008 sun-dried material from two different areas of Lincang. The “mao cha” was aged in Dali town since 2008, and during that time mellowed nicely. The strong astringency of it’s youth has dissipated slightly, leaving the drinker to enjoy, sweetness, pungent cha qi, and some hints of flower aroma.

This tea being stored as mao cha in a relatively mild and dry climate will allow it to continue age and develop over the years. A few months after pressing it will change quite dramatically as the water vapor taste (from steam pressing) dissipates.

400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo tong)

Spring 2008 material, May 2011 pressing

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9 Tasting Notes

7 tasting notes

As recommended I started with very short steep time, 15 s for 5G of tea in my smaller gaiwan. I rinsed the tea once and poured myself a cup after the initial steep, as I was curious about all of the comments on this teas depth and intensity. The bite and after taste was one of earthy smokiness, that I quite enjoyed. The first five or so steeps were done in short bursts and had the lingering Smokey taste but with more and more sweeter notes presenting themselves as I steeped On. At the 6th or so steep there is little to no stringency and smoky flavor, it is all but gone now, and tastes mostly sweet and soft.

Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Smoke, Sweet

5 g

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7 tasting notes

Sweet and easy-going character. A hard tea to oversteep.

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318 tasting notes

Brews up a orangeish-gold. Quite a bit of bitterness, I oversteeped the first brew and had to dump it. Slightly smoky with menthol, peach, tobacco, and floral notes. This must have been a real bruiser when it was fresh! Sort of reminds me of the offspring of a milder YS cake with a burly Xiaguan tuo. Nice lingering sweetness in the mouth and the back of the throat.

Made from 2008 maocha, this tea has had almost a decade of age to mellow out, but to be honest I think it could benefit from another ten years or so.

*Edit: Mellows out in later steeps. Very sweet, reminds me of canned peach juice.

Flavors: Camphor, Honeysuckle, Peach, Smoke, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

I had this one in 2014. It was also a bit astringent then, but I could see it was heading in a good direction. Definitely got that dominant peach note.


Yeah very peachy, and I can definitely see this one getting better with age


I got a couple of these aging away.

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33 tasting notes

Note: very broken up leaves in this sample, impossible not to oversteep in the early steeps. I’m flash steeping this one every time in a ~160ml gaiwan.

Sweet and slightly smokey rinse. Med astringency on 1st steep, still sweet and higher smokiness. 2nd steep way too high astringency, dumped it out. 3rd steep mellowing out a bit. 4th steep mellowing more but still too astringent to taste anything else. 5th steep was finally drinkable but not that interesting. 6th steep and the astringency is pretty low and the tea is starting to have some nice flavors.

7th steep is very mellow and actually fantastic even though my bias of the earlier steeps being awful wants me to still hate this tea. I didn’t eat a very big breakfast and this tea is DESTROYING my stomach. Time for some bread. 8th steep (still flash steeping btw) is VERY nice. Grassy but soft and deep rather than crisp bright grass. Minerals and chlorine. 9th steep about the same. 10th is getting much sweeter. 11th steep I finally let it go for 5-10 seconds before I poured it off. Very nice flavor, ideal sheng for me but I can’t get over how bitter and astringent it was at first. I’ll probably get 15-20 steeps from this!

Don’t think I’ll be buying a cake of this, I just can’t justify buying a tea where I want to dump out the first 6 steeps.

205 °F / 96 °C 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

This can be hit or miss for some.

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10 tasting notes

First I got ten grams and put it in a gaiwan and gave it a rinse for 5 seconds. The first brew for 5 seconds and the tea was smoky flavor and strong and bitter . This was much stronger tea than the other tea I drank today. This might be a bit strong for me.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Smoke

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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145 tasting notes

This is a very impressive tea. It’s aging very gracefully, with no wet storage characteristics at all. It starts out very sweet with a sharpness in the background reminding you it’s a sheng, but one with a flavor that has matured into something very balanced and refined. This has a honey-like sweetness with notes of ripe plum, pine, bourbon, roasted barley, and flowers. The tea liquid is champagne in color the leaves are a golden olive hue, mostly intact, and highly fragrant. It starts to reveal its aged nuances in later steeps.

This is one of those hidden gems.

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34 tasting notes

This is an exceptionally smooth sheng in my opinion. Whereas it has a really nice balance of bitterness and sweetness it is lacking in that it doesn’t present many strong flavor notes beyond the bitter and sweet. There are light fruity and floral notes happening. I think this would be nice for someone looking for a lighter sheng.

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

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304 tasting notes

Looking over this tea when breaking it. The cake seems to have some “white” tips in it. the first brew was very pale considering the age of the maocha the tea was made with. It brews clean and bright with a pale yellow color. The notes I get right away are musky and floral with a touch of smoke and bitter. it causes a slight numbing on the tongue that stimulates the saliva glands. A little “piney” note also shows up. it is deep and complex with the darker “aged” color coming after the second steep. This is a really nice tea with a mix of heavy hitting and soft notes rolled into one. The dryer and fruity notes seem to come after the first infusion. I would suggest a “double” rinse to allow this one to show its true nature. a real deal for what I paid and i can’t wait to see how it matures down the road. Very hot gongfu method short steeps on this one.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

This one turns nice and sweet on the later infusions.


You are so good at describing these!


I am still learning! Thank you, I hope I can “truly” describe these. So many complex flavors in some of these shengs.


Sounds interesting!

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