231 Tasting Notes
Mystery pu! My grandma recently moved to an independent living facility and wanted to get rid of a lot of things from around her house. One was a tin labeled “Pu-li tea”.
She said she had had it for years, and bought it for the tin, though she can’t remember where she got it. Giving it a sniff it’s obviously some shou pu. So I brewed it up!
The taste is, as I expected, not particularly good. There’s a camphor note and maybe a bit of cocao, but mainly just the smell/taste of decaying wood. I’ve had far worse shou, but that said this isn’t very good. Maybe I’ll brew it up again next time I get some greasy take out.
Flavors: Camphor, Cocoa, Decayed wood
Brews a deep deep red. There’s a fair amount of fermentation flavor left, enough that I felt the need to give four rinses. But this tea definitely has it’s redeeming qualities. It’s very thick and creamy, almost buttery except that it’s more sweet than savory. There’s a strong and definite chocolate note, almost like drinking dark chocolate hot cocoa. This is a lower fermentation shou, and it has just a hint of a vegetal pumpkin flavor. Later steeps hint at raisin and ginseng. Overall a nice tea that should get much better with age.
Flavors: Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Mineral, Pumpkin, Raisins
A thick and bittersweet young sheng. Sweet honey, grain, apricot, mushroom, and hazelnut notes with a bitterness a bit like hops. Warm, sweet aroma lasts in the cup and in the mouth. Mouthfeel is thick and lubricating/oily. Qi is pleasant and noticeable for me. This is one of Scott’s lower priced cakes and in my opinion an exceptional deal!
Flavors: Apricot, Grain, Honey, Hops, Mushrooms, Nuts
Brews a medium brown-orange. Flavors of wet wood, rocks, leather, and “old book smell.” Very thick and oily in the mouth with light bitterness. Later steeps are cleaner tasting with slight cocoa and red wine notes. Overall it’s ok. I’m not super wild about it, but I may buy a cake just because it’s hard to find a tea with so much aged character for so cheap. A good"daily drinker" aged cake.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Cocoa, Leather, Paper, Red Wine, Wet Rocks, Wet wood
From the Pu TTB:
Starts off super clean and refreshing. Moderate bitterness and florals. Notes of honey, rock sugar, and clorophyll. Actually more than moderate bitterness. Later steeps reveal hints of dry white wine and sandalwood. I enjoyed this one a lot, definitely among my top young sheng.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Honey, Mineral, White Wine
From the Pu TTB:
Very clean for its age. Mineral, camphor, and cocoa notes. Slight apricot fruityness, fall leaves. I felt that this had a strong cha qi that I could feel as tingling across my forehead
Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Cocoa, Dry Grass, Mineral
Can’t believe I never reviewed this one, maybe Steepster ate my note? Anyways I’ve had this one since 2012, and while I have to say I think it was better fresh, it’s still a very enjoyable brew. Four years of Florida storage has turned the broth a nice yellow-orange. The most prominent feature of the taste is a strong, vegetal sugarcane sweetness. There’s some apricot, mushroom, and spice notes with just a little bitterness. Very thick mouthfeel and good lasting sweetness in the mouth.
Flavors: Apricot, Mushrooms, Spices, Sugarcane, Vegetal
Broad, course leaves loosely compressed. Strongly mineral and earthy taste with raisin, cocoa, and petrichor notes. No noticeable fermentation flavor left. The taste is thin and clean, not a thick and creamy sort of shou. Slight sweet/tart ginseng/dried cherry note. A really nice pu for the price!
Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Mineral, petrichor, Raisins
Tightly rolled medium brown leaves. Brews and amber color. Has a fruity pineapple note as well as hints of roasted barley, pistachio, brown sugar, cannabis, cream, and cinnamon. A nice medium roasted oolong.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cannabis, Cinnamon, Cream, Nuts, Pineapple, Roasted Barley