66 Tasting Notes


I loved this tea. very fresh and tender like young-picked peas from the garden. This is the Gyokuro of oolongs in my opinion.

Flavors: Creamy, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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I recently ordered an ounce of this tea.
Its certainly a good quality tea as usual with verdant. For some reason the dry leaf aroma and and potency of aroma and flavor of the tea itself was not nearly as strong as early spring tieguanyin that I have had from verdant a few years back. I suppose this could be due to many factors, including the time that passed between harvest and when I sampled the tea, as well as temperature influences during shipping.

Flavors: Flowers

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So far its one of the less remarkable shengs I have come across.
Smoky, rather lifeless and devoid of flavor/ intensity.
Hoping this stuff will surprise me after it airs out a bit in a jar.

I broke the first rule of puer:
always buy sample first. do not buy entire cake.
I bought based on a few good ratings.
Maybe it was exposed to bar conditions during shipping, or the particular cake I received was different.

UPDATE: just did another disappointing session with this tea. after several cups, my reaction was same as last time: do a compensation tea session with something more pleasant. My tea friend did not enjoy this tea either. Its rather flat and dead.

Flavors: Smoke, Wood

Charles Thomas Draper

I will follow the number one rule


I broke it several times to great success. Shipping costs factor in to my decision, and there’s always someone that you can pass it on to, or time that may improve it.

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review based on 2 sessions, approx 5g each.

fairly straightforward clean shu , on the light side.
decent tea but not on my reorder list because flavor/aroma is mild.
perhaps its meant to age for many more years.

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good results with this tea using about 2 grams directly in mug steep for a few minutes and drink.

pleasant fresh dough aroma, almost like chocolate cake.

smooth, slippery texture.

flavor is sweet and mild.
flavor could be more rich and strong. perhaps in a couple of years…

1 min, 30 sec

This one sounds like a pleasant treat specially when cold out.

Asaf Mazar

I have made it sound better than it is. a bit too mild. yet is it smooth and with a pleasant aroma. I think the best shu I have had in the past few months is this: http://www.finepuer.com/product/1997-cnnp-brick-tea-ripe-10g-free-sample
and this:

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revisiting this tea after part of the cake has aged broken up in a paper canister for 5 months.

The flavor is more deep and fruity. It feels less cold on the stomach.


How do you like breaking up a cake vs storing it as is?

Asaf Mazar

Thats a good question. I need to compare both to tell. Mt feeling is that it wont be much different in just 5 months time, especially since the compression is so light on many modern cakes.
Due to higher compression in the cetner, I suppose there might be a difference between center of cake and outer part.
According to Daniel from thechineseterasop.com, breaking up a cake and storing in pourous container is the most dramatic thing you can do to speed up aging (aside from moving to a different climate, I suppose)
In any case- this cake is still too immature for my stomach.
What I am enjoying the most these days is 15-20 year old sheng, especially from essence of tea. These may be less fresh and floral than young tea, but for me at least, the comforting, comfortable, calm nature of the aged leaf is much much more pleasant on the body and mind.

Charles Thomas Draper

I love that racy freshness of a younger cake…. I wish I could afford the 15-20 year old or have the restraint to age my young ones….


Asaf, I agree with you. Modern cakes are so tight that aging takes longer. I bought some young tea a bit over a year ago and broke one to put in a Yunnan clay put and the other as it was. If I were to compare them, I’d would have to be side by side, otherwise I wouldn’t notice the difference. But the one in the pot is getting more mellow slightly faster. But I imagine is only good for improving a tea, not so much for long term storage.

Charles, I don’t love really young Puerh, but I long for it some times. I feel like its ‘roughness’ wakes me up with energy. But treat yourself to an aged one from time to time (As a poor guy, I buy one and its my reward tea. Sort of like opening an expensive champagne bottle to celebrate accomplishments :P ).

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Review is after comsuming entire 250 grams brick :)
fine golden buds on outside of brick, raggedy-looking large leaf in the center. Seems to brew best with an intact chunck of both center and outer regions.
At first, I was disappointed, because it had funky fermentation/storage aroma.
however, after airing out in a metal canister for a severall weeks, it became perectly clean asusming a proper wash.

Satisfying everyday tea for drinking in office. a decent amout of aged character in the flavor: Caramel-jujube perhaps.
Seems to taste best brewed to a dark honey color, not more. lighter = more caramel. darker = more earth.
I can recommended this tea. Make sure you break it up into chunks and store for a few weeks first.

Price wise, its 20 something for 250 grams, on the high end for a shu brick, but its 15 years old. price seems accurate: not over or underpriced, though I am far from an expert on these things.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Wow! An entire brick! I’m impressed

Asaf Mazar

It took about 3 months or so to get through that one. At 5 grams average per brew its 50 sessions. Perhaps more impressive than finishing a brick or cake is to manage to hold on to one for enough years to see it age enough. When you are back in the country lets meet for tea I have some nice aged shengs that are waiting to meet you :)


Good tea is always a battle for me; enjoy now? or save for later? The good thing is that you enjoyed it all the way!

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review based on 10 gram sample divided intow sessions. one yixing, one gaiwan.
Flash infusions for first 6-7 brews.
I enjoyed it more in the gaiwan. strong aroma, somehow coffe like.
Thich, powerfull, impresive leaves.
strong qi/caffeine. Thick tea liquid. clear pectin-type thickness, not the soymilk particlate-matter type thickness.
Excellent tea, simillar to red mark from same order.
Seems like a solid deal at $45 per cake.

Nicely aged at 10 years. Malasia storage rocks.
Toataly clean no storage aroma.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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review is baased on 2 5gram tasting notes.
once in yixing pot second time in gaiwan.

Well, here it is: the LEgendary Red Mark, with almost 10 years of age.
Volumptuous, mostly intact leaves brimming with vitality, when rinsed, relase a satisfyingly strong prune-plum aroma and flavor.
In the yixing session : unsurpassed thickness of tea liquid, leaving prominent oily coating in the mouth.

Still a bit too young and cold on the stomach.
Certainly worth a try at only a few bucks for 10 sample.
An important educational experience.
I find it much easier to asses quality of puer after drinking this.

The leaves are impressive, perhpas this is what old arbor leaf is like when not over picked. Very simmilar leaf on the xiaguan 2004 blue mark that I got with the same order. the blue mark was darker and more aged, Less fruity, more coffe-like in a way.

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“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh



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