281 Tasting Notes
Just received my second Tea Urchin order, what a great company. They put their cakes into individual little boxes. Everything was packed with care. This tea is a blend. It was pretty good, as usual from Tea Urchin. It had some interesting flavors, a moderate amount of bitterness for a Lao Man E, and strong cha qi. My wife and I got a little tea drunk. It lacked somewhat in zip and strength, which are my top preferences. But it was very nice nonetheless.
I think the last rating of this tea was a few years ago by another person, so this is somewhat of an update, though of course we are different reviewers. This is now 5 years old. It is a nice gentle and interesting tea with good staying power. Somewhat fruity, especially in later steepings. It has probably mellowed out since it’s youth. It lacks a little on body and punch, but is a nice tea nonetheless.
I think I’ll call this one the coffee experience. Or perhaps the Guinness experience. This is my first tea from the Bo You factory. It is now my current favorite. I am steeping it quite strong, and get a brew that is like coffee – slightly bitter, though smooth underneath, strong, and with chocolate undertones. It is a real keeper, and a bargain at just $20 from Yunnan Sourcing, though it is only available at their China site. I’m going to try the 2011 version as well to see how it stacks up. As mrmopar noted in a review of another Bo You tea, this coffee type flavor may be typical of this factory.
I’ve been more interested in shu’s as of late, so I ordered a bunch of samples from Yunnan Souring. The first one I tried from this batch was the Man Tang Hong Te Ji. It is a perfectly nice everyday drinker. It’s got medium body and a well fermented dark flavor, definitely no off (fishy) taste, kind of the typical middle-range roasty bitter chocolate shu. Because of the bitterness, it’s not super smooth, and one wonders whether that will change with age or not. But it’s an OK type of astringency. At just $22, I think this one is quite a bargain, so for those of you looking for shus in this price range, I think it is a good one.
This is a nicely priced somewhat aged shu I purchased from Dragon Tea house, a 2005 145 gram cake for around $10. It is a very nice tea. It brews somewhat dark, roasty, and is fairly smooth though there is some bitterness. It’s not a perfect tea, but great for the price. It faded rather quickly, but the first few infusions were quite good. Similar to a Menghai shu, that kind of deep compost earthy flavor. I would recommend giving it a try!
This is an excellent tea. I ordered mine from tuocha. It brews a nice golden color, all the way through several infusions. The flavor is smooth, with little astringency. Some fruity notes come in at the later infusions. It’s flavor is simple but quite nice, and I enjoyed drinking something with a little age to it. I would highly recommend trying this cake if you want to get some idea about what aging will do to a pu erh, and you don’t have tons of money to spend.
I have to admit, I bought this one because me and my wife just loved the wrapper. You should visit Tea Urchin’s website to see what I mean. Very cute. But it is an autumn pu erh, and it shows. It has a pleasant enough flavor, but it just lacks zip and zing. It is very safe to drink now while young, with very little astringency, well balanced and mellow. I still stand by my statement that Tea Urchin teas are outstanding, this one is definitely pretty good.