285 Tasting Notes

91

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.

mrmopar

Excellent choice.

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79
drank Xikong 2012 Autumn by Tea Urchin
285 tasting notes

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.

mrmopar

I think I got the picture up for this one.

boychik

i’ve never seen wrappers like that.

boychik

Thanks for the link. I love it

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83

This is a lightly fermented safely tasty shu. Just a slight touch of fishiness, which I actually like in this tea. It is quite smooth, with light body, and a hefty caffeine kick! Kind of a safe shu. Hard not to like, though I enjoy bolder teas.

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85

I am working my way through the several pu erh samples I recently ordered from Tea Urchin. This is another good one! Though I like some of their others better. It is well balanced, and brews a nice golden honey color. It has a sharp astringency, but not over the top. It has a mellow but stern cha qi. It held up well to numerous infusions. Another lovely tea from a great company!

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66

I didn’t care for this one. It was quite astringent and lacked flavor. It did hold up, though, and the leaves looked like they were good quality.

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82

This is a lightly fermented safely tasty shu. Just a slight touch of fishiness, which I actually like in this tea. It is quite smooth, with light body, and a hefty caffeine kick! Kind of a safe shu. Hard not to like, though I enjoy bolder teas.

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85
drank Jing Mai 2012 Spring by Tea Urchin
285 tasting notes

Another lovely tea from Tea Urchin. The first three steeps were quite bitter and acidic, and the flavor seemed kind of flat. But on the fourth, it opened up. Just a little fruitiness and honey sweetness. It held up very well to a good 10 infusions before turning a bit bitter again. The energy is strong and stable, not too flighty. For those of us getting into the pu erh thing, I think we are trying to guess about whether a tea like this will age well, lose the bitterness, and evolve into something wonderful. So it is a bit of a gamble when we lack the experience to tell what flavors will develop into. I think I am going to take a chance on this one and order a cake. At the very least, like all teas I’ve tried from Tea Urchin, it wreaks of high quality. In another few years, at least, I will hopefully see how this one ages and add it to my experience!

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91

This is my fourth tea sample from Tea Urchin. The only problem I’m having is that they are all so good I want to order a cake of everything I’ve tried! Pu erh is an expensive passion. This was another high quality tea with a nice feel to it. It is definitely on the more mellow side and seems to already be exhibiting some signs of aging. Got a good number of steeps, each honey colored medium bodied with not much bitterness and some honey like sweetness. The cha qi was solid but not overpowering. Another solid tea from a great company. An added plus – the wrapper is adorable!

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drank Lao Man E 2013 Spring by Tea Urchin
285 tasting notes

Wow, talk about bitter! This tea is not for the faint of heart. It is incredibly bitter, purposely made to be so. Will this bitterness translate into a well aged pu erh? Perhaps! But I would not drink it again for at least another few years. It does, however, have staying power, lasting a god number of infusions, and you can just tell that this is a quality tea. It has a nice feel to it, possesses medium body, and so far is not terribly stimulating. I’m not sure whether I want to buy a cake and age it, but I am considering it! I am not going to rank it because I just wouldn’t know how to.

mrmopar

Yeah those young shengs can be brutal! Lao Man E and Mang Fei as well as some Bulangs are POTENT!!!

Rich

Indeed. So how does one decide whether to take the chance and purchase a cake like this for aging? I feel like it has a lot of substance. But it’s hard to know without experience what a tea like this will turn into.

mrmopar

I would be hard pressed to say on this one Rich. I am still learning the sheng thing as it has just been a year or so since I have found ones I like.

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