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Pleasant, balanced bitterness, turning into sweetness in the throat. Leaves are already comparatively dark, tightly pressed. Missing some more aroma, but it’s an OK-tea. It took about three steeps until it was “awake”, but it lasts many steeps. As I’m not a gushu-pro, I’m not able to tell if it’s authentic gushu or not.

Flavors: Honey, Leather, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Tasted and reviewed this one a few weeks ago, but I’ve only just got around to logging it on Steepster.

I read Derk’s tasting note before trying it. Got to admit, it really got my hopes up for delicious stone fruits and brown sugar. But I didn’t get that at all. I’m mostly putting it down to inexperience (my first puerh), which is why I’m not rating it either.

I got a mix of steamed green vegetables, mostly.

Steep 1, 10 seconds, medicinal pak choi flavour and steamed veg aroma.
Steep 2, 15 seconds, complex cruciferous veg flavour with a hint of sweetness and strong camphor aroma.
Steep 3, 15 seconds, the same as #2 but with a gentler flavour and saltier aroma.
Steep 4, 20 seconds, no change.
Steep 5, 20 seconds, weaker but still that distinct, leafy green cruciferous vegetable flavour.
Steep 6, 50 seconds, less vegetable-like, more green tea-like and more mellow in flavour with a hint of bitterness.
Steep 7, 2 minutes 30 seconds, the vegetable flavour has turned almost grassy and astringent with an unusual sweetness that reminds me of unripe melon. It’s the flavour of the thin slither of green right at the edge of a slice of honeydew melon.
Steep 8, 6 minutes, mellower vegetable notes – predominantly green beans – with the unripe melon notes and a sweeter aroma. The texture has become quite drying.
Steep 9, 10 minutes, the same as above.
Steeps 10 through to 15 gradually weakened out and didn’t reveal anything new.

I appreciated it as a tea. I’m not sure I liked it though.

Flavors: Green Beans, Melon, Vegetables

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Sheng was an acquired taste for me, much like beer and coffee. Trying a wide variety of samples — different ages, different mountains, blends — from a range of vendors opened up my appreciation for a tea that can have immense complexities. It took a while to get used the range of characteristics but something clicked one day and I was hooked. Western-focused vendors tend to offer sheng that are immediately drinkable for inexperienced palates; maybe this tea isn’t one of them. It’s still young, too, in the timeline of puerh aging. Maybe my tastes have developed in a way such that I can look past a lot of the ‘greenness’ in young teas.

Sorry your experience wasn’t what I described mine to be! If you have a large sample, stash it away and come back to it when the time feels right.

Martin Bednář

A first pu-erh is bit different than others. I had Waffles from W2T, which was quite good, but I noticed different notes a bit too.

Just keep trying.


Thanks, both of you :) I’m not giving up, I’ll try and find some more small samples to try. This one was just a 5g sample included in a King Tea Mall teaware order.

I did a little research before drinking it so I had the idea that it would be vegetal and green in my mind from the start. I’m wondering if that also impacted my ability to taste any subtler notes.


I agree with derk, puerh takes some getting used to. Even though I love green tea and green oolongs, I’ve yet to acquire a taste for sheng…the bitterness is off-putting. But I do like shou puerh, which has a darker flavor. Like black tea without the maltiness.

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A modest sample from King Tea Mall and my first venture into this company’s offerings.

The sample came as half loose leaves and a thin, intact layer. Smelled rich and sweet. Warmed leaf was still very rich with sticky, ripe stonefruits and powdered sugar, alpine air. Rinse brought out a full, thick aroma with an definition of apricot.

The liquor was drying on the sip and opened up into a souplike texture mid-mouth before plummeting down my throat, leaving it warm and prickly. The finish was drying along the sides of my tongue and back of the mouth, not a full on astringency. Flavors were like the aroma, round and fruity, rich and sweet with something like powder-sugared black plums and melon with an apricot brightness. Almost buttery and syrupy. Interesting aftertaste of peach skin and pine. Pronounced herbal and balsamic cooling in the mouth, chest and sinuses, maybe a hint toward this tea developing a camphor note in the future. Seems highly mineral for a sheng with plenty of salivation. Tip of the tongue numbing.

That was the first 3 steeps. Fourth through 9th thinned out and became astringent more than expected. As these qualities became prevalent, the pleasant prickliness in the throat became irritating and some bitterness showed up at the back of the roof of my mouth (how is that possible?). Some straw and floral plum came out along with a citric quality and a barely noticeable returning sweetness. The finish grew flavorful and very complex but it didn’t balance the thinness of the liquor. A sniff of the spent leaf revealed cucumber and honeydew.

I usually leaf my sheng sessions between 6 and 7 grams per 100mL, so 4.8 grams with my 110mL clay teapot was light for me; I really had to push the brewing times of this sample.

Gushu? I’m skeptical but I am a beginner with the softness of Yiwu teas, often preferring bold sheng. The leaves are thin and tear easily, granted they do look to have been processed well enough. The longevity was lacking for my preferences, putting it in a daily drinker category. If anything, the soft and sweet fruity flavor of this sheng has me wanting to explore Yiwu teas in greater depth.

Life sure has been happening. This was a very welcome and mellow end to an exhausting and sleepless week.

Have a song of beauty: Brian Eno and John Cale — Spinning Away

[4.8g, 110mL, 212F, flash rinse followed by 9 steeps starting at 10s going up to 10min]

Flavors: Apricot, Citrusy, Cucumber, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honeydew, Melon, Mineral, Peach, Pine, Plums, Powdered sugar, Round , Stonefruits, Straw, Sweet

Boiling 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Hope this current week is less exhausting!

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drank WanGong GuShu by kingteamall
9 tasting notes

WanGong(弯弓) directly means “Pull the Bow”, though just a name of tea region.
Taste character is soft, sweet, lingering tea flavor, viscous.
Bitterness and astringency is so minor near none, though still can be perceived.
Brewed tea leaves are like noodles curled together.
Sleek silk like smoothness and brightness.
Always called “油润光泽 YouRun GuangZe” in mandarin.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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