In rediscovering my love of tea, I decided to try one of the teas I first bought when I started my tea journey back in 2012. Big Leaf Sheng was my first try with raw pu’er and I loved it. It was a kick in the face of camphor and smoky goodness. I am interested to see how this has changed in the four years since I bought it.

1st Steep-30 seconds-
So much more mellow than I remember. Still has slight camphor and smoke but much calmer. More sedate. Less aggressive than I remember. Very little fruitiness.

2nd Steep-45 seconds-
There is the apple flavor. Big red apple. Crisp. This tea has matured well. It has become more sedate yet more complex. Just realized I am drinking 10 year old tea. That was one of 2012 Grace’s dreams.

3rd Steep-1 minute-
Camphor is back. Mixed with apple. So pleasant. More creaminess in this steep.

4th-1 minute 45 seconds
And there is the assertive tea that I love. A kick in the face of camphor and crisp apple. A bit of honey on the finish.

5th Steep-2 minutes
Apple and pear. Starting to mellow. It’s leaning more on the creamy side. Getting a bit of honey in there.

6th Steep- 2 minutes 30 seconds
Honey and a little bit of cream.Less fruity. Very smooth.

7th Steep-Overnight
I intended to brew this one for 3 minutes but I fell asleep and it brewed overnight. I drank this one iced while at work. Very fruity. Almost pineapple. Still smooth. I really do feel sad that I have to let this tea go.

Overall-I still love this tea. It has matured over the years in such a beautiful way. When I bought this cake it was full of punch.A little intimidating. But it has matured and calmed down. It’s less chaotic. More refined.

Flavors: Apple, Camphor, Cream, Honey, Mint, Pear, Smoke

0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Book blogger. Hockey fan. Reformed coffee drinker. Newly minted tea addict. I grammar police myself and no one else. Pu’er lover.

My favorite type of tea is pu’er. I can see myself living in a house alone with just pu’er cakes, a electric tea kettle, my trusty pu’er pick from Mandala and a thermos. I prefer ripe pu’er but love raw pu’er as well. My current favorite is the Special Dark from Mandala Tea.

Black Tea-I also love all forms of black tea. Black tea is where I started and I still love the malty loveliness of a good black tea. My current favorite is Grandpa’s Anytime Tea from Butiki.

Green Tea-Green tea is pretty hit and miss with me. I have never really developed a liking towards it. I have been dying to explore green tea more. Especially matcha and genmaicha. My current favorite is Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green from Verdant Tea.

Herbals/Mate-It depends on what’s in them. I gravitate more to herbs and spices rather than fruit flavors. My current favorite is Fired Up Fennel from Davids Tea.

I love mate (and guayusa). It helped me kick my coffee habit to one cup a day. I will try any blend with mate in it. My current favorite is Chocolate Rocket from Davids Tea.

White Tea-Sadly, I haven’t tried many white teas but I am planning on it very soon.

Oolong Tea-I have tried one or two oolong teas but in blends only. I am dying to try a straight oolong. My current favorite is Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea.

Rooibos-I love rooibos blends but they are very hit and miss with me. I love the woodiness of rooibos. My favorite is currently Oh Canada from Davids Tea.

Flavored Tea-I love flavored teas. I am willing to try just about any flavor combination and the weirder the better. My current favorite flavored tea is Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha by Verdant Tea.

I am always searching for a tea with fig or chili in it.

My favorite tea companies-Mandala Tea (their Phatty Cake was my first ever “Oh My God” tea moment), Butiki Teas, Verdant Tea, and Davids Tea


Staten Island, New York



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