98 Tasting Notes
The leaves, dry or wet, smell absolutely amazing!
1/12s: Light and sweet with a very soft touch of astringency.
2/15s: Picking up some nice fruit notes. Plum, honey and currant.
3/20s: This opens up nicely. Very soft touch of astringency with great huigan. Sweetness throughout the tasting experience, though fruit note is now harder to pinpoint as something specific (plum, currant, etc). Great cup of tea.
4/25s: Thicker perhaps, but same as the previous… wonderful!
Have to cut this one short as I have to pack for a flight, but I’ll take some along with me! :)
First off the aroma is amazing! If you close your pot with the dry leaves for a bit before smelling you get the perfect smell of ginger bread cookies. Yum!
The first pot I steeped a bit short so I didn’t get as much of the ginger flavor that I would have liked (I happen to love ginger, so this may be a good thing for other tea drinkers), but the sweetness and wet leaves of the puerh is nice and mellow with a tiny bit of pleasant astringency.
Second pot: Distracted by work so this one brewed up a bit longer and darker. Love the aroma of ginger and puerh. The ginger is more apparent now, but I don’t detect much of the orange peel though it may well be the influence that makes the tea taste like ginger bread cookies while held in the mouth. The aftertaste leans more towards ginger, but it’s gentle and quite pleasant.
Third pot got a super long steep and was absolutely glorious.
I have two things working in my favor with this tea. One is that I know to expect the artificial flavors and the second is that I don’t have any particular reactions to artificial flavors. That said, a big thank you to @teanecromancer who sent this one my way after discovering the above the hard way.
The artificial flavor/aroma is a touch much in the first steep, but after that it was a pretty enjoyable accompaniment to my day. I don’t think that I would buy or stock this, but if I had some on hand or someone were sharing, I’d definitely drink it again.
Dry leaves smell of prunes and something spicy
Wet, the leaves smell heavily of sweet tobacco with a spicy/fruity backnote.
1/10s: Forgot this was a sheng. Should have started at 5-7 seconds. Man, that’s good! Sweet, smoky.. this is a hard one to describe. Maybe I’m just out of practice, LOL! Perhaps, hay or straw, with some mintiness on the tongue and perhaps a note of melon in the background. Awesome huigan too! Not much astringency noted in this steep.
2/10s: Much thicker body, very sweet, great huigan. Same flavor profile, just bigger, more open. Really, really good tea. Another that makes me dread going to look for price and availability, because I know I’d happily buy a full cake or three.
3/15s: What a remarkable tea. Seems to have some nice qi building.
4/15s: Consistent flavor profile. Very relaxing qi. :) Sort of relaxed
6/??s: Got distracted by work and probably let this steep at least 5 minutes. Gave it a taste just to see if there was any bitterness or astringency if pushed too far. There is. LOL!
Cut with 80-90mL of water. Back to the usual profile, though a bit more crips in the finish. The cha qi is pretty damn strong now though. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of 300mL or so. Wow! The cha qi has my head light and slightly swimming, but my focus is on sharp!
Ok, this tea was legitimately so good that I stopped taking notes and drank like I was a true tea addict. I have to have hit at least 15 – 17 steepings and then I added a few grams of TeJi Shou pour and got a few more pots of something even more amazing in that the sweets of the previous leaves that develops in the latter steeps blending beautifully with a touch of shou. Not only that, but the cha qi just kept going! Awesome! Someone should buy this as a birthday gift for me, LOL!
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Stonefruits, Straw, Sweet
So the one I ordered at the end of last year was a 1973 Wenshan Baozhong and that is what’s written on the tea I received. However, since it’s no longer on the site and I can’t verify one way or the other I will leave my review here.
Dry leaves smell of petrichor, clay, old leaves and a hit of coffee.
Wet leaves smell of old wet winter leaves, clay, with a note of prunes.
This is the darkest rinse I’ve ever seen!
1/5s: Very, very smooth. Sweet with old leaves and clay. Reminiscent of shou puer, but very, very clean.
2/5s: Sweet, smooth, tastes of wet winter leaves. (Think of the smell of a pile of leaves you find buried under snow). No bitterness or astringency to speak of.
3/10s: Sames previous. Picking up a bit more of that petrichor/mineral note. Not at all overwhelming. Perhaps the tiniest bit of astringency in the finish.
4/12s: I’m actually enjoying this petrichor/mineral note. It’s that smell of newly fallen rain on hot stone, with wet leaves. It’s sweet and smooth. Wasn’t sure in the previous steep, but this tea does indeed have a bit of gentle cha qi.
5/18s: Speeding up time between steeps definitely kicks up the qi. Sweet, smooth.
7/30s: The sweetness is blossoming more. Not as much wet old leaf taste in this steep. Just sweet smoothness and petrichor.
8-14/?s: These I just let sit and pour and sip and sip and sip. Same taste profile as steep 7 for the most part.
I just moved the leaves to my larger oolong pot (250mL) it just struck me that the smell I’m describing as petrichor is the aroma of a genuine yixing teapot after its seasoning boil. The smell of wet stone earth. :) I’ll drink to that!
15/???s: I let this steep through my meeting and man is this good! Tastes like a really clean shou puer with that oddly pleasant petrichor/mineral note a bit more subdued.
16/???s: This has to be what the original creators of shou puer were hoping to create. Really, really good!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clay, Sweet, Wet Rocks