2012 Yunnan Sourcing "Yong De Blue Label" Ripe Pu-erh tea cake

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
Not available
Cherry, Cocoa, Leather, Root Beer, Tobacco, Biting, Bitter, Camphor, Coffee, Drying, Fish Broth, Molasses, Salty, Sweet, Umami, Creamy, Forest Floor, Medicinal, Smooth, Bread, Wood, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Cake, Oak, Vanilla, Cacao, Smoke, Smoked, Rose
Sold in
Not available
Not available
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 oz / 366 ml

Currently unavailable

We don't know when or if this item will be available.

From Our Community

1 Image

4 Want it Want it

22 Own it Own it

  • +7

22 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Had this over the course of the last two days. It has been a good cup to come home to after the cold weather. This tea seems to be lightly fermented. It gives an oak type note with sweetness and a...” Read full tasting note
  • “I unwrapped this cake for the first time on 12/25/2021 to try. It has been in my tea cabinet for at least 8 years. It is impressive for such an inexpensive tea, so kudos to Yunnan Sourcing. ...” Read full tasting note
  • “Had an old sample of this that I revisited. The sample is probably a little stale, I keep my puerh in ziplocks and I’m sure the humidity isn’t optimal. Overall really enjoyed this tea, lots of...” Read full tasting note
  • “Here’s another Christmas tea, the tasting of this cut short. Gone gaiwan: 7g, 100mL, 212F, rinse plus 8 steeps at 20/15/20/25/30/35/45/75s. Dry: fishy, chocolate Rinse: chocolate, baked bread, fish...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Our Blue Label production celebrates the tail end of this Year of the Dragon. We selected the highest quality ripe tea fermented from Yong De county spring harvest material. Unlike most cakes from large producers our Blue Label cake is blended from mostly small leaf grade material with plenty of golden fermented buds. We have also blended a large percentage of gong ting into this cake.

The tea itself is an aromatic affair, with hints of camphor and molasses. Although young it delivers a thick and full soup with a nice mouthfeel not unlike a good raw tea. A high quality tea worthy of aging that is also priced affordably. Stock up on a tong or two for future years!

357 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

22 Tasting Notes

304 tasting notes

Had this over the course of the last two days. It has been a good cup to come home to after the cold weather. This tea seems to be lightly fermented. It gives an oak type note with sweetness and a touch of bitterness but not in an unpleasant way. I think the high bud count in this will make it sweeter in the future. I don’t quite get the molasses in it but this has been a good tea and it re-steeps very well. A good buy for a younger shou to age. 15 grams in the Yixing started with a 10 second steep and added 5 to each from there. Pretty solid cake.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Pretty label.


Agreed. Very nice label! I am sure its a fine tea as well.


Yeah the label with the Dragon got me.


Eight years later my friend in 12/2021, , I tried this tea for the first time. It is quite tasty. I did get some molasses notes, no bitterness, a sweet aftertaste, and good, mouth watering flavor. Impressive for such an inexpensive tea, but sold out on the yunnansourcing.com website.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

62 tasting notes

I unwrapped this cake for the first time on 12/25/2021 to try. It has been in my tea cabinet for at least 8 years. It is impressive for such an inexpensive tea, so kudos to Yunnan Sourcing. Taste of molasses, a hint of cherry, and lingering sweetness. I did not detect any bitterness, but a lasting salivary reaction took place. It is an enjoyable ripe pu-erh.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

21 tasting notes

Had an old sample of this that I revisited. The sample is probably a little stale, I keep my puerh in ziplocks and I’m sure the humidity isn’t optimal.

Overall really enjoyed this tea, lots of heavy, sweet chocolate and cigar/leather, and some cherry/root beer/dr pepper. Wonderfully deep, lasting aroma that sits in your chest. Slightly brisk, mouthfeel wasn’t overly slick. Not a whole lot of development, but I might blame that on sample quality.

Tried this against the 2013 and found pretty similar results, but slightly prefer the 2013 which had more sweetness and cherry stuff going on. Again, sample quality might be a factor.

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Leather, Root Beer, Tobacco

3 g 2 OZ / 45 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1551 tasting notes

Here’s another Christmas tea, the tasting of this cut short.

Gone gaiwan: 7g, 100mL, 212F, rinse plus 8 steeps at 20/15/20/25/30/35/45/75s.

Dry: fishy, chocolate
Rinse: chocolate, baked bread, fish disappeared
First 5 steeps: tasted a lot like a chocolate truffle filled with a little bit of blueberry/raspberry liqueur, baked bread, savory, mellow bitterness, salty. Turned into… another reviewer mentioned bourbon cask and vanilla — I think that’s an excellent description.
Sixth steep: floral
Seventh and eighth: additions of mushroom and leather.

The tea delivered heavy, strong notes for longer than expected. By 75s, it lightened significantly but I think it could be pushed hard to continue delivering a tasty brew. Thanks to Togo, I’ll be on the lookout for this one. A very satisfying shou that transformed nicely throughout the unfortunately short session.

I just realized I finally made it through all the teas in the Great Togo Teaswap. What a great way to try so many different teas, especially puerh.

Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

This one sold out, but the 2013 vesion is almost the same. In fact, I first sampled the 2013 one, based on which I decided to get a cake. However, the 2012 was on sale at some point so I got that instead :D

And yeah, I totally agree the tea swap was a great success. We should do it again at some point in the future ;)


Thanks for the info.

I already have some packaged up for you. I admit I was anticipating another swap ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

167 tasting notes

A really tasty ripe. Solid notes of chocolate and cocoa (sort of like chocolate digestive biscuits), with strong bourbon cask and vanilla flavors. Soft wood and cereal notes form the backdrop for these flavors. Not much fruit on the palate, more like the skins of dried fruit than the pulpy parts. There is a soft citrus note in the long finish that is interesting. Never noticed that with other ripes.


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

15473 tasting notes

Gongfu Sipdown (639)!

Discovery Tea Box – Tea Fifteen

Well we’ve come to the final tea that I pulled out of the Discovery Tea Box, and the box has long since left my house so this is sort of the official end to my experience with the box. It’s always really great getting to participate in a travelling tea box; it just fills you with a great sense of community and even if you don’t love every tea you experience it’s just very unique getting to so quickly expose yourself to so many unfamiliar teas or tea companies…

This was one of two Yunnan Sourcing teas I pulled; the other was the snow chrysanthemum black tea. I haven’t had a ton of exposure to YS teas and, up until the aforementioned black tea blend, I’ve never been blown away by one of their offerings. I get that they’re really popular not just here on Steepster but just in general – I’ve just always had better success from different companies. It’s that whole idea that whoever curates the selection of teas for a specific tea shop (Scott for YS, 2Dog for W2T, etc) has their own taste preferences so even when they’re trying to carry things that are diverse/different than their usual offerings it’s probably at least A LITTLE bit tainted by personal preference. I believe that there’s definitely some truth to that, and at least of the teas I’ve been exposed to from YS I’d argue that Scott and I probably have different taste preferences. If that makes sense!? As far as “general shop tastes” go, I tend to have relatively agreeable taste preferences to W2T (especially with Shou), and to BLT (with Shou/black tea specifically). Still trying to figure out what shop my sheng/oolong preferences lean more towards – but that’s its whole other side tangent of a conversation.

As for this shou in particular: I steeped this one a grand total of nine times not counting my initial rinse, which honestly probably should have been longer than the ten seconds I gave it. My first cup of tea was pretty funky…

Other than my ninth and final steep, I stacked my infusions in a very large teacup two at a time. And, I mean a really big teacup since it held two 150ml infusions comfortably with leftover ‘wiggle room’. Like I said, my first stacked cup of tea was fairly funky but not terrible. It was really savory/umami with sort of this “salted earth” kind of taste to it. After that stacked cup, the profile felt much more balanced. Even though it was balanced, though, I think this is yet another example of a YS pu’erh option that isn’t bad but that definitely doesn’t line up with my preferred profile. I’d describe the overall notes of the sessions as very umami leaning and “broth like” with things like cured meats, mushrooms, smoke, and dry wood being the primary flavours. Definitely not a lot of sweetness, and lacking a lot of the ‘wet’ flavours that I personally really enjoy.

Again – not a bad tea by any means and quite smooth for the flavours present; it’s just not my thing overly speaking. I’d recommend it though for anyone who doesn’t like shou with more of those wet, dank kind of notes. Plus, I 100% don’t regret trying it because it was still a REALLY good learning experience for me.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnhtR75HvXL/?taken-by=ros_strange

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

935 tasting notes

While this tea has preserved most of its character over the last three years, I find that it is a bit more smooth and creamy now, with a light medicinal note in the aftertaste. The empty cup aroma also gives off a cooling forest floor impression – something I didn’t notice before.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Coffee, Creamy, Forest Floor, Medicinal, Molasses, Salty, Smooth

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

21 tasting notes

This is probably the most tippy looking shou I’ve had so far. This was another sample from YS and is quite likely to translate into an order, provided I can figure out the local customs situation. (I got stuck with a $57 customs charge on my last $100 tea order from the US – not a YS order).

I used 10g in a 130ml gaiwan. Did a flash rinse and even that came out quite dark. Steeped it for 10 seconds the first 3 times before adding on 10 seconds on each steep. This lasted over 10 steeps in total with the last one being 2 minutes.

It was thick and dark from the first steep, just how I like it. A very small amount of fermentation flavour but not at all fishy. This was enjoyable though I struggle to describe the taste. You could say rather typical shou but not the earthy kind at all. Maybe more of a woodsy note, with hints of cocoa or even coffee. No smokiness. After the 5th steep an underlying sweetness emerged. I would recommend this if you like really bold and thick shou. Now if my local customs and postal services can clear up the issue of crazy fees on importing tea, this will be a part of my next YS order.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Wood

Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Can you get a package from a friend customs free? That may be a way to do it. Ship your order to a friend and then they reship it to you.


@mrmopar well this particular package was shipped as a gift by the vendor, so I assume not.

The frustrating thing is that per my reading of the rules and regulations there should be no extra or special charges for importing tea. However, I can’t get anyone at the post office or customs office to agree to that and I wonder if its as simple as not wanting to admit that they made a mistake. They keep insisting tea goes through a special handling process without being able to quote a specific part of the law to back it up. So its possible it was an error they wont confess to and future packages may have no trouble, but that’s a bit of an expensive risk to take.

Will send in a written complaint to the ombudsman and keep my fingers crossed.

Yeah, hopefully you can get it sorted out. It just seems too high a tariff for something like that.


High tariffs that discourage the free-market are never a good idea.
Perhaps Scott may have some insights?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

123 tasting notes

This bing looks like a bundle of worms wriggling around in dirt. Whether you find that aesthetically appealing or unappealing is up to you. Anyway, I thought I’d already drunk some fairly tippy shus (this is only my fifth, so make of that what you will), but this cake takes the… cake. The leaves are all of such a small leaf grade that it is virtually impossible for them to become entangled with one another and thus the bing is close to coming apart on its own. It’s not even necessary to use tools to pry leaves off if you don’t want and you can practically just rub the edges a bit to make the leaves start coming off. I noticed a smaller amount of dust and smaller particles than typical and most of the stuff that has come loose on its own and you find lying inside the wrapper is good to use for brewing. If you wanted to break this cake into loose form for daily drinking, I imagine it would take hardly no time at all.

I used 11.5g of leaves in my 160ml Jianshui teapot. My intention was to use 11g instead of the 10.5g I’ve been using in the past as I felt upping the amount of leaf a tad might yield better results, but when my scale said 11.5g I was too lazy to take some leaves out. I managed to include a couple of smaller chunks amid the individual leaves. The dry leaves had a typical shu pu’er scent, but while I was smelling them it occurred to me that since I’m storing my ripe cakes stacked atop one another in a box, I may very well be smelling the neighboring cakes when sniffing the surface leaves, which makes paying attention to the aroma of the dry leaves somewhat moot. In any case, after a brief 10s rinse the wet leaves didn’t display the typical manure smell I’m used to smelling in a lot of shu and instead I got a dark scent more akin to coffee beans, dark chocolate and the like. After giving the leaves a ten minute rest, I got to brewing.

I steeped the leaves nine times, for 10s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 4 min. I am unsure whether the leaves could have gone on as I did not try. I don’t recall what the rinse had looked like, but the first infusion surprised me by being much darker than I’m used to. The taste was also much bolder than shu pu’er typically is in my experience. Both of these I attribute to the very small leaf grade. I’m bad at even attempting to describe ripe pu’er, but the taste was perhaps a bit sweet and it seemed to leave a similar aftertaste in your mouth as coffee.

The second infusion brewed even darker, yielding probably the darkest color I’ve seen in shu pu’er thus far. Unless you had a light source directly behind a transparent vessel, you could not see through the dark liquor. Only when shining a light through could you see that the liquor was actually red and not black, but the red was such a dark shade that it almost seemed to have a purple hue to it. The flavor remained strong like in the first infusion and the taste was akin to almost something like diluted coffee, which seems very common for the second steep of the ripe pu’ers I’ve had. I’m not really a coffee drinker, I may drink a couple cups a year if that, so flavor profiles like this are not necessarily something that appeal to me particularly, but my tasting notes say “not bad, not bad” nevertheless, so it was pretty okay. This infusion had the longest aftertaste I’ve encountered in shu thus far, and it remained very stable as well. The more I drink high-quality teas, the more I start to appreciate things like long, stable, enjoyable aftertaste that are not a given at all even in some really nice teas, and thus I definitely give this tea/infusion points for it. More so than the front flavors.

As I continued to flash brew the tea, the third infusion wasn’t quite as dark in color as the last one. While the strength of the flavor remained strong, the flavors themselves started to become lighter in nature. As I said, I struggle to describe the flavors, but if you’ve ever drunk shu pu’er they were pretty typical ripe flavors. I would not use the word earthy. The tea was sort of sweet without being actually sweet. Again, if you’ve ever drunk pu’er, you probably know the deal. After lengthening the steep time a little for the fourth steep, the color was once again very dark albeit not quite as dark as at its darkest in the second infusion. Like before, the tea continued to brew quite strong while the flavors themselves continued to get lighter in flavor. The exact same thing can be said about the fifth infusion, but now the tea was starting to taste better than in earlier steeps and the person I was drinking with echoed this sentiment.

From the sixth steep onward the color of the tea soup finally started to get lighter. The sixth steeping itself while not exactly sweet was beginning to get sweeter. Starting with the seventh steep the strength of the flavor started to come down as well. As the nature of the flavor continued to get lighter, it was difficult to tell if the tea was getting watery or simply lighter. As the eighth steep produced a much, much lighter color than before, more of a dark orange than a red, I decided to ramp up the steeping time for the last steep I did straight to four minutes. This, while yielding a bit more color than before, was nowhere near as dark as before. The tea soup had more sweetness now, and in fact I’d call it a mineral sweetness albeit not necessarily the same kind you typically get in many teas as they begin to steep out. The steep was pretty okay. If the tea still had more in it, extracting it would have probably required steeping the tea for closer to fifteen minutes if not more and so I just decided to call it there.

Overall the tea performs as you’d expect and you trade off longevity for strength of flavor. Objectively this is neither a good thing or a bad thing as it’s a quite fair trade-off. In my limited experience shu pu’er can be quite light when it comes to taste, so those seeking a bolder flavor and especially those not interested in stretching out a session may find a nice daily drinker in this one. Like certain other ripe pu’ers I’ve tried, this came across as a tea that might appeal to those who are coffee drinkers. I myself while thinking a couple of infusions were fairly nice still struggle to find an appreciation for shu pu’er, but I will continue to try.

This tea taught me that with ripes that have this small a leaf grade you need to start pushing them much more aggressively once they start to drop in color. How aggressively, I don’t know. Next time I’ll need to brew this one in a gaiwan so I can monitor the color before I pour. Flavor-wise nothing really jumped out at me about this one. Everything I tasted here I’ve tasted before in other shus. I will need to drink this one more to formulate a more conclusive opinion on it, but my first impressions of it were not particularly strong one way or the other. If you are a shu drinker, you will likely enjoy this one, but that is just a guess on my part.

Flavors: Coffee, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79 tasting notes

This is my first foray into gong-fu style brewing and… not my first ripe pu-erh, but I’m definitely a newbie in that department as well. Suddenly tea trays make a LOT of sense after getting water absolutely everywhere on my cutting board-turned-tray and the table. Towels were needed, fingers were burnt. Overall I enjoyed the relaxation aspect of it though! I love the gaiwan I got, it’s got a good heft to it and doesn’t feel flimsy: http://teaware.house/collections/gaiwan/products/blue-blessing-ruyao-gaiwan-115ml

Not too keen on this tea, I think I may have over-leafed it, it was very barn-y. Any tips for a newbie? I did two brief rinses.

6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.