Very good tea for the price. Base notes are earthy and rocky notes while the higher are of old wooden cupboards and cocoa. Some bitterness if brewed for too long. Also sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Texture is thick and creamy.
“Very good tea for the price. Base notes are earthy and rocky notes while the higher are of old wooden cupboards and cocoa. Some bitterness if brewed for too long. Also sweet but not overwhelmingly...” Read full tasting note
“A tightly compressed tuo that has a disheartening tendency to break apart into small particles. the base tea is not one of the best but the lengthy ageing balances it out. In the taste first that...” Read full tasting note
“Today I woke up and didn’t want to drink ANY of the tea that I’ve been happily sipping on over the last couple weeks. I wanted something new and exciting, alas, all I could find are a couple of...” Read full tasting note
“This is a very nice aged tea. It seems to me that the more I drink it, the more I like it. The wet leaves smell of old, slightly decaying wood in a damp environment, like a castle basement. Reminds...” Read full tasting note
This tea was pressed 12 years ago (in 2005) by a small Menghai tea factory. These are 25 gram Golden Melon tuo cha (金瓜沱) made from a blend of Gong Ting, Te Ji, Grade 1 and 3 ripened tea leaves. They were stored in Kunming for 12 years in relatively dry conditions.
The dryish aging conditions have preserved the character of this tea, while allowing it to mellow and gain complexity. The tea is sweet, creamy and very thick and expansive in the mouth. It’s a very active and textured ripe tea that has all attributes a good aged ripe pu-erh should have.
Each melon is roughly 25 grams, and can give you 3 to 5 good sessions.
Each Melon is individually wrapped in off-white gold-flecked paper.
Company description not available.
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A tightly compressed tuo that has a disheartening tendency to break apart into small particles. the base tea is not one of the best but the lengthy ageing balances it out. In the taste first that you feel is a strong metallic flavor like… copper. Which is immediately replaced by warm grain, aged wood, bamboo and sugarcane sweetness. Somehow it reminded me of the whiskies from the Highlands. With subsequent steepings the sweetness intensifies, while the metallic overture fades away.
An interesting combination of flavors but not very complex.
Flavors: Bamboo, Grain, Metallic, Sugarcane, Sweet, Wood
Today I woke up and didn’t want to drink ANY of the tea that I’ve been happily sipping on over the last couple weeks. I wanted something new and exciting, alas, all I could find are a couple of these shou tuos (which I had buried at the back of my cupboard for emergencies as I was really not overly fond of this tea when I first bought it). I clearly need to buy more tea.
Anyway, to my happy surprise I liked these little tuos far more the second time around!!! I’m starting to think I happened to drink an off cake last time because there’s absolutely no compost/fishy smell today. This brew is woody, earthy, and slightly sweet when you drink it, but I will be honest — it smells like a barn. The scent of hay or wheat is strong, although not as prevalent in taste. My gaiwan is still stinky after rinsing it! There’s also a very nice leather/smoked flavour that I find is more common with shengs. The liquor is thick, rich, and pure black like coffee for the first four or five brews. Excellent re-steep value and mouth feel.
All in all, I’m now kind of wishing I bought more of these as they were very inexpensive at the time. I hope my third and final tuo tastes like this and not lacklustre/borderline disgusting like the first round. Fingers crossed!!!
Flavors: Earth, Hay, Leather, Smoke, Sweet, Wheat, Wood
This is a very nice aged tea. It seems to me that the more I drink it, the more I like it.
The wet leaves smell of old, slightly decaying wood in a damp environment, like a castle basement. Reminds me of one ambient & noise music festival called Hradby Samoty, which happens at a castle every year. I also get some chocolate and dried fruit notes coming through. The liquor is fiarly mellow and smooth. It is quite sweet, resembling prunes and cheesecake, but also has cocoa bean bitterness and little bit of mushroom broth, especially in later steeps. I get a slight cooling effect in my throat and the aftertaste is spicy I would say. There is absolutely no astringency, rather the mouthfeel is soft and mouthwatering.
I think the price these are selling for is very good and I think I will be getting some more once I finish the ones I have.
Flavors: Broth, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Decayed wood, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mushrooms, Plums, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet
Very earthy. Soil and compost flavors are predominant, with a little camphor that adds body and dimension. A more palatable cereal flavor is also present. Some earthy, woody sweetness arrives in the aftertaste.
Overall, not bad, but you have to be a fan of really earthy flavors to appreciate this tea.
To be honest, this is where I start to wonder about the real value of aging beyond a certain point. This just goes a little too far into the compost category for me to really think very much about it. I feel like it would have been better when it was younger, where the cereal aspects of it could take center stage and not be overwhelmed by the dirt flavors.
One thing you don’t get with younger teas is the camphor note; so if that’s what you’re after, this has it, although not overwhelmingly so. Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed with this tea – it was nice to drink, and the aftertaste especially was pleasant. However, I was not as wowed with it as some of the reviews on YS.
Dry leaf – dirt, pond flora (how’s that for a descriptor!). In preheated vessel – cocoa, chocolate, and camphor noticeable.
Smell – composted leaves, grits, cream of wheat, hints of chocolate and camphor
Taste – dirt, mulch, composted leaves primary notes. Substantial camphor notes, but not overwhelming or assertive. Finishes with grits and cream of wheat savory sweetness. Aftertaste has some very mild cherry wood sweetness and just a hint of cherry chocolate cordial.
This tea came as a Christmas gift from my wife, and what a great way to warm up on a snowy Christmas morning! This tuo was very tightly compressed and hard to break apart, so I ended up with a lot of dust — next time I’ll have to have at it with a sharp cooking knife to keep it more intact. Because of that I got a fairly short session of 10 steeps from 5g, starting with 10 seconds and ending up at 2min 30sec.
However, what a session it was! The first steep was light, but already you could feel the creaminess of the soup, and the flavor was so well balanced. First impressions are sweet with notes of vanilla and apple, but as the flavor lingers in your tongue there’s a contrasting note of earthy bitterness which causes tingling in the mouth.
Once the tea starts to open up on the second brew it really starts to come into it’s own. The liquor is dark but has no cloudiness (despite all the dust I created during breakage). The texture is now thick and dances on the tongue with tingling sensations. Highlights this early on are a musty vanilla, pleasant bitterness on the back of the tongue, and a juiciness that is vaguely reminiscent of various fruits. The qi is as interesting and contrasting as the flavors — a bit energizing at first, but falling down into mellow calm and a foggy head.
Continuing into the session the earth and must notes wash away and reveal the spicy characters of clove, allspice, and a dab of anise. This pairs perfectly with the apple cider scent. This spice turns into a more medicinal note of eucalyptus and camphor in later infusions, which mix with the alternating impressions of vanilla and apple that continue until the end.
This is pretty much the ideal I’m looking for in a shu at the moment — a harmony of sweet, spicy, and earthy notes in a tea that still presents itself with energy. Looks like it might be time to graduate on from the Verdant teas that introduced me to shu puerh and explore more of the enormous and well curated selection from Scott.
Flavors: Anise, Apple, Bitter, Camphor, Clove, Earth, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Sweet, Vanilla