6 Tasting Notes


Haven’t had this tea since Covid started in March. This tea has definitely changed. Not sure if that is due to how I store the tea, in a plastic bag in a dark basement cupboard, or if drinking different teas has changed my impression of this tea. I don’t think I’ve changed. I’m not getting that grass taste at all as I mentioned in my review. The tea goes straight to a green stem taste. Not really wood, but more of stem. A green stem not a dried stem. I still like the tea which lasts a good number of steeps.

Flavors: Earth, Stems

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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OK well… this is a weird tea. Remember, I’m new to different types of pu.

This tea is one of the best shous that I’ve ever drank except that its a sheng!! Here’s the story.

I am a shou lover and still working on the sheng lover side. I got a sampler from Crimson Leaf which included this sheng. The first cup I made, I realized that I grabbed the wrong tea because there’s no way a sheng is this dark, with this earthy of an aroma. So I checked the wrapping and it was definitely a sheng. I wrote a comment on a tea forum stating that if all aged shengs were like this… I was an aged sheng lover!!! A nice gentleman from that forum sent me several samples of old shengs to explore and I"m taking my time with them. The first gifted sheng I tried tasted like a sheng to me with a green fresh flavor and light yellow liquor. I tried a sheng that was older than this sheng and it steeped the same: light greenish liquor with a grassy taste. So I realized that I messed up and went back to this 2003 Changtai sample, made another batch of tea and again drank one of the best tasting shous that I’ve had. I started wondering if maybe the wrong tea was placed in the wrapper so I contacted Glen at CLT to ask and he assured me that it was a sheng. All I had to do was read the description on the website… so I bought two tuos to enjoy.

Glen also stated that aged sheng is supposed to taste like this, which sort of makes sense as the wodui fermentation process for shou is intended to make shou imitate aged sheng. However, I have yet to taste another aged sheng that comes close to the taste of this sheng. Hopefully the tuo tastes as good as the sample and I can find more aged sheng as good as this one.

I’ll add more comments on flavor when drink from the tuo.

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I thought this tea was a shou puer. I’m glad it isn’t as I now have a new type of tea to explore. Sure heichas and shous are siblings. Some would suggest that all shous are heichas but not all heichas are shous.

This tea is wonderful. I’m going to politely disagree with those that suggest grass as in mowed grass. Mowed grass scent and taste is more of a green tea and this is not a green tea. Now… I’m going to tell you that it does have a grassy scent and taste. When you were a kid, did you ever walk along, come across grass that had grown a really tall stalk with seeds, ripped that stalk from the rest of the grass plant and then sucked/chewed on the end of the grass stem? That’s how the first couple of infusions of this tea are. It so reminds me of a meadow after a quick rain, or the bank of a pond or lake. I’ve had this tea several times since I bought a basket of it. The other times, I’ve gotten more of an earthy flavor from this tea. Hopefully that means I’m getting better at tasting different nuances and will be able to write better reviews.

The taste hits you right square in the middle of the tongue. No preamble, no aftertaste. The taste is just there and then it’s like, where’d it go? Ok maybe it lingers a little while.

Subsequent brewings bring out a little more woodiness in a good way.

Flavors: Earth, Hay, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetal, Wood

0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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New to puers and reviewing. Just being upfront.

First question I had when I drank this tea is, why is it called “Simple Shou” is it because the taste is rather simple with little complexity, or is it because the 50g bing comes impressed with indentations for simplifying breaking off a section of the bing? The world will never know. Unless someone emails glen.

I rinsed and let the tea sit for several minutes before I oversteeped the first infusion not by much and not intentionally. The color was a nice dark thick brown which I appreciate in shous. The nose… first thing, maple. Not maple syrup, but the smell of peeling green bark off of a maple branch. Sort of a sweet woody smell. Taste, sort of a sweet woody taste. :) A late aftertaste that lasts quite a while. Reminiscent taste of being in a barn, hay, animals, but not the bad smell of barns. Subsequent steeps bought at more earthy flavors as the tea opened up.

Giving this an 80 more so for the value. It’s a good shou for a starter kit or for someone wanting to taste different shous, but more advanced palates might want to try something else. However, I would buy again for the right price.

Flavors: Barnyard, Earth, Hay, Maple

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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My first review. Only a couple months into drinking real puer. Would be interesting to come back to this tea and review in a year to see how my opinion has changed.

Ok. I like this tea. With that being said I don’t think I’ll ever give a tea a 100. If I do give a tea a 100. I’ll go out and buy ALL of it before I write the review. An 85 to me means I like it, I appreciate it, I’d buy it, I’d buy it again. It’s solid. Anything above an 85 is better than this. Anything less than 85 is well not better than this.

Nose on the first few steeps is definitely chocolatey. The taste has hints of vanilla, as well as cacao butter. There’s a creaminess in both taste and texture to this tea. The liquor brews up to a nice dark color. Not picking up on any of the earthy overtones that accompany most of the shous that I have tried.

While the color remains, the flavor does not survive a large number of steepings as some other shous do.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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I’ve been drinking tea for a long long time. Mostly loose leaf as it let me determine how much tea I wanted to brew. I like my tea strong and have been having a hard time accepting that short steeps are a good thing. Just got into gongfu cha style of brewing and am focusing on puer (real stuff not the stuff that I’ve been drinking for 20 years that I thought was puer). I really appreciate the fermented teas, such as shou puer and xei chas.

My ratings… well I don’t think I’ll ever give a tea a 100. If I do give a tea a 100, you won’t be able to buy it as I’ll have gone out and bought all of it before writing the review. LOL. An 85 to me is a tea that I appreciate, has good value, I’d buy again. Anything more than 85 is better tea… anything lower than 85 is well not better tea.

I’m also a scotch drinker and while there are so many similarities one could make between drinking scotch and tea (especially puer) the one big difference I’ve learned is once a 2013 tea is sold out… well you’re not getting anymore. A 10 year old single malt from your favorite distillery will be available just about always.

My tea pet peeve…. all the different spellings for puer. So I’ve given up and am just calling it pu. It’s what I do.


Central Ohio

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