90 Tasting Notes
Actually, I got a sample of the 2015 version but since there isn’t much call for this, I will just add a note to this entry. Again I find myself surprised at a tea from Klasek Tea. I normally order teaware from Klasek and get my samples that way. Unfortunately we are contending with dollar to euro disadvantage plus shipping, so ordering tea on its own just isn’t cost effective since nearly the same teas can be ordered elsewhere. Which is too bad because this is one nice tea. Dark oxidation, rose in the nose and in the cup. This competes very well with Yunnan Sourcing’s Wild Purple Black, with that rose bouquet. But YS is half the price easily and lower shipping as I can obtain theirs from the US site. Too bad, because the cup here is nice and strong, brews several gong fu steeps. Brewed it strong but my son likes strong black tea, and he really liked this one too.
Flavors: Chocolate, Rose
I got a small sample of this with another order and decided to try it. This is a brick tea with low grade leaf, and not a ripe as it says in the title. In fact, if you read the description it says made from 2002 raw leaf which was aged and then either pressed or rewrapped in 2014. This is a heicha border tea, the dark leaves are oxidized and then fermented over time, along with raw, unoxidized leaf mixed in. The oxidizing may have been accidental, or the owner here didn’t know the difference.
The flavor is similar to other aged Tibetan brick heicha, with that Chinese medicine flavor. The leaves are large and papery, some are dark and stuck together a bit. Brew has a bit of thickness, and is a clear, dark orange/red. I don’t particularly care for the Chinese medicine/incense storage flavor, I can tell some camphor is part of it. In a way I’m curious whether I could work out that flavor but I have other such teas to use in an experiment. This tea is currently marked down to $16 or so for 250g.
Flavors: Camphor, Medicinal, Wood
Catching up on my tea notes and cupboard. Purchased this cake very fresh, love the price tag at $22 for a 200g cake. A surprisingly bitter tea, I have some Mengsong Gushu that I used to make a batch of shou and it was mild compared to the Chawangpu cake. Unlike the Hekai Gushu which I want to drink entirely while fresh, this Mengsong is a better tea to age. If I were younger I’d be picking up a tong of this to put away.
I’m impressed with the processing, very little char in my cake and have found that to be the case for most of the house label teas from this vendor, with the exception of the Lao Yun which is a farm production. Chawangshop teas remind me again this year that I don’t need to settle for dirty tea and sticks from some high production factory or other.
Flavors: Bitter Melon, Hay
Catching up on my cupboard and notes. I can’t believe I’ve drunk up nearly half this cake so far this summer. But it has been my go-to daily drinker for a couple of months now. This cake is packed full of buds and has that champagne grape profile of higher tier Yiwu, but at a fraction of the price. A nice change from apricot sheng if you know what I mean.
The tea is a little bitter when pushed, but I like this fresh profile while the tea is new, and less so once it hits a year old, so I’m trying to drink it up young. No expansive qi or terribly subtle qualities. In the summer, I get overheated on a daily basis and struggle with water retention from heat and BP medications. This tea cools my body in two cups, yep hot tea. Very yin. My interior heat cools, and I begin to pee out all the water my body is holding. I feel immensely better just after a couple cups. Yeah kinda gross, I know, but we all have our symptoms.
I get maybe 8-10 steeps tops, so I can finish this off in an evening or maybe a couple cups left the following day. I tried cold brewing this since the hot brew is such a nice light yellow/green, but it doesn’t really hold up cold. The brew turns dark and more bitter in the fridge.
Gotta recommend this for the higher tier flavor and budget price tag. My pick for a daily drinker from the 2015 Chawangshop house teas, but not an age-r. A better choice for aging is the 2015 Mengsong.
Flavors: Green, White Grapes
8 grams in 100-125ml, the higher amount of liquid as the leaves expanded. Brewed on the boil for one rinse, then at 208F for the duration. Tea opens bitter and astringent with some char in the gaiwan, typical sheng profile until steep 6 or so when the bitterness departs and the spicier notes emerge. I notice heat and fullness in my belly long after drinking this tea, almost tricks me into thinking I’m getting a tummy ache but that isn’t the case.
This tea is extremely warming in the gut, and as I’m not a gut person I have to mentally remind myself this is a tea sensation and nothing more. It is a tea to drink with the body more than anything else. Surprisingly cooling in the throat though. Again, a mix of experiences and flavors.
I got tea stoned in my face and sweaty in the pores of my hair on those first six steeps.
Very complex and changing throughout the session. Definitely a cake for a collector looking for a new experience. I have a feeling the experience will vary for everyone. Still steeping this out at 16 steeps now.
The Tea Filth version of this review is on my blog http://deathbytea.blogspot.com.
Flavors: Bitter Melon, Green, Honey, Nutmeg, Vanilla
This is a very tasty puerh tea made from the Camellia Taliensis varietal in Simao. The leaves are light and silvery and produce a peony flavored puerh tea with mild bitterness. I’m impressed with how long steeping this is, I’m at twelve steeps and the tea hasn’t quit yet. I got a lucky 25g sample with a purchase. The leaf is often used in blends with other teas to add thickness, resulting in a syrupy brew. Good tea to try at least once to recognize the profile in other puerh blends.
Right now a 400g cake of this tea is only $59 making it a good bargain. I wrote more about it on my blog. It is a good cake for people who like to drink fresh puerh and have a mild experience.
Flavors: Floral, Sugarcane, Vegetal
This is a true old arbor gushu puerh tea with a predominantly Yiwu floral flavor and a Menghai base flavor. Leaves and stems are large and thick and this tea steeps fifteen times or more. I used 5 grams of leaf in about 75-100 ml water, and this was too much for me due to a powerful head effect similar to what I experience with hydrocodone. Two cups and I was sweating, foggy headed, and heart palpitations, and had to sleep it off a couple times. Younger people might not need the nap, but one other person has confirmed the painkiller effect to me on his sample.
This tier of tea has layers of things to taste.I got mostly the floral Yiwu, some bitterness and astringency, along with hot pepper, grapes, aspirin, Chinese medicine, Apple vinegar and I don’t mean in a sour way, more that flavor of apples fermenting in wood casks. I’m certain as I continue to drink this tea I will find even more things to taste. The tea seems more bassy than last year’s, a bit more base than bud which to me adds more of those darker notes and rounds out the profile nicely. The painkiller effect is new, I’m certain that it wasn’t in last year’s edition.
I checked with TwoDog and he said the tea is the same arbor as last year, just different leaf of course. This cake would be interesting to see a Chinese medicine doctor try and learn about how it might be used as medicine. I hope to get a full cake myself. This is the best quality, highest tier of puerh tea we can acquire in the west. The best tea, period. I will never find better in my life than this.
A cautionary note for drinkers with heart issues, I believe I would be fine with a dosage of 3G/100ml but no more. You can read more on my blog http://deathbytea.blogspot.com and also take note of the reader comment who experienced a similar effect.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Floral, Grapes, Lemon, Peppercorn, Vegetal, Vinegar
I steeped a 99g weight gourd of this tea because I am unable to chip off any of this highly compressed tuo. I wasn’t just doing it to be funny, this is how I had to access the tea. And sometimes I eat an entire box of chocolates too. Cuz I want to. Cuz it is yummy. This tea is light and delicate enough. I steeped this using a 900+ ml Bonjour borosilicate teapot.
I went 8 rounds on this tea and the flavor justifies the “cake” name with thick yellow sweetness. As it happens, yellow butter Poundcake has been my favorite birthday cake most of my life, and only the nuns took the trouble to learn this about me and baked them for me, bless them. The tea here is sweet, motor oil thick, with notes of cloves and nutmeg on the early steeps.
After round 8, at 208 F temps, I’d literally stewed the tea. The leaves began to disintegrate into mush, rather like over cooked canned asparagus. The tea is probably best respected in the lightly compressed cake form which is what is available to buy, rather than the highly compressed tuo available only to tea club members. If I had the tea again, I would brew this at a far lower temp, maybe even as low as 170F to try and keep the integrity of the leaves. I think this is why the flavor dropped off for me well before the color or body of the liquid. The leaves seem like lettuce picked after a rain.
Having said that, I find white2tea’s house productions to be a memorable experience. I get why the fresh experience of this leaf makes it special. It is really easy to drink a big pitcher of this tea because it is so gentle, not bitter, not sour, just sweet and thick. In fact, I’d have a harder time drinking a pitcher of lemonade or beer compared to this. Spring honey all the way with this one. Drink fresh, it is not one to hoard to age.
Flavors: Cloves, Honey, Nutmeg
Received a sample of this tea with a purchase and just noticed it in my pile. Brewed two teaspoons in about 100 ml gong fu in a kyusu pot for 30 second steeps.
I didn’t notice any special flavors to this tea, to me it just tasted
Iike a regular black tea. Ceylon tea is in many tea bags I’ve had over the years. But the caffeine kick in this is pretty powerful. I had taken an ibuprofen for a pinched nerve in my back and have been doing this for days now. This tea had a sort of Excedrin effect and really boosted the ibuprofen tab.
Honestly this is the best pain relief I’ve had in days. Gonna hoard my little Baggie of this tea. Will recommend this for the caffeine because it is definitely one of the stronger teas I’ve had lately.