286 Tasting Notes

drank Lao Man E 2013 Spring by Tea Urchin
286 tasting notes

Wow, talk about bitter! This tea is not for the faint of heart. It is incredibly bitter, purposely made to be so. Will this bitterness translate into a well aged pu erh? Perhaps! But I would not drink it again for at least another few years. It does, however, have staying power, lasting a god number of infusions, and you can just tell that this is a quality tea. It has a nice feel to it, possesses medium body, and so far is not terribly stimulating. I’m not sure whether I want to buy a cake and age it, but I am considering it! I am not going to rank it because I just wouldn’t know how to.

mrmopar

Yeah those young shengs can be brutal! Lao Man E and Mang Fei as well as some Bulangs are POTENT!!!

Rich

Indeed. So how does one decide whether to take the chance and purchase a cake like this for aging? I feel like it has a lot of substance. But it’s hard to know without experience what a tea like this will turn into.

mrmopar

I would be hard pressed to say on this one Rich. I am still learning the sheng thing as it has just been a year or so since I have found ones I like.

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91

A lovely tea acquired from Tea Urchin. It has a touch of fruitiness, the good kind of bitterness, and a well balanced young pu erh flavor that held up well to a good number of steepings. It seems like it would have the potential to age well, it just has that feel to it, though I suppose one never knows. The cha qi was really different, it wasn’t overly stimulating but rather facilitated a calm alertness. The only downside is the price – a cake comes in at just over $100. If it were half that, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. The sample came as a freebie with a recent order.

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85
drank Lang He 2010 Yu pin by Tea Urchin
286 tasting notes

This is my first tea from Tea Urchin. I was very excited to try some teas from them, the company has a nice feel to it. Their wrappers are really fun (I know, don’t judge a book by its cover or a pu by its wrapper. Isn’t that how the saying goes?) Their teas are a bit on the more expensive side, so I was hoping for high quality in return. This particular tea is not one of their own, but rather is from the Langhe factory. This ripe pu erh didn’t disappoint. I’m going to have a hard time going back to Menghai ripes after this one. It is a exceedingly smooth tea. Rich, medium bodied, and not a hint of bitterness or any off flavors. It is just a fine tea! Creamy, very slightly woodsy, and clean. I have several other Tea Urchin samples I will review in the weeks ahead. But this is surely a good start.

mrmopar

+1 Good people.

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86

A very pleasant smooth and mellow medium-heavy shu. When mrmopar gives a 100, one takes notice! So I bought a cake based on his and the other reviews. I liked it quite a bit, but maybe not quite as much as others. It goes down easy. I did not find much complexity in the flavor, but it is quite soothing.

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90

A nice mature full flavored ripe tea, with somewhat light body. It has a very good flavor, a bit woodsy and mushroomy, and it just tastes ‘old’ though I’m not even sure myself what that means. Definitely worth trying at least a sample to see what you’re in for, since the price is somewhat steep.

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89

A solid little cake. Nice full body, deep fermented taste. A touch of bitterness disappears after a few infusions. I have the 2009 and 2010 versions as well, only tried the 2009 so far and it is at least as good. It seems like these are pretty dependable cakes for a good price. Lots of infusions so it is a good deal. I got mine from tuocha.com.

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25

Tried this one since it was just 4 bucks on sale. I guess you get what you pay for. The tea smelled nice. But the leaves are kind of chopped up, leading to a bitter drinking experience. And not in the good way. The flavor was not very pleasant. I would not recommend it even for the low price.

mrmopar

You need to put this one up for a while. Any new “Raw” sheng can be very bitter and very astringent, It makes my stomach hurt sometimes also. This will be a “different” tea in 5 to 10 years. I always buy new sheng to put up and age a while.

Rich

Perhaps, I guess we shall see! But I’ve tried young sheng before, and this just tasted bad to me.

mrmopar

I got ya. I may have to get one out and get into it this weekend.

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88

I very much enjoyed this tea.
First steep, very slightly fishy, but nice. Hints of cherry. Second steep, cleaner. Beautiful color. Not as damp and musty as some Dayi ripes. Further steeps were also quite good, though with a hint of bitterness. Nice depth, somewhat rich. I would say it is in the middle of the road in terms of body. This is a very solid little cake, I will have to get a couple more! Very drinkable, with no need to age in my opinion.

mrmopar

Oh but they do deepen with age.

looseTman

That’s good to know – Thanks!

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82

This is a lighter, sharper, crisper shu than the typical dayi ripe. It is definitely pleasant, clean tasting, and easy to drink. I tend to like the heavier ones, but this is a respectable tea, and a good bargain since it is a 500g cake.

mrmopar

This one has opened up a bit hopefully.

Rich

Yes, the first tasting was quite bad. A week of airing out did the trick!

mrmopar

Yeah packed without good air for a couple of weeks and we would be like this too! ;) !

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90
drank Autumn Laoshan Green by Verdant Tea
286 tasting notes

Very nice rounded green tea, reminiscent of greens like long Jin. It’s clearly an autumn harvest, as the flavor is only mildly strong. The price is great for the quality of this tea. I usually get about 3 steeping a before it turns bitter.

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