35 Tasting Notes
I was very curious to try this one, but my experience was only partially positive.
I think this really needs to settle and age a bit, because at the moment the smoke is covering almost everything else.
I like pine smoke, and during the infusions I got different shades of it, but I just kept wondering what’s beneath.
The liquor was thick and chalky, with a good astringency and low bitterness. Heavy but somehow smooth. Felt like drinking a thick-vegetal-fruity-smoky juice. Huigan was good, and the Qi made me feel dizzy and stoned for a while, and a bit jittery afterwards.
I’ll try to push it with some more steepings and I’ll update if I find something new.
5g / 90ml Hongni “Fang Xia” from Essence of tea
camphor, peat, sweet hay
baked pears, ash, smoke, medicinal herbs. The aroma is sweet and pleasant, with nothing offensive. as the leaves cool down I get a delicious acidic fermented red fruits aroma.
1) 30 sec steeping
the liquor colour is dark red, medium thick, very sweet and round. I get some florals, complex sugars, some spiciness, a medicinal feeling. As they cool down I get a strawberry jam aroma from the leaves.
The Qi hits almost instantly, as my heartbeat goes louder and some type of pressure is building in my scalp.
the aroma gets a more “aged” element (I think of the colour Purple), while the soup stays similar to steep one but a bit more dry and pungent. Huigan is present but not so intense, with a tingling feeling at the top of the throat.
My mental activity is slowing down, my head feels heavy. I feel some kind of uplifting energy/nervousness.
So far the most delicious steep. Sweetness and astringency are well integrated, giving a sense of fullness and satisfaction as it spreads across the mouth. The soup carries various layers of flavours already described in the previous steeps, plus a more accentuated cooling element.
Dryness and pungency are bulding up, together with that cooling element that goes between camphor and menthol. The aroma gets more herbal with spices like anice and other stuff I can’t name.
5) – one minute steeping
Aroma gets more herbal and almost alcoholic.
soup is smoother, with less substance. Time to push the steeping time.
6) – two minutes steeping
the soup is pleasant and smooth, with a much thinner body.
7) – five minutes steeping
Actually the tea is still kicking, with more sugarcane and cherry sweetness.
8) – ten minutes steeping
More simple but still rich and satisfying.
This tea is famous for having a strong energy. I felt it for sure, but I wouldn’t say it’s so different from many other puerh I tried. I’m a beginner, so I may be not sensitive to subtle differences, but I wasn’t blown away by the Qi. I feel something in between alertness and sluggishness.
Apart from that, the tea is delicious. Very friendly, durable and elegant in his own way, without storage notes. Just… the price is not so friendly.
At first subtle aromas of malt, fruits, honey, tobacco, forest floor fermentation.
First infusion is thick bodied and sweet, with a strong metallic bitter note that lingers on the tip of the tongue.
Taste is difficult to describe, like a vegetable syrup. The bitter note, thick body and mellow sweetness are the main characters. I get a liquorice like huigan.
The second infusion brings out a more ginseng/bitter roots/cicory flavours and aromas. That initial bitter note mellowed a bit, with an increased astringency that spreads in a strong mouth coating aftertaste. 7g feels a bit too strong in my 90ml hongni. I feel many flavours hidden under the sharp bitterness and astringency. My heart beats faster, the qi is reducing my mental abilities.
On the 3rd infusion I get a “thai basil” aroma, the liquor is less intense but still very strong and more astringent. I need to stop as I’m very sensitive to caffeine and this one is kicking a lot.
I feel my 10g sample was not enough to understand this tea. It’s neither young nor aged.
First experience with this tea:
After the rinse the leaves smell very sweet: wood, forest floor, something like dried plums, a little flower and nectar. No smoke, no leather. no camphor. I think “nice”.
After that I get dried yellow fruits, hay, mushrooms. The first 2 infusions are light and clean, with a delicate woody/fruity sweetness and a gentle slightly bitter huigan. Medium body.
Third brew is thicker, with a low toned nectar sweetness and slightly drying.
Fourth feels thinner and more astringent.
Fifht gains some spicyness and bitterness.
I think this tea doesn’t feel six years old, or maybe it’s been stored in very dry conditions. Anyway I find it very indecise, and lacking personality. There’s not much here that satisfies me for how this tea is at the moment. As for the body feeling, I don’t get any noticeable effect.
Sixth infusion has a dead leaf aroma and a slightly savory/spicy soup with medium body and astringency, and a medicinal/roots huigan.
Seventh shows more mushroom/soil and chamomille tea.
mushroom/dead leaves. Thin soup.
Sweet ginseng from the wet leaves, the soup has a round and semi-pleasant root bitterness.
Light sugarcane sweetness.
This comes as a sample from the “2020 Chen Sheng Dictionary Raw Pu-erh Tea”. I don’t have any other information and I can’t find it for sale anywhere. If anyone knows something more about this tea please enlighten me.
About the tea:
Aroma at first is something woody and dark floral, tasting the rinse I’m surprised by the strong power and pleasant bitterness, I drink the whole rinse feeling it would be a waste to discard it. The first infusion is… wow, astonishing cacao/herbal bitter-sweetness, round, full in the mouth. The flavour glues from the roof of mouth to the top of the throat, lingering for several minutes after swallowing. I find it really intense and satysfing. The qi hits immediately leaving me quite destabilised.
From the second infusion I get a nice spicy/woody/herbal/floral aroma, quite strong. The soup keeps being intensely sugary-bittersweet, with some ginseng/liquorice. The act of swallowing feels like downing a bucket of thick, oily, aromatic substance that permeates the whole body. There’s a bit of cooling feeling.
Aroma is more malty and fruity, soup is stable and strong, a bit more dry. Qi is very aggressive and feels like my brain is melting. This tea reminds me of W2T “I am”, I need to try that one again.
dryer, less sweet. Bitterness gets sharper.
aroma gets lighter and a bit more cooling. Soup is still strong but sharper more herbal.
Start feeling a hole in my stomach, maybe time to eat something.
I’m still doing 5 seconds steeps. More vegetal this time, strong bitterness but thinner body. Some vanilla.
Still strong but definetly dry and quite bitter.
more mushrooms. Now it’s hard on my stomach, and getting more stimulating. I should stop.
I wonder how many more steeps this would last… Anyway, it was a very remarkable experience. Not for everyday because of the heaviness. After 1 hour I still feel high in a strange way, I’m also sweating. I feel some more age would make the last infusions more friendly.
Strong aroma difficult to pinpoint, definitely tropical fruits, wild forest, something creamy. Then toasted rice similar to Genmaicha.
The soup is bittersweet, thick and full in the mouth. Very satisfying and feels different from Chinese puerh. It’s definitely fruity, with some toasted nuts and a Stevia like sweetness/Hickory bitterness. Lingering aftertaste coats the whole mouth.
The second steep is more on the bitter side, and I enjoy this specific type of bitterness. The only problem is that it makes me hungry.
Aroma switches between toasted rice and tropical IPA, soup has a good level of acidity which makes me think the word “wild”.
4 – 5
Smelling the leaves I think of candied cherries, or gummy bears, or something like that.
The soup is quite like a thick Genmaicha.
The qi is light and a bit stimulating, comparing this tea with the Danzhu ’20, the latter is definitely more psychoactive and relaxing. The Danzhu ’20 can feel humble and less showy, but there’s something about it that makes it more interesting and mysterious, not sure if I can find the words. Anyway this is also quite enjoyable.
More of cherry acidity and wild herbs.
More of forest floor. Soup is acidic/bitter, thinner and with low astringency.
First 3 infusions:
Sharp, herbal, aged wood, slightly medicinal and cooling. Vanilla, yeast. The soup is clear and mineral, sticky, woody and dry. Delicate sweetness, subtle and sharp bitterness. No much aftertaste. There’s an aged flavour, like old furniture. Generally light and smooth. I’m doing long infusions (±30sec).
The soup darkens significantly. Aroma gets slightly more herbal/balsamic, then returns to the bakery and vaguely fruity. I find it complex and balanced. Liquor stays light and smooth, coating the mouth gently with aged wood and burned sugar. Now more sweet and quite pleasant to drink. Not much going on in the aftertaste. There’s something that I guess can be called “sticky rice flavour”, but it doesn’t remind me of rice that much.
8 – 9
More like flat wood aroma at this point. Soup less sweet and thin, more herbal and drying.
The qi here is mildly stimulating, with tension in the chest and arms. I didn’t get more than that.
Wet leaves: dried apricots and smoke.
Aroma: something soapy reminds me of a swimming pool. Hay, dried fruits. Delicate.
Liquor: smooth, a bit too weak despite the 45sec infusion (leaves are thighly compressed)
Aroma: dry fruits, leather, hay.
Liquor still on the delicate side.
This tea opens up very slowly.
This time it gets interesting. Liquor has a nice presence, good balance of savory/sweet. The body is medium thin and gives me a peculiar feeling. Slightly drying, delicate aftertaste.
Aroma is muted and malty. Leans towards fruits rather than flowers.
Liquor is medium dry, enjoyable astringency and light bitterness.
Aftertaste lingers in the throat.
Body feeling: it’s telling my brain to stop working.
Still black tea maltiness. I need to increase steepings times or leaves ratio. Some numbing in the side of the tongue. Aftertaste: bittersweet hay.
After this the tea gets stronger, drier, spicier. Vanilla. Very mineral and drying astringency.
It’s really interesting how the session evolves, however I’m not so excited by this experience.
After 8-9 infusions the tea is still strong. There’s not much sweetness but a very strong astringency. Aroma: earthy/mushrooms.
On the website it says “experimental”, but to my beginner tastebuds feels actually very familiar and not so exciting. The way this tea is advertised gave me more expectations.
Aroma is strong and fresh: fermented yellow fruits/steamed vegetables/flowers/forest floor followed by mushrooms. Very vegetal and slightly bitter Huigan that glues to the roof of the mouth.
The texture feels similar to melted ice. Maybe this will change with more resting.
Qi is medium strong and slows me down. Enjoyable.
It gets more cooling as the session goes on. Freshly cut grass. Honey and cooked apples towards the 8th steep.
Very sweet overall, with an easily controllable astringency and a slight bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Reminds me a bit of Bosch 2021, but less intense and dynamic.
So far I have a very good feeling about this Thailandese tea. It’s subtle and strong in his own way. The aroma is somehow new for me, different from chinese puerh. Forest floor, cooking herbs, white pepper, anice. Elegant and slightly muted. The liquor feels drying, bittersweet, with a sour note. The body is medium thick and oily.
Has a strong and clean presence, with unfamiliar mouth feeling and aftertaste game. Not very dynamic but the energy is very noticeable, and gave me a sense of calmess and awareness. It’s my favourite of the thai teas pu-erh.sk is offering.
I noticed that if I keep drinking more than few steepings the relaxing sensation turns into a more stimulating (and anxiety-inducing) feeling. This applies to all the teas I tried. That’s a shame because I enjoy seeing the progression of a tea with a long session and many steeps. I should probably reduce the quantity of leaves and water.