Lao Man E 2014 Spring

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Camphor, Clean, Floral, Iodine, Vegetable Broth, Apple, Biting, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Compost, Cookie, Cut Grass, Grapefruit, Medicinal, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Toast, Yogurt, Zucchini
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
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Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 oz / 184 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Derk sent several extra samples with the Nepal tea box, and while I tasted all of them while recovering, I kept forgetting to type up my tasting notes. So once again, I’m trying to get back into...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve been pretty nervous about trying this, as it feels larger than life and quite intimidating based on everything I’ve read about it. And just Lao Man E in general — this is my first. Beautiful...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Okay, this was a wonderful gongfu session. Sadly was and not is. Thank you a lot derk, but again, I have no idea ho long I had it in my “cupboard”? All steeeps, unless second one, were lovely....” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “One of the last teas from the swap with derk became my choice for an evening session as I wait for my yogurt to ferment, after an active day of repotting plants and cycling. Thanks for the sample...” Read full tasting note
    92

From Tea Urchin

Our 2014 Lao Man E is a 50/50 mix of bitter & sweet trees. The aroma left in the cup is floral with that fruity sweetness of Starburst candy, plums and that airy freshness of watermelon rind. The wet leaves smell of forest floor and herbs. The tea is delicious, thick and oily, with a subtle sweet note at its core, wrapped in layers of bitterness. The sweetness crescendos over the course of a few minutes, emerging from the bitter aftertaste to reveal a blissful huigan with slight cooling effect.

About Tea Urchin View company

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10 Tasting Notes

477 tasting notes

Derk sent several extra samples with the Nepal tea box, and while I tasted all of them while recovering, I kept forgetting to type up my tasting notes. So once again, I’m trying to get back into the habit of transferring my tasting notes from my notebook.

97°c/22 seconds, no rinse, cold vessel.
Smell: On leaf, camphor and not much else.
Liquor: Pale yellow.
Taste: Quite light, hint of smoke and vegetable broth.

27 seconds – Liquore more orange. Touch of savouryness to aroma. Taste—brothy, layered smoke, touch of bitterness. Brightness—not quite sour, but makes me salivate.

37 seconds – Pale orange. Juicy, slightly tart and astringent. Brothy, light smoke and very clean. Slight floral notes, but definitely not a focal point.

37 seconds – Slight medicinal/“clean” smell on the nose. Taste has developed a “clean” note as well. Not chlorinated, just fresh—summrey? Floraly, iodine. Savoury, broth. Juicy, subtle smoke continues, but the astringency/bitterness has disipated. Salivating note persists.

42 seconds – Less of the “clean” note. Leaning back into broth. Vegetal, herbaceous, cooked.

60 seconds – “Clean” smell is back. Brothy, but no smoke. The floral notes and iodine becoming more priminent.

Lose track after this steep.

Flavors: Astringent, Camphor, Clean, Floral, Iodine, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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88
391 tasting notes

I’ve been pretty nervous about trying this, as it feels larger than life and quite intimidating based on everything I’ve read about it. And just Lao Man E in general — this is my first.

Beautiful leaves, all colors of grey like a dried mushroom party.

1
Light iodine on the nose, bandaids at the bottom of cup. Already I’m wondering how different my impressions will be from some of the notes I’ve seen earlier. This stuff already has extra years on it! Tastes lightly sweet of grape, undefined floral. Leaves smell herbaceous, with tobacco.

2
Light mushroom and iodine nose. I like that. Juicy in the mouth; still nebulous floral, like wildflower petals. Herbs still on the leaves… fresh fennel?

3
I do experience some hui gan, not long-lived. Tastes and nose not changing much, though.
I actually do really like the medicinal/iodine on the nose as I lift the cup, and then the floral, juicy, subtly sweet taste. It’s a really interesting juxtaposition.

4
Oh, a pass of banana after a lip smack, lol. Remains juicy; there is astringency, but it feels like it dances around in the pockets and just pinpricks the juiciness. No defined swathes of dryness.

6 or 7…?
Some diffuse melon, smoothing out more now. Deeper yellow-orange liquor, where it started more goldenrod.

10th or so infusion?
These later sheng infusions are sometimes so approachable and delightful. That’s happening here. The astringency has subsided, the leaves finally yielding to roundness, smoothness.

My thermos ran out, and I have a cat on my lap, sooo… I’m pausing for now. I can’t say I am experiencing huge cha qi (no dancing, daggit), but I feel at peace with the session (and some relief, finally sitting down with this icon and making it tangible).

Thank you, derk!

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92
1844 tasting notes

Okay, this was a wonderful gongfu session. Sadly was and not is. Thank you a lot derk, but again, I have no idea ho long I had it in my “cupboard”?

All steeeps, unless second one, were lovely. Lovely balance of astringency/sweet flavours. Why was second one bad one? Well, I oversteeped it. By a lot. I was steeping it for two-three minutes because I just forgot I filled my gaiwan and my brother was asking me something. Stupid human error. But all others were so good.

I am not able to re-write the flavour notes nor aromas, but Togo captures them very well. I will repeat, I really liked the balance. Luckily there was no creeping bitterness, texture was amazing.
What is the best is afterdrinking feeling. It calmed me down, it is not high in caffeine (I have been drinking it in the evening), very relaxing and focusing in same time.

Well done!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
derk

Ah, one of my favorites. Glad you enjoyed <3

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92
947 tasting notes

One of the last teas from the swap with derk became my choice for an evening session as I wait for my yogurt to ferment, after an active day of repotting plants and cycling. Thanks for the sample my friend! Lao Man E is becoming one of my favourite pu’er production areas, and having a variety of examples of that style is great. Moreover, this tea is still available for sale at a very reasonable price! :)

It has got quite a dark orange colored liquor, I’d say this is pretty clearly in the semi-aged category now.

Interestingly, the aspect of this tea that impressed me the least is the aftertaste. There is definitely some huigan, but it’s nothing spectacular. Plus I found the aftertaste to be generally a bit muted and lacking complexity. The other negative, as far as drinking the tea now is concerned, is the fact that it gets astringent already around steep 5, and by the tenth infusion the astringency is pretty damn strong. One would expect that this will improve with aging and as a result, the longevity should get better too.

Now, with that being said, this was a very enjoyable session nonetheless. The aromas are unexpectedly pungent and complex, which I find to be quite rare in teas around 6 years of age. Taste is not overly complex, but it’s definitely a profile I like a lot. Liquor texture is interesting too and quite unusual – being buttery yet foamy, and super light yet full-bodied. And of course, the cha qi is amazing. The energy this tea is creeping, disorienting and extremely calming, without being aggressive or rushy. I haven’t had a proper gong fu session with the W2T’s Pin, but this tea made me dance for real, derk (see music pairing).

As for the particular tasting notes, I could smell cookies, grass compost, and a light, clean smoke from the wet leaves; and some flowery scents in the empty cha hai. Early infusions possess a light bitterness, but it’s not abrasive at all. In fact, I would say these are much more sweet than bitter, which changes a bit later on, but without throwing off the balance too much. There are flavours of courgette, citrus fruits, toast, and brown sugar. Around steep 6, more sourness akin to yogurt develops, alongside grapefruit bitterness that’s increasingly present. In the eighth infusion, I got a distinctive tangerine note too. Throughout the session, light medicinal notes keep appearing, which may or may not be a sign of aging being decently fast. The aftertaste also has a sort of apple flavour going on.

Music pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMAyGBnVktE

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Biting, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Compost, Cookie, Cut Grass, Floral, Grapefruit, Medicinal, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Toast, Yogurt, Zucchini

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
derk

Glad you enjoyed this one and that it made you dance :)

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96
1548 tasting notes

I don’t even know where to start with this one, my first from Tea Urchin. Had this Lao Man E sheng puerh during a lengthy homework session and ended up stopping homework to revel in the beauty of this beast.

This sample came in beautiful thin sheets off the cake. The dry leaf is gorgeous and velvety, shades of beige, grey, brown, auburn, black. Very little broken material. Smells soft, woody and nutty. Warming the leaf brings forward aromas of powdered sugar, tangy fruit, buttery mango. The rinsed leaf aroma is woody, fruity, creamy like frosting, mango butter, apricot preserves. Drank rinse. Color of apple juice, oily, slides around mouth. Sweet like marshmallow? powdered sugar? Very clean.

Softly yet deeply sweet and bitter. Like a swirl, not layers. Hints of milk, slight tartness on sides of tongue and salivary glands. Instant chills like White2Tea’s 2015 Pin but not as electrifying or intense. The hair-raising effect is much softer and rounder, more feminine I guess. Had to put on music, started with “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrotsEzgEpg No idea where I went from there but I picked up the dog and sang and danced with her for a long while. Lots of laughing and smiling.

Third steep has some toffee in the mix. Fourth steep WHOA. Fifth, here comes the returning sweetness and deep calm. Liquor is dark red orange now. Sixth steep, watermelon like Tea Urchin mentions. Fruity candy tones. Oversteeped the seventh but still bittersweet, now with sour grapefruit tones. Eighth is vegetal, tart, some astringency that creates rough texture on tongue. Ninth milky and grapefruit sweet-tart but full-bodied that carries through for several more steeps. Ends still oily and thick with a buttery, nutty sweetness.

Spent leaf is amber-green, lots of whole, robust bud and leaf sets with fuzzy undersides. Looks just as good as the dry leaf though I do notice a little char on a few of the leaves.

Ok, I realize my notes are all over the place; sorry if there is confusion but this tea was dynamic and the energy was just incredible. I’ll have to come back to this Lao Man E with a bigger picture review of this tea. I’ll definitely be purchasing a cake of this to age.

Initial rating: 94+

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kawaii433

I love that song. <3 Listening to it, it’s been a while. I put this on my wishlist for sometime in the future… When my inventory gets under control.

derk

Hit me up in a year :P and I’ll send you enough for a few sessions.

Kawaii433

ahahahahahaha oh man… #Truth

lizwykys

I love your descriptions; this was like a sensory rollercoaster! ♥++++ for dancing with doggo, and the Five Stairsteps.

mrmopar

And an underrated group for sure..

derk

Thanks, lizwykys. This tea is in its adolescent stage, so it’s kind of all over the place but it’s like a well adjusted teenager who is a star student. She’s in the National Honor Society,Model UN and debate team, plays in the band in the fall and runs track in the spring, goes to parties and lets loose but doesn’t drink and makes sure to call her grandmother every week. And she smells good.

mrmopar, I’ll have to go through my housemate’s record collection and see if she has one of their records.

mrmopar

Lots of good groups from that area. I wander around YouTube quite a bit some days looking for the older groups….

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485 tasting notes

Sample from my Secret Santea this year – and very thankful for it :)

I’ve come to expect a certain “cleanliness” from Tea Urchin sheng – I haven’t had a whole ton of their teas, but just about all of them have had that clean feeling going for them. I don’t know if that’s really the right word, but that’s how my brain/taster/body process it. It manifests itself in both taste and body feeling. No off flavors strange sourness that can be common in puerh and no crummy feelings or roughness in the gut. It’s sort of become what I associate TU’s teas with – not that all others seem grubby in comparison, just that these are particularly…pristine?

This one is no different – it has a pretty heavy bitterness which I fully expected going into a Lao Man E tea. That kind of clean bitterness though – not really astringent and didn’t make my mouth feel funny or anything. That bitterness is followed by a nice sweetness, though the bitterness is what leaves the lasting impression in my mouth. Great thickness to the liquid of this tea. I didn’t really pick up on a lot of qi in this session.

Definitely one I would like to order at some point. I really ought to try to pick up more TU this year. Or maybe I should focus on drinking some of the tea I already have. What a crazy idea.

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

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92
16 tasting notes

Totally gorgeous. I think the bitter puerhs were my first puerh love – dig me some of that Bulang – but this is the next level shit. It’s a glorious bitter, somewhere between a quinine bitter and a burnt-rubber bitter (but good!) – just hanging out and glowing while all this other oceanic stuff – warmth, passing dairy flavors, all kinds of fruity junk – meld and change and pass beneath it. And that bitter flavor just hangs out up there, glowing a little, and just being so insanely beautiful.

mrmopar

LME kicks tail and this is a good one.

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Woah….this sounds delicious (I love bulangs, so this might be up my alley).

mrmopar

@S.G Sanders, think turpentine strong.

tanluwils

My only experience with LME is with my 100g Bing I received as a gift while visiting a Yunnanese friend/puerh vendor in Beijing. While not the same tea, your description is almost spot on. I picked up a complex, evolving bitterness that seems to be pinesol, gasoline, fresh kiwi, and something in between.

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90
13 tasting notes

My god,

First thanks to the awesome Phi for giving me a sample of this one.

Here is the best example I can come up with this tea, this is the bastard child between
a very sweet yiwu AND a menhai production like the New Amerikah 2. It’s not bitter
per my standard but I do not find the NA2 to be too too bitter which is to say that
I love my teas VERY punchy.

The energy that goes out of this tea is awesome, deep relaxed calm that help me
to focus. I paired this tea with some solo piano jazz and it was perfect!

I will definitvely consider a cake of it at some point!
Cheers

Flavors: Bitter, Sweet

Preparation
6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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