Puerhshop Tasting Group's "Taste of Mellowness"


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: 2003 Xiaguan Tuocha

Postby bearsbearsbears » Apr 24th, '08, 18:42

Dizzwave wrote:
bearsbearsbears wrote:Worse, it tastes and smells terrible.
<snip>I think it might be the same 2003 XiaGuan tuo that I bought from puerhshop a few months ago, and had a yuck experience with. <snip> too sweet and syrupy, like cough medicine or something. (link to that discussion: http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/182208.html)


I did not get sweet or syrup from this, and I used quite a bit of leaf. It might be a different tea. Did the leaves look the same as my photos? I didn't get anything goopy or white spots or anything. Maybe try it again and if you can tell right away it's the same, stop?
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Postby Wesli » Apr 24th, '08, 19:35

I also found the Xiaguan tuocha to be rather disgusting. I didn't get to see the pretty face, as your post shows and discusses, all I saw in mine were those low-quality leaves. If first impressions are important, then this tea is not.

From my notes...
"This cooked tuocha flaked up real easily. Brittle thin leaves. Some of the leaves crumple so much that all that's left are the veins."
"The taste is warm and thick. No malt, no sharp flavors. Pretty mellow and dull really. Akin to cardboard."
"I guess this is one of those shu's that would be good if you don't want something good, but just feel like drinking a cup of shu. Whenever that is..."
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2006 TongQing Hao Pu-erh Tea Brick

Postby Dizzwave » Apr 25th, '08, 16:33

dry brick is an odd brown-green color. crumbling off a piece, there's lots of dust.
wet leaves.... yuck! ok, I had low expectations for this one, as it's a 250g brick being thrown (offloaded?) into a sample package, but.... I don't think I even want to drink this one. It smells like dirt (quite literally), mixed with something chemmy -- glue? carpet? eww.
I think I'm going to dump this before even trying the first cup. If any other brave souls out there try it and it doesn't taste as bad as it smells, do tell... but I'm not feeling that brave today.
-dave
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2003 Songpin Imperial Puerh King

Postby bearsbearsbears » Apr 29th, '08, 15:54

2003 Songpin Imperial Puerh King
Image

This roughly gongting grade shu pu'er received some good reviews from the folks at teachat, becoming popular enough that it's recommended to pu'er newcomers. It's got a hefty pricetag for a non-Menghai shu, some $33 for a 357g cake, supposedly hand-pressed and supposedly made in Yiwu. A closeup:

Image

The leaf grade is very high. These little golden buds don't hide any unsavory leaves underneath; the grade remains consistent throughout the cake. I brewed this tea 4 times in a yixing pot and once in a gaiwan, my notes are as follows:

The brewed leaf in the pot smells strongly of spearmint, then trails off to a (good) cooked meat smell. Using very little leaf, this tea packs a punch, evidence of its grade. Soft, round, a little spicy at times, a little blandly woody and grainy at others, the tea is balanced and benefits from long steeps after the third steep or so.

I caught some unpleasant pondiness in every session, except when brewing at home using softer water. Less leaf also seemed to leech out out more pond. Still, at its best and with softer water, the tea is rich, and its only fault is that it doesn't last more than 5 good steeps.

Image

Pros: balanced and round, very rich
Cons: occasional pond, not tenacious
Cost: expensive, but this grade normally is. Perhaps a decent buy considering its age and that it needs less leaf to perform well.
Verdict: interesting flavors, high grade, and a few years age make this a good tea and a good tea for beginners...if they don't mind throwing down $33.

Image
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Sold out!

Postby bearsbearsbears » Apr 29th, '08, 15:56

Taste of Mellowness sampler at Puerhshop appears to have sold out!
So why are only a few of us posting here? Hop to it, pu-heads! :twisted:
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Let great tasting sessions continue

Postby Jim Liu » Apr 30th, '08, 05:38

The initial 10 units were sold out yesterday. I had added another 10.

Cheers!
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Postby heatwaves » May 2nd, '08, 23:11

Puerhshop officially rocks my socks off. What amazing portions! The Imperial that I've drank the last two days has blown me away. Hopefully I'll have time to post some reviews of my own soon (too busy at the moment with 3ish jobs), but I'd like to thank BearsBearsBears and Dizzwave for posting such incredible reviews and really getting this thing rolling. If is wasn't for threads like this, the wonderful tasting packages would all but be a secret. Cheers!
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Postby brandon » May 4th, '08, 07:30

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Postby Salsero » May 4th, '08, 11:17

John Grebe has also reviewed the 2006 Changtai Banna Tuocha in his blog at http://camellia-sinensis.blogspot.com/2 ... uocha.html
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Postby brandon » May 4th, '08, 21:47

http://blog.brandonhale.us/2008/05/2006 ... tea-brick/

One more down, two to go (I have already tasted the Songpin and it was rather good).
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Postby Salsero » May 11th, '08, 00:53

I have happily drunk my way through all 5 Taste of Mellow samples over the last 5 days. I figure with the beautiful work already done on them in the thread so far I would just summarize my own opinion, based on a single session with each.

Mostly I am pleased to find 5 shu puerhs in a row that are this good. I have never bought five in a row this consistent. It really is a great sampler and a wonderful learning experience. I liked them in this order

    1) 2006 Changtai Banna Tuocha
    2) 2003 Xiaguan Tuocha*
    2) 2006 Yunmei Yue Chen Yue Xiang Tea Cake*
    4) 2003 Songpin Imperial Puerh Tea Cake
    5) 2006 TongQing Hao Puerh Tea Brick.

*Tie

With a range of maybe 2 stars for the worst and 3.5 for the best. Having said that, there isn't one here that I regret having. I will consume them all and may even order more of one or two, despite having a 20 year supply of shu on hand already!

I am suprised at how much variation in opinion there is on these 5 teas. It seems much greater than on the Year of Green sampler. Maybe that's an indication of how similar they are.
Last edited by Salsero on May 12th, '08, 13:20, edited 1 time in total.
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The new stock would be better

Postby Jim Liu » May 11th, '08, 11:51

I found my order of preferance a close match to Salsero's.

The most I leant from the reviews here would serve as the guideline when I went to purchase new stock.

The best is yet to come.
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Re: The new stock would be better

Postby Salsero » May 11th, '08, 11:59

puerhshop wrote:The best is yet to come.
That's what I love about puerh. Because if ages well, I always feel the future is bright!
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Postby bearsbearsbears » May 12th, '08, 13:11

My preferences:

1) 2006 Changtai Banna Tuocha
2) 2006 Yunmei Yue Chen Yue Xiang Tea Cake*
2) 2003 Songpin Imperial Puerh Tea Cake*
4) 2006 TongQing Hao Puerh Tea Brick.
5) 2003 Xiaguan Tuocha

*tie
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Songpin

Postby Dizzwave » May 14th, '08, 11:21

Ok, I did it -- I bought a Songpin cake! It's the only one of the sample bags that I've been continually returning to, and have almost finished.
My tea cabinet was in need of a good solid cake of shu. It was $33, but I'll just eat ramen for a couple of days.
I picked up some Changtai Banna tuos too, for good measure. :)

While we're at it, my preferences:
1)Songpin
2)Changtai
3)Yunmei
4)Xiaguan
5)TongQing (which I still haven't brought myself to be able to drink yet, and might just toss in the backyard. Did I get a bad one or something?)
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