52 Tasting Notes
This is an updated review… I used gungfu method and it really enhanced the flavors. My tasting notes are still the same, but I would recommend 194F for about 45-50 seconds (4.5g to 4oz water) on first infusion, then add 15 seconds for each following (thanks Lion!). This is a fantastic tea… rich and balanced.
Original Review: 86
Very elegant golden-copper color with pink hues fill the cup and invite you into the aromas of dry wood, citrus and apricot. The mild woody, nuttiness is the first thing you notice on the palate, also there is a clear overall flavor of light milk chocolate (think light chocolate milk with hints of malt) which developed more as the tea cooled. Slightly astringent on the back end, which helps to draw out some of the complexity, make the chocolate notes seem to be more dark than milk while enhancing the subtle apricot notes and lengthening the finish with balanced acidity. The finish maybe the best part of the tea.
To be honest on my first few sips I thought it was a little boring… but as it cooled a bit it really opened up the coco and lactic notes that acted as a blanket which enhanced the complex nutty flavors. The recommended brew temperature in “boiling” for 2 minutes, which I agree with, only I let mine go about 2:30. Also… after the tea is steeped, allow the liquor to cool for a few minutes (5-6 minutes worked well) in order to allow the flavors to become more clear. Quite a lovely change after having two very floral Oolongs earlier today! Well worth trying and a very good value with multiple infusions possible.
I really enjoyed this tea… could not recommend it more! This green reminds me a bit of Japanese green tea yet has all of the character of a great Chinese green. The wonderful deep green dry leaves have a remarkable scent (which is why I purchased it) of dry herbs and spices, sweet dry flowers, and a light must of decomposing leaves and woods. At first I thought the slight must on the nose could be a flaw, but it was not at all. Very delicate pale ivory cup which moved into chartreuse on 2nd infusion. Herbal scents are almost perfume-like surround by the vegetal/grassy notes. On 2nd infusion the vegetal/chlorophyll notes really pop with clear sweet honeydew melon and faint hints of baking spices. Almonds on the mid-palate brings a roundness to the mildly buttery cup and draw you into the lemon-like mineral acidity and lasting mildly astringent finish. Wonderful balance! Was able to get 3 infusions (1:00/1:35/2:00), with the 2nd being the finest.
After reading more about the tea and where it is from, I found that it is partially shaded by fog (like Japanese Kabusecha, Tencha and Gyokuro) which forces the leaves to produce more chlorophyll which is why the color is so deep and why those “green” flavors are so prevalent like Japanese green tea.
This is my second review of this tea because I needed to figure it out. Adagio recommends 180F for 3-5 minutes… using this method with destroy any chance of enjoying this tea. Using gung-fu method is a far better choice here. 3g to 4oz filtered water for 1:00 (thanks Lion!) really opened this tea up and allowed for a much more enjoyable experience.
Pale ivory cup which becomes more golden on 2nd infusion (1:15). Light floral aromas blended with lovely autumnal aromas of raked leaves. The palate is mild and nutty with a lovely clean powdered sugar sweetness and hints of gala apples. Soft honey-like (not in flavor) mouth feel which has a delicate astringency that seems to pull flavors across the tongue playfully and really bring out the autumnal notes and turn the previously described “ape house” flavors into an enjoyable complexity which compliments the tea. 4+ Infusions are possible using gung-fu method. This is Fall in a cup!
Original Review: 56
Adagio says: “An exquisite version of the White Peony”… White Peony, at least the ones I have had, are beautiful teas. This tea seems to have aromas which remind you of being in the ape house at a zoo. Dry grassy wild-brush, mild floral notes, perspiring animal, white pepper and minerals dominate the flavor profile; the mouth-feel is quite off-putting. The tea was in a sealed pouch sample bag… so its probably not old, and I am very familiar with preparing white teas so its not over-extraction.
I am all for funky tasking unique teas… this isn’t that. This tea just isn’t very good. Disappointing… but its alright, I have been on a streak of good teas so I was bound to hit a bump! Not throwing it away, I will experiment with different infusions and update if I can make it acceptable… or give it to someone I don’t like very much!
Very fragrant dry leaves which open to reveal mellow notes of fruit in the rich amber-honey cup which has shades of green nearing cups edge. Apricot and honey clearly dominate the pallet of this medium bodied tea… very soft with lingering raspberry-like acidity which balances out the sweetness and finishes crisp. Not an exceptional experience overall – perhaps because its a bit one-note with the honey-fruit thing dominating. However, it is a very pleasant cup with multiple steepings possible and the overall mental effects are quite calming with almost no caffeine jolt at all. This would be a perfect evening tea that shouldn’t keep you up all night.
A well defined delicate and airy oolong. Aromas of white flowers and fruit lift from the pale greenish-amber cup and draw you into the mellow flavors of chestnuts, orchids and sweet cream with mild vegetal notes. The mouth feel is elegantly soft and almost milky, yet not full bodied or clunky at all, highlighting the flavor profile beautifully. Fantastic balanced acidity which coaxes notes of fresh berries that seem to not be there until the finish. Almost no astringency at all… I honestly do not think you can over steep these leaves. As difficult a process as it is to make good oolong, this one really shines. I emailed the shop to inquire as to the exact sourcing as I would really like to know the specifics. I have had many ti kwan yins, as it seems every tea shop carries it… this one really stands out.
This is my second review of this tea.
Reddish brown and mellow with notes of damp tree bark, sweet soil and ash and very faint aroma of leather. The most fascinating flavor of this tea was the illusive but clear notes of dry herbs, notably dill which seemed to jump out after the first infusion then fade with each additional. Not the most dynamic of pu erhs that I have tried, but the herbal notes were quite unique and I was able to get 8 infusions (probably could have done 2 more). I think I was over excited about it the first time I had it (90 pts)… its really lovely, but I think a B+ is more realistic than an A for this Sheng.
A wonderful treat and great value from Mad Monk Tea Shop in Sand Diego, CA. This “Seven Color” collection is produced by the Chunming Tea Factory in Yunnan. I had a very hard time locating information about the tea and the actual tea factory, but that is the case many times with Pu-erh, especially when specifically trying to locate information on tea produced 7 years ago and not being able to read Yunnan! This tea was gifted to me so I had to contact Mad Monk by email to ask what it was… they did not know and thought it was produced in 2005 by the Menghai Tea Factory (maybe they were just trying to get rid of me, haha). Anyways after looking at hundreds of pictures of labels I found that it was indeed a “Seven Color” produced by The Chunming Tea Factory (The little elephant’s backside logo on the label was the key). Although I am not positive about the 2007 date logged by a fellow steepster, I am sure we are in the ballpark.
After a good 5 second rinse of the tea, the first steep released a wonderful earthy wet barn aroma and a flavorful persistent round cup with classic notes of beetroot, dry herb and forest floor with very light astringency. Multiple steepings are possible, I lost track of how many I did. Great tea for a hangover and just a nice treat for the price. As stated by the previous reviewer it was “bitter”… I think its possible that it was just bad luck because the one I have was quite enjoyable.
A very pleasant Chinese black tea. Surprisingly delicate and complex, the lovely golden-red color is almost too pretty to drink. Light floral aromas, the steeped leaves have notes of dry wood which doesn’t transfer much to the cup, but is there hidden amongst the orchids and chocolate. Subtle malt with hints of smoke and cooked apples dominate the flavor profile. Smooth and rich, yet delicate with nice acidity and almost no astringency to talk about on the lingering exotic coco finish. Could easily be an every day black or used for experimenting with home blending.
I tasted this sitting in one of my favorite tea rooms (Dream About Tea). Nothing mind blowing here… just a solid steep. Sweet and light, the tea has hints of vanilla sugar cookies and cut grass with a lingering soft and balanced finish.
Had this lovely tea while sitting in one of my favorite tea houses and listening to Edward Elgar. Wonderful floral aroma with subtle green grass. Chestnuts and almond sweetness on the palate enveloped by notes of warm sod. Finish was long and smooth with hints of white smoke and balanced acidity resulting in a focused calming physiological effect.
What a lovely pu erh! I was skeptical as to whether this little cake (of lower quality than the larger Yunnan cakes) would really excite me, and I was wrong. Strong aromas or leather and potting soil jump out of the reddish deep brown liquor. Incredible full mouth-feel and smooth finish. Notes of leather, soil and musty peat surround subtle flavors of white smoke, ash and ground coffee. Really a pleasant surprise, and at a very reasonable price from one of my favorite tea shops.