288 Tasting Notes


This was a very interesting and quite enjoyable aged pu erh. It was quite different than what one might expect, it really didn’t fit the expected profile of an aged pu erh. The broth was amber colored and clear. The taste was very fruity, with upfront flavors of raisins or plums, almost like an aged oolong. But underneath the dried fruit was a light shu type flavor, or maybe even something like a straight black tea; very smooth. It also had a bit of sharp bitterness, but it was an unusual bitterness, not astringent. Almost like burnt. In many ways, it reminded me of Slumbering Dragon from Crimson Lotus, particularly in terms of what the bitterness was like, though that tea doesn’t have much fruit upfront (at least right now). High qi! I was flyin’. The leaves were large (but often in pieces). I found this to be a very unusual tea, and I really like it a lot. Unfortunately, only samples are available, and it is $25 for a 25g sample. I found an old review on the internet from 2011, when this tea first became available, and a 400g cake went for around $30 back then. Man, those must have been good times for pu erh collectors!!

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Got a sample of this with my recent Chawangshop order. I have little experience with Liubao tea, but this is really good. It reminds me of a safe ripe pu erh, without the earthiness or sweetness you would find. It is really smooth and hearty, it held up to a lot of steeps. Later steeps were fruity. The broth was cola colored. Fun to try.

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This is the best ripe I’ve tried, so far, from Chawangshop. I went for the Power Pu this morning, with about 10g in my little yixing, doing flash steeps. The liquor for the first set of brews was thick and rich, smooth but with some bitterness. Sweet, notes of chocolate. I think their description is spot on. Great semi aged ripe tea for a great price.

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Another solid ripe from Chawangshop, and a bargain at $7 for a 100g cake. They say it is one of the best ripes they’ve ever tried. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is good tea. A little bitterness, some chocolate, and very little fish. Deep and rich, hearty and earthy, a little sweet, not too complex.

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A solid Langhe ripe from Chawangshop. It’s like a bread and butter Langhe, the telltale flavors one might expect. Very dark, fairly smooth, kind of sweet, chocolatey, and creamy. Tasty tea!

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This is a quite delicious aged oolong from Chawangshop. The first steep was like a tea of raisins, sweet and tasty. The next few steps were noticeably less plummy, with fruit in the background and spicy cinnamon coming to the fore. So basically cinnamon raisin tea! A very interesting one to try.

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I purchased this cake with my Chawangshop order. A large leaf Bulang ripe for….$8! I had to see what it was like. I have to say, not bad! It really is large leaf material. Medium ferment, somewhat bitter and acidic, but also pretty tasty. Lots of caffeine. A good daily drinker for the budget minded. Chawangshop has some over the top bargains, even with the over the top shipping cost. You just have to plan well! I think my last order cost $40 to ship, though it was a large order.


I am contemplating an order from them. Actually thinking about seeing if there are any Steepsterites on the east coast who might want to go in on one. I am very intrigued by their offerings!


Did you go with SAL or have it shipped EMS? I always choose their AIR option which on my latest order turned out to be EMS not E Packet.


I did SAL, I think EMS was going to be $60.


I am up if the 100 grammer cake I jave coming in is decent. If so I am getting a tong for me and my grandson to enjoy over the ages.

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I received a bag of these mini tuos with my recent order. I was not expecting much. I was quite surprised. I found this to be a very tasty tea, high quality. The liquor was amber colored and tasted very smooth, as one might expect from Langhe. I saw a bunch of little white things in there – flower petals perhaps? Any ideas anyone? The tea is not supposed to be adulterated, I wonder if this is naturally occurring. Anyway, very good flavor and great to have them for traveling! And quite cheap. Good stuff.


Can you make a pic to see those “petals”?


Wish I could, I already dumped the leaves.

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drank Tuo Cha 1990 by pu-erh.sk
288 tasting notes

Got a sample of this with a recent order, it is the oldest pu erh I think I’ve tried. I found it very similar to the 1997 CNNP I got from Streetshop88 that may well have been a fake. The tea was cola colored, with notes of medicine, mushroom, and a bit of earthiness. It had a long huigan. The soup was medium bodied and the leaves were not terribly long lived. In fact, I like the 1997 fake a little better.

I am finding it educational to taste teas of this age. This one was pretty good, and I was surprised how much it tasted like the other tea I mentioned. Though the 1997 was probably fake, it seems to me it was probably similarly aged. This 1990 was very likely not fake given the reliability of the seller. I have yet to try a real quality aged pu erh from gushu material, I wonder how that would taste.


I like your comparison So basically you prefer the 1997 CNNP tea (£0.1347/g $0.21/g) to the 1990 Toucha (0.5534p/g $0.86/g) 4 times the price.


I do, though others who bought cakes of the CNNP did not like it. Mine was a sample, which may have benefited from airing out.

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drank 2004 Shu Tuocha by pu-erh.sk
288 tasting notes

This is an excellent little number from pu-re.sk. It is very similar to the famed 9016 from 1995, also from the same purveyor, only it costs about one tenth as much. It is stout, slightly musty in the best way, and tastes of burnt coffee. It is hearty, I got close to 10 steeps of dark coffee brew, and could have gotten a bunch more that were light but flavorful. I gave up before the tea did. There is a 2003 version which I will try next.

All in all, it lacks some of the depth and complexity of the 9016, but it is a nice little gem. I just checked the website and the 9016 is no longer there. Looks like I got one of the last ones. Lucky me! Anyway, these are well priced tuos that are interesting and good.

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