91 Tasting Notes


2004 Dehong raw – Chawangshop

Price: £4.04 ($6) / 50g = £0.08 ($0.12)/g.
£26.96 ($40) / 500g brick = £0.05 ($0.07) / g


Summary: A fun tea with a strong cumin like spicy note. Not complex, impressive or oily.

Dry: Dark brown, flat piece. High compression. Some dust. Spicy, raw beetroot attack!


Wet: Soil, aged aromas: furniture polish, bird cage, old building. A faint hint of cumin. A lot going on here.


Rinse: Light golden (not orange).

Rest for 1 hour 20 min.

10s – Light/med golden. Tastes like soil and it quite watery.

15s – Light/med golden brown. Light soil with a refreshing spicy note that lasts from the sip to the finish. Medium thickness. No bitterness or astringency. Flavour is quite basic. 74/100

20s – Light/med brown (golden has gone) Thin liquor. Light furniture polish with a spicy note, which is similar to cumin, but very mild cumin. 75/100. I’ve had a tea like this before from Yunnan Sourcing: 2005 Wild Tree “Ye Sheng Cha” Raw Pu-erh tea brick of Dehong.

25s – Med brown. Produces a medium thickness when the flavour comes in, which is peppery spice, light smoke and light furniture polish. Slightly astringent this time. Body has a dryness to it. The finish has a dry spicy note.

30s – Medium brown. The spiciness takes a step back and the furniture polish is stronger. It washes down smoothly. I can still taste the spicy note after finishing the cup.

35s – Med reddy brown. Still going to the max.

Rest 20 mins.

40s + 50s – Soil, spice, astringency. Fizzes on the swallow.

Flavors: Spicy

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Norbert Varga

I drunk this recently and I did not like it as much as about a year ago, maybe it was just me. I chip of some from the brick to air it out then I try it from a gaiwan. Did you use zisha or porcelain?


What didn’t you like about it? I used a gaiwan.

Norbert Varga

I basically couldn’t detect any sweetness. But I noticed this kind of oscillation with some of my teas over the years.

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2014 Long Lan Xu raw Essence of Tea



Summary. A very good, fresh raw pu-erh with a strong body and very long finish. Flavours are sweet raisins. Emits strong energy. I’m impressed.

Dry: Dark brown; few silvery leaves. Very light, bright concentrated herbal. Med compression.


Wet: Light smoky, med bright concentrated herbal, fresh green. Slightly deep base to it.


Rinse: Light golden.


Note: This is my first time using the my new handmade cup from Pottery West :)

10s – Light yellow. Flavour is sweet raisin with a lingering sweet raisin finish. The body is lacking. 75/100.

15s – Light/med yellow. Body is there now, and it has some strength. It does not stick around. This has the fresh concentrated herbal flavour, but it is not overbearing. The finish does have a slightly astringent grip. 78/100.

20s – Light/med yellow. Intense body and the flavour lingers for a long time after the swallow. It has a s strong base, which gives the sweet raisin flavour some depth.

25s – Med yellow. This is one powerful and strongly flavoured tea. Noticing a sparkle in the finish. The transition from sip to finish is quite heavy. I’m feeling strong energy from this tea.

30s – Good form and a long lingering finish.

35 – No multi layering, but very good power, body and finish.

40s – Med yellow. Thin. A lot of bitterness, med smoke, becoming base sheng, but still going.

Cheese pairings:

Picos blue– Not so good. The cheese swamps the tea with it’s roqfort like acidity. 2/10
Dorset blue – The bright bitterness is clouded by the mellow creaminess, but the beefiness is too much of a contrast. 6/10
Yorkshire blue – Very good. The mild creaminess goes well with the bright bitterness and allows the tea flavour to be tasted. 7/10

Flavors: Raisins

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I like how you take notes! I’m eyeing this cake, so was quite informative.


Get a huge kick out of the “Cheese pairings”… this is the first time I have ever seen this haha. +1


You reminded me that I got one of the cheese names wrong. Corrected it now.

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1990s “Jin Gua Gona Cha” – Chawangshop

30/100 – Undrinkable (at the moment)


Summary: Not good. Mainly undrinkable. Not natural tasting. Aged flavour of furniture polish, but way too strong. Dry, flat tasting, harsh.

Maybe this tea has had storage problems as it is not pleasant to drink. Instead, it is harsh and drying with a strong odd note of furniture polish. It leaves my mouth quite dry with that dark, static furniture polish similar to stewed black tea. Or maybe this tea needs time to air out.

Dry: Very dark brown. Quite flatly compressed. High compression. Smoky cheese – reminds me of Essence of Tea teas.


Wet: Aged aroma: furniture polish; no old building or bird cage. Quite smoky: some electric, some cigarette… Leather. Coal tar – very odd. Some of the leaves are a little rubbery and dark.


Rinse: Med golden.


10s – Strong med golden. Liquor has smoky notes. This is a strong favloured tea. I think this is what furniture polish may taste like. Raisins: some bright; some astringent. Stewed tea. Not too good. Maybe I brewed it for too long. 50/100 – barely drinkable.

3s – Med golden. Not good. This tastes like T-Gel anti-dandruff shampoo, which contains coal tar. The flavour is quite strong with a medium astringent finish. 45/100 – undrinkable.

5s – Med golden (some brown). Some aged flavours. Has a finish of furniture polish.

Rest – 40 mins

10s – Med golden brown. Sweet raisin sip and then that odd drying, dark fruit taste with furniture polish. I’ve had aged teas before and they were more palatable than this. 50/100 – barely drinkable.

15s – Darker med golden brown. It has a sour flavour.

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

“no old build or bird cage” LOL I call this pigeon laden house. That sweetness that comes with a rancid sweet of old and new bird poo mixing together.


Good spot. I’ve corrected it now.


This tea is much improved. It even reminds me of 2000 Green Peacock in some ways.

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2006 Wild Peacock raw – Essence Of Tea

Price: 14p ($0.21) /g
Note: I received 20g of this free with my order.



Summary: A tea with heavy smoke; average base material showing slight almond notes. Characterised by a strong wood/ash note in the beginning. Body is ok. Finish is smoke-heavy, but it’s ok. Not a long brewing tea. ~5 steeps. I’d have to partially disagree with James of teadb with this tea. I think the smoke would put me off if this was my first tea.

Dry: Smoky cheese – same as other EoT teas so far. Very dark brown, flat piece. I received one chunk, leaves and dust (to get the 20g I assume). Later the aroma is that of a black bin bag (unused of course). Very high compression, similar to that of a Xiaguan tuo. Looks similar to 2000 Green Stamp…


Wet: Med electrical smoke. Faint log burning smoke. Later raisins.


Rinse: Bright, clear light golden.


10s – Med golden. Watery, soft wood.

Rest for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Watching teadb’s latest video – a review of this tea.

15s – Darker med golden. Ok the first sip: soft, no bitterness, rounded. There is a strong note in the body like a wood burning note. It stands out. That note remains solidly in to the finish, finally appearing in the throat as a dry, thick wood/ash note. It is sweet, rounded and friendly, but lets keep an eye on that wood/ash note. Not oily; medium thickness.

20s – Med golden brown with an orange tinge. The body consists of raisins: some sour and astringent. The smoke is thick and doesn’t move; it is even peppery. Is the tea well integrated with the smoke? No, but it has a bite to it which I like.

20s – Med golden brown. Lost that orange tinge. Heavy, rounded smoke. Tea is weakening. Heavy smoke can be tasted after drinking, but it’s not to bad if you don’t mind smoke.

25s – Med golden brown. Base material is average, although it does have a slight almond note. Drying my mouth.

35s – The smoke is slow moving, while the tea is faster moving.

50s – Med golden. Flat, bitter, even sour…

Flavors: Smoke

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Love your reviews. I wish I could write as well.


Very interesting and quite a bit different than my take. You got a lot of smoke and I don’t remember any at all! Hard to tell where the differences are coming from… Given that half of the cakes are stone-pressed and half are hydraulic pressed and they’re all mixed together, it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s a few consistency issues with the cake.


awesome review! is it possible to inbox me with the link to this tea?


thats the only tea ill most likely buy a cake of. rest are way over priced for young puerh cake/tuo/brick


If it was highly compressed, I suspect it was machine pressed. I would agree with jschergen on consistency issues as I’ve read several contrasting reviews of this tea. Hopefully I won’t be too shocked by my order!

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2004 Private Order – Essence of tea

Price: £7 ($10.54) for 25g (28p ($0.42) /g)

8g in gaiwan.


Summary: Heavy smoke has become rounded and smooth, and the flavours are ok, but there is nothing special here. Average tea, heavy smoke has been aged, that’s all. Bacon smoky.

Note: I can’t find this for sale anymore.

Dry: Dark brown, flat chunk, med/high compression. Looks like 2000 Green Stamp… Smoky cheese aroma.


Rinse: Med golden brown.

Wet: Med smoky. Electric smoke and log burning smoke.


10s – Med golden brown. Faint log burning smoke. Aftertaste is log burning smoke. Body is ok. Thin.

15s – Dense med golden brown. Another sheng from Essence of Tea with the bitterness worn down, and the smoke has softened. Both components are well integrated, but it is lacking bite. Thicker.

25s – Dense med golden brown. Slightly astringent grip; slightly drying. Log burning. Not as good as 2000 Green Stamp. A tiny hint of Beef Space Raiders….

30s – Med golden brown. Smoke is staying strong, but the tea is fading.

35s – Med golden brown. Very strong, thick smoke: it has softened, but it is still very heavy.

1 minute – Med golden brown. The smoke is well rounded and heavy, but the tea underneath is average.

1 minute 20s – Less dense. Med golden brown. Watery, base sheng with a tonne of smoke still.

Flavors: Smoke

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I wouldn’t go as far as saying not recommended but I do agree this tea adds nothing to the collection :P

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1997 CNNP Big Red Mark – Chawangshop

26/25 :)

7g in gaiwan.


Summary: An aged tea with a soil/earth flavour. Nothing special flavour wise. Lacks depth of flavour and clarity. I think it is genuine 90’s tea judging by the long number of steeps, the bold flavour and the leaves.
Is it worth the £150 ($210.00) for a cake? No. The flavour is too basic. It hasn’t matured into something special.

Dry: Med brown. Smells earthy. Light/med compression.


Wet: Soil, earthy, clay, slight smoke, foisty. Wet pastry. Later: aged aroma: old building, some furniture polish.


Rinse: Med brown. The earthy aroma was strong when pouring out the rinse.


10s – Med brown. Taste is earthy, not in a flat way, but in a pleasant way. Absolutely no bitterness or astringency. This tastes like soil so far.

Rest – 1 hour

15s – Med brown/red. The thickness expands in the mouth. This tea has some complexity and flavours which I’m struggling to describe: old furniture, a tingling and a long aged aroma in the finish. The body is good. It has some spicy notes and the aged aroma can be tasted when breathing.

20s – Med brown/ref. Bold aged flavour with good form.

25s – Med brown. Some polish flavours hitting the roof of my mouth.

45s – Becoming harsh, but has that aged flavour still.

7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

awesome review! i wish i could write like this :(


have you read any of my reviews? what do you think of them?


Thanks. I’m really enjoying these teas from Chawangshop and Essence of Tea at the moment.
Yes I have read quite a few of your reviews. I think they highlight a lot of good qualities in a wide range of different teas. Keep them up.


thank-you so much :D


Great review.

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2005 Chang Yu Hao – Essence of Tea


Price: £0.69 ($1.04) / gram

Summary: Sounds good, looks good, taste fails to impress.

Dry: Med brown, flat, lots of twigs/stems. Med compression.


Wet: Porridge, clay, powdery smoke. A bit flat. No fruit.

Rinse: Light/med golden.

10s – Light/med golden. Sweet dough; thin. 58/100.
15s – Med golden. Sweet hot milk. No bitterness. Flavour is coming slowly. 60/100.

Stab with a fork to open clump of leaves, gently.

10s – Med golden. Am I going to taste anything this time? Golden sweet fruit. The flavour comes in like treacle: soft, subtle and with some thickness.

12s – Dense med golden. Here it is! Soft, sweet dried apricot. The fruit is well pronounced.

15s – Ok it’s here now. Bitter and astringent grip; it delivers an pungent orange fruit flavour. Good body, but not a long finish. Flavours are a bit too close; its too concentrated. 80/100.

10s – Dense med golden. Strong, deep base with only light fruit that is not clearly coming through. It clearly has good strength and is quality material, but the flavours are too muddled.

10s – Dense, darker golden. Flavour is watery. 65/100.

20s – Med golden. Base sheng material. Flat. Reminding me of 2007 Golden Ribbon – well maybe not that bad.

25s – Med golden. Flavour have lost their edge.

Flavors: Orange

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2000 Green Peacock – Essence Of Tea


Price: £0.34 ($0.51) / gram

7g in Gaiwan

I got this tea sent as a replacement for the 2000 Green Stamp that had ran out.

Dry: Smoky cheese (Bavarian cheese) just like 2000 Green Stamp. Dark brown with light brown leaves. This is not as compressed as 2000 Green Stamp and not as dark.

Wet: Med/strong smoke, dark fruit, mild aged flavour.

Rinse: Med golden. I wouldn’t say brown.

10s – 1st sip and I’m thinking, this is not as good as the 2000 Green Stamp. Very soft lingering finish. Wet wood flavour with hot wood shavings. Soft fruit. This is a worn out tea, but not so much that it has lost it’s flavour. It has perhaps lost its bite.

15s – Light brown. Interesting. The flavours, wet wood and hot wood shavings, swelled into a smooth finish. This is not as thick and definitely not oily like 2000 Green Stamp.

10s – Light brown. Very smoky. Very nice fruity, burning log flavours. It is not as pronounced as 2000 Green Stamp.

20s – Med brown. This tea is the component of a tea’s bitterness and smoke ageing, and currently it is too smoky, the smoke has not yet transformed into a rounded soft, warming flavour, and the bitterness which gets a little astringent has not aged into as smooth drink. Right now the smoke and bitterness two separate components that have not yet blended into the 2000 Green Stamp.

25s – Med golden brown. The colour show this has not aged as much underneath. This is not leaving an oily residue in my mouth like the 2000 Green Stamp, nor has it got the same quality of finish. This has a slightly drying, astringent finish. This gets harsh like plantation tea.

7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
The Essence of Tea

If you have a little more of this tea, I’d encourage you to try it again. I’ve compared it a lot side by side with the Kai Yuan Green Stamp. Initially I didn’t think it would be as good, but with some familiarity with both teas, this came out as the clear winner. I found it thicker, richer and more vibrant than the green stamp, with a much better lasting aftertaste. If you have some of the Green Stamp left, it might be worthwhile to compare them side by side. I think you might be surprised.


Thanks for the comment. I do have more of both teas and will be trying them again. As for a side by side comparison, unfortunately I only have one Gaiwan.

The Essence of Tea

Great, I’m glad you’ll get another chance at both teas. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this comparison.

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2015 Chawangpu Hekai Gushu Xiao – Chawangshop


Price: £23.94 ($36) 200g cake.

7g in Gaiwan.

Summary: Bright, lively, citrus with good base. Let down by being a bit flat and lacking clarity. Good staying power – it just kept on brewing.

Dry: Grey and brown leaves. Citrus, concentrated herbal. Fresh and green.


Wet: Bright concentrated herbal, but with a bit of base. Strong leaves. Promising…


Rinse: Light yellow.

10s – Light yellow. Lively, bright concentrated herbal with some base. This is better than their 2013 Chawangpu Gao Shan Liu Shui. The flavour stays in the mouth.

12s – Light yellow. Pleasant bitterness. Slightly astringent on the swallow, but the sweetness pushes through.

15s – It has some high mountain Oolong in the body. The high sweetness is balanced by a slightly woody base. This is quite good.

20s – The high mountain Oolong creaminess is the main taste. Becoming astringent.

22s – Astringent, but still lively.

Many more fresh and lively brews…

Flavors: Citrus

7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2013 Chawangpu “Goa Shan Lin Shui” Yiao Bing Cha – Chawangshop

26/25 g :) My first order to Chawangshop.

Price: £3.33 ($5) / 25g

Summary: Bright, fresh sheng which gets astringent too quickly. Plain and straighforward. Plantation tea taste. I looked at the price for a 200g cake – £30 ($45). I believe that is a little high.
I agree with Rich’s review of this tea, although I am not sure I would interpret Hobbes’s review as that positive.

Dry: My sample is the part from the bing hole. Brown and grey leaves. Med compression. Bright concentrated herbal.


Wet: Bright fruit. A ‘Jing Mai’ aroma: fresh and vibrant.


Rinse: Light golden.

5s – Light yellow. Full and soft in the mouth. Sweet floral.

15s – Light yellow. Very, very sweet. Long, sweet, very slightly astringency in the finish. Not a thick liquor. Tastes very much like 2007 Mengku Mu Ye Chun from Dragon Tea House. Astringent and mouth drying finish.

7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Back into pu-erh and loving it.
First time ordering from Yang Qing Hao and I have had highs and lows. I aim to review at some point.

I drink mainly rooibos and peppermint tea these days as I leave my pu-erh tea to age.

I decided to join Steepster because I have found other people’s opinions on teas very useful in deciding what to buy, and I thought I would contribute.

Online orders so far:
Dragon Tea House – Free shipping and a huge selection of tea.
White2Tea – Excellent communication with the seller and good selection of teas. Teas came in metallic zip lock bags.
Yunnan Sourcing – Huge selection; recent change to delivery price made this a good option.
SampleTea – Selection of aged teas. Teas delivered were very well packaged and presented.
Pu-erh.sk Small selected. Excellent communication with seller. Packing was solid – the teas were more than safe.
Street Shop 88 (eBay) Low prices with free delivery. Sample size was precisely what I ordered.
O-Cha Seller of Japanese teas. The daily Sencha and Shincha were awesome.
Essence Of Tea – The order arrived after over 5 weeks, but I am really impressed with the teas so far.
Chawangshop – Order came very well packaged.


United Kingdom

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