Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bamboo Sheng Pu'erh

Label: Unknown
Factory: Unknown
Year: Unknown

This is a mystery tea.
While taking the Pu'erh class offered by STI, they had a drawing to give away samples of teas that had been tasted in the class for evaluation.

I happened to win one of the teas.
It is a sheng pu'erh that was formed in bamboo.
It has almost a year of aging in my cupboard.

Tasting begins.

The dry leaf smells of light honey and camphor.
A bamboo scent is present as well, but that was expected.

The first infusion has aromas of tobacco with a slight honey kick.
It is sweet and quite mellow. Camphor shows itself alongside white pepper.
it gives the tea a nice edge.

The second infusion;
White pepper is powerful in the scent.
The liquor tastes slightly bitter, with a bit of tobacco spliced into the mix.

Bitterness is decreasing and gives way for the white pepper once again.
Fruity notes are displayed in the fading taste of the tea. Apples / Pears.

Honey is dominant.
A chalky astringency comes out.

In gathering information on pu'erh, I would say that this was not made of high quality maocha.
The bitterness in the mix shows that trait.
Not by any means bad, but not the best quality.
Even in my limited pu'erh knowledge, I know good quality when I taste it.

The chalky astringency was a new sensation for me as well.
It is almost like the whole of one's mouth is coated in powder.
I actually enjoyed it, being so new.

There are a few other sheng's and shu's that I will be reviewing in the near future.
Hope you follow along.



  1. Mmm, sounds better than any pu'erh I've had.

  2. Fox,

    I actually enjoy my Haiwan cake more (I suppose I have become accustomed to the taste).
    But this is definitely not bad! I will have to experiment with it more to see what else I can get out of these leaves!

  3. It's interesting...I haven't tried that many pu-erhs but I've tried enough to recognize some of these aromas and flavors that you describe.

    I strongly dislike the peppery quality when it comes in a smoother or more mellow tea, but I like it in strong black teas, so I'm not sure how I'd respond to it here.

    I like tea that has a suggestion of tobacco though in the aroma. I've noticed this both in sheng pu-erhs and other Yunnan greens. I also really like teas that have a honey-like quality but also some bitterness. I find it interesting that I tend to like the bitterness of less aged sheng pu-erh, whereas a lot of people describe it as an undesirable quality that they'd like to see aged out.

  4. Alex,

    With what you have said, I think you would love this tea.
    It contains all of the notes that you like. The peppery quality to this tea is wonderful too. It gives it a more round taste and balances the mellow sweetness.
    I wish I could tell you where this tea came from.
    I don't like when there isn't a label, but it was free for me so I am not going to complain!
    It is a very pretty tea as well, all compressed into one large cylinder.
    I did use a bit too much tea for my liking on this session so I may cut it down for future tastings!