Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When To Drink Fresh Young Puerh and Tasting Notes From 2010 Essence of Tea Man Sai

Young puerh has very harsh chaqi that can be detrimental to your health. Middle aged and the elderly should never drink fresh young puerh. There are definitely some constitutions that should also never drink young puerh. Its harsh raw energy tends to attack the middle jiao and can lead to many health problems in those who can't handle it. This is especially true for those with cold constitutions and/or digestive or bowel problems. Very young raw sheng should only be consumed by certain people and in certain seasons.
When the fresh puerh tea of the year starts to trickle out, one is always very tempted to try it out immediately. In the spring, young puerh is still too raw and harsh for consumption and is recommended against. The summers here in Victoria are dry and not that warm, the raw bitter taste of very young sheng is also quite harmful. So one usually waits until the cooler days of late summer or warmer days of early autumn, when the energy of nature starts to descend, to try out the latest seasonal offerings of fresh sheng puerh.
One has been tasting allot of Nada's fresh puerh from Essence of Tea over the past few weeks. Expect reviews of his teas scattered throughout the next few months. The first sheng will be this cake from Man Sai.
It's lightly compressed dry leaves are quite long with creamy, very sweet, tangy tobacco smells coming from them. Boiling water splashes from the tea table and it is time for some tea.
The first infusion is full of strong creamy banana sweetness which melts into dry. There is a deep underlying pungency to it with subtleties of hay and some beany, light earthy notes. The feel in the mouth is very smooth and finishes dry and very sweet.
The second infusions has strong initial creamy sweetness that moves into a somewhat pungent flavour then turns dry and tart. The aftertaste is quite sweet. The mouth feels coated in a thick gooey layer that is somewhat chalky in consistency. The sweet notes of this tea are strong and almost seem to drown out its deeper notes at times. The chaqi is very alerting. This tea has nice strong qi.

The third and fourth infusions follow the same creamy sweet to pungent to tart and dry. There is much more flavour in these infusions with earthy mushroom notes detected in the pungent middle and tropical fruit notes caught in the predominantly sweet aftertaste. The sweet nature of this tea hogs much of the profile from the initial taste to the aftertaste. There is a deep throaty feel to this tea.
The fifth and sixth infusions are more round with a smoother body and long aftertaste. There are some slightly deeper earthy notes and some spice that seems to naturally come out here as the strong sweetness seems less greedy. Straw, beans, and light wood are reflected in the complex pungent middle.
The seventh and eighth infusions have a very sweet floral touch to the initial sweetness which skips along the tongue into a less pungent, more light woody bottom. The chaqi here is inducing a nice sweat as it goes deep within.

The last handful of infusions at the end are still sweet with dry wood notes and still lots of depth though of the lighter variety. When things get too light the session is called to an end but with a smile on ones face.
Link to Adam's (The Sip Tip) Tasting Notes
Link to Hobbes' (The Half-Dipper) Tasting Notes
Link to Sebastian (Vacuithe) Tasting Notes


Pu Erh Tee said...

Thanks, I find particularly the opening paragraphs about the effects of young pu erh tea fascinating. Where can I find more information about this?

Brandon said...

One's tea room is lit beautifully.

Matt said...

Pu Erh Tee,

There is recent research done on rats that looks at the toxicity of fresh green puerh vs. aged puerh which are based on high concentrations and of tea extracts. The results show that fresh green puerh tea has a low toxicity level but that aged puerh shows no toxicity. The targeted organ system that was detrimentally effected was bile production in the liver, an essential activity of digestive processes. See here:

There was no other information that one could find on this topic but it is common knowledge in many asian cultures and is based on their traditional medicine systems. The puerh business in China doesn't benifit from such knowledge which could be a reason for the lack of info on the subject. One will likely post an article in the future about the negative side effects of fresh green puerh tea which will go more in depth.


The teaspace faces Northwest so there is nice, soft ambiant light that is cast for most of the day. Later in the afternoon/ evening the sun shines in on sunny days. Not the best for the feng shui for a tea room- as it provides a balancing effect with the energy of the tea. The view is nice so one can't complain.


Bret said...

I happen to love fresh, young puerh but I guess I,m lucky in that it's never been a problem for me. But like Matt, I don't drink it during the warmer months. Until recently I had never given it much thought, it's just not the tea my body wants in the summer. Now, green tea I can devour like nobodys buisness.
Plenty of fresh water and small snacks can help with the upset stomach for those inflicted with pu-bowels. But if it's causing havok with your stomach , it's probably up to no good elsewhere in your body.

Matt said...


You have a stomach of steel! hahaha...

Having water and a snack is a good idea if you are starting to feel beat up by a fresh sheng. The best kind of snack is one that stabilizes the middle jiao (digestive system) like rice soup or toast.

One forgot to mention that you should never drink fresh young puerh on an empty stomach else you are really asking for trouble.