Tuesday, October 31, 2023

2023 ChenYuan Hao TianMenShan: Beautiful Piling On Sweetnesses


I got this sample free for review but 2023 ChenYuan Hao TianMenShan goes for $784.00 for 357g cake or $2.20/g.  This is another area that has become crazy expensive lately and to tell you the truth there is this mystique surrounding this area, unlike others, that casts its spell on even quite famous puerh producers.  The oldest trees in the area seem to be difficult to obtain and they seem to be marketed in such a way that projects that even the producers feel honoured and maybe lucky to get them.  

The only other Tianmenshan Gushu I’ve tried was the 2020 Essence of Tea TianMenShan GaoGan.  They said that they will likely not be able to get the leaves again and only got to press this stuff in 2020 because of the lack of foreign travel due to the pandemic shutdown.  They have not pressed another.  ChenYuan Hao also has a similar scarcity narrative with this 2023.  So there is hype with this area.

I guess the price of TianMenShan material might have doubled since 2020 or maybe this ChenYuan Hao is twice as good as the Essence of Tea?  Let’s find out…

Dry leaves smell of distant forest almost nutty.

The rinsed leaf smells like forest.

First infusion has a clear woody watery taste with a sweetness that slowly expands into a candy taste.  The mouthfeel has a metallic smooth sticky feeling.  The qi expands in the chest.  

Second infusion has a woody mild bitter almost coco oily taste with a slow strong returning sweetness that transforms slowly but powerfully from clear sugar into strong candy taste.  The mouthfeel is slippery and sticky with a pasty feeling.  Qi has a chest puffy feeling.  

Third has a bitter floral onset with woody grains notes that turn to a mouthwatering returning sugars after taste which slowly and powerfully transforms into candy.  Sighing feeling with some body floating body feeling.  Mouthfeel is more full gripping now.  Chest expansion big chest balloon feeling.  

Fouth infusion is a floral woody mild bitter with a sugar returning sweetness that strengthens into an almost carmel then to a candy sweetness.  This is a beautiful feature of this puerh the strong and changing transformation of sweet tastes.  It has a mouthwatering effect with a mild gripping and slight sticky dryness.  Qi feels like mild expanding chest and head.  

Fifth infusion has a watery woody onset with a sugary returning sweetness that expands a bit into a caramel sweetness and then predictably into a more mild candy with dry mouth and wood.  The mouthfeel is a dry pulling but not overly abrasive.  The effect is saliva producing pushing saliva from the deep throat into a candy sweetness.  Nice mellow mind with puffy chest feeling.

Sixth infusion has a watery woody grains taste.  Sticky slight gripping feeling.  There is still some returning sugar into candy but mild now.  Mild mellow mind Qi now.  Some mild puffy chest.

The seventh is an overnight thermos steeping… the next day it tastes juicy oily fruity taste the oily sweetness fades into the aftertaste.  There is a bit slippery then turns to more drying and gripping in the throat.  There is some nuttiness in the saliva.  

Vs 2020 Essence of Tea TianMenShan GaoGan.  The Essence of Tea had much strong and brilliant Qi in the mind and body.  I really like the swaying bodyfeeling and the build up of pressure and release feeling.  It is really all about the Qi.  This 2023 Chen Yuan Hao is all about this transformative, morphing, building sweetness.  It does this thing where it starts off sugar, then slowly to carmel, then long candy sweetness.  Its like the slow steady piling on of layered sweetnesses with each sip.  Really beautiful and refined but it really lacks a complex Qi experience for me.  The ChenYuan Hao ChaWangshu and especially the BaiChaYuan offer more for the same price when it comes to the bodyfeel and Qi.

This is my last of these 2023 ChenYuan Hao free samples for review.  The quality of these samples is pretty amazing with no flaws in the whole line up.  I didn’t get a chance to try some of the crazy expensive stuff but I’m going to try to shake Paolo down a bit (haha) to get these last ones before I conclude with a ranking for commenter Roadie.


Saturday, October 28, 2023

2023 ChenYuan Hao Yibang: Clear Pure YiBang


This is another free sample from review but this 2023 ChenYuan Hao YiBang goes for $300.00 for 357 g cake or $0.84/g.  

Dry leaves smell of fruit to-fruity grapes sweetness Forest.

First infusion has a sugary grapes tuitti-fruity with oily mouthfeel slight fine sand ghostly pucker.  Very fruity and clear.  Deep throat opening with mild coolness.  Spacy relaxing high feeling.

Second has a grape tuitti-fruity taste with sweet sugar and grapes oily finish in the mouth.  There is a subtle throat stimulation a long rolling coolness that builds up and goes deep.  Calm high feeling with chest lightness.  

Third infusion has an icing sugar onset with edges of fruit.  The icing sugar expands and pains the mouth and tongue as it cools.  Calming high.  Light subtle floating chest.  Long sweet sugar in subtle fine sandy slight dry lips.

Fourth infusion has a watery pure clear oily sugar taste with fruity grape edges.  Slight grains taste.  Slight dry lips and fine sandy mouthfeel.  Deep chest relaxing feeling with spacey calm high.

Fifth infusion has a watery woody grains taste.  There is only faintly returning sweet edges now with a slightly gripping mouthfeel pucker.  Slight astringency is felt in the empty stomach.  Spacy relaxing sleepiness qi is strong.

Sixth is a long thermos.. I put it in the fridge and go to it the next day… it is sweet oily sugar with grapes edges.  The long infusion is much the same as the flash infusions which is rare.  Cool throat with lips drying and slight fine sandy silty slight pucker feeling.  Long sugar grape cooling.  Pure sweet flavour and long sweet pure taste not inturupted by woody or Forest flavours.  Expanding calm mind feeling and floating chest feeling.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

2023 Tea Encounter Nanma Gushu: Heavy Header

 According to the Tea Encounter website Nanma is an area of Laos just across the border from GuaFengZhai.  This would make it the third Laos production from Tea Encounter over the years.  All three seem to focus on the area around GuaFengZhai/Laos but they are all very very different puerh.  The 2019 Tea Encounter Laos is a Xiaoshu GuaFengZhai and Gushu Laos blend and has the most as far as the depth of the blend goes. The 2022 is a Xiaoshu TianMenShan Gushu Laos blend (which I sampled following this tasting) and has a juicy oily profile.  This year is a single area Gushu from Laos…. and it’s by far the best of the three!  I’ve read Alex’s excellent review but I enjoyed this puerh significantly more than him, I think.

This 2023 Tea Encounter Nanma Gushu goes for $132.00 for 200g cake or $0.66/g.  This one came free for review with a purchase but out of all the 2023 Tea Encounter Gushus this might probably be the one I would purchase.

Dry leaves have that characteristic Laos gamey barnyard odour but this one is less overpowering with a counterbalance of a deep almost peach pear creamy sweetness. 

First infusion has a slight gamey but mainly with creamy sugar Forest almost spice taste.  There is a soft cottony mouthfeeling with a wet salivating feeling.  The mouthfeel is really nice returning cool breath dry lips with an almost spicy but sugary sweetness.   Head twitches and heavy head feeling.  Slight rubbery finish.

Second infusion has a watery gamey forest sweet taste.  Somewhat perfume with a floral edge and almost fruity sweetness.  Heavy head sensations.  Spacy with heavy head.

Third infusion is cooled down and has a sweet spicy floral taste.  Long cooling and creamy sweet taste.  Creamy returning sweet pops and shines with faint edges of peach under he creamy sweet. The mouthfeel is a fine full sandy feeling.  Long sweet peachy breath.  Heavy body and head with spacey mind slowing.  A bit wild tea tasting profile.

Fourth infusion has a forest floral soapy fruity sweetness with a fine sandy mouthfeel.  There is a juicy pop of fruity oily sweetness and nice returning long cool breath.  Deep throat opening with rubbery sweet after finish.  Spacey mind with heady head and body.  Some forestry almost rubbery floral bland bitter taste in the mouth.

5th has a bit bitter with floral pucker nice long cooling floral breath .  There is a bready yeasty sweetness mid profile.  Lots of pucker and bitter astringency with strong mind slowing Qi warming Qi slowing Qi. Mind transporting.

6th strong bitter floral intensity with mind escape.  Bitter sweet fruity floral intensity with silty mouthfeel deep cooling throat and very intense breaking a sweat qi.  Long bitter florals. My face is sweating…. I have to step away from the tea today and the next day I drink the rest of the cooled down cup and it has a bitter floral power with a sweet bready and gingerbread taste with a returning fruity floral under the bitter.  Strong flat mouthfeeling.  Strong head Qi heaviness.  Almost caramel sweet taste.

7th has a fruity floral watery oily taste their is some mild bitterness lingering cool breath with floral finish. Heavy head and mind.

8th has a floral chalky watery bland bitter taste.  There isn’t much sweetness left here mainly bitter and bland.  Strong Head heavy and stuffy Qi.

9th is an overnight thermos steeping and it comes out somewhat GuaFengZhi tasting- quickish moving bitterness, potato, melon,  floral with expanding creamy sweet taste in a chalky mouthfeeling that becomes gripping.  There is a pop of candy sweetness.  Lots of dense flavour still. Lots of excellent stamina.  Long sweet saliva producing.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

2023 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai Chaping Gushu: Enlivening Chest, Expansive Mind


I was recently sent this free 2023 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai maocha with a cake purchase of the very satisfying 2023 Tea Encounter Douyishu (there are only 2 cakes left for sale and I recommend it!).  Gua Feng Zhai Gushu is a common staple of Tea Encounter Gushu productions released in 2020 and 2021.  Sometimes they release them a few months later than their 2023 release, so watch out if you are interested.  I purchased their 2020 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai and was offered a free sample of their 2021 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai Chaping Gushu.  The 2021 was not as enjoyable as the 2020 for me,  not a powerful singular Gua Feng Zhai experience none the less quite delicious and satisfying.  I ended up sampling this 2023 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai Chaping Gushu after two top shelf 2023 Gua FengZhai area puerh from ChenYuan Hao.  

It should be noted the the Chaping area of GuaFengZhai is a much less expensive garden area of GuaFengZhai and is located in south Gua Feng Zhai.  Whereas the 2023 ChenYuan Hao Chawangshu (wet leaves pictured Left) and 2023 ChenYuan Hao Bai Cha Yuan (wet leaves pictured right) are no question very top shelf.

Following this tasting I tasted the 2021 Tea Encounter GuaFengZhai Chaping then the 2020 Tea Encounter Chaping for comparison…

Dry leaves smell of very creamy sweet cooling pungent over faint forestry odours.

First infusion is a creamy sweet very pungent forest woody mainly so very cooling pungent breath with a long woody. There is some floral layer in there as well.  Over a sticky lip drying feeling in the mouth.  A rubbery woody Forest taste linger minutes later.  Qi is chesty with an enlivening chest energy and expanding mind energetic.

Second infusion left to cool is a forestry strong cooling pungent forest taste with some lingering returning almost melon tastes. There is a gob of saliva forming. Mainly oily sticky mouthfeeling.  Deep sigh relaxing with expanding chesty beats.  Deeper throat opening with saliva producing.

Third infusion is left to cool and has a forest pungent grassy melon floral taste.  Nice deep mild cooling throat with a sticky mouthfeel and open deeper throat.  Spacy Ali with chest beats and expansive chest feeling.

Fourth has a watery sweet creamy potato woody Forest.  Cooling deep breath woody with a sticky drying mouthfeel that is almost gripping.  There is a rubbery Forest sort of finish long cooling taste minutes later.  Chest expansion and active energy.

5th is again left to cool and is quite watery with a faint grassy forest taste cool deep breath. Not as oily but subtle stick mouth coating with dry stick lips.  Mild chest expanding high energetic feeling.

6th is a long steeping.. 

I then tried the 2021 Tea Encounter Guafengzhai Chaping Gushu.  I think this year is more similar to the 2023 Gushu I just tried from the same garden in Chaping…

Dry leaves have a piercing woody creamy sweet but strong minty pungent odour.

First infusion has a woody creamy pungent taste that is really nice and pure.  Nice chest relief and uplifting with sighing.  Cool deep woody aftertaste with a slight dry sticky coating.

Second infusion has a woody creamy sweet slight roasted cereal and potato taste with long deep cooling breath and almost melon almond sweetness.  Candy melon sweetness is trapped in the saliva minutes later.  Spacy high feeling almost like leaving body.  Chest expanding. 

Third infusion has a watery woody cool creamy pure flavours taste.  Slight drying gripping mouthfeel and cereal grains taste.  Big spacy high feeling. Chest beating.

Fourth infusion has a watery woody taste with a grains cereal mid aftertaste.  Cooling breath is less.  More grains woody now.  

5th has a woody lime and grassy with faint sweet edges.  

6th long infusion …

Then I sampled the 2020 Tea Encounter GuaFengZhai Chaping Gushu.  The notes ended up not saving but I’ll go into what I found…

It comes on really thick… it’s really thickened up smoother than I sampled it two years ago.  Thick lubricating and saliva producing sort of in between a ManZhuan and Yi Shan Mo.  very sweet as well with thick fruity taste.   Very sweet with some forestry pungent and even potato but mainly just thick fruity sweetness.  Strong deep relaxing high.  Instantly relaxes and unwinds.  It’s retains much sweetness throughout the session and is supported by an increasingly full stimulating throat and mouthfeel.  A bit different than the 2021 and 2023- maybe 2020 was just the year?


Thursday, October 19, 2023

2023 ChenYuan Hao Cha Wang Shu: Top Tier ChaWangShu!

This 2023 ChenYuan Hao Cha Wang Shu goes for approx $784.00 for 357 g cake or $2.20/g.  Cha Wang Shu is one of my favourite puerh producing areas so I was really looking forward to this free sample…

Dry leaves have pop of creamy sweet fruit a faint Forest creamy sweet note.

The wet leaves have that cream almost melon Forest familiar odour.

First infusion has a creamy sweet fruit melon dense taste with long creamy dense fruity melon expanding and long sweet taste with that edge of potato and long pronounced deep throat breath- wow first infusion is really good right off the bay.  Deep sweetnesss in the deep throat linger.  Qi releases the shoulders a bit and spaces me out.  Fluffy dense mouthfeel with deep saliva producing.  Really good!

Second infusion has a strong sweet melon potato Forest dense taste.  That layers on the tongue and mouth with lots of deep creamy, potato, Forest and melon fruity taste.  Long and building tastes with very deep throat feeling.  Deep relaxing sighs.  Dense thick fluffy almost chalky feeling in the mouth.  Deep throat sweetness. Relaxing body feeling. Shoulders release tension.  Mind free.  Top tier ChaWangShu!

The cooled down second infusion infusion has a fruity melon sweet  creamy woody almost slight sour taste with long dense sweetness and long deep sweet dense aftertaste. Chalky fluffy full mouthfeeling- deep throat opening coolness and sweetness.  Chest expansion with shoulders dropping and deep sighs. Mind feeling feeling.

Third infusion has a dense woody creamy melon sweetness with a subtle sour pop then long return of creamy melon almost floral sweetness.  Smooth transition to a long deep sweetness in the throat and coming out of the dense fluffy sticky mouth and throat feeling.  Mind feeling body tension busting. Chest expanding and shoulder and limbs lightness.  I feel melted from the Qi- it’s really good.

Fourth infusion has a mellow woody sweet taste with a sticky slippery mouthfeel now.  Mainly woody watery now.  There is still a long cool deep throat sweetness but much muted.  Strong Qi with spacy alert high now.

5th is a woody watery with very faint sweetness on the breath deep throat opening with cooling breath. Mouthfeel is sticky and almost sl drying sand with a bit gripping. Big relaxing spacey effect right now.  

6th is put into a long thermos steeping… an hour later it is a bitter woody creamy melon potato dense taste with gripping mouthfeel.  Big Qi makes me happy and high. Light limbs and chest and shoulders.


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

2023 ChenYuan Hao Bai Cha Yuan: Complex Mind Slow


It has been a brilliant week of 2023 GuaFengZhai area Gushus…. But the first one I was eggar to try was from an area of Northwestern GuaFengZhai called Bai Cha Yuan which I first heard about from this post of Alex’s here.  It’s always exciting to try puerh from new areas… but new GuaFengZhai sub-areas are more fun.  This is another complimentary sample but this 2023 ChenYuan Hao Bai Cha Yuan goes for approx $784.00 for 357 g cake or $2.20/g.

Dry leaves have a woody slight barnyard pungency to them.  Faint icing sugar sweetness is not that obvious.

The wet leaves smell sort of grassy and mineral slight fruity sweet.

First infusion has a warm spicy peppery pungency in watery broth.  Subtle fruity faint edges in the far distance. Slight sticky mouthfeel.

Second is left to cool and gives off a pungent spicy watery onset with an expanding sweetness.  There is some faint gamey note initially in there as well then returns with a very ghostly banana sweetness under a sticky mouthfeel.  There is a chest bubbling feeling in the body and a bit mind slowing Qi.

Third infusion has a slight watery warming pungent almost barnyard start with glimpses of melon and almost potato and flowers.  Lots of subtle complexity.  The mouthfeel is a fairly present gripping stickiness.  The returning taste is melon creamy with long cooling breath and mind slowing Qi.  Mind stopping effect is strong.  Chest expanding and lightness.  Melon forest breath.

Fourth infusion has a watery forest sweet taste with an increasingly stronger mouth feel.  There is a mainly watery forest taste up front with a peppery spice mid taste and some sweeter melon creamy sweet with cool breath finish.  The mouthfeel is start to finish all coating with a sticky gripping lips drying feeling.  Qi has a mind slowing feeling.

Fifth infusion has a woody watery almost barnyard forest taste with some sweet edges and cooling in the aftertaste.  Slight rubbery aftertaste and mind slowing spacy Qi. Sticky lips drying mouthfeel.

Sixth has a watery rubbery taste no more sweetness really just faintly following the cool breath.  Open chest and light limbs with spacy mind slowing.  

7th is a long thermos steeping… hour later it is a barnyard juicy melon pungent Forest woody tasting puerh.  With sticky dry lips.  Some mild puckering.  Spacy mind Qi.


2023 ChenYuan Hao Chen Yiwu Chawang: Changing Tastes, Changing Qi

 This 2023 ChenYuan Hao Yiwu Chawang goes for approx $393.00 or $1.10/g.  It’s a free sample for review so let’s see what ChenYuan’s choice of old tree has in store for us…

Long spindly dry leaves (sorry not pictured) have a dense complex odour of orange blossoms fruity sweetness and deep forest.

First infusion has a watery almost musky barnyard taste that fades into a creamy sweetness.  Tastes like maybe Wanggong area of Yiwu to me.  Nice long sugar sweetness over a slight tingly tight mouthfeel.  Nice deep calming feeling.

Second infusion has a coppery brassy onset with an oily sweet pungent stewed fruit taste.  There is some Forest barnyard and some long cooling and pure sugar finish even edges of peach and pear.  Lots going on in this YiWu possibly a wider blend.  Nice strong bubbling up in chest with both relaxing and stimulating mind.  Mouthfeel has a tight flat tongue feeling not really pulling nor dry.

Third infusion has a woody slight bitter with slight fruity taste.  There is some creamy sweet sugar at the end and heady spacy and floating qi.

Fourth infusion is a dry woody brassy not that sweet at all with tongue pulling dry sticky mouthfeel with very little sugar sweet finish.  Mainly dry wood through with a slight pulling mouthfeel very faint sugar.  

5th has a watery dry woody taste with a pulling mouthfeel.  A bit energizing now with chest beats.

6th infusion has a woody forest bland note not really sweet nor savour nor sour.  Qi has a chest bubbling feeling and pulling mouthfeel.

7th is put into a long thermos steeping. A few hours later it’s a forestry almost pastry mild sweetness with a flat pulling mouthfeel and some icing sugar sweetness under a bit of moderate bitterness.  

The next day it is a woody bready almost mushroom taste with sugary edges and a bitter almost metallic taste.  It has this flat pulling tongue feeling.  There is lots of layers of taste here without coming off as thick.  The sweet taste is sort of interesting and a bit changing in this overnight steep.  It starts as sugary edges then gets almost like caramelized sugar then to a creamy sweet.  The Qi is concentrated on the head and it clears the thoughts and eases the mind.

Overall a nice Yiwu Gushu that does a lot of stuff and has a nice feel.  Especially if pushed.


Monday, October 16, 2023

2023 ChenYuan Hao Man Xiu: Etherial Peaceful

Okay this is my first of the free samples 2023 Chenyuan Hao Gushus.  After a very good experience with the 2022 BiYun Hao Man Xiu yesterday, I’m really looking forward to the comparison.  This 2023 ChenYuan Hao Man Xiu goes for $300 for 357g cake or $0.84/g.

Dry leaves have a creamy woody pungent forest odour.

First infusion has a woody watery creamy sweet note.  There are savoury notes as well as sweet with a long creamy sweet cooling breath finish.  Watery mouthfeel.

Second infusion has a woody creamy sweetness.  The sweet tastes expands a touch then fades into the aftertaste.  The cooled down liquid has a longer creamy sweet aftertaste.

Third infusion has a mild woody and creamy smooth sweetness with a creamy sweet fading aftertaste and sugary subtle sweet long cool aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is watery with a fine sandy almost sticky feeling.  Nice peaceful mild high.

Fourth infusion has a watery creamy woody sweet pure taste.  Watery mouthfeel with a slight stickiness.  Again a nice peaceful high.

Fifth infusion is a watery pure taste with a sweet almost melon taste coming out which expands a bit in the returning taste then contracts.  The mouthfeel is watery and almost lubricating now.  Nice peaceful relaxing feeling in the mind.

Sixth has a watery almost cereal grains with some mild melon sweet tastes in a watery clear broth.  Nice chill relaxing vibe.  Slight abdominal relaxing body feeling.

Seventh infusion is mainly watery with subtle woody and cereal notes subtle cool breath. Marked high feeling.

8th is put into a long mug infusion…

Overall this Man Xiu has a very smooth clean ethereal Gushu feeling about it.  It has an interesting abdominal relaxation bodyfeeling which is a bit unique for me.  The high you get from the Qi is really nice.  The 2022 BiYun Hao Man Xiu from yesterday (pictured Left) has stronger mouthfeel and longer taste- it’s a more upfront puerh.  This 2023 ChenYuan Hao Man Xiu is more ethereal with deeper peaceful stoner Qi.


Sunday, October 15, 2023

2022 BiYun Hao Man Xiu: Got the Package!


I purchased this 2022 BiYun Hao Man Xiu (approx $256.00 for 357g cake or $0.72/g) sample in my last order from Puerh.uk around a year ago.  I didn’t sample it yet because it was kinda a random sample purchase with nothing to compare it to and when I received it it was winter.  But I had never tried Man Xiu as a single area before.  It was in the blend of the 2013 BiYun Hao Mahei and2015 BiYun Hao Lishan Gong Cha that I have sampled and quite enjoyed. 

So I was quite looking forward to it … but when to sample it?  This is actually a bit of an issue and that’s why I probably have about 30 samples of stuff I still have not tried yet…if someone sends me something complimentary I try to make that a priority but if Ai buy it sometimes the sample might sit in limbo for a while… But then a 2023 ChenYuan Hao ManXiu came to my doorstep and gave me an excuse to sample and compare.  So before I started into the 2023 ChenYuan Hao samples I sampled this one…

Dry leaves smell very intensely sweet with a creamy candy odour but also a deep forest medical depth.  Really deep and delicious smells.

First infusion is a creamy forest pungent watery onset with a faint fading from the aftertaste sweetness. There is a fluffy mouthfeel. Very faint cooling throat.

Second has a watery faint woody taste with faint grains and Forest hard to grasp breath taste.  Nice mellow slight spacy mind.  No bitterness nor astringency.  

Third infusion has a watery strawberry candy like sweet taste that lingers and faded into the breath there is also a greener forest taste underneath.  The mouthfeel has a sticky fine picker which really carries that strawberries candy sweet note long into the breath.  Relaxing and slight mellow stoning feeling.

4th infusion has a creamy almost peachy candy taste now faintly sour with a slightly stick fine picker but not really astringent at all.  It makes for a very nice long creamy candy sweetness.  It makes for a pop of peachy orange long sweetness that lingers deeper in the throat and sweeps a slightly stoning and mellow qi with clear visual acuity.  Super tasting, great mouth and throat feel with great Qi. It’s got the package.

5th has a Forest sweet soapy creamy taste.  Some pops of peachy orange.  There is a slightly sticky picker mouthfeeling.  Some bland wordy Forest with long cool breath with sweetness on the edges of my lips.  Nice slight high feeling.

6th has a woody watery flat almost cereals grains taste with a peachy fruit sweet that emerges from it more in the returning taste than initial and not as long in the aftertaste now either.  Subtle sticky mouthfeel with very slight dryness.  Nice heat beats and chest warm expansions.

7th has a woody grains cereal taste.  Not too much sweetness left with a faint dry sticky coating.  Nice Qi which is more energizing than stoning as it builds through the session.

8th is a long thermos overnight..  hours later it has a long woody and strawberry sweet taste.  Energy and focus some chest opening Qi.

The next morning it has a woody forest moss taste with not really much bitter or astringency and a low lingering lime and creamy pastry sweetness with a long cool breath.


2023 ChenYuan Hao Puerh Tasting and Website Launch

 After reading some of my reviews of Tea Encounter’s satisfying 2023 puerh line up, Paolo of Puerh.uk reached out to me.  He wanted to see if I wanted to sample the 2023 puerh line up of a rather famous producer- ChenYuan Hao.  Puerh.uk has been selling more and more ChenYuan Hao, a puerh brand that he pretty much used to launch Puerh.uk a few years ago.  Some of the older Chenayuan Hao cakes that I purchased from Paolo back then are some of my favourite cakes( here and here).  Over the last half year they have began to offer more and more newer Chen Yuan Hao offerings which had definitely caught my attention.

However, the very generous offer of a sampling of the ChenYuan Hao’s 2023 line up is not a Puerh.uk offering.  This is how Paolo explains it:

just a note that the CYH tea is from www.chenyuanhao.shop, the 100g cakes are courtesy of CYH for me to distribute around for review and for people to try.
That website is a joint venture between CYH and puerh.uk but I'm not personally very involved in the day to day operations of it, CYH are doing the lion share of it (making tea, setting prices, sending them).
I think there will also be 8gram balls of most 2023 teas, including fancy ones like LBZ, mansong, BHT.

So this is sort of a continuation as of late of some boutique puerh vendors setting up shop in the West or at the very least offering their full line ups on English sites.  ChenYuan Hao, I believe, had some sort of arrangement with KL Wong of TeaPals and was offering the line up for a few years a fews years back.  He still has some up for sale on his site. Anyhow…

Get ready for some great reviews of this stuff if you also were lucky enough to sample these feel free to leave your comments here. If you are interested in trying some of this 2023 ChenYuan Hao bug Paolo and see if he has any left of his 100g sample cake to dole out.. haha


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Puerist Dragon Ball Blind Sample #5

Dry leaf smells of very peachy fruity sweet smells.

20 second rinse the rinsed leaves smell of forest peach fruity Forest.

First infusion is 20 seconds and gives off a watery insipid almost musk forest taste.  Slight stick mouthfeel and faint cool breath.

Second is 15 seconds and has a hay and watery slight Forest with evolving slight sugary slight peachy faint aftertaste.  Soft watery mouth feeling with mild salivating after the fact.  Nice slightly spacy relaxing feeling some chest expansion.

Third is 10 seconds and is left to cool it starts quite watery but slowly evolves into a sugary sweetness.  There is an expansive chest feeling and long pure faint sweet sugary creamy finish.  Almost melon sweetness. Clear pure tastes.

4th has a watery onset with a slow to evolve sweet taste pure flavours in a watery clear presentation.  The feature of this puerh is its long pure finish.  Subtle dry woody cool breath after the sweetness reciedes.  There is almost a faint hard to grasp lime taste.  Nice relaxing calm with subtle chest expanding and even limb lightness.  Long aftertastes minutes later.

5th is at flash infusions and is a watery pure clear type on onset with a faint orange wood faint sugary dry woody singular taste.  Some faint puckering of lips and some sandy stickiness on the tongue.  Peaceful spacy feeling.

6th infusion has a sandy woody watery taste faint cooling finish not much sweetness left done faint on the breath.  Peaceful relaxing almost takes you out of your body a bit.

7th I put into a long overnight thermos. A few hours in I take a sip from the thermos and it has a woody dry clear taste. Faint flowers under bitter taste. Strong peaceful relaxation with expanding chest.  Not enough sweet taste to be a Yiwu but has that feeling.  The next day the I fusion is quite watery with some faint wood and cooling.

Guess: This one reminds me almost like Puerist Dragonball Blind Sample #3 ( D’21 MSSK) but not as vibrant and I’m wondering if it an 2021 Auntmal production from Meng Song?  The Qi is in some ways deeper and heavier and almost takes you somewhere more than the Meng Song.

Wrapper Reveal: E’21 D17 or DM?  Okay while I got the date right 2021.  I wonder if DM stands for a regular Puerist production Da Miao but it really does not resemble this at all. The qi does a bit but Da Maio has a much bigger Qi. I’m not convinced it’s Da Miao…

Mark Turner Reveal: It certainly looks like that's Da Miao, but sometimes my codes get a bit abstruse, so I can't be sure till I get back and double check my list.

So I go back to my 2020 Puerist Da Miao and 2019 Puerist Da Miao samples the next day and do a back to back sampling with them.  Both the 2020 and 2019 have some measure of astringency that the 2021 Puerist Da Miao (approx $100.00 for 200g cake or $0.50/g)  lacks.  Drinking these samples back to back on an empty stomach gives me a touchy stomach.  The leaves of both the 2020 and 2019 seem to be smaller than the 2021.  I think this is what really throws me off also the 2019 and especially the 2020 has a more pronounced sweetness and substantially more substance and astringency than the 2021.  The Qi is maybe similarity as big in these productions they just do different things.  The 2020 has a strong chest beating strength to it.  The 2019 has a greater mood enhancing feeling.  The 2021 almost takes you a bit out of the body type of experience.  The qi is a great quality in all of these Da Miao productions.


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Puerist Dragon Ball Blind Sample #4

Dry leaves have a Smokey subtle tobacco less creamy sweetness.

The Rinsed leaves have a familiar rubbery first almost mushroom fruity odour.

First infusion 20 sec infusion has a watery sort of icing sugar sweetness with almost rubbery forest tasting base taste.  Faint stickiness in the mouth.  Maybe a “Forest Tea”.  Subtle heady stuffy heady feeling.  

Second 15 sec infusion has a tobacco rubbery sweet taste- definitely a Wild Puerh Yesheng Forest Tea with an icing sugar rubbery long taste.  Stronger spacy mind Qi.  Tastes family one maybe on of the Forest teas I’ve tried before from Puerist?  

Third infusion 10 seconds has a subtle smoke with a watery rubbery onset ling rubbery floral forestry wild puerh taste.  Strong chest beats and spacy mind.

Fouth is 5 seconds and is left to cool it gives off a rubbery subtle Smokey watery sweet floral breath rubbery floral with a slight stickiness and open faint cool throat with stronger mind spaciness.  Heart beats.

5th has a watery woody light sweetness faint long cool breath.  Some chest beats milder now with some spacey Qi.

I put the 6th into long overnight Thermos steeping…. A few hours later I try it and it’s watery pure slight rubbery floral slight woody.  The next day is pretty rubbery woody watery oily tasting.  Overall a touch sweet.  There is a long cool returning breath.

Guess: I am pretty confident that this is a few years old 2018/19ish Wild Puerh (aka Forest Tea aka Yesheng) possibly from YiWu the area.

Wrapper Reveal: BW ‘16.  Possibly stands for Bang Wai?  Definitely not conventional ( non- wild) material BangWai if it is.

Mark Turner’s Reveal: So 2016 and Bang Wai but with a caveat: It was a few hundred grams sample from a friend who mostly gets tea from Shuang Jiang/Bang Wai area.


Monday, October 9, 2023

Puerist Dragon Ball Blind Sample #3

Dry leaves smell of delicious slight Smokey creamy sweet reminds me of Yiwu.

20 seconds rinse the wet leaf smells of very sweet and woody green notes- wet leaves smells of fresh YiWu.

First infusion 20 seconds has a sweet singular distinct watermelon taste almost like Watermelon bubble gum with watery mouthfeel.  It instantly reminds me of a very sweet Lao Man E but there is absolutely no bitterness.  The taste is king and stretches uninterrupted into the aftertaste and breath. There is a relaxing calming effect.

Second infusion 15 seconds is a very pure watery sweetness long faint mild almost melon sweetness that extends uninterrupted into cool breath.  Slight sticky lips in a watery mouthfeel.  Calm peaceful Qi.  Smells like YiWu, Tastes like Yiwu, Feels like Yiwu.

Third is 10 seconds infusion and it comes off smooth pure watery sweetness with a sigh of relaxation.  There is a faint lingering melon almost candy sweetness.  Deep relaxing feeling with no bitterness and astringency at all.  Soothing.  

Fourth is 5 seconds and is a watery pure clear broth with a sublime mild sweetness almost melon sort of sugar and stretches into a cool throat.  Mild smooth.  Relaxing and tension busting on this particularly busy day.  Deep relaxing mind.

Fifth infusion is flash and it is a touch woody water with some grains taste a bit watery sandy mouthfeel with a touch pucker with a long cool breath and faint almost melon sweetness.  Calm tranquil feeling.

Sixth infusion is flash and has a subtle sweet pure watery melon taste with a grains cream taste that overtakes it slowly and pushes it out in the aftertaste.  Slow high feeling developing.  Mainly grains with less sweetness now.  Grainy woody although subtle suggests it could maybe be another Autumnal.

Seventh is put into a long overnight thermos steeping… the next day the infusions has a thicker melon juicy sweetness with a bit of dry woody taste an even a mild dark chocolate subtle bitter taste. Slight sandy grainy chalky oily mouthfeel.  Deeper chest subtle extension with feel good relaxing Qi.

Guess:  I would easily guess a fresh as can be 2021 YiWu Gushu best guess is Mansa Gushu. I’m pretty confident.

Wrapper Reveal: D’21 MSSL? .  Okay I got the date right and maybe MS stands for Man Sa? 

Mark Turner Reveal: MSSK is Meng Song Shui Ku :) ( available for $88.00 for 200g cake )

Another area of tea gardens in Xiao Meng Song :) This time in an area that is above where the old village lay and which was subsequently inundated by the shui ku, or reservoir, when a dam was built.

The new village was built some way below the dam and the easiest way to get to the tea gardens now is on a bamboo raft. That means folks don't bother to go there often with the consequent result that the gardens are better/less managed.

Comparative Follow Up Sampling: I decided to re taste a spare 2019 Puerist Dragonball to compare to the 2021 Puerist Meng along Shui Ku above and the 2021 Puerist Meng Song ( Blind sample #1 ).  Mark tells me they are all sweet Meng Song from different MengSong gardens picked on different sides of Xiao Meng Song.  The standout is the 2021 Puerist Meng Song Shui Ku which comes off like a nice YiWu in feel and sweetness.  The 2019 and 2021 are similar with the 2019 having a bit more depth and feel, I think.

Mark Turner: The 2018-2020 Meng Song are all from a tea garden to the north of the village. Shui Ku is to the west and the NQS is to the south/south-West.


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

2018 ChenYuan Hao Bingdao Dragonball


I purchased this very expensive 2018 ChenYuan Hao BingDao Dragonball ($35.00 for 8 g) from Puerh.uk in hopes it contains a very good BingDao session and was not disappointed.  

Dry leaves have a creamy almost orange forest aroma.

Rises leaves are quite sweet with an orange and pastry aroma.

First infusion at 20 seconds is left to cool and has a creamy coppery almost sweet bread taste.  Some Forest pure tastes as well.  Slight sticky slippery feeling in the mouth.

Second infusion at 15 seconds has a water almost orange mild sweet taste.  There is a faint creamy cake pastry sweetness that finishes in the mouth.

Third infusion is 10 seconds and is then left to cool and has a fruity almost pastry sweet profile.  Clear mild sticky mouthfeeling and a faint cool breath.  Qi is mild and makes the body feel light and the mind content in this moment.

Fourth infusion 5 seconds infusion has a fruity orange and almost pastry type sweetness.  No bitterness or astringency in an area where lots of puerh material usually has at least some base astringency.  That’s what makes this one special.  Cool creamy sweet taste in mouth minutes later on the breath.  An evolving long sweet return.  Sticky and slightly slippery mouthfeel.  Open throat feeling.  Peaceful relaxing Qi.  Long cascading creamy sweet cool breath.  This is that characteristic feature of BingDao area puerh and it’s featured beautifully here.

5th infusion is at flash infusion and has a woody onset with a long cool and creamy breath sweetness with a bit of orange taste.  Really nice! A touch faintly drying mouth.  

6th has a woody watery not that sweet taste it’s has a bit of pond/ marshland coppery watery taste.  Mild slippery sticky feel.  Mild relaxing Qi.

7th has a watery woody flat sweet taste.  Some faint cooling sweet finish.  Nice slight slippery feeling.  Mild happy Qi.  Not really any bodyfeeling.  Pure clear taste.

8th is a long hours long steeping and it comes out a wood drying with only hard to grasp sweetness and not much Qi left in here.