Thursday, April 5, 2012

My favorite sheng of the last season

I know, the name of this post is, let's say, a bit thick. But when I was thinking about all shengs from the last year which I have or I have tried then the one I am going to share with you here is my favorite. Again, I know this is not a competition. And of course, there are milion cakes which I haven't tried and/or some teas will probably age better. Also my preferences as well as understanding and officiating of teas do change in time. In spite of all above, if I should choose one ShengPu from those thirty(or so) ones I had, it would be this small ManNuo cake.

The 250g cake has nice jacket- besides Chinese, there is also (if I am not wrong)  Burmese description and  post-printed logo of the Slovak seller.

 It came to me from Slovak eshop, with few more samples, in late autumn. I didn't know this shop before and I was agreeably surprised. I haven't found any weak or unpleasant leaves in my package then. What we can say about my favorite one? According to supplier the cake came from Mannuo village from Bulangshan. Leaves are from ancient tea trees which are pluck by Bulang minority. But what leaves say ?

Cake is natty, pressing is medium-strength. Leaves are smaller to middle sized. When smelling to the whole cake, there are heavier scents of fruits, from apricot to citrus, and also light hint of tabacco. In wet leaves, those fruits are still there, just more juicy and pungent. It makes my mouth water, just like slice of lemon. It is really funny...we can call it sheng-reflex.

Testing new stove and kettle...

First brew is light in color and thick, strong in mouth feel. Though I feel a bitter tastes (citrus like) on beginning, it disappears before I swallow the sip. I have oversteep the third brew and this bitterness was stronger and very similar to fresh teas from LaoManE. But those pungent fragrances, which remind in empty cup, are more fruity and sweet.

What makes this tea so special? It is probably that there is nothing special, nothing to spare. It is clean and strong raw puehr and that it is. There is nothing "interesting", striking or strange. It is not fawning but on other hand I dont have to look after taste and character- my mouth are full of it. Its stamina is outstanding. I also like the energy of this tea. I call it forest qi. It makes me breathe deep. Mind is focused, body energize. That the place where my love to Pu-ehr comes from and what with is feeded.

The leftover leaves are still juicy. After ten or more brews it still does not feel right to throw them away. I leave them steep over night to get very nice "day after" cup.

Coltsfoot- the first wild flowers from our garden. I am going to pick them and dry them- it is one of my favorite herbal teas when I get cold.
Thank you for reading.


  1. Sounds like a truly awesome tea. I hope I'll be able to try it sometime. Bulang can be reallly great.

  2. I think this is the one I tried recently? Your description is perfect. I loved the qi of this tea. Very laid-back and enjoyable. I would drink it just for that alone. A great session with this tea. Thank you :)

  3. Hi Jakub, it is worth to try! (And they offer samples, which is always good thing)

    Bev- To be honest, I am now not so sure which samples I have throw in to your box:)I was sending few samples to several tea friends that day. But I am glad that you enjoy it, what ever it was :)

  4. I really enjoyed this post Petr, and I visited the site. I think I am going to at least order some samples. I noted the script, which is what really made it stand out to me. I wondered for a bit if it might be Shan script.

  5. discipleofthetealeaf- thank you for stopping by, I look forward to hear your impressions from those samples. For the script, I uploaded new picture and posted it on the end of the post. I looks almost as hand writing :)

  6. Petr, thanks for the additional photo! I sincerely appreciate it. I am really looking forward to sampling their teas, and I am certain I wil be posting about them. Did you catch the earlier tweet from them with their wrapper design for 2012? It looked fantastic!

  7. I havenot seen those wrappers...Where did you saw them? Thanks

    1. This is the higher resolution version from their twitter feed:!/PuErhSk/status/185622339776548864/photo/1/large



  8. hi Eric, thx for your comment on the new wrapper, it's a bit different from all other let's say asian style wrappers, my 'tea approach' is more european like with preserving the traditionally processed 'material' transformed to our climate :-) the wrapper is so far only with slovak description but I believe next year I will have english, international ones too. Peter