2016 vs 2013Review by Dr. Jim (from Steepster)
One of my favorite teas is the 2013 TU Peacock, so when I saw a 2016 peacock in the TTB I got greedy and took all 10 grams. It’s been resting for a few weeks, and it’s now time to taste it. I decided to make a big deal out of it and am tasting it side-by-side with the 2013.
Both teas have 3 grams, with roughly 70 cc steeps of 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 seconds at 200 degrees.
1st steep: Both have a fairly light straw color, with the 2016 a bit more green. 2016 has a light nose with hints of fruit, straw, and spice. The taste is more of the same. The nose is more subdued in the 2013 and it has less fruit but a richer texture in the mouth. Later steeps show a tropical fruit underneath a straw flavor. The 2016 has good mouth-feel but the flavors are more on the surface, with much less richness or depth. The Finish is very good, but light and fruity rather than deep and complex. In the absence of a comparison, I would like the 2016 quite a bit, but it suffers in comparison with the 2013, though when I come back to the now much cooler 2013 it doesn’t seem as good as it did.
2nd steep (after 15 minutes to let the cha qi settle; I can still taste the tea a bit!): 2016 tastes richer than before with spice and some fruit. Excellent finish, despite the fact that the flavor seems to be mostly on the surface. The 2013 has less spice but a rich fruitiness that is further back in the mouth, and continues through a long finish. Both teas has such a long finish that the whole side-by-side tasting is compromised: I sip one tea while the finish of the other is still very active. I’m also feeling a full-body cha qi that is probably affecting my tasting. I’m also noticing a significant level of astringency.
The third steep is usually my favorite. Here, after another 15 minute break, the 2016 has a nice, spicy nose, and a crisp acidic taste with hints of fruit and spice. The finish seems more powerful than the taste, which to me usually indicates a need for aging (at least with wine). The cha qi hits me almost immediately. The 2013 is much less aromatic, and the flavor is richer yet more subdued. This tea also seems to get bigger after I swallow. Big and rich, and I’m riding a tea drunk. Drinking the two teas in short succession brings out the best in both, due to the long finishes. Awesome tea drunk.
I waited a couple of hours to continue. 4th steep is spicy but too astringent, but I really like the finish. 5th steep is sweeter, but also with less fruit and spice. The flavor seems to have moved to the roof of my mouth. It has a thick, chewy texture that fills the mouth and lingers in the finish.
Bottom line is that I like this tea a lot, but I don’t think it’s quite as good as the 2013. The question is whether it will age into what the 2013 is today. I may need to buy a cake to find out. (Posted on 1/14/17)
One of those teas that you go to the website to buy during the sessionReview by Haveteawilltravel (from Steepster)
This company has some great puerh. I’ve always enjoyed a majority of their productions, and this pressing is no different. I’ve heard a lot of noise about this tea, and the tea gods smiled on me and some ended up in my gaiwan. The cake is heavily aromatic with a sweet floral character as well as some spice. A heavy dark wood note acts as a soft but stern base. I warmed my gaiwan up and prepared for brewing. The warmed cake becomes even better by giving off intense scents of plum, raisin, juicy blackberries, honey, and the same dark wood base. This tea has a lot to give and has some unique scents. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste begins light and very sweet. A thick oily mouth-feel followed by encompassing honey tones. The aftertaste is a long and lasting succulent taste with a slight bitterness. The tea carries a faint mesquite flavor in later steeping, and then morphs into an intense brown sugar note. Past that, a light floral note introduces itself, I believe it to be lily or maybe even a subtle iris. The qi is spot on with an invigorating cooling sensation that begins at heart center as well as a good head buzz. The taste has a kicker huigan and slight kuwei. This is a solid blend, and I really enjoyed it. The only fallback is that the tea drops abruptly. The flavors, huigan, and sensations falter instantly while brewing. Nevertheless, this is still a great puerh. This is one of the teas that you go to the website to buy during the session; however, the tea is now sold out. That realization of a lost tea made me rather sad. I hear the 2016 blend is going to be released soon though…
Flavors: Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Dark Wood, Floral, Honey, Plums, Raisins, Sweet (Posted on 9/11/16)
Really like this shengReview by Rasseru (from Steepster)
Its fruity and pleasantly sour. With a slightly thick mouth. The strength of taste isnt too strong at first, and I have had three cups during extended lie-in butnow im buzzing. Its a bit too strong for me, as with other Tea Urchin teas I have tried they seem to hit me quite hard.
Slightly camphor nose & a comforting fruity & vegetal that I seem to like from Yiwu, although this one isnt as round as the snake blend, but there is something soft about it. I sometimes get creamy from this as well – its something like milk, not taste, but in its structure and feels in my mouth. Nice stuff, but im currently balancing on the edge of it falling into sourness, which isnt my preference with this milky-structured (to me) sheng.
I really really dig the wrapper art as well :D
Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Fruity, Milk, Pleasantly Sour, Sour, Vegetal (Posted on 9/11/16)
Definitely is goodReview by Matu (from Steepster)
Used 7g with boiling water in a 100mL gaiwan. It was quite good, especially steeps 2-5 or so. Got some kind of creamy vegetal or hay notes. It got more and more drying as I went past steep five though, so I think next time I’ll try this with either 200 degree water or a bit less leaf. I suppose I could go and try it both ways. Also, after reading Tea Urchin’s description, I think I may have increased steep times a little bit too quickly. Definitely is good though :)
Flavors: Creamy, Hay, Sweet, Vegetal (Posted on 9/11/16)
Amazing, sweetish tasting teaReview by Nico (from bartending.ch)
- Great tea with extremely full cup. Nose of raisins, milk chocolate and maybe some sherry. Very complex aroma, leaning towards vanilla and spiced biscuit. Still, it's not a terribly sweet tea, but very balanced. (Posted on 1/28/16)
I like it and i think the price is very goodReview by TaoTeaKing
This tea is very sweet. Honey, brown sugar, nice round and soft aroma. Not too soft... but i was surprised how long i could steep it without that it get`s too astringent and/or bitter.
It does not react aggressive on my stomach which makes it a perfect every day sheng. (Posted on 10/21/15)
Flash brew to enjoyReview by Liquid Proust (from Steepster)
Talk about some amazing breakage. The sample of this that I was given looked like 100% loose leaf. Quite beautiful :)
This woke me up this morning quick quickly with the strength and bitter tones to it. I will say that it is always interesting to notice the difference in taste from 15s to 20s, there’s a lot that goes on within 5s. This is one that I have to almost flash brew to enjoy it’s liquid. (Posted on 9/5/15)
I REALLY dig thisReview by Stephanie (from Steepster)
- The leaves are slightly glossy and beautifully compressed. (All the leaves from the TeaUrchin order appear high quality to my admittedly untrained eyes.) This is an energetic, punchy young thing with pleasant astringency and slight bitterness. Slight floral undertones and just enough sweetness to balance it out. I REALLY dig this. Very happy I got to have some. I will eagerly drink the rest :D (Posted on 9/5/15)
Sweet peppers and apricotReview by boychik (from Steepster)
5g 150ml gaiwan 195F
i think i had this tea over 4 days, still saved leaves,may try today.
beautiful long leaves. 1st steep was very nice mild, sweet and citrusy. nice mouthfeel,sweet peppers emerging
i decided to raise the temp to 200F
the color is dark yellow-orange. very juicy, sweet peppers and apricots. The following steeps were very sweet. eventually peppery notes disappeared and were just sweet and mild, some astringency (nothing major) and no bitterness ( or maybe it was just barely noticeable and i just got used to it). Anyway very nice and positive experience. Made me tea drunk ;) (Posted on 9/5/15)
Feel good energyReview by Terri (from Steepster)
The aroma is very sweet, almost syrupy, the liquor is a beautiful amber. The tea itself is a little tart at first, then sweet like apricot, but with a bitter edge on the tip of the tongue to balance it out. The tea buzz is very clarifying, and a real ‘feel good’ kind of energy. I like that.
There is a floral after taste, especially in the 4th & 5th steeps, which also taste of dried bell peppers. Weird, but true. (Posted on 9/5/15)
Yummy!Review by Cheri (from Steepster)
Quite nice. Sweet with an almost bitter finish.
It took me several infusions to figure out what it tastes like: bell pepper!
Yummy! (Posted on 9/5/15)
Worth owningReview by DigniTea (from Steepster)
- Beautiful leaf from 100+ year YiWu tea trees so I was anxious to try this one. First few steeps were very subtle – pleasant enough but little depth or complexity. For a moment I wondered if I should just move on to another tea but I decided to keep working with this Yiwu. After the fourth steep there was stronger flavor but certainly not overwhelming – sweet taste, coats the mouth and throat and lingers; enough subtle bitterness slips in to balance nicely. In general this is an easy to drink tea with beautiful high quality leaf. It won’t knock you over with its flavor but a good tea to keep on hand. I used 6.5 grams with a 5s rinse and a 30s idle followed by 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 40s steeps. Not my favorite YiWu but definitely worth owning. Note: fairly priced at $35 for a 357g cake. (Posted on 9/5/15)
Gentle wingsReview by Rogo
Lets get one thing out in the open here...
This tea is an absolute bargain at $35 a cake !!!
I enjoyed this tea much, and it lived up to the Yiwu name, gentle, sweet, and soft.
The first infusions brought about a sweet honey aroma, the liquor is thin (in no bad way) and a soft huigan begins to emerge. On the 3rd infusion the leaves unfurl and deliver a beautiful glaze of honey upon the nose. The huigan is richer and I sink into my cushion.
A short verse on this tea:
The taste of the peacock,
Begins subtle and reserved,
Upon a third awakening,
Reveals the gentle hints,
Sweet huigan is pronounced,
Glazing the lips and throat,
Oh delicate Yiwu,
Your's is a gentle joy,
Like the wings of a butterfly.
(Posted on 12/18/14)
Nice Sheng.Review by mrmopar (from Steepster)
- This is a very fragrant tea with scents of floral and brown sugar. It is a “Full bodied” sheng that brings a lot to the plate. It starts out very subtle in the first couple of steeps with notes of some slight sweetness that is very full mouth feeling. It carries on well in the later steeps with some bitterness that rises to the front. It is pretty gentle to be a young sheng with none of the harsh bitterness many bring to the cup. Very nice and enjoyable. (Posted on 4/30/14)