A big fanReview by Doug F (from Steepster)
I’m a big fan of Man Zhuan shengs and this one in particular. It starts out soft and minty with a hint of lemon. The mid-steeps present a flavor reminiscent of icy-cold mountain spring water with a sweetness that coats the throat and a pleasant touch of bitterness to keep you honest. The tea has a calming energy and good endurance.
Many teas don’t have to be complex to be appreciated. They might display a few outstanding characteristics that make them a joy to drink. Case in point: this 2012 Man Zhuan. Enticingly sweet, thick and oily mouth feel, bee pollen and fruit flavors and slow-building Qi. (Posted on 1/14/17)
Precious elixirReview by Doug F (from Steepster)
I’ve been drinking Shengs for a while now, but other than a couple selections from Verdant tea, most of my purchases have been moderately priced cakes and samples; they’ve been enjoyable but I felt it was time to really explore the upper echelons of raw pu-erhs and from what I learned, Tea Urchin was the place to go. I bought four samples and Eugene generously threw in a fifth and suggested I start with the manzhuan. This is a young tea and I bought these samples with an eye to getting a cake and aging it.
The first couple of steeps were sweet and complex with that lovely eucalyptus taste and a fruity base. Successive steeps became quite bitter (as I expected) but still very rich and tasty. Quality Shengs also generate heat and energy in the throat and chest and this one was no exception. I was buoyed along during the day on a steady tea high.
With this sheng—and, I’m sure, with my other more expensive samples—I feel like I’m crossing the borderland from tea to precious elixir. (Posted on 8/3/15)
So good...Review by Stephanie (from Steepster)
- This is so good…why do I keep falling in love with samples of $100+ cakes I can’t afford :( (Posted on 8/3/15)
Subtle, sweet, & clear.Review by pozir
This is a beautiful, smooth, and aromatic experience with a very particular softness. The beginning gave subtle hints to its body, and by the third and fourth steeping it opened to a soft, sweet almost oolongy experience.
Man Zhuan spreads across my entire mouth and I feel myself accepting the tea to slowly settle in. My minds responds to this tea with clarity, and this tea reminds me to receive it with dignity.
Overall, I would say Man Zhuan 2012 is: subtle, clear, sweet, and surprisingly strong.
I see myself drinking this tea on an early, rainy evening after a long day.
The consistency, clarity, and welcoming qualities of this tea is reflected in all that I have tried and sampled from Belle and Eugene. I have sampled from many different companies and distributers, and I find that Tea Urchin meets me when and where I seek to be met when experiencing tea - grounded, strong, powerful, subtle, soft.... With my gratitude from the Pacific Northwest. (Posted on 3/17/13)
Surprisingly engaging, not to be overlookedReview by ehansenbenoit
The cake itself was highly aromatic straight out of the wrapper. It was ‘high’, fresh, incredibly sweet. Initial cupped broths carried these aromatics over into the mouth as a gentle blur of sweet grass, hay and buttery mixed floral notes. Its vibrancy was unmistakable upon the tongue and at the soft palate.
As the energy of the leaves slowly opened in the pot across the first few steeps, the profile grew increasingly full and lingering in the mouth. Thick sweetness started to push out of the throat and into the pockets of the mouth cavity by the fourth and fifth steeps. Liquors became nicely coating, and pleasingly rounded.
The surfaces of the mouth were increasingly slicked in oil, most notably at the upper palate where it felt buffed to a high gloss. A cooling developed at the gums. Tart complexities developed within the heavy sweetness later in the session before the leaves wound down and fizzled out.
The tea slowly settled into the body during the session. The core became increasingly warmed, the skin dampened and cooled upon evaporation. Its energy contributed nicely to the session... While this Man Zhuan didn’t possess the penetrating qi of other favorite Tea Urchin productions, it was still a notable and rather humble cake. It was surprisingly engaging, and not one to be overlooked in their selection. It is also priced at a cost conscious pleasing $54 US dollars.
Read more reviews at http://discipleofthetealeaf.wordpress.com/ (Posted on 12/2/12)
A very solid tea for its priceReview by Nick from Psychanaut
- Man Zhuan seems to me a very solid tea for its price. I think it’s hard to do much better than that for this level of quality and care. It mimics many features of some of their higher grade selections, just to a level commensurate with its price, as you might expect. For a person like me that isn’t buying tons and tons worth of tea and considers even a single cake a big purchase, I would probably pool my funds towards a pricier but deeper cake, but I don’t think you can go wrong for the 50 or so bucks it costs. (Posted on 10/28/12)