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The Orchid in Valley 2012 Spring

深谷幽兰 "Shen Gu You Lan" is the name given to Legend of Puer's signature cakes from the Da Xue Shan 大雪山 and Bingdao 冰岛 regions. This tea was produced in early Spring, 2012, from 500-600 year old trees growing in a single grove above 1,900m on Dongbanshan 东半山. The trees were picked on March 16th and again on the 27th. This is a feminine tea, with high fragrance, sweet and subtle flavors, and a soft, smooth mouthfeel. The chaqi is calming and builds slowly. There is some characteristic Lincang astringency, intertwined with roasted grains and sweet molasses. A refined production from the sisters behind Legend of Puer.

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$110.00
Steeping Instructions:
We recommend 7g of tea leaves in a 100ml brewing vessel. Use an iron kettle to boil your mineral water, it will accentuate the huigan. This tea can be re-infused more than 10 times.

The Orchid in Valley 2012 Spring

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Below: This teabowl was made by our friend Petr Novak who is a talented Czech potter.






Below: This beautiful "frozen waterfall" teapot was also made by Petr Novak.. Those of you familiar with his work may recognize this as Gem #1 from his "Ten gems from ten kilns" collection.




You may also be interested in these other cakes from Legend of Puer:
2012 Legend of Puer Shen Gu You Lan ripe cake
2011 Spring Legend of Puer Da Xue Shan
2011 Spring Legend of Puer Bingdao

Customer Reviews

Perfection

Review by Sebastien W.
This young Puerh is a beauty. Providing that this tea is properly brewed, it will give you an idea of what perfection can be.

One word summarize it all : “delicacy”.

The Sheng Gu You Lan tastes like flower honey, its sweetness gently invade the mouth and is perfectly balanced by a discrete astringency. The result is a long fruity and very refine aftertaste with a hint of sugar cane. This tea remains very stable as numerous steepings will be enjoyed.

It’s cha qi is not overpowering and is harmonious with the refinement of the tea. This 2012 Puerh has all the qualities to be enjoyed now however a dry storage would be interesting to see how the aromatic profile evolves over the years. (Posted on 10/21/14)

Probably an unhatched dragon egg

Review by Freddy
It seems to be a difficult child in order to judge, i call it a child because its probably still too young in order to develop its true potential. The cake seems to be fully or partially made with Gushu material. However, the astringency when overbrewed is higher than the level of astringency i expect considering Gushu. Gushus tend to be less astringent in my experience. Although i sense some strong cha-qi, and a smooth honey-like sweetness that is lingering full in the mouth, it doesnt go very deep into throat. There is some bitterness too, although its well balanced and not dominating. The hui gan seems to be weaker than expected ("strong" isnt entirely fitting), but i still have to check out different brewing methods because i feel that this tea is a difficult egg. Nonetheless it is a smooth egg that may be difficult to properly develop but perhaps very rewarding in term of success. The value is currently rather low i think, because the current price is at a rather high range and the complexity of that tea is currently rather limited. Perhaps of its still young age, not every Pu Erh is doing good at a timeline of around 2 years. That being said, this tea is smooth and easely accessible by almost every tea lover, it's got no edges thus it's able to satisfy a wide range of customers. There is not much risk involved, its pleasant and with sweet character, but the value is a thing everyone may have to consider themself.
(Posted on 8/17/14)

good tea

Review by Jakub Tomek
I dug out a sample of this tea from Tea Urchin just recently and was positively surprised - among so many young teas that are no fun, this one is actually really good.

It is supposed to be a mixture of Bingdao (or near-Bingdao) leaves and Da Xue Shan - I certainly feel it falls close from the centroid of the "Bingdao" cluster I have in my memory. And therefore, it is quite lovely.

Rinsed leaves smell dark flowery (magnolia, orchid), fruity (grapefruit/pomelo) - heavily and very nicely.

The taste is really good - it has the same features as the aroma (plus vanilla and sometimes forest fruit and roasted chestnuts) and it is rich, silky-smooth and undisturbingly sweet. When you're in the middle of enjoying the taste, it gets accompanied by quite strong and unusually early tingling and cooling.

The aftertaste is not the strongest one, being citrusy-floral, but not particularly intense or long-lasting.

Some teas smite you with their qi right away - this one does not work like that on me - but after a while, the energy builds up and becames really strong and harmonizing. It forms a good harmony with the Rachmaninov's 1st piano concerto I'm listening to right now.

This is a good tea, no doubt. Whether you want to pay $110 is up to your preference for young tea. In the cruel world, where even $100+ can get you not-so-good tea, I found this tea to be pretty good, being basically faultless and with some really nice positive features.

That said, $110 can get you a basic cake from 90s which will probably work better for some people (Posted on 12/29/13)

Very good tea

Review by Thaneadpol Burapaskul
Tried your Shen Gu You Lan today. Again, very good tea. I think its more or less on par with your Nahan. It's 1 year older though. Almost the same in style. Its sweeter than Nahan but Nahan, as I remember, had more activity in the mouth. (Posted on 8/31/13)

a highlight tea

Review by erichbenoit
Eugene and Belle sent me a sample of this tea with a recent order, and I couldn't have been more impressed. The tea is incredibly balanced, graceful, and develops exceptionally well across the length of 10+ steeps that I had on one occasion. As noted in the description, its hui gan is of particular note. A stand out cake from producers who I have grown to love courtesy of Tea Urchin's offerings here. (Posted on 4/26/13)

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