2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake From China Cha Dao

RawPuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  China Cha Dao

Tea Description:

2012 Douji  “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake 357g

Material:  Mengku, Menghai and Si Mao wild arbor tea trees leaves. Is a mixture of 80% Spring Tea and 20% Autumn Tea!

Taster’s Review:

While this 2012 Douji “Hong Shang Dou” Raw Puerh Tea Cake from China Cha Dao no longer appears available on the vendor’s website, the 2011 and 2013 examples of this tea are currently available … hopefully my review of this tea might help you make a decision about it!

This tea brewed up surprisingly light in color because I generally expect a dark color from a Pu-erh, but, then I had to remind myself that not all Pu-erh are alike!  Case and point IS this Pu-erh, not just because of it’s color, but because of the flavor.

The aroma is more vegetative than it is earthy, and the flavor is reflective of that.  It does have a slightly earthy taste, but, for those of you out there that tend to shy away from Pu-erh because of it’s strong earthy character, this tea will be more to your liking, I think.

My first cup is sweet and smooth and very mellow.  There is virtually no astringency and absolutely no bitterness.  It is just … SMOOTH.  The texture is that of a light broth:  very soft and comforting.  It is a relaxing cup.

My second cup delivered a more intense flavor.  This cup is slightly more earthy than the first was, but the earthiness is not the usual earthiness that I associate with a Pu-erh.  This is more like a vegetative earthiness.  Warm yet crisp.  Sweet, but a little less sweet than the first cup, this is still a very mellow and smooth drink.

My third and fourth cups of this Pu-erh developed a more savory kind of taste to them:  earthy, vegetative, and almost salty.  There is more astringency at this point than in the first two cups, but, still it’s a very small amount.  Each cup becomes a little less smooth, but more complex.  It’s as though the softness lifts to reveal the layers of flavor.

Overall, a very pleasant Pu-erh experience!

Bai Lin Kung Fu Red Tea from Shang Tea


Classic_Red_TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Shang Tea

Tea Description:

Hearty and flavorful, this brew has a complex flavor, crisp finish, and a deep traditional red tea hue. This tea is harvested from a white tea plant, which offers a smooth finish to a fermented tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OH what a lovely tea this is!  So rich and flavorful – robust and truly … amazing!

I was pretty sure I’d enjoy this Bai Lin Kung Fu Red Tea from Shang Tea because I’ve tried several teas from this company in the past and enjoyed every single one of them.  I have come to associate the name “Shang Tea” with teas of extraordinary quality.  And this tea is no exception!

The flavor is sweet, reminiscent of sweet-tart plums with smooth, chocolate-y overtones.  And then I notice a sweet, honey-esque tone, but not so much a flowery honey … more like a honey that has been cooked down into a caramel.  It has a deep, concentrated sweetness.  And there are notes of wood in the background, with a hint of smoke.  As the tea cools, the smoky tones seem to diminish somewhat as the fruit tones seem to emerge.

A delicious and vigorous tea – one that has enough gusto to get one going in the morning … I find this one also makes a great afternoon tea.  This Bai Lin Kung Fu Red Tea from Shang Tea reminds me very much of the dearly “departed” tea – Dawn from the Simple Leaf.  Those of you who have been fortunate enough to taste this tea know just how special it was and why I call it a dearly departed tea.  For those of you who miss Dawn as much as I do, I recommend trying this one … you might find the loss a bit easier to bear!