Chenshenghao Puerh

2012 Chenshenghao Yiwu

Yiwu Puer, Calm and Quiet

Another tea from the Chenshenghao brand, this time an Yiwu puer. I may have made the mistake of leading with the strongest in a bunch of samples in my previous post. From here on out, my enthusiasm for the brand dwindles. (NO! WAIT! Don’t click close! This review is really interesting, I swear!)

Puer tea
Dried puer leaves atop a lid

The dry leaves show a good blend of tippy material with some larger leaves. The tangle of leaves carries a pungent, sweet aroma.

puer stem
Detail of a leaf and stem

After a rinse, the aroma becomes even sweeter with some light overtones of fruit.

The first few infusions are creamy, pleasant.

Pleasantness is nice, but if highschool taught me anything, it is the limitations of pleasantness. Pleasant is good for a chat in the cafeteria, but it will never get you a date with a prom queen. It’s better to have an attitude. A motorcycle. A name like Dylan McKay.

That was a terrible analogy/90210 reference, but what I am getting at is the general Milquetoast nature of this tea. The following infusions barely deviate at all. If one was looking for a tea with depth or evolution, this would not be the cake to settle on. There is a gentle kuwei [pleasant bitterness] and …and…and that is about all. Not a whole lot of character, just a quiet and generic Yiwu puer.

Yiwu puer
Cup of young yellow soup

Whether this kind of Yiwu puer ages well is anybody’s guess, but I refer my readers to this thread on teachat, where some experienced puer drinkers have a discussion that dances around this issue. This tea probably does not have the strength to age beyond 5-10 years, but that is just this humble puer junkies semi-educated guess. With a lack of strength and definitive character at such a young age, it is not a gamble I would want to take.  We shall see , maybe this tea will be worth USD 500 a decade from now and i will have to bake up some humble pie.

Knowing Chenshenghao’s tendency to push up their prices, I may need to preheat my oven.

Puerh leaves on a cup
Some spent leaves on a cup