Yunnan Sourcing 2012 “Shang Chun” Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake Review

Today I am reviewing a sample of a Yunnan Sourcing 2012 “Shang Chun” raw pu-erh tea cake I received.

A full cake of this tea is 400 grams, and at the time of writing, costs $79, which isn’t that bad of a price for what it claims to be.

Tea Specifications

Brand: Yunnan Sourcing
Vintage: Spring, 2012
Origin: China


I brewed this tea in a 140ml clay teapot using spring water.

I soaked the tea for 15 seconds in hot water and discarded the wash.

First Steep

Steeped for 30 seconds.

You can tell right away that the tea has some age on it.

No real bitterness, and just a hint of astringency, but maybe that will change in the subsequent steeping.

There is a lot going on in the flavor profile.

The general flavor is peppery and vegetal, with a light sweetness, and notes of spice, flowers, smoke, grains. It has a pretty complex flavor, which is expected from a 9 year old tea.

The tea has a strong lubricating mouthfeel.

Has a nice lingering taste even after it is drank.

Second Steep

Steeped for 40 seconds.

The broth is visually darker and thicker this time.

The taste of this steep is actually very bitter and astringent.

I probably could have brewed it for less time.

I enjoy these types of flavors, but not everybody does, so, that’s something to keep in mind if you are considering purchasing this tea.

It has a new top note which sort of melds with the astringency, almost reminding me of some sort of citrus fruit.

Third Steep

Brewed for about 50 seconds.

The broth of this tea looks even darker then the second steep.

The astringency and bitterness is a little milder now, but still very present.

I think that the third steep tastes better then the second steep, as the floral notes have opened up a bit as the astringency and bitterness mellows.

Definitely feeling the “cha chi” by now, and it seems like potent material.

Fourth Steep

I waited a while before brewing the fourth steep, as I had enough caffeine earlier in the day.

The tea gave me a nice calming effect, despite the caffeine content.

Brewed for about a minute.

Most of the bitterness is gone, but the astringency remains.

The taste isn’t quite as complex as anymore, as it transitions into wood, mushroom and vegetal notes, with slight bit of a tang from the astringency. It still has a reasonably thick mouthfeel and lingering taste.

Fifth Steep

I forget how long I let this one steep for, but it was probably for a couple minutes or so.

This one tastes a little stronger then the fourth steep, probably due to the longer steep time, but has a similar flavor.

Sixth Steep

Tastes almost the exact same as the fifth steep, and still quite astringent.

I’m probably going to end the review here, but I’m sure the tea would brew up another couple cups of tea.


I appreciate Scott from Yunnan Sourcing sending me this sample, and I think it’s a quality tea.

In my opinion, it tastes pretty good.

Clean tasting, without any strange notes.

However, it’s a very astringent tea, so if you’re interested in this tea, you should ask yourself whether or not you like that type of flavor. The astringency almost sort of feels electric. It’s definitely an interesting tea.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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