2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh Tea Tasting (Terre de Ciel)

  • Last edited: October 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

When I got up this morning, I was thinking about which tea to review. I want to drink and taste more Liu Bao, but I also wanted to switch things up a bit. I broke a mini cake of the 2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh around two weeks ago so I decided that I would do an extensive tasting and write a review about this tea.

2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh

I had already heard and read some things about Ailao, but never had the pleasure of drinking tea from this mountain. When I placed an order at the Terre de Ciel website, I noticed they had a mini teacake from this area. I did not hesitate and purchased it right away. It’s only a 100g tea cake, so it was really cheap.

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These particular leaves come from the Qianjiazhai area in the Ailao mountains. They were harvested in March 2018 and come from relatively young tea trees (Qiao Mu) of around 50-80 years old. The area is quite remote and high in the mountains; one of Yunnan’s oldest tea trees resides there.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 99°C
  • 6.1g for a 140ml Wuhuini Qing dynasty teapot

The leaves have a dark olive green colour with some really dark greens as well. I mainly see large and medium-sized leaves. It has a pleasant aroma that is sweet with a trace of wild honey. There is also something fruity going on. It really smells like spring!

2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh Tea Adventures Terre de Ciel

Infusion 1 (15 sec): this one has a light colour and subtle flavours. Drinking this infusion feels like walking on a cloud. It feels pure, light and delicate. There is a slight sweetness and a thick texture.

Infusion 2 (20 sec): it’s not as delicate anymore and the flavours are more prominent. The initial impression is still like spring, but now there is a bit of freshness going on. It’s sweet with a grassy touch. The aftertaste lasts quite long.

Infusion 3 (25 sec): wild honey is coming through with a slightly tannic edge. It flows well and it’s vibrant.

Infusion 4 (30 sec): more of the same, which is a really good thing. One thing that struck me was the fact that the aftertaste stayed a lot longer during this one. It’s sweet, fruity and slightly tannic.

Infusion 5 (35 sec): the edgy twist has disappeared and now it’s subtle honey with a fruity edge. This is so good!

Infusion 6 (long): slightly sweet, but overall rather subtle. The aftertaste is still prominent, though. No more fresh and edgy notes. It’s also becoming a tiny bit astringent.

Infusion 7 (long): this one was longer and the flavours were more intense again. It’s sweet, fruity and overall a fantastic experience.


I had heard/read several things about Ailao mountain so when I ordered some teas at Terre de Ciel, I also bought a mini tea cake from this area.

This proved to be a good decision because the 2018 TdC Ailao Shan Sheng Puerh is definitely worth the money! I paid 17.50 EUR for 100g so that’s 0.18 EUR/gram. This is such good value for money and you don’t have to ‘invest’ a lot of money because it’s a small tea cake.

It started subtle, but really delicate and pure. It slowly went through various stages of sweet and fruity, but never too much. In general, this was a fantastic session and perfect to start my day.

If you’re interested in buying this tea, click here. Keep in mind that the price is now 18.5 EUR.

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