Bitter End 2022 Laomane Raw Puer



The Bitter is back! One of our favourite teas from years past, our decision to reintroduce this tea for 2022 was informed by just how well the 2018 and 2019 pressings have developed.

One of the key villages in a small region that includes Laobanzhang and Banpen, Laomane is distinguished by its noticeable bitterness. This is largely due to the varietals of tea tree that can be found, which range from a “sweet” (relatively speaking) varietal to the wilder bitter varietal.

Made from the “sweet” varietal of tea tree in Laomane, this tea is not simply a one trick pony. A noticeable kuwei (pleasant bitterness) is certainly one of the defining features, but what differentiates this tea from others with a bitter quality is the consistent delivery. While some teas will blast you with bitterness upfront, then transform into sweetness, this tea’s kuwei works in harmony, accompanying a rich texture and prominent huigan brew after brew, rather than completely giving way to it. Comparing this tea with either of our Pasha or Nannuo teas can highlight this distinction.

Those who prefer a gentler experience may find this tea a bit aggressive for their taste, but may also be surprised at just how enjoyable it is. We encourage an open mind, as this tea could redefine your relationship to bitterness.

As mentioned, our earlier versions of this tea have consistently been among our favourite teas since the day they were pressed, smoothing out over the years, but still retaining a bold character. This tea is enjoyable in its young state, but has also proven to have great ageing potential. Storing this year’s tea should pay dividends in the future, but for a headstart we also recommend picking up some of the 2019 version, while it lasts.

Edit: After drinking the 2019 and 2022 versions of this tea while writing about it, we would be remiss not to mention the very noticeable chaqi/energy. This tea is not recommended for drinking on an empty stomach.

Picking Period: Pre-March 29


Many of our samples for spring 2021 are in dragon ball form. While these balls will perform the same as the cake, they can be slightly trickier to brew. Here’s how we do it:

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7 reviews for Bitter End 2022 Laomane Raw Puer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    This tea is for you if you’re into grapefruit

    //Smell : Orange peel, cold-brew fruits, berry cake, vegetal
    //Texture: thick and oily texture, medium mouth coating, heaviness at the front of the tongue
    //Taste : Gentle astringency, grapefruit with a bit of sugar on the top, sweet, orange blossom shortbread
    //Body sensation: Smiling cheeks, calm but awake, gratitude, present moment

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martin Ödman

    4 stars because I’m not feeling the price/quality ratio. The village name and terroir sets the price I guess. Tea is good tho. Wet leaf smell is particular and.. masculine? Sweet and great mouthfeel. Not overly bitter, but deliciously bitter in a different way than most shengs. Huigan and bitterness in the mouth during the whole session. Bright citrusy aftertaste in the sides of my mouth. Leaves can withstand many infusions. Drank both dragonballs after lunch and did not notice anything particular about the body feel. I would personally just get a tong of the LME huang pian instead of caking this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter Oslanec

    I got exactly what I expected from tea called Bitter End. Lovely bitter mouthfeel plus many different pleasant tastes, working harmoniously altogether. For me well worth the price. Very refreshing especially on hot
    days. Overall high-quality tea material. Thanks for the experience.

  4. 4 out of 5


    Bitter cultists rejoice, this latest entry packs a good punch. It balances well with a subtly sweet flavor and a nice soft, dense texture. The adjective that always comes to my mind with these laoman’e shengs is ‘cloudlike.’ The kuwei bitterness mainly kicks in with some astringency on steeps two and three, tapering off into more smoothness a few infusions later. It’s not crazy, but it’s definitely present. The freshness of this tea feels pretty palpable. Interesting to compare to this season’s Laoman’e huangpian cake.

  5. 5 out of 5

    grifty (verified owner)

    Great leaves, great broth, great taste! The bitter element of the tea is incredibly pleasant and positively welcomed in this offering. As for mouthfeel and finish, they bring long-lasting thickness and complexity with an emphasis on citrus fruits. Especially grapefruit, which I’m always happy to experience in a sheng.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosy (verified owner)

    I agree with the other reviews mentioning grapefruit. If you like citrus and zest, here is a lovely tea that feels like summertime in a cup. Can stand many infusions and has a very strong Qi.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bunnyzilla (verified owner)

    A commendable tea in many ways, a good sheng from Laoman’e. Slightly undersized in the aromatic part although this area is not particularly considered for this aspect. The body has medium thickness, less than a gushu but it is acceptable, good kuwei and good huigan, which does not totally accompany the bitterness, but being the latter well sized it gives a balanced sip, with little astringency and a citrus and grape character. It will be interesting to try it again in 4 or 5 years.

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