Year of the Rat 2020 Yiwu Raw Puer



This staple Yiwu production has returned for another year. One of our personal favourites, this tea presents classic Yiwu character, with a pleasant fragrance nice sweetness. Pressings from previous year have developed even more noticeable honey and fruit notes with storage.

We still recommend this tea for beginners as it’s generally quite friendly and approachable, however, the lack of rain in 2020 has produced much denser tea, which in this case gives the Rat a little more bite. While the tea is still on the gentler side, this bodes well for maintaining a depth of flavour in cakes that are stored.

One of the aspects that makes this tea what it is, is the material used. This tea comes from converted fangyang (放养, or “left to grow”) trees that started off as plantation terrace trees over 40 years ago. For over a decade, these trees have seen no pesticides, weed killer, pruning or fertilizers, and have only been picked during the spring.

This style of farming does come with some sacrifices though. As the trees compete for space, some require relocation (with varying success). There is also reduced output and laborious hand-weeding over the course of a month each year.

In our opinion, the results are worth it. The deeper roots and more concentrated yield produce a tea richer in fragrance and flavour than typical plantation productions in this price range. And of course, all this without the presence of any pesticides or harmful substances.

In previous years (2017-2018) we tested this tea against the EU Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 191 and 440+ pesticides, both passing with ease. Although this particular year’s tea has not been tested, the tea is from the same land and our confidence in this tea and relationship with the farmer remains strong. If you would like a copy of the lab results for previous years, please contact us.

This year’s wrapper features artwork by UK based artist @NME. Please be sure to check out his Instagram and Facebook for more.

Picking period: Pre-April 8


All of our samples for spring 2020 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:

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 1 cm

12 reviews for Year of the Rat 2020 Yiwu Raw Puer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    //Eyes dry leaf
    Super long dried leaves (2 – 2.5 in). Some ends are yellowish-silver and most of them are a very dark olive green.

    //Nose dry leaf
    Strong honey smell paired with warm hay

    //Nose wet leaf
    Vegetables sautéed in butter. Pretty upfront corn smell.

    //Eyes liquor
    Yellowy-green liquor. Looks thick!

    //Mouth texture
    Creamy texture and super thick sensation on the tongue.

    //Mouth taste
    Similarly to a green oolong, it’s a butter story at first glance. Than comes the sweet honey side and the spicy garlic flower note. Lovely!

    //Nose Empty Cup
    Freshness of hay in the morning and some kind of sweetness

    //Body sensation
    Salivation, heartbeat acceleration, eyes fully awake

    //Brewing notes
    1 gram per 20mL | 95C water
    Infusion 1 : 13 seconds
    Infusion 2 : + 3 seconds

    //Overall impression
    Love it. This is going to become my go to tea for sure!

  2. 5 out of 5


    Absolutely lovely tea! As mentioned above opens up with a green oolong buttery note. I adored drinking this tea, it’s so smooth. Truly a super kind and appoachable tea. I highly recommend especially for introducing people to young sheng!

  3. 5 out of 5


    Awesome, young, fresh, vibrant.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenica (verified owner)

    Very beginner-friendly raw puer! I actually recommended these to friends who are just getting into gong-fu brewing; they’ve never tasted puer before, and they loved this. Green tea-like taste with refreshing floral notes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mindlyplays (verified owner)

    Very green and fresh puer with such a lovely energy. It also reminded me of green oolongs but its still surely puer and not as gentle/smooth as a taiwanese oolong for example. It wouldn’t hit my 5 star mark quite but to that price, its really worth the experience and great to have as a daily drinker.

  6. 5 out of 5


    Nice approachable young sheng. Fresh and hassle free brewing. Got this as a free sample, thanks guys!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Henrique Paschoal (verified owner)

    This is my favorite tea of the zodiac sign/yearly line up so far (compared to 2018, 2019 and 2020).
    This will be my first review here ever just because I can’t recommend this tea enough!
    The pressing of this cake was nicer and looser than the other years, it was a drier season so the tea packs a little bit more of a punch – energy wise and taste wise.
    I’ve tried this cake 3 times so far, to see how it was aging and it’s, so far, exceeded my expectations every time I try it – specially when I take the price into consideration.
    After a whole year aging here with me in São Paulo, Brazil – warm and wet weather, around 23C and 68% – it has gotten much sweeter and complex. I can clearly pick a candied cinnamon apple flavor.
    Definitely try this one out! Amazing value for an amazing tea.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Joanne C (verified owner)

    Maybe because of its young age, the chaqi was too strong for me, and sent my heart racing. Will age it for a year or so before trying agin.

  9. 5 out of 5

    HCP (verified owner)

    For a young Zheng it is very gentle and sweet. looking forward to see how it will age in the years to come

  10. 5 out of 5

    Josh (verified owner)

    Very forward green, savory notes in both the aroma and flavor. After a few steeps some sweetness creeps in, blending and eventually overtaking these notes, but overall this almost reminds me of a greenish oolong. Soft, buttery texture, a bit of bitterness here and there and some astringency. Complex, requires some rumination.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosy (verified owner)

    Very sweet, vibrant, green, refreshing

  12. 5 out of 5

    @cozinhacomcha (verified owner)

    Ótimo chá, uma ótima experiencia para se fazer comparação linear com os chás dos outros anos. Transparece a característica de um chá jovem e fresco, mas com potencial para envelhecer.

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