669 Tasting Notes

When I was making a purchase at my local tea shop, Clipper Ship Tea Company the owner gave me a generous sample of this roasted Yancha. I generally don’t like roasted teas because they are often too roasty for my tastes. This one is nice however as it is a very light roast. The roast profile was noticeable in the first steep but not overpowering. It was slightly less by the second steep and is noticeably less in the fourth steep. I only gave this tea four steeps because I am always watching my caffeine and it is time to cut out caffeine for the day. I think it would have certainly gone two more steeps. I used a moderate amount of tea for the gaiwan because I did not want the roast to be too potent. I felt 6g for a 150ml gaiwan was enough although I know some people will fill the gaiwan to capacity.

I brewed this four times in a 150ml gaiwan with 6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, and 10 sec. This company is rumored to soon have a website for those not close enough to stop by and I have always gotten some good tea, generally at reasonable prices. I’m not certain I would buy this one as I rarely want to drink roasted oolongs but it was nice.

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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95

This is a delicious raw puerh that I bought about a year ago and stored in my pumidor. I am just now getting around to drinking it. It is too bad they are out of stock at Yunnan Sourcing USA or I would think about another. There was a very slight bitterness in the early steeps, not an abiding bitterness. It was smooth, very smooth. It developed into a nice sweetness that could be described as apricots or stonefruits. I don’t know if storing this for a year in my pumidor improved it as I hadn’t tried it before.

I brewed this ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 6.6g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. I didn’t use a great deal of tea for this one but still could have gotten at least a couple more steeps out of the leaves. They weren’t quite finished.

Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits

Preparation
6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Stephanie

Love apricotty sheng!

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80

According to the description of this tea it uses real sticky rice added to the tea, not an herb which I think is also used for the sticky rice flavor at times. This one is good. It has a nice sweet flavor from the sticky rice and a sweet flavor from the ripe puerh. There is a fair amount of fermentation flavor but the sticky rice flavor does a good job of covering this up. In any case I detect none of the extreme nastiness that is sometimes found in bad ripe puerh. I am afraid I was too lazy to brew this gongfu this morning so my review is based on one steep.

I brewed two mini tuo cha or about 10g in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker with boiling water for 30 seconds after a long 20 second rinse to break up the mini tuocha.

Flavors: Earth, Rice, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Stephanie

I think usually they add Pandan Leaf. Super curious about REAL sticky rice in tea now!

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90

This is a very tasty ripe puerh with very little fermentation flavor. There was very little bitterness to this tea, it was very smooth. There were a variety of sweet notes that I totally failed to pin down by specifics. There were also some barely perceptible sour notes in a couple of the steeps. These did not persist. Overall this was a very good ripe puerh. It developed a fruity flavor in the end. Not sure if I would say there were any chocolate notes but then again I wasn’t really paying attention. I just enjoyed this tea. It is after all a Dayi. They have a reputation for good ripe tea. This one seemed genuine in every way.

I steeped this eight times in a 180ml teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. The leaves were far from finished. I’m sure I could have gotten four or five more good steeps out of the tea but I was at my caffeine limit.

Flavors: Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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95

Bought a one ounce sample of this tea with my order from Simpson and Vail last week. This is really good. I wish I had bought more. This is a very light colored oolong. The first steep was extremely light colored. It is not roasted. There is a nice light floral taste. The main notes that come to mind when I drink this are honey and nectarines. There is no vegetal taste and certainly no roasted taste. This is a green oolong. It has beautiful green rolled leaves. This is easily as good as just about anything else I have drank from more expensive vendors. It is one of Simpson and Vail’s more expensive offerings at around $7 an ounce. That still is not at all a bad price for an oolong with such a quality taste. Many other companies would easily get $20 an ounce for something like this. I only brewed this four times but the leaves would have gone for more. I stopped at four steeps because I am always watching my caffeine. This was good tea.

I brewed this four times in a 180ml teapot with 7g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse then steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec.

Flavors: Floral, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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This has got to be the strangest tea I have ever reviewed. I was expecting sweet and fruity. I have no idea if I brewed this anywhere near right. But it tastes like I am drinking a salty beef bouillon soup instead of tea. It is not something I would ever buy again. It does not taste fruity in the least.

I brewed one fruit or about 15g in boiling water for 3 minutes in 12 oz water.

Cwyn

I don’t know why but I got a chuckle out of this, I think it is the beef boullion flavor that cracked me up. Keep writing Allan, your posts are delightful.

AllanK

Since I don’t know if I brewed this completely wrong at 3 minutes I will try again at 15 seconds and see what I get. I have five more of them to get the brewing right. There were little in the way of brewing instructions online.

Cwyn

My experience with any herb is use a small piece and brew short. You can always add time and more herb. I start with a tsp of a new herb and adjust from there.

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85

This is a fairly tasty ripe puerh that has almost completely cleared. There was a slight fermentation note detected in the first steep, then nothing. I would say this brick has 99% cleared. There was a bittersweet note in the first few steeps, not an abiding bitterness, but some. It developed into a nice sweet ripe puerh. I wasn’t really paying attention to the specifics so I don’t know if I can pin down specific notes. I will say it developed into one of the smoothest ripe puerhs I have drank.

I brewed this tea eight times in a 180ml teapot with 10.5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. Not sure if the 10 minute rest actually does anything but who knows. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. Judging by the strength of the brew in steep eight I would say that this tea had a few more good steeps in it but I was at my caffeine limit.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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75

Brewed this as an iced tea today. It has a very strong taste of the rooibos and the sweet taste of mango and papaya. However, the rooibos is a little too strong for me. Still, it makes a refreshing, caffeine free iced tea. Bought this with my order the other day not realizing I already had it. It was already in my cupboard, ah well.

Brewed this in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker with 5 tsp leaf and 2 tbl rock sugar for 5 minutes in boiling water then poured it over ice.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

As I was too tired to break a cake I decided to have some mini tuo cha. This mini tuo cha from Streetshop88 is relatively good but not incredible. I only gave it five steeps so I admit I didn’t get the full effect of it. It was slightly bitter in the first steep. This bitterness took a couple of steeps to go away. While it did develop some sweetness, it never developed the abiding sweetness we all like in ripe tea. Maybe if I had given it eight steeps but I was brewing a lot of tea in a 250ml tea mug. There was not much fermentation flavor to this tea, it had aged a fair bit. The taste was not completely gone but nearly so. In any case there was none of the fermentation nastiness often associated with ripe tea. I think they were truthful about the age of the tea. This tea would qualify as a good daily drinker I suppose. I was just feeling too tired and lazy today to break a cake anyway.

I steeped this five times in a 250ml tea mug with two mini tuo cha about 11g and boiling water. I gave it a long 20 second rinse to break up the cakes and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, and 15 sec.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80

This was a highly interesting tea. If Cha Qi can be described as the effect a tea has on you, this one had a strong effect on me. I would not use the word tea drunk however. The first thing I noticed about this tea was that it has not cleared completely as far as fermentation flavor goes, although there was none of the extreme nastiness that some find with fermentation. You would think a 1990s tea would have totally cleared. The tea started off thick and sweet. during the third steep it developed a bitterness that persisted into the fourth steep. By the fifth steep a sweet flavor again emerged, different from the original one. It developed a fruity sweetness. There was also at times a faint but discernible sour note. This was fleeting and never for more than an instant. The leaves on this tea were huge, it is as the description states big leaf tea. As for the claim of age and ancient tree who can be certain.I tend to doubt the claim of ancient tree but then I am naturally skeptical about such claims for inexpensive teas. I am not unhappy for having bought it, I will say that. I would probably be upset if I had spent a lot of money but it was at least an experience. Much of the tea I drink does not qualify for that. There were many flavors to this tea although it is often hard for me to describe the specific notes. Some might describe the early notes as chocolate but I don’t quite think that sums it up. The later notes were quite fruity although I have failed to pin down a specific.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 180ml teapot with 10.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. Judging by the color in the liquid in the tenth steep I would say this tea only had a couple of more good steeps to it. I do not think it would go past twelve maybe thirteen steeps.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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Bio

I am Allan. I live and work in Long Island, New York. I have been amassing a tea collection for nearly two years and have spent way too much money. I now try to buy mostly Puerh as I like it most and it lasts nearly forever. Black tea has a habit of going bad. If anyone is interested in tea swaps I am open to ideas and have quite a cupboard.

Location

Amityville, NY

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