1277 Tasting Notes
Made this the other day hot, it was reasonably good. Cold brewed it for iced tea last night. It is amazing iced. The raspberry really pops out at you. And another flavor which I think is lime is really strong and flavorful too. This is a definite winner iced. Going to change my rating on this one. I know that will also change my rating for this hot. I wish there was a way around that.
Cold brewed 8 tsp leaf overnight in a 68oz Iced Tea Jug.
Flavors: Lime, Raspberry
This tea was excellent for an aged tea. It was also not for the feint of heart. This was a wet stored tea. There was a strong and ever present note of wet wood in this tea. It was present in the first steep, it was present in the sixteenth steep. I did not notice any other unpleasant storage flavors. I did not notice taste of leather and tobacco for instance. It was a very smooth tea throughout all sixteen steeps I gave it. In it’s own way it developed a sweet note of sorts. Not in any way the apricots of a young sheng though. I liked this tea. As to qi, I may be feeling a little, but it is not a tea with powerful qi like a Yangqinghao tea. It is a long lasting tea. I steeped it sixteen times. And all indications are it would have gone five or ten more steeps. However I can’t allow myself that much caffeine. I liked this tea when I do not like a lot of aged teas. I think this one fairly well aged provided you don’t mind the wet storage taste. It was not too powerful but was always present.
I steeped this tea sixteen times in a 50ml gaiwan with 4.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, 3.5 min, and 4 min. I would recommend this tea for people not averse to wet storage taste. This managed to be a smooth tea despite this taste.
Flavors: Wet Wood
Bought this solely because of the caffeine content. It was something to brew that is naturally very low in caffeine. I had already had enough caffeine today so I decided to try this. They are billed as from ancient trees. While I tend to doubt that you never know if even the tea flowers of ancient trees aren’t worth much. It is an interesting tea. These teas are billed as honey sweet. That is not entirely true but not entirely false. There is no bitterness to this tea. There is a sweet taste that some might describe as honey sweet. There is also a salty note to this. I find the salty note quite unusual and I don’t know if salt is added to the tea flowers or if this is natural. There is also a third note that I really didn’t identify that was somewhat unpleasant. Overall I can’t give this a tremendously high rating because the taste is not there. However, I will make a point of trying it again because of the fact that it is so low in caffeine.
I steeped this four times in a 175ml teapot with 12.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, and 10 sec. I don’t know how many steeps this would go but as I don’t know for sure just how much caffeine is in this I stopped at four.
This is a fairly tasty but bitter sheng. The bitterness was quite strong for the first eight steeps. About steep nine a sweet note took over. You might conceivably use the word apricots to describe the sweet note but it may not be quite that sweet. On a side note I got my teamail while I was brewing this. And my postman is a little bit odd. He asked for some tea. So I gave him what I think was the fourth steeping of this. He will probably have had quite a shock as sheng is something of an acquired taste. We’ll see if he ever asks me for tea again. I didn’t put sugar in it for him either. Just gave him what I think was the fourth steeping. It was still quite bitter at that point. This tea took a good eight steeps for the bitterness to depart.
I steeped this twelve times in a 130ml gaiwan with 7.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I could have gotten more steepings out of this tea but I had had enough caffeine for today.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
This is surprisingly good overall. I only steeped it western style this morning because I am in a hurry. It has a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. It has a nice semi sweet taste to it. It’s hardly a perfect loose ripe but I like it.
I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 30 seconds after a 20 second rinse.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
Not entirely sure what I’m tasting here. Certainly the raspberry. Maybe hibiscus. A definite sour note. And another note that I just can’t place. Sort of an out of place flavor. Not entirely a bad flavor. Just out of place. I’m thinking this will be better cold steeped which is what I bought it for anyway.
I steeped this one time in a 16 oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 5 minutes.
Flavors: Raspberry, Sour
There are a variety of good and bad notes to this tea. First there was virtually no fermentation flavor, maybe just a tiny amount in the first steep but I’m not even sure about that. There was a nice semi sweet note to this tea from early on. There was also an unpleasant note that developed for a few steeps, I really didn’t identify it. I would say the main positive note might be described as mushrooms, maybe. Maybe something else would be a better description. Also, in my opinion the fermentation taste had been replaced by a kind of flat tasting note. It wasn’t real strong or anything. Just a bit of a flat taste mixed in with the good and the bad notes. I would also venture to say that it had developed some notes from it’s storage, not necessarily bad notes. I’m not sure if this was at least somewhat wet stored. It did not have the traditional note of wet storage so it may have been dry stored. As to the age, I have little doubt that Scott sold me an aged ripe. The lack of fermentation taste say that the age of 2004 is just about right. If it had cleared due to wet storage, not age, I should have tasted some wet storage notes. Overall I have mixed feelings about this tea. It was not bad, it just was not that great. For $50 I kind of expected a better tea. Although admittedly $50 is not a bad price for a 2004 tea in general. Part of me liked this tea, part of me did not. As to qi, I think I am feeling some right now. That to me is unusual for a ripe so I will call that a bonus for this tea. How often do you find a ripe with any qi to it. It’s more of an energizing qi than a relaxing qi. In the end I am not going to recommend this one or not recommend this one. It’s one that I feel was a nice experience overall. It’s just there were negative things about it as well as positive.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 180ml teapot with 12.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I stopped at twelve because I have really hit my caffeine limit but this tea would definitely go a few more steeps. It was not quite done.
The people who review this tea and say it tastes good baffle me. My only theory is either they drank a different tea than me or they have no taste buds. Even when you brew it as suggested it’s pretty bad. The way I brewed it tonight it was terrible but hopefully very strong. I need some sleep and I am hoping this helps. I put 6 tsp of leaf in a glass kettle, added 7 tsp of valerian root and boiled it for eight minutes. Boiling extracts the valerian better. It tastes absolutely terrible even with added sweetener. I would give it a 1 in rating but that is too high for the taste of the stuff. But if I sleep tonight it will rate a 100.
Made this iced today. Cold brewed it overnight in the fridge. It is pretty good. It’s got a nice sweet and sour note going on. This is definitely a tea for making iced. The raspberry provides a sweet note and the lime seems to give a sour taste. I like this.
Brewed this over night in a 68oz Iced Tea Jug with 8 tsp leaf.