44 Tasting Notes

80

Picked up a sample of this about a month ago, letting it air out since then. The tea is described as Hong Kong dry storage, which actually means the tea still has some musty flavor. About the right amount, in my opinion. Brewed up 6 grams of the looser leaf included in the sample.

Tea is indeed musty on the first three steps or so, very minerally, a touch salty. Lively spot on the tongue. Brews up nice and dark brown, like coffee. Yum! Green tea flavor starts to creep in, not much bitterness in this. Starts to fade after 8 steeps or so and I increase the steep times up from the flash brewing.

This tea doesn’t have the wild leaf or anything particularly special to note except for the excellent storage. Tuos take forever to age due to the tight compression, and without humidity this one wouldn’t be as good as it is. Still at $74 for a 100 gram tuo, I don’t think I want to spring the cash for more, I can find similar leaf and storage for a lot less.

Photos on my blog http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Plums, Wet Rocks, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 75 ML
Cwyn

I have the photo to add, but either the new iOS 8 for IPad or the photo software on Steepster isn’t loading the photo, it just spins. Will try again another time.

Sarsonator

I gave up and had to just do it from my laptop. Kind of annoying tho!

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77
drank 2004 Jianshen Tuo by White 2 Tea
44 tasting notes

I bought a four-pack of these tuos, difficult to buy just one of these because they cost only $9.80 each. The age already on this tea enticed me, I prefer to buy something with some age on it. The other reviewer of this tea gave it a poor rating, but didn’t know to gong-fu this tea.

The positives are this is one Energizer Bunny of a tea, just goes on and on and on. Two days in and I’m wondering when it will end. The shiboridashi is stuffed to the gills and I’ve got more buds and leaves than sticks. Long huigan, thick and full, very bitter when pushed with boiling water and less so with cooler water. Mellows to sweet on the tongue.

Description includes tobacco notes, but this is more of a fresh pipe tobacco. There is no actual char from processing in this tea, so for me this doesn’t qualify as smoky. Not compared to a Menghai or Xiaguan raw tuo. The soup starts out caramel colored and yellows after the fourth steep or so.

One downside is the tea was dry stored and is still so green. It is definitely in second stage and hasn’t turned any corners yet into something I would consider aged. My tea fridge storage doesn’t penetrate the thick paper so well. I transferred the tuos to stoneware. Would love to ship them off to puerh boarding school for a year of humid storage. I like a bit of traditional storage on my tea, but not so much it obscures other flavors. This tea is very strong and could take a year of humidity without losing the other flavors. As it is now, the tuo tastes like a lot of other teas I’ve had, the dusky apricot with caramel notes.

Dunno if I’ll be around when this tea matures into a dark, red/brown love nest, still got so far to go. The material is what we want for aging, but I’m probably too far ahead of this tea myself.

Photos and blog post which is mostly unrelated to the tea itself, at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Apricot, Caramel, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Yang-chu

pu’er boarding school… that’s a good one.

apt

Sounds like I gotta pick one up.

Ag

I picked up one of these in my first White2Tea order and it accidentally became my default study tea. Tasty, strong, helps keep me awake/focused without actually getting tea buzzed/drunk, and lasts forever. I think it took me close to three days to steep it out. Gotta get more at some point.

Cwyn

Omg yeah 3rd day in and I can’t steep out that Jianshen, well past 20 steeps.

Ag

“The Jianshen is like a young boy toy who won’t go home and doesn’t seem to sleep.”

I fell out of my chair from laughing so hard at that description in your latest blog post. So hilariously accurate.

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77

I purchased this tea looking for a less expensive comparison to white2tea’s 2005 Naka which is a real stoner tea. Chawangshop doesn’t make claims about this tea, but it appears to be the wild mountain leaf tea just like the other Naka I like. This tea has been dry stored, and has no humid smells, but it is very green, tightly compressed with hardly any aging. It comes wrapped in paper rather than in the bamboo.

I don’t taste any bamboo flavor which is slightly disappointing, but the apricot taste is pleasant and not smoky. Psychoactive effect confirmed, not as intense as the other Naka I like, but there. I ate a bag of chips afterward. At $7.50 per 100 grams, this is a value buy and I don’t expect to see it in the shop long. I just wish it were a bit more aged, and that I would have time left to age it.

More and comparisons with other Naka teas on my blog: http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Apricot

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92
drank 2005 Naka by White 2 Tea
44 tasting notes

This is the most intense tea I’ve tried to date. That is, the stoner kind of tea. 8 grams per 125 ml of this and I become unbearably wonderful. And I can’t shut up. Also, I crave salty snacks and chocolate. After 8 steeps I turn into Spinoza and start writing mystical essays.

I can only attribute the effect this tea has to the small mountain tea leaves of the wild trees on Naka mountain, as opposed to the plantation or terrace type of teas produced in the same area. I compare two cheaper Nakas and even sent a sample of this to a friend to be sure I’m not crazy.

If the price of this tea scares you off, I can recommend the 2007 Spring Naka Qiao Mu Bamboo Raw from Chawangshop which also appears to be the small mountain leaf, and I got a bit of a buzz on that, nowhere near as intense as this tea. But an okay substitute, and I have reviewed that here too. This 2005 Naka has a slight humid storage which I prefer to the drier storage of the Chawangshop bamboo.

More comparisons on my tea blog, http://deathbytea.blogspot.com.

Flavors: Apricot, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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86

This early 1980’s tea, if the date is to be believed, is the oldest puerh tea I’ve had so far. Got me a 20 gram sample pack for $25. Broke off 5 grams for tasting in a 70 ml Yixing. Brewed up red and brown, and got dark brown in later steeps. Tasted of wet earth and minerals. Wish I could get a full cake of this! The tea has traditional Hong Kong storage, so you will want to air this out good, and if you don’t like a bit of musty in your tea, then you might have to take a pass on this. But it is really good, well worth ordering at least once!

Full review in my blog at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Mineral, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
jschergen

Sounds like a winner!

You’ve been coming around to traditionally stored stuff!

Cwyn

As you can see, not a moldy tea in the blog photo. I think your Ding Xing Hao cake is a braver drink than this.

apt

god I really want that pot. hopefully he’ll reserve one for me. maybe no tea buying for a couple of months would justify that purchase

Cwyn

Wait, what? Did you say pot? I’m missing something over here. :P

apt

the 70ml Yixing from Tony

Cwyn

Oh that. Lol. Hope you get one, the coupon gets the price below $100.

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85

This is some good stuff, nice floral roast with minerally fullness that opens up on the tongue and lingers. Some pepper very late. got a sample of this from a friend and will keep it in mind for a purchase.

Flavors: Floral, Mineral, Peppercorn, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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82

Oh my, yes it WAS. Can’t resist a Big Zhong. Bought 20 grams of this, and cakes are available for $129. We are getting to the point now where aged tea is really more affordable than the high end new stuff. 8 grams in the gaiwan and 125 ml water.

Still steeping this a day later. The liquor is mostly orange, but a darker red ring shows around the edge of my cup. This is really just turning into aged tea, the next few years will be quite interesting. According to the description, the cakes were stored in HK a few years, and then dry stored after that. There is a slight humid flavor, however much of the tea I’m drinking lately is much more humid than this is. A bit of smoke, but not much.

Great deal on an aged plantation cake if it’s your cup of tea.

The more naughty version of this review plus pics at http://deathbytea.blogspot.com.

Flavors: Apricot, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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76

Bought this 1 kilo of ripe from Dizzy Puerh on Taobao. Sessioned it today though it really needs more time to rest and lose the wo dui flavor, which actually isn’t bad. Cracked off about 8 grams into my usual 125 ml water. Two rinses and two strainers and then did 4 short steeps. This ripe is more lively on the tongue than the older, and originally nicer cake that I have.

I am not a collector of ripe, but it drink it a lot. This tea is for puerh like Maxwell House is for coffee. Not the premium stuff, but gets the job done. More of my silliness and pics of the session on my blog -—→http://deathbytea.blogspot.com

Flavors: Plums, Wet Earth, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Sarsonator

Awesome! I love reading your blog. :)

boychik

me too. Just finished reading.

Cwyn

Oh, thanks so much for reading, love you guys!

Sarsonator

You’re on my feedly, so I never miss a post! <3

mrmopar

She is a catbird on that blog for sure. I even warned her about the “chairman” being off for a week on there… ;)

MzPriss

y Cwyn. It’s awesome!

Cwyn

I have a Chinese army recruitment cup that makes me think of the Chairman whenever I look at it.

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9
drank Isopure Lemon Black Tea by Isopure
44 tasting notes

My back hurts today after gutter cleaning on my roof yesterday. I couldn’t sleep and feel like crap, so why not just feel worse and drink some of the most awful tea sludge I can find? Also, I made certain to pick a tea that contains Sucralose (aka Splenda) which gives me the scoots something terrible. I shouldn’t really review this but once in awhile I like to shock the children who think I only drink the finest puerh.

This is a 20 oz bottled tea beverage marketed to sports types, weight lifters etc. It contains black tea, lemon juice, 40 grams of whey protein (probably caseinate) and 2500 mg of something called BCAA. I don’t know what that is, but it could be like growth hormones for Big 10 Bull College weightlifters? Anyway, I found this for 99 cents at the local Bent ’n Dent, it normally sells for like $46 for a case of 12 bottles and reviews on the Vitamin Shoppe prove some people buy this stuff. Mine is a few weeks out of date, just to add to the fun.

I drank 1/3 bottle chilled, at first I thought it was kombucha because it tastes sour and tangy, like fermented tea. Without preservatives, maybe it HAS fermented by now. Or maybe it is the lemon? The offending beverage is clear, however, so the casein is hidden in there somehow. I was sure this had gone bad, but a few sips more and I’m not so sure now. I think this could be how it really tastes. Basically like sour lemon and then the Sucralose hits me with a blast of artificial candy and lingers forever. Because Sucralose isn’t digested by the body, I fully expect to be in the toilet within an hour.

Okay I got through 1/3 of it, cramps are coming on. For those of you worried about trying sheng puerh, there are worse things to be drinking, homegrown in the west. This is one of them.

Flavors: Artificial, Lemon, Sour

scribbles

Hah!! Had to laugh… ‘cos am trying to brave the sheng world (to date love the shu). Also am health freak/lifter…still wouldn’t drink above…heh :)

Cheri

Oh this sounds horrible. Horribly horrible. (And sheng is delicious. I’m scared to try shu, though…..)

Cwyn

Yah just got off the shitter, I-so-pure now. Just kidding. Glad I quit when I did, though.

awilsondc

lol, why would you do that to yourself, WHYYYYY! hahahaha, you crack me up.

janchi

If you’re determined to go over to the Dark Side, apparently Isopure also does a nifty line in ‘the purest whey protein isolate’. Otherwise known as a byproduct of cheese, or, as Stephen Fry calls it, ‘milk-gone-off-big-time-stylee’.

You could add a dash to your morning cuppa for that extra lip-curling, stomach-churning Oomph.

//sips a heavenly Oolong and watches with interest Cwyn’s search-in-earnest for the worst tea ever brewed. From a safe distance.//

Cwyn

What you are referring to is sodium caseinate, “whey isolate” is the new term for it. It has long been used as a cheaper milk substitute. Back in high school in the late 1970s, I was on the debate team and we had a consumer products topic one year, I remembering arguing “casein cases,” the debate was whether casein mass production could be an economic boon or if it ruined milk farmers. For awhile in the 1980s, consumers caught on to casein and bought fewer products with it, and manufacturers started hiding it under various names. Whey isolate is casein back again in 21th century techno form.

janchi

They’re selling … powdered milk?

!

(though I suppose that’s no odder than my waxing long and lyrical about soaking foliage in a jug of hot water, now I come to think about it…)

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77
drank Banana Black Tea by EnjoyingTea.com
44 tasting notes

Well this tea isn’t bad, and certainly undeserving of the reviews it has on here. Like most reviewers, got this as a free sample when ordering something else. I think the problems arise with the steeping parameters, this one doesn’t work English style and it won’t work done grandpa either. Nope, leave your horse and carriage at home. Takes a puerh drinker riding in on a yak to the rescue and show these people how it’s done.

It’s done by gongfu, and yes in an unglazed clay pot. In this case Jian Shui, but any dedicated black tea unglazed clay pot will work. 5 grams (which is a lot of loose leaf) and 100 ml. As in small cup, around what 4 oz tops. Do a RINSE. I’ll say it again: do a Rinse. By Rinse I mean fill the tiny clay pot with boiling water over the tea and then pour it off. Water your tea pets with the rinse. Then fill the pot again and steep 15-20 seconds, pour into your cup.

The results? Delicious. This loose leaf has dried banana bits, they don’t taste like anything. Main profile for me is floral black tea, a rather good roast in fact. Chocolate and root beer whiffs. Slight bitter with short 20 secs 2nd steep but long sweet aftertaste.

This is pretty good actually.

Flavors: banana, Chocolate, Root Beer

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Profile

Bio

Convent trained, PhD, strong background in herbal infusions during those years. Started drinking green teas almost 20 years ago to address a kidney issue, now in remission, and never looked back. Seeking friends and curators with interests in premium and small batch teas. I drink all greens, and maintain a small collection of sheng and shu cakes. I am interested in first flush, wild leaf, ancient leaf, teas for and by monks and nuns, and difficult teas. My appreciation is high for subtle palates, though my own is rather average. Always interested in unique teas, brewing and storage issues.

Avatar photo credited to oolong-tea.org, I bought this vintage duan-ni tea caddy from them and own it.

Blog: http://deathbytea.blogspot.com/

Location

Midwest US

Website

http://deathbytea.blogspot.com/

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