698 Tasting Notes

drank Jin Pin by Yezi Tea
698 tasting notes

This was good I liked it, Not my favorite Yezi black tea, but nice enough for an everyday at work black.

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drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
698 tasting notes

Life has been challenging for me the last six weeks or so, and now just when I thought I was getting back into some sort of normal routine, it reaches out and kicks you back to the ground.
This is a really nice black tea. It’s reacting well to my weird steep parameters at work. It’s exactly what I need this morning. I’ve overleafed it a bit, and that has caused a little bit of bitterness – but in a good way. Makes it a bit stronger, a bit more breakfast blend ish.
I’m just going to take some comfort from some good tea and hope this day passes quickly.

Sil

hugs

Cavocorax

I hope things get better soon, Dexter!

Sarsonator

Chin up, buttercup. Sometimes when life kicks me, I like to run up behind it and pull its trousers down. Life doesn’t seem to mind, but it makes me feel better anyway :p

Marzipan

Looking back, some of the darkest times for led me to the biggest gains. I hope the same is for you!

Tea Sipper

I’m sorry, Dex! I hope things get better.

MzPriss

sending a hug

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Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong of Wu Yi Fujian Black tea Spring 2014
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/wuyimountainrockoolongs/2939-zheng-shan-xiao-zhong-of-wu-yi-fujian-black-tea-spring-2014.html
vs
Spring 2013 “Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong” of Wu Yi Fujian Black tea
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/wuyimountainrockoolongs/2442-spring-2013-zheng-shan-xiao-zhong-of-wu-yi-fujian-black-tea.html

I got both of these in my recent Yunnan Sourcing order. Why did I order two versions of the same tea? I don’t know, I don’t think I meant to, wasn’t really paying attention. That’s ok, I LOVE Fujian black teas and I’m sure I will enjoy both of them, but are they different… Sil asked me to compare them – so here are my thoughts on that.

Again – same as before Davids baskets, Noble cups. I decided that since there are no steeping parameters on the packaging, I’m going to do this MY way. This is how I normally steep black tea.
1.5 tsp/8 oz 95C 5 min

Dry – the leaves are small twisted and BLACK – I think the 13 are slightly larger than the 14 but only SLIGHTLY. They are beautiful and both smell amazing.
Steeped – Both smell the same and both look the same to me. I can’t tell the difference between them.

WOW!!! This is interesting!!! I was fully expecting to write something like – I can’t tell them apart, they are the same tea. These are NOT the same tea.

2013 – WOW!!! hit me in the face with semi-sweet chocolate. A little sweet a little bitter – fantastic!!! This is everything I LOVE about Fujian black tea. This is a lot like Laoshan Black – maybe not quite as good (but then I’m not drinking LB so what do I know) but it’s along that flavor profile. I would be perfectly happy crawling into a corner with this tea and beating the world off with a stick – leave me alone to enjoy my tea..
2014 – This is good – don’t get me wrong, I will drink this. It’s not as chocolaty, more malty, more sweet potato, almost a little grainy, maybe even a hint of grape. I like it but it pales beside the 2013.

That’s my story – this is just my impressions, but in my world 2013 ALL THE WAY , no comparison. But that’s because I adore the chocolate notes, some of you may like the other version better it’s all personal taste.

ETA – I just did a second steep of both of these (95C 7 min). The 2014 is more chocolaty with the 2nd steep, but I still prefer 2013. Both are milder with the second steep but totally drinkable. These are good teas.

Terri HarpLady

I also have both, but haven’t opened the 2014 yet. I’m thinking the 13 is from fall. Aren’t fall teas fuller tasting than spring, in general (I might be totally wrong on this…lol)

Dexter

I have no idea if fall teas are fuller than spring teas – I’m barely at the point to recognize the difference between Yunnan and Fujian. Both my packages say SPRING, they are spring 2013 and spring 2014. A quick look at the YS web site and all the Fujian teas available are spring – does that mean the fall ones are more prized and sell out? or they don’t exist?

boychik

Awesome review. Every harvest is different. Another reason is 13 could age nicely. I wonder if you could take small amount of each harvest, set them aside and taste them next year.

Sil

I know I prefer fall harvests to spring harvests but as dex said, both say spring hahaha. Of course this just means I need a YS order sooner…. Since I adored the 13 Terri sent me

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Golden Snail Yunnan Black Tea – Whispering Pines Tea Co.
http://whisperingpinestea.com/puretea/pureblack/golden-snail-yunnan-black.html
vs
Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun Yunnan Black tea Autumn 2013 – Yunnan Sourcing
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-black-teas/2603-pure-small-bud-bi-luo-chun-yunnan-black-tea-autumn-2013.html

I haven’t drank either of these teas before so I’m going into this with no preconceived notions on what to expect.

I am again using Davids steeping baskets in my Noble Cups. Yunnan Sourcing doesn’t really give steeping instructions so I’m going with WP recommendation.
1 tsp/8 oz 95C 3 min

Dry – The YS version is more loosing rolled (less snail like) and has more golden leaves in it.
Dry – The YS version is more fragrant and smells a bit chocolate. WP is more subtle and I want to say fruity.
Steeped – the WP version is lighter in color but more transparent (clear) – YS is darker richer but more opaque.

This is really interesting to be drinking them side by side. These are completely different teas. YS is deeper richer but with less defined flavors. WP is lighter and sweeter, but has definite chocolate notes, smooth creamy, buttery is a good word.
I’m going back to my last comparison – YS is more adult not as sweet, somehow you think this is black tea – WP is more kid friendly sweet, what this black tea?. WP is easy to drink, really tasty, easy to pick out the flavors. The YS is deeper, more complex (in that you need to hunt and think about what you are drinking). I’m on the fence right now – like them both for different reasons. I’m going to re-steep the leaves and see what happens….

Second steep – water still 95C but upped the time to 5 min….

WP is darker this time – that’s interesting, not lots darker but some.
I think that WP re-steeps better – less flavor loss than the YS. Don’t get me wrong, the second steep of YS is still very drinkable, but it seems like a second steep – I’m not noticing much difference between the first and second steep of the WP. The YS has taken on some slight fruity notes – WP is still full of sweet chocolatey goodness.

IMHO – I like WP better. It’s just wins on the yummy factor (I don’t think I’m enough of a connoisseur to appreciate what is probably lurking in the YS version.) YS is bolder, more of a standard Yunnan black tea. It has some punch and would be my choice for a kick in the morning to get going. WP is more desserty – sit down for a quiet moment and enjoy some special tea.
Some people think that price doesn’t belong in reviews but unless you have unlimited funds it has to factor in somewhere. WP is about 3 times the price of YS. Is it fair to compare a Chevy to a Mercedes? Dunno – but with that thought in mind, I think YS is inexpensive enough to drink everyday, nice solid black tea. WP would be more of a special occasion tea for me. It’s not SO EXPENSIVE that I would never buy it again, but it’s a little pricey for every day drinking.
Both these teas could find a permanent home in my cupboard for different reasons.

JC

Nice note! I like that sometimes I end up finding ‘new’ traits that I wouldn’t have noticed if wasn’t doing a side by side comparison.

Dexter

Thanks – it’s always interesting to drink similar teas side by side and I agree you often find notes that you may not have noticed drinking them alone.

Cameron B.

I would be really curious to see a comparison of the Spring versus the Autumn harvest of the YS. :)

Dexter

I don’t have both of those :(( but I did just do a spring 2103 vs 2014 of the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong – those are completely different

TheTeaFairy

We almost had the exact same impressions Dexter. You did a much nicer job at comparing than me though :-)

mj

I love the comparison notes! I haven’t tried any YS teas but I do love WP’s golden snail (aka wee snaily yums)

donkeytiara

I absolutely concur. To me the YS is a completely acceptable substitute for the WP on a daily basis at a fraction of the price. I received my first order from YS this week and haven’t had a chance to sit and review, but after trying the YS I was happy I wouldn’t find myself breaking the bank to have Golden Snail/Bi Luo Chun as often as I liked. Happy!

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Harney & Sons – Soba Tea, Roasted Buckwheat
https://www.harney.com/soba-tea-roasted-buckwheat.html
vs
Yunnan Sourcing – Himalayan Black Tartary Buckwheat Roasted Tea
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/flower-and-herbal-teas/2508-himalayan-black-tartary-buckwheat-roasted-tea.html

I adore H&S Soba Buckwheat tea. H&S is a bit expensive to ship to Canada. Was looking for another example of this tea. I’ve looked for roasted buckwheat at local health food store but haven’t been able to find any. So, when I saw something that looked similar at YS I was quite excited.
I’ve made a cup of each using the same steep parameters. 1 tsp/8oz 100C 5 min
I used Davids steeping baskets in my Noble cups, so each tea was steeped in the same vessel and I’m drinking it out of the same cup.

Dry – the H&S nuggets are a little smaller and a little darker in color than the YS version.
Dry smell – really they both don’t smell like anything.
Steeped – Again the H&S is slightly darker in color.
Smell – the H&S smells more toasted, the YS is similar but not as strong.

H&S is for sure more toasty/roasted. The YS is sweeter and more grainy. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to articulate how I feel about this. I like them both – if I weren’t drinking them side by side, I’m not sure I would think there is much difference. But I am drinking them side by side. H&S is more flavorful – I think it’s more fun, like a kids cereal. YS is more subtle and more natural – it’s more adult.
I think the YS version would benefit from a longer steep time – I think the bigger nuggets need a bit longer steep time.
All and all I am really happy with my YS purchase, I am going to be perfectly happy drinking this, and considering how cheap it is – that’s just a bonus. Do I like H&S better? yes I do, but only marginally better. I’m not sure what I rated H&S – but right now I’m thinking H&S 95 – YS 92.

Both these teas make me happy.

TheTeaFairy

Awww, thanks for doing this dexter…I will now purchase in confidence the day I finally order from YS! I just can’t live without soba cha :-)

Cameron B.

I love my noble cups! :)

yyz

Glad that you enjoyed them!

MzPriss

I’m so glad you did this. I wondered myself. I just ordered some of the H&S (because I needed TINZ) and then I saw the Teavivre one. Thanks Dex

MzPriss

Oooops, I mean YS, I was thinking about the Golden Monkey I just recently compared. But yes, I ordered the H&S soba and I’m looking forward to it. And I’m afraid YS might become a new addiction

boychik

Thank you Dexter. I love side by side reviews. I like that you made it in the same vessels. I see YS addiction in a near future, haha

Sil

Awesome!

Cavocorax

Oh, that’s good to know! I like Soba Cha, but don’t have any plans to order from H&S. Alternatives are always nice. Thanks!

Ubacat

I saw the buckwheat tea on YS website last time I ordered but having a bad experience with some local buckwheat tea at the Korean/Japanese market , I was very reluctant. Thanks for testing them. Next time I order from them I’ll be sure to add some buckwheat tea.

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I hot steeped this regular strength last night, let it cool, then put it in the fridge too get cold.
Today I’m drinking it as iced chai latte – about 2/3 cold tea, 1/3 milk and some sweetener.
This is really good prepared this way.
One of the teas I took from the SSTTB

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This is my “dashboard inspired” tea. Roswell was drinking this yesterday and it reminded me that I’m not drinking my custom Adagio teas.

This one is pretty good. It’s caramel, and vanilla as stated – I’m also getting some chestnut that’s not really listed, so I’m not sure why I’m getting that.
I’m not sure I will ever order these again, but they are fun, the tins are cute, and this tea isn’t bad…

Cameron B.

Definitely. I didn’t love most of my Star Wars teas, but the tins are worth it. :P

Dexter

That’s kind of what I’m thinking too – tins are cute – tea is just ok…. :))

Cameron B.

I’m kind of tempted by the Hobbit-themed one just because the art is so cute and bright! :P

Dexter

LOL I have so much tea in my house that I can’t start buying more because the tins are cute – and Adagio shipping is still pretty expensive to Canada. Basically what I’m saying is that I’m trying hard not to be tempted.

Cameron B.

Yeah, I’m definitely not going to buy any now! The only purchases I foresee are Butiki and TeaVivre (both sales). And then I really need to go on hiatus! :P

Cameron B.

Oh, and maybe Verdant, if I end up liking the Minnesota Blend that Sarsonator is so generously letting me sample!

Dexter

My problem is that I end up buying “unforeseen” orders. I end up buying stuff right before a sale or right after a sale. I’m really bad at “I NEED It NOW” – and don’t touch it for 3 months… I really need to get better at this. I’ve been saying that I’m on hiatus for 6 months now. LOL look how well that’s working out for me.
Wishing you all the best in trying to curb your order, only buying onsale – if this works out for you, I’ll hit you up for lessons. :))

TheTeaFairy

I’m more like you dex…I want it now…and then there’s a sale, and I get more…sigh.

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drank Madame Butterfly by Cornelia Bean
698 tasting notes

I cold steeped this over night in the fridge. I like it better hot. It’s ok cold steeped, but I think the peach gets lost in the green base. I like Cornelia’s peach flavor, and it’s really nice in this when hot steeped, but it’s more muted cold steeped.
Next time, hot steep and then cool for iced tea……

Sarsonator

I havent had much success with cold brewed greens, flavored of otherwise. Do they ever taste chalky to you, or is that just me?

Dexter

I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed chalky. Cold steeping green is tricky, it’s a bit like hot steeping, you need to be careful about steeping too long. And actually I find that the better quality of the tea, the more likely it is to get bitter. I have a tin of cheap, Chinese grocery green that cold steeps amazing. My better quality greens are awesome if you find the sweet spot – if not, then it can be a waste of good tea. IMHO. :))

MzPriss

I’m not good at making greens right

Dexter

In general I’m not really that into green tea. I like fruity green in the summer, and some of the nutty desserty greens, but I don’t really like straight green tea.

MzPriss

Me either. Love my straight blacks though.

Dexter

Yep – just give me some nice Chinese Black, pu’erh, or dark oolong – and Dex is a happy camper…..

MzPriss

Me too ^5

TheTeaFairy

I have to tell ya you are missing great things from the green side….just sayin.

Dexter

Careful MzPriss – Fairy will try and drag you away from the dark side….

MzPriss

Well, I like oolongs too. And Sleeping Bear is green – but mostly I think I just do them wrong. They are either bitter, or grassy or bland when I make them

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Profile

Bio

C.S. Lewis – “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

I needed to update my profile. I joined Steepster 03Mar13. I am just amazed at how much my tastes have changed since then.
When I discovered loose leaf tea about a year and half ago, I didn’t know anything other than my local Davids and Teavana/Teaopia. Stumbling onto Steepster CHANGED EVERYTHING.
Hello, my name is Dex I’m a tea addict.
I’ve been through the “I need to try every single tea out there” phase. I really hope the worst of that has passed. I’ve learned enough to know that I only need to try HALF of all the teas out there. LOL
When I started this journey, I was all about the flavored rooibos and fruity tisanes. Don’t get me wrong there is still room for dessert (chocolate/caramel/nutty) Rooibos teas in my cupboard and I still do enjoy them, BUT I am quickly learning to appreciate the some of the straight teas of the world.
Big bold (but not icky)pu’erh is suddenly my favorite, followed by woody/roasted oolongs. I’m just starting to explore straight black teas, and have found some that I really like.
Generally speaking I’m not into greens at all, only like the occasional green oolong, and white teas are just too mild for my tastes (unless they are fruit flavored). I still enjoy really good fruit tisanes, but am now cold steeping them.
I don’t like floral/herbal blends, and mint anything is not on my preferred list.
I am still exploring new teas, adapting to my changing tastes, understanding more every day how little I really know about tea. Ultimately I would love to find approximately 50 teas that I just “can’t live without” and always have them in my cupboard. That might not be practical, but that what I’m searching for. It’s going to be a fun journey.

All in all, I love this site. I’ve met some wonderful people, and have gotten to try some amazing teas because of them. It really restores your faith in humanity when you get a note saying “oh by the way I sent you some tea”. Wonderful, generous, people here.

Location

Manitoba Canada

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