216 Tasting Notes
I am fond of the teas from Big Snow Mountain (Da Xue Shan in Lincang) and have picked up a few different cakes over the past six months. My interest actually developed through the Mengku side of the mountain but this particular cake is made using Yong De leaf – dark almost black leaf with just a few brown buds mixed in. Very light and clear tea soup with an enticing aroma – a light flowery aroma. The mouth-feel is strong and fills and stimulates the mouth long after it has been drunk. The taste is very welcoming – smooth, a little green tea like, only the lightest touch of bitterness, just on the edge of sweetness, a nice lingering aftertaste. Bottom line: the tea offers a very nice fragrance with a smooth sip and solid Qi. This one is a keeper for sure and I’ve just ordered a cake since YS has a 15% off sale today.
This cake is 100% Ban Zhang Wild Ancient Arbor material. Leaves seem to be complete – undamaged during gathering and processing. Very clear pale yellow tea liquor. Nice leaf; medium compression but quite easy to pick. The tea offers a nice bitterness followed by a quick, pleasing sweetness. Plenty of energy in this one. The cake may seem pricey but actually a bargain given the difficulty of finding 100% high quality LBZ material with a few years of aging.
Note: If interested in this same high quality Lao Ban Zhang material at a much lower cost, Yunnan Sourcing has 25g samples of this 2006 leaf or 100g bricks using 100% 2007 LBZ material.
A truly exceptional tea! Traditionally processed; sun-dried early spring tea leaf from very old Yiwu trees; manual stone pressing. A beautiful cake to look at with nice whole leaves and light compression making it very easy to pick apart. Honey-yellow tea soup; sweet and buttery flavor; sweet aftertaste. No astringency and no bitterness at all. Resteeped seven times and it’s still going strong! A valued gem in my puerh tea cake cabinet.
A fine example of good YiWu tea leaves and another winning selection from White 2 Tea. Nice whole leaf; clear pale yellow tea liquor; very mellow and easy to drink. This is a gentle tea – nothing flashy or bold; no bitterness; no astringency. I think I prefer the 2011 Taochaju Yiwu Guyun (also offered by Paul at White 2 Tea) but this one is a bit cheaper and definitely a tea to purchase and enjoy.
Very fresh green tea leaves largely intact – one bud with two leaves – with the slightest hint of malt in the scent. Steeping the dry leaf produces a very pale clear yellow tea soup. First sip is very much vegetal and a bit buttery but quickly becomes a light creamy tea with a little nuttiness in the background. Resteeped nicely another two times. This is a very nice mild, gentle cup of tea which I very much enjoyed!
Many thanks to Angel at Teavivre for providing the opportunity to try this tea.
Felt like going beyond my normal routine so I went to find my box of French teas; picked one out at random; poets tea won out. Nice to revisit this one. Yields a nice blend of flavors – apple, cinnamon, caramel and lemon. Not too sweet but pleasantly enjoyable for its flavor blend. I appreciated the diversion from my usual straight blacks and puerhs.
Nice natural flavored puerh. The citrus notes blend nicely with the woody flavor of the ripe puerh; a little earthy as is typical of puerh; no offensive fishy or “barnyard” smells found. All in all a very pleasant cup.
I began with what has become my routine process with puerh (both sheng and shou): boiling water; two 5s rinses; then let it sit for 15m to open up the leaf. Tea liquor is quite dark; very smooth and fairly mellow but there is a bit of light astringency (which is quite pleasant in my opinion). I made sure that there were several small pieces of the tangerine rind mixed in with the dark leaf because I wanted to enhance the fresh taste of citrus. This is an easy way for those new to puerh to begin to explore.
Yiwu, one of the 6 ancient tea mountains, remains a sought after source of Puerh teas. Subtleties and generally soft flavors are what Yiwu unfermented teas are known for which is one of the reasons it is known as the ‘Queen’ of Puerhs and this tea delivers on that promise. This tea is very mellow with a smooth texture. Clear golden honey colored tea liquor. Sip at first is woodsy but becomes vegetal, sweet and a little creamy very quickly. Cooling with a dry coating around the mouth. The slightest bit of a very pleasant astringency. By the 4th steep, this is a very light apricot fruity tea – delicious! Still fairly young but offers a mellow taste experience with exceptional potential as it ages.
First thoughts – the wonderful sensations of freshness! Both aroma and taste of the dry leaf are buttery and vegetal (like spring peas or green beans). First sip produces a complex, smooth flavor with a nice balance between that green vegetal and a slight touch of natural sweetness. This is a wonderful tea. I’m now going to resteep a few times and chill the tea overnight to enjoy cold tomorrow.
I am in love with this tea – the whole experience! First of all, be prepared to be blown away by the size of the leaf for they are huge — thin, whole, flat leaves with lovely shades of green coloring in each. They are very delicate and paper thin like tissue paper. The tea leaves are fully hand-crafted and truly a sensational work of art.
I like to brew tai ping hou kui teas in my clear 12oz Chinese tumbler with screw-on filter for drinking. 180 degree water with 12-15 long leaves. It is always a pleasure to watch these tall soldiers stand at full attention in the water (this is the fun factor for me). The tea aroma was vegetal and sweet and was a very pale yellowish-green color. The flavor is sweet with clear vegetal overtones and I was able to detect a little citrus. I drink it down to the point where the tumbler is only 1/3 full and then I top off with more water. I had fun sipping this one all afternoon.
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for letting me enjoy their new harvest of green teas when they are at their peak of freshness!