302 Tasting Notes

79

My first tasting from the Traveling Teabox organized by Artp. The dry leaf is tightly rolled and when brewed it produces a golden liquor with a nice vegetal aroma. The taste is bright and easy on the tongue with a hint of citrus. I’m enjoying this cup. This is a decent everyday oolong to keep on hand.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

These comments refer to the 2006 Haiwan Ripe Tuo:

I enjoy tuo chas for the convenience factor and sometimes I use them to introduce someone to “real” pu’er (as opposed to the flavored loose pu’er sold by many companies). They are a bit of a novelty and most people new to pu’er enjoy them. This particular Haiwan tuo is a very satisfying traditional style ripe Pu’er with a robust, soothing flavor – thick, earthy and nutty. While I definitely prefer breaking off a chunk of a high quality aged cake, all in all this is a smooth and powerful shu which is also quite delicate. It’s good enough that I’ll probably reorder and try to keep it on hand.

Preparation
Boiling

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87
drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
302 tasting notes

This is an enjoyable breakfast blend. Since I am drawn to assams on their own and in blends, it is different from the breakfast blends I normally prefer. In my batch of this tea, the darjeeling dominates the blend (not the assam or the keemun). It is a blend worth buying – high quality and good value (I’ve been able to enjoy a strong resteep each of the three times I’ve prepared this tea).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

Yesterday morning I was in the mood for a high quality green tea. Perusing my tea collection, I settled upon the Autumn Laoshan Green. This is a mildly vegetal green with a gentle sweetness and it is always good for several infusions. Sometimes I enjoy using one of my Chinese glass tumblers for greens or pu’ers and decided to do so yesterday. If you look at the Verdant description for this tea, you will discover that in their brewing guidelines they describe what they term the “Laoshan Style” using a tall glass or tumbler.

The tumbler I decided to use is 16oz and after the initial fill-up, I refilled twice during the day before I decided that I had consumed enough green tea for the day. However, the leaf was still going strong so I decided to fill the tumbler again and yet again to make cold tea for today. As I write, I am sipping my second glass of iced Laoshan Green. This has been an enjoyable Laoshan Green weekend and this is a good tea to have on hand!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Bonnie

Nice to read a good description of how to fully appreciate your tea and enjoy many steeps. Tumblers offer an inexpensive and rewarding experience experience for drinking tea throughout the day by continuing to top with water.

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84

Enjoying this one today. Good, solid loose puerh to have on hand.

Garret

Thank you for sipping, enjoying and writing about it, my friend! This same loose material was what we used to press in the 2011 Phatty Cake. And it was also used (in addition with a slightly larger grade leaf from same producer, same year) to press Phatty Cake II: the sequel. Definitely worth a try.

One of the things we hear over and over again on this loose leaf is how it makes people think of old, leather-bound books. We had a man from Germany in our tea shop on Saturday and I prepared some of this tea for him. He loved it and starting tearing up a little when he described that the tea was invoking the memory of his mother’s old, leatherbound Bible. He said he hadn’t thought of the book in many years. A good memory association brought on by great tea. What a neat thing it was to be a part of that. Needless to say, he left with a stash this tea :)

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84

A rich dark chocolate looking tea ball with a woodsy smell. I brew these in a 6oz glass steeper and love to watch the 1 inch tea balls unfurl in the boiling water as the very dark brownish-red tea soup develops. The flavor is earthy yet smooth and mellow. While I definitely prefer the ripe puerh bricks or cakes, these little guys are a great value for an every day shu!

Preparation
Boiling

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96
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
302 tasting notes

Not much needs to be said – tasty, bright, sweet, and delicious. This is one amazing tea!

Preparation
Boiling

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92

This tea is tender and elegant with no bitterness, no dryness, and no harshness. The tiny, tightly rolled leaves are a delight to watch unfurl in the hot water. The tea brews up a beautiful amber color with a vegetal, sweet aroma. The liquid is vegetal and a bit creamy with a lovely natural sweetness and a hint of citrus.

The complexity of the tea allows it to stand up well to multiple infusions. As suggested by the comments from others, this one is delicious and a definite keeper!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
302 tasting notes

This tea is just what a good keemun should be. The leaves are small, dark brown, and wiry. The aroma is strong and rich with notes of both dark chocolate and malt with a little smokiness. The tea soup is dark copper in color.

The feel of the tea is smooth with no bitterness. The flavors of chocolate, malt and smokiness mix together nicely. I should note that I drink this tea with a little sweetener and a splash of milk. I infused the leaves for a second time and enjoyed another cup although a tiny bit less flavorful this time.

The third infusion was still enjoyable but it was more astringent and felt a little thin so I did not try for a fourth. Overall, an enjoyable tea experience – robust tea with a nice balance of flavors. I would definitely purchase this again.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

I’ve been sipping on this sample from Verdant off and on for the past three days. Two quick rinses and then 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. in my gaiwan. The tea is smooth and mellow with a light green liquor. It has a bit of a fresh crisp taste with a dominant note of citrus but it is very smooth and mellow. I detected very little astringency (I mean hardly any at all). Amazing taste for such a young sheng. I’ll definitely be buying a brick of this in a few days.

Preparation
Boiling

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Bio

For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.

Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Moved quickly into unflavored blacks and puerhs and seldom drink anything else. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions. My tea notes are now simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are useful to me and if they happen to be helpful to someone else that is good.

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