299 Tasting Notes
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.
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).
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.