255 Tasting Notes

This morning’s shu. The brick is made of quality leaf picked from high mountains in Menghai County during the early spring season (Ming Qian Cha). Considering that this is a brick, it seems quite easy to pick off material to use in the tea session. Chocolate brown (after 9 years of aging in China) whole leaves mixed with pieces and stems. After a 5 second rinse the 10 second infusion produces a clear mahogany colored liquor. Very pleasant sweet, earthy sip with a hint of spice and a creamy essence. The aroma is rich and full. Good for at least five very flavorful infusions. Found at Tea Spring.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Very easy to separate into a nice pile of unbroken leaf. Primarily whole long, healthy-looking leaves mixed with only a few pieces and stems. Pleasant aroma from the dry leaf. The wet leaves smell sweet – honey-like but a complex and full aroma. Clear, deep gold tea liquor. The scent of the liquor is surprisingly light – leather and tobacco with sweet and floral notes mixed in. Crisp, bright and clean flavor in the sip. Lighter at first but it intensifies in later infusions. A quiet sweetness with a complimentary spiciness. Full and powerful mouthfeel. Good texture throughout the first 5-6 infusions and then it fades. A pleasant bitterness builds which eventually becomes mouth drying. Nice aftertaste but it does not linger too long. Good Cha Qi and the tea left me with a welcomed calm energy. I only picked up a sample from YS because these cakes have been sold out for a long time. Even if the cake was still available, I doubt that I would purchase it for the tea lacks the complexity and durability I would expect of material from the Banzhang area.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Revisiting this 2006 DXS Yongde maocha pressed in 2013. The dry leaves are thick, large, whole and vibrant with a clean and crisp scent (raisin-like but a tobacco smell comes through as well). The tea soup is a rich clear orange color and emits a sweet fruity aroma. A thick soup coats the mouth and provides nice mouth activity. A tart grapefruit taste comes through with a sweetness that serves to balance the tartness. A light bitterness builds up after several cups but takes little away from the overall sweetness of the brew. This is nicely complex with good qi. Floral and sweet taste but for me the lingering aftertaste is the best part of this very special tea. This is almost as good as one of my favorite shengs, the 2009 Yongde DXS from Finepuer (unfortunately now sold out).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I have an interest in bamboo puerh teas because the method of production is so intriguing – fill sections of bamboo with tea leaves and then steam, roast, dry and age in the bamboo. The bamboo is reported to provide a unique sweetness to the leaves. I am able to appreciate the process by looking at this photo of a farmer making bamboo puerh: http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/-/galleries/the-galleries/countries/asia-australasia/china/yunnan/-/medias/ed820fb8-090f-11e0-bee4-852ca0e067a1-bamboo-tea?gallery=b6bf0ad4-0192-11e3-99e7-2bf391fc38b8&hit_num=1&hits=2&page=1&per_page=50&search=bamboo&search_in_gallery=1
The scent of this YiWu dry leaf is sweet with an interesting spicy note. The tea soup is deep dark gold in color. The wet leaves are whole and nearly 2 inches in length. The tongue and mouth feel alive and tingly after the first few sips. The initial taste sensations are earthy and spicy. The honey-like sweetness works well with a light woodiness. A bit of astringency is found in later infusions but not at all off-putting. Interestingly, I did not detect any remaining smokiness in the smell or taste. These leaves produce cup after cup of highly flavored sweet mellow tea. Multi-layered – sweet and woody with a light spiciness. This is a very approachable raw puerh.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Stephanie

Neat picture! Intriguing tea.

DigniTea

Steph – yes, helps you appreciate the tea even more. Don’t you think?

Stephanie

For sure!

tea123

This tea sounds unique.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Surprisingly unusual complexity found in this brick. The tea highlights the beauty of the leaf in repeated brews with full body and strong fragrances. Bold and flavorful is the best way to describe my overall impression of this tea. Clarity is found in the mahogany colored liquor. Built upon a base of musty wood as are many shu puerh but there is so much more here. Very smooth with a lovely berry sweetness. The taste of camphor is definitely found throughout the session and a light tangy citrus note comes forward in the 3rd or fourth infusion. There is clearly a bit of smoky tobacco in both the scent and taste but this subtle feature actually enriches the overall impact of the tea in a very positive way. (And I say that as one who is not particularly fond of smokiness in my teas.) The duration is on the shorter side with solid flavor throughout 6-7 infusions before thinning. Produced by the original Kunming Factory per Yunnan Sourcing. Carefully aged in the dry environment of Kunming. This is a wonderful example of a dry stored shu with nice age on it. Overall we have a sweet woody mouth feel with a mellow, sweet aftertaste that builds over a series of infusions. The flavor profile features notes of wet earth, wood, tobacco, berries, camphor and smoke all working together so very well. This blend is definitely done right and it is a very fine tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML
jschergen

One of my favorites. Only real complaint is longevity.

DigniTea

I agree but those first few are something to behold!

jschergen

Yes. Very good stuff. I just had the 1999 Old Tree Ripe from them over the weekend. It has that camphor taste, but this tea is just much better!

I’ll have to try it again soon.

boychik

I love this one. So glad I bought it last year. I find dried persimmons in this shou

tea123

According to the website: ‘Back side is dimpled and majority of back side is chopped and fannings’. Can anyone comment on this?

DigniTea

tea123 – chopped and fannings?? I do not have any specific information to use in an answer; however, I did go back and look at the brick after reading your question. I see this tea as a high quality factory produced tea and as I find with so many factory teas, there are lots of bits and pieces (rather than whole leaves). It is the flavor profile that impresses and IMHO a factory tea brick worth owning and enjoying.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is my second day with a Xi Kong from Yunnan Sourcing which I purchased due to an older tasting note found on Hobbes’ blog. I enjoy both Manzhuan and Yi Bang shengs (from Mengla County of Xishuangbanna) and Xi Kong is located between these two so I was quite confident about my interest in Xi Kong teas. Even though it is from an autumnal harvest, it is powerful and full of character. Beautiful whole dry leaves yield a fresh grass scent. The dark gold tea soup has a pungent aroma with hints of flowers and fruit. The sip has an enticing mix of fruity sweetness and malted wheat grain with the occasional hint of bitterness thrown in to catch you off guard. Solid endurance (11 infusions so far). I think this was a good purchase decision for I do love this tea.
Note: as suggested, I did increase my leaf amount by about a third since this is from an autumn harvest.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Spent the day with this one – a great selection using fine material from the Hekai tea producing area. Fragrant dry leaves which produce a clear tea soup – dark bronze in color moving toward orange. Thick syrupy mouthfeel with an appealing blend of tobacco, wood, citrus and molasses flavors. This is a rather interesting flavor profile which is noticeably smooth and mellow. All in all this is a great full-bodied, complex sheng and it holds up nicely for many enjoyable infusions. Today I steeped at 195 degrees but I think I’ll push the temperature to 205 degrees when I go back to these leaves tomorrow.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
MzPriss

I love the Repave. I’m glad it came back.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Easy drinker! Smooth and sweet. Great flavor. Nice rich smell – rather aromatic straight out of the wrapper. Beautiful cake. Easy to pick apart for brewing (mix of pieces and whole leaves). Yields a clear orange liquor with a penetrating taste without any smokiness. Offers a decent mouthfeel but it is slightly drying/astringent. Endearing notes of floral and fruity sweetness with a subtle amount of bitterness in the background. If I had to criticize something, it would be the modest longevity – 7 to 8 enjoyable cups before it becomes thin. Seems to be a solid tea for its current price of $49.50.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
jschergen

I have similar thoughts on this tea. I like it a good deal as a daily drinker. Decent alternative to Paul’s Gaoshan Qingbing.

DigniTea

jschergen – yes, I’m glad I have it. Looks like he is down to his last 3 cakes.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Drinking this now and I dare to say that I am really enjoying it! Jinggu is an area for tea leaves with which I am not terribly experienced or familiar. The main thing I know is that the Jinggu area has many mountains and villages producing high quality teas (many from older tea trees). The aroma of the dry leaves is clearly aged – mostly whole (rather large) leaves with a few stems mixed in. The tea soup is dark orange, with a hint of savory brown in its color. The texture is thick – smooth on the lips and filling the mouth with vibrancy on the tongue. Overall, there is an enjoyable mild bitterness but it is also quite sweet to the point of being nicely balanced; active in the mouth and throat; nice warming effect; lingering pleasant aftertaste.

Update: Three days later and still working with these same leaves. On the 12th infusion and steeping for 25 seconds. The leaves still have more to give.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cwyn

This is a good age point to buy into right now, in my opinion. Not as pricey as the 1990s tea floating around.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is a nice looking cake full of large whole leaves – there is some serious content locked into these leaves. Age has darkened the color to a deep brown. Two quick rinses to wash and awaken the tea leaves and we’re ready to be impressed……. The soup color is a mature orange tone and both floral and wood fragrances come forward. A smooth thick tea soup that presents a gentle rather complex mix of fruit (berry-like), honey, nuts and camphor. This mix of flavor sensations feels quite refined and pure and light with a lingering rich mouth feel. This is an enjoyable tea and it has it all - taste, mouthfeel, lingering aftertaste, energy and endurance. The discovery of a well aged cake such as this makes me very happy!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
Peter

Classic stuff, sounds good. One quick rinse would do for me, too precious to throw away :)

tea123

Where may one purchase this?

DigniTea

I picked up this cake at The Chinese Tea Shop in Vancouver.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

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.

Location

North Carolina

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer