363 Tasting Notes

84

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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84

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!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
Stephanie

High fives! I just drank this one too!!

IntegriTEA

I’ve been thinking about this one. I think I’d like to try it.

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93

This is a tea to savor and enjoy! Sampling before I make the final decision to purchase a full cake (punch line first – no question about the purchase now). The dry leaf is beautiful – light compression means lots of intact full leaves. Color is what I would describe as “mousy” brown.
While the aroma is enticing (sweet with a fruity overtone), of course sipping the tea soup provides the greatest pleasure – sweet, soft and creamy in the mouth with a pleasant swallow. There is a very gentle kuwei [pleasant bitterness] which I thoroughly enjoyed. Roughly 12 steeps and the tea continued to give – smooth until the very end. Cannot wait to get a whole cake to savor and enjoy over the years to come.

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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93

This robust tea is to be savored and contemplated. Smooth with slight astringency in early steeps. This raw puerh cake has a pleasing mineral flavor and is very easy to drink.
I began with what has become my routine process with puerh cakes (both sheng and shou): boiling water; two 5s rinses; then let it sit for 15m to loosen the chunks and open up the leaf. Dark golden tea soup with the tiniest bit of cloudiness. First sip hits the tongue and mouth with lots of mineral flavor; easy to swallow; just a hint of light astringency; drying in the mouth and tongue. Softens and mellows with successive infusions moving towards vegetal flavor rather than honey sweetness – I’ve been through seven so far and this tea has more to give so I’ll likely continue tomorrow.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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92

Hitting this one again. 5s rinse; 5s rinse; let it sit for 15m to open up.
Clear liquid; sweet smell with a little sweet pastry coming through; the sip is smooth and sweet. Enjoying this one as much as I did the last time. Took it through three steepings so far; have not found the slight kick of pepper yet (but probably later). What’s not to like about a thick & mellow tea with long-lasting after taste sweetness. This one is a keeper!

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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87

Very enjoyable to drink. Smooth, silky, sweet and rich; pleasant in the mouth and throat.
Two quick rinses; then left it for 20m to open up. The first steep produced a clean mahogany colored tea soup; pleasantly appealing woody smell mixed with the aroma of fresh leather. First sip was welcoming and pleasant – no bitterness at all with accompanying tobacco undertone. Later steeps became full and smooth with subtle cacao tones and sweet aftertaste. Took it through nine steeps and I could probably get another one or two but I’m ready to move on to something else.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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88

Playing around with these same leaves over a three day period. Finally combined (2) longer 8 oz, 10 minute steeps; chilled both together; drank as iced puerh. This was really quite enjoyable. Why throw out good tea leaf until you’ve tried to squeeze out every bit of taste?

Stephanie

Good call

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85

I enjoyed this tea from the first moment – opening the bag and inhaling the aroma resulted in thoughts of walking through a pine forest. The tea is full of honey sweetness. It keeps on giving and giving of itself.

I was curious about this tea since I am a fan of yabao so I added it to a recent Yunnan Sourcing puerh cake order (note: these buds were picked in March 2014). The beautiful whole buds themselves vary greatly in both color (medium brown, tan, with touches of green thrown in here and there) and size (from ½ inch to 1 ¼ inch).

Very clear, pale yellow tea soup; the taste is sweet and fruity with hints of evergreen. First steep offers a pleasant evergreen flavor; the next two steeps begin to produce subtle flavors of fruit (light and subtle like apples); my last two steeps were pleasantly mellow and sweet. I plan to resteep the remaining leaves twice and chill in the fridge overnight.

Bottom line – fun to play with; very forgiving; quite flexible and versatile; potential for many resteeps.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Stephanie

Neat, sounds fancy :)

DigniTea

It’s definitely fun but quite simple actually and I definitely admire it for its work horse characteristics – it just keeps working. I think I ended up steeping it 11 times and the last two are in the fridge for tomorrow. Nice price for the power you get – $7 for 50g.

Stephanie

Wow yeah!

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95
drank Hong Jing Luo by thepuriTea
363 tasting notes

Comforted by the taste of both malt and caramel in this little gem this morning. Sadly I was also reminded of how much I miss this tea seller. Almost gone now so I really need to find a similar substitution.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
ifjuly

if you find one, please let me know! i am in mourning too. love this tea.

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Bio

Former coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. Surprised to learn what a passion I have developed for all things tea related.

Steepster has been a big help – I’ve been reading daily to learn as much as I can. Thanks to Steepster reviews, I’ve been able to find good tea (and sellers) – a few misses for me but lots of hits!

At the moment, I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Started with flavored teas but moved quickly into high quality blacks, greens, oolongs and puerhs — drinking hot flavored teas less and less. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging. My cold brews for iced tea tend to be a fruity green, white or rooibos but every once in awhile I’ll chill an oolong or puerh.

Note: In an effort to keep track of all the teas I’ve tried, my cupboard includes any tea I’ve ever owned (including things I’ve sipped down or given away and no longer have in my tea cupboard). In addition, many of the teas listed are unopened waiting to age or work their way into the rotation.

Location

Raleigh, NC

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