387 Tasting Notes

81

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.

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82

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.

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81

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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92

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
SWApilot

This is a great Yiwu in my opinion.

DigniTea

Yes it is!

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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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Bio

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. Surprised to learn what a passion I have developed for all things tea related.

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 unflavored blacks and puerhs. 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

North Carolina

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