146 Tasting Notes

93

Most young sheng is coarse and powerful. This one is elegant. I have trouble calling out specific flavors because the flavors are so well integrated, but straw and wood are obvious, with hints of flowers early and black pepper and anise in later steeps.

There is a lot of cha qi, so I’m getting very relaxed. The first two steeps had very little astringency or acidity, and no bitterness. Later steeps have some acid and astringency, but still only a hint of bitterness. The finish is excellent, and much of the complexity comes via the interaction of the finish with the aroma and taste.

I really like this tea. I have no idea how it will age, but it is really great for drinking right now. I got it as part of the recent Tea Urchin Sampler set.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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86

This tea starts out with a light straw flavor with hints of spice, then gradually shifts to a more woody taste. Each steep is elegant and balanced, with some astringency but hardly any bitterness.

I’ve had the tea twice. In my notes from the first session, at 190 degrees, I raved about the cha qi. In the second session, at 200 degrees, my tasting notes were similar with respect to flavors, but I noticed only moderate cha qi. I’m not sure if this is due to the temperature or just my mental state at the time of the tasting.

I enjoyed this tea, but it didn’t excite me the way some teas do. At the price, I’m not sure it offers good value, though it seems that you really have to pay for Yiwu tea these days.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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I’m excited. Just got my Black Friday order from White2Tea and this is my first sample. I’ve started to work my way up the quality ladder, and am very impressed. I’m enough of a newby that I won’t provide a numerical score yet.

This is extremely smooth for a pu-erh. The flavor is a complex mix of wood, straw and hints of caramel and veggies. The first few cups had tons of cha qi, but it’s not as powerful now (5th steep). I agree with the web-site assessment: “The soup is smooth, bronze colored, and has lasting huigan [sweet aftertaste]”. I’m really enjoying this.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec
gmathis

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen soup used as tea vocabulary before, but it’s a perfectly apt noun for rich, thick tea, isn’t it? (P.S. This sounds very, very good!)

Dr Jim

I’ve seen a lot of puerh tastes described as soup. This is one that seems to fit: rich like a broth.

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89

I’m still sipping down some of my Lewis & Clark TTB samples.

1st steep (60s): Leaves still tightly furled. Rich buttery aroma with hints of spice. Light flavor, strong buttery finish. 2nd (60s): aroma of green beans/asparagus. The taste is more of a straw/spice/wood blend. Much less buttery. Finish is still excellent. 3rd (60s): Still good, with flavors similar to the second steep. This probably could have handled more steeps, but I got distracted and reached the point where I didn’t want more caffeine for the day.

This was a really pleasant tea: flavorful with absolutely no off-flavors. It’s not quite my favorite style, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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86

This is a real “brick” tea. I was afraid I was going to break the blade of my Swiss army knife trying to chip off a few pieces. I wound up with some of the tea as a fine powder: the blade grinds into the tough surface as much as it cuts.

After grinding away at that dark, tough brick, I was surprised at how light and refreshing the first pot was. The nose and taste started out with a strong stone fruit character, but became more woody and somewhat bitter as the 1st cup cooled. Tobacco appeared in the second steep, which was harsh. Later steeps show the nice fruit and became less harsh but were still too raw for me to really enjoy.

In theory, I should put this aside for a few years, but it was so solid that I’m afraid it might take decades for enough air to penetrate the brick. I broke up part of the brick to speed up the process.

I tried this tea again about 3 weeks later and found it much less bitter. I really am enjoying this now. The only difference I can think of is that I used a single chunk from my last break-up, so didn’t have any fine powder.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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85
drank kenilworth ceylon by Harney & Sons
146 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking a lot of pu-erh lately, which is fun, but I feel as though all of my non-pu-erh teas are rushing into old age. So, I’m taking a break to try to drink down some of my other teas (all 18 pounds). Yes, it’s going to take a while. I hoped this would be a sipdown, but I have enough for two pots, so it’s a half-sipdown?

On to the tea: I’ve enjoyed this one in the past, though I’m not usually a fan of Ceylon teas. The aroma and taste are good, with a woody flavor and hints of fruit beneath. Astringent without being bitter. It’s like a classic breakfast tea, but with all the flavors just a bit brighter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

From the Lewis & Clark TTB

I don’t think I’ve ever had a fruit tea that tasted as authentic as this one does. On my first whiff, I was struck with a powerful blueberry aroma, with a bit of vanilla reminding me of hot blueberry pie a la mode. The taste is also dominated by blueberry, though the tea peeks through underneath, adding body to the tea.

As the tea cooled, the fruit flavor seemed to fade a bit. Still present, but not so dominant. Possibly, I was just getting used to the flavor? I used sweetener, since I find that it enhances flavored teas.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

A friend gave me a sample of this tea and I instantly fell in love. The strong caramel is backed up by a rich, powerful pu-erh with none of the negatives (fish, bitterness) that sometimes accompany pu-erh.

I did two 3-minute steeps. For the first, the caramel was dominant, though the tea was definitely present. For the second, the tea dominated, though the caramel was still obviously present.

This tea makes me want to buy more from Angelina’s teas. I’d never heard of them before, but this was really good.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Dan Cong Phoenix by teasenz
146 tasting notes

From the Lewis & CLark TTB

This was a small sample, so I had to prepare it Western-style.

This is only my second Dan Cong; I really enjoyed the first so was looking forward to this one. It has a dark, spicy flavor, and long rich finish. Behind the spice, I can detect a sweet fruitiness, but also some bitterness in the finish.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Profile

Bio

Retired engineer/physicist.
My ratings will usually be based on multiple tastings. Oolong teas are generally 3 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 1 minute. Black teas are 1.5 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 3-4 minutes. Pu-erh is 3 grams in 3 oz, generally 20, 20, 30, 40, 60 sec.

My numerical ratings are all based on how much enjoyment I took from the tea. Since I prefer blacks and oolongs, they will receive higher scores. I also give a couple of extra points to decafs, just because I can drink them in the evening without staying up half the night. I don’t dislike flavored teas, but find that they lack the complexity of finer teas.

90-100 = superior, worth a high price
80-89 = Excellent. Will buy again
70-79 = Good tea, but probably won’t buy
60-69 = Nothing really wrong, but…
Below 60 = Wouldn’t drink again

Location

Massachusetts

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