62 Tasting Notes

77

If you have tried Laoshan Black this will be nothing new flavor profile wise(not that it is a bad thing) but being $12.5/oz vs Laoshan Black $8.5/oz for the price being 50% higher it is not 50% better or even different for that matter. Once again I like the tea but only difference I could discern was the hint of scotch at the tail end which was the main flavor I was looking for. The tea didnt seems to develop over the different infusions like I would have hoped as with other oolongs (Dancong and TGY particularly). Maybe I had to high of expectations.

All and all not a bad tea but not worth the price IMO.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Scotch

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sil

yeah that was where i fell too. It’s slightly different but given that i’m less of a fan of oolongs, not worth the price difference!

Bonnie

Oolongs are more labor intensive and the cost is reflective.
When you try the Laoshan Black, I hope you brew it Western Style (I have a glass pot with a deep basket…which I prefer) besides the gaiwan method. 2-3 minute steep is what I’ve been doing for 2 years.

Jiāng Luo

-bonnie
Im aware of why the costs would be higher on a oolong verses a black (all other factors being the same), I just was hoping it would be better or at least different. Thanks for the tip though I will try western brewing laoshan black and cupping their oolong next to it as I have some time off tomorrow for once and a lot of new teas im looking forward to cracking open.

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81

-Preface
I’m still getting to know Pu-Erh, shu and sheng, I have only tried about half a dozen different teas over the last few months .
-Review
The dry leaf smells sweet and inviting, nothing like the first Pu erh I tried by adagio which smelled fishy. I rinse twice and Gongfu style I get rich smooth oily chocolately notes and Western brew I get earthy, bold, coffesque richness. As with other pue erhs I get a really unique buzz and of course the stomach gurgles.
-Soapbox
Overall my favorite shu to date( rishi’s tuo cha are actually second) and at $8/50g a price you cant beat not to mention it’s organic(not that organic means its better quality but it certainly isn’t a bad thing) since Im just starting in pu erh and learning about how its made until I familiarize myself and can afford to drink the good stuff(which will certainly not be"certified oragnic") I like the reassurance of knowing an inspector has at least walked through the production line once.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Earth, Leather

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sil

Highly suggest trying a few from mandala even as a “newbie” to puerh. Special dark and the wild monk are both super delicious!

Sil

…..haha just saw your special dark note :) noble mark is also interesting (and on sale)

Jiāng Luo

lol yeah thanks though im debating making another purchase I literally just bought a bunch of stuff from mandala(and verdent and rishi…… and tea vivre :)

Sil

I haven’t had a chance to try many rishi teas yet but the others your mentioned are pretty tasty! :)

Jiāng Luo

Rishi tasting notes are always accurate unlike some companies cough cough verdant which seem a little far fetched so far. Anyway they hit the spot when they say smooth espresso if I were to close my eyes and drink the cup Id swear it was an oily rich smooth coffee.

Sil

Nice! I’ll have to. Add to my list for future purchases :)

Bonnie

I’m sure you’re already familiar with the puerh discussion board here on Steepster. mrmopar knows quite a bit about puerh. He even converted a full size refrigerator into a humidor for his puerh. (His real name is John) Anyway, a jewel of a guy! I’ve been drinking puerh for years now and prefer shu. After a few months I gave up on being fussy about it and followed my own instincts. Think of the workmen and women gathering on a cold day with a small fire, a pot and a chunk of puerh. Nothing fancy about it! Sometimes, a little milk or fruit goes into the pot…a spice… honey… or an herb mixture for the cold Winter as a curative. I play around with tea and learn from the experience as did the first tea drinkers. It’s the best way in my opinion.

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70
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
62 tasting notes

-Preface
Im fairly new(3 months or so) to Pu erh, Sheng and Shu a like but I already have my preferences. I am not getting the same notes as other reviewers, I rinsed twice both times, once tried gongfu yesterday ( 4 g dry leaf /100 mL multiple quick infusions) and also today western style ( 4 g dry leaf / 240 mL 5/6/6 min infusion).
-Review
This ripened pu erh has a fruity taste to it that reminded me of mulled wine or warmed berries and a sour quality of raw cacao (not dark chocolate but 90-100% cacao bars). It was still fairly smooth and not bitter in the least but that fruity/sour taste is not something I look for especially in a pu erh in the morning. I the western style brew mellowed out the sour fruity taste and seemed to bring the other earthy qualities I enjoy but still not my favorite. I will keep experimenting with brewing time/water/etc. Overall nothing terrible I can appreciate the quality and see why others like it, hate to use a cheesy line but “Not my cup of Tea” seems appropriate.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Stewed Fruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
62 tasting notes

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85

The most complex black tea I have ever tasted(not to mention super high quality deep ruby red purple whole un broken leaves), it develops almost like an oolong over multiple fast gongfu steepings. First a whisper of cinnamon spice then fruity like a date or raison then the winter green/minty taste creeps in and has a cooling effect.

The first time I brewed it western style in my gaiwan for 2 mins and it tasted of super strong camphor in a bad way. This is my second tasting/review and this time around I brewed it differently but also the dry leaf didn’t smell as strong either. The taiwanese pack their teas for extreme freshness, in a completely air free sealed foil(all my jade and high mt oolong came in these rock hard foil bags) and I maybe crazy but every taiwanese tea has tasted the strongest (whether for good or bad) upon that first opening. This review comes the day after I opened and im glad I gave this a second chance. Also excited to log more once ive experimented with steeping times.

So far I can recommend 4g dry leaf to 100 ml 195 degree water in a gaiwan 1 min steeping increasing by 30 seconds after 2-3 steepings (this flavor profile is way to unique for a yixing unless you plan on dedicating it to this tea).

Flavors: Anise, Dates

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Bonnie

I’m glad that you play with steep times and temps (some people give up on the first try which is a mistake!!!). Tea can be challenging sometimes but well worth the time and effort. I also enjoy that interesting coolness found in many Taiwanese tea’s…gives dimension to the tasting.

Terri HarpLady

I love the aroma of Taiwanese black teas, as well as the taste. :)

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85

-Preface
I unfortunately reserved this “Reserve Tea” for a few years so I may not have the freshest notes. I kept it in the shipping box for a few years and the final few months sealed in my refrigerator
-Review
Scissor harvested vibrant green because is was slow grinded(pale/yellow color indicates “cooking” of matcha do to heat from friction of high speed grinding) on a mill is quoted at only grinding 3-5 kg/day. Sweet enough to make thin style usucha (2g to 2.5 oz water) matcha. A great matcha if you can afford it. L-theanine to boot (usually I fell hyped after matcha this knocked me on my butt, my world literally slowed down) but relatively low caffeine which was shocking I am used to other matchas being super high in energy, a possible reasoning may be first flush quality japanese tea are lower in caffeine (bitter) but high in amino acids leading to a sweeter taste.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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76
drank Wuyi Oolong by Rishi Tea
62 tasting notes

Roasty Toasty Graham crackers come to mind with a hint of caramel, less mineral taste(what wuyi are known for) than other wuyi’s but still a great toasty oolong. Short and simple Im a fan of this one and at less than $5/oz I think its a great staple to keep in mind as a daily wuyi, but no means is this a home only reserve but for the price I think its got everything one could want in a wuyi.

Flavors: Caramel, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Camphor and Menthol are definitely the notes I get in a big way and I am not sure if I like that in my tea. Don’t get me wrong this is one of the highest quality leaf I’ve seen and the buzz I got off this one was epic. I will try to mess around with steeping times or maybe let it grow on me. Im bound to make myself like it which is why I’m holding off on a numerical rating until I get it right. Hate to say it but at the moment it reminds me of Vicks Vapo rub or a Ricola throat lozenge.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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85

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84

This was first High Mt. Oolong and I saved it until I bought my first gaiwan/yixing. Still on the hunt for a yixing but I finally bought a gaiwan from rishi so here we go. I can completely understand after steeping it why they suggest and thankfully I saved this for a gaiwan. I followed rishi steeping instructions and the first steeping was fairly light but smooth the second I got hints of passionfruit. The third, fourth and subsequent infusions were exceptional smooth and floral followed by ….. Five minutes later a head rush buzz that forces a smile on your face. By far my favorite part about this oolong is the buzz it gives you lol( for that matter just about all rishi oolongs give a buzz but this one especially). All and all its a delicate, calming experience and definitely what I would call a “home tea” meaning only brew it at home when you have time to brew it correctly and enjoy the full experience(aroma, flavor, feeling). I would not recommend brewing this western style or in a tumbler on the go you will miss the subtle joy of this guy. That being said don’t buy it and and reserve it (for 3+ years like me lol) just because it is a “Reserve Tea”. I can only wonder what it could have been if I had opened it earlier.

Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Gardenias

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Profile

Bio

Reputable Companies I have narrowed down to over the years and my personal purchase preferences from each

Origin tea (Gao Shan Oolong)
Eco Cha (Taiwanese Teas)
Norbu (General all around good site)
Rishi (Great starter to get footing also daily drinker staples and high quality teaware)
Yunnan Sourcing (Teaware, Black, Pu er)
White2Tea (Pu er)
Essence of tea (Pu er)
Yuuki-Cha (Japanese Teas/Teaware)
Den’s Tea (Japanese Green)
Teavivre (Chinese Teas)

“You can go a week without food, but not a day without tea."

Numerical rating personal meaning
70-75
#Bulk#
Drinkable but would not purchase

76-80
#Traveling/Tumbler/Office Tea#
Willing to pay up to $5/oz

81-84
#Staple#
Willing to pay up to $8/oz

85-89
#Reserve#
Willing to pay $10/oz

90-99
#Experience#
Priceless

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