1333 Tasting Notes

86

My small YS order arrived yesterday and this tea was in it. I bought the easy purple clay gaiwan set for me to use at work and thought this tea would go well with it. I will go on record and say that for the best part of my tea drinking exploration I have disliked Pu Erh. I kept trying it over the years and found it either too bitter or too soft. There were a few exceptions but for the most part everything I had I disliked and I felt that perhaps Pu Erh was just not for me. That was until this year I decided to perhaps explore even further. I believe I was getting tea from the wrong places, and the cheap grade Pu Erh is not worth it. Some came without certificates and some deals were too good to be true, it’s no wonder I disliked them, you get what you pay for. Now I will only buy Pu Erh from dealers that I trust.

That leads me to this tea, purchased from a trusted place and a nice quality. The golden tips are beautiful! Full of downy hairs and shine, with a musty smell that is sensual and peppery. I’ve come a long way to even willingly drink Shu let alone describe it as sensual.

I’m not keeping time of steeping times and this is a relaxed review, something I do for personal enjoyment. Sometimes there is no fun in having to start a timer.

In flavour this is soft, smooth and very easy to drink. While it’s subtle in flavour the creaminess makes it very enjoyable. Earth mixed with raw sugarcane and an aftertaste of dry, light musty wood. No impure flavours or scents.

A few steeps in and it remains consistent in flavour and strength.

I’m writing this when I’m supposed to be doing my white2tea club blog. I should really get back to that. Until then I will be drinking and thoroughly enjoying this tea.

mrmopar

I agree. Sellers that taste what they sell is the best way. Having the good ones that you can trust is a bonus all the way around.

Rasseru

I spent a year saying ‘dont like shou’ as well, until I managed to try some good stuff & realised that I had been drinking cheap rubbish. Thas since been thrown in the bin, it really is night & day difference.

Now I have the lovely opportunity to drink coffee-like tea when I fancy it, as have some amazing cakes that get me enough into that area but dont give me the jitters, which was why I started on this (wow, 10 years now!) tea journey..

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78

Thank you Angel from Teavivre for sending me this sample to try.

I love the name of this tea, Moonlight Beauty sounds so pure and happy. The website says that though this tea is a raw Pu-Erh it is also similar to a white tea due to the processing of the leaves. You can see the similarity when you inspect the leaves.

In appearance the leaves are long and fairly thin with lots of downy hairs. They are a very pale green, almost white colour and they bare a soft, fresh scent of grass and pepper. Enough to smell like a Pu-Erh but living up to it’s subtle nature. The leaves are also crisp to the touch and could easily be broken into small pieces with fingers.

I will be using 5g of leaf in a 220ml teapot with boiling water.

First Steep – 1 minute

After the first steep the leaves now smell malty and wooden, a real contrast to their dry form. The tea also shares hints of wood and malt, with pepper and sweet pine. The liquid is very light yellow.

In flavour this is more subtle than it smells. The first thing I notice is the smoothness of a fresh pine and sweet peony notes. The after taste is dry and slightly nutty. It actually reminds me of a Bai Mu Dan white tea in flavour.

Second Steep – 2 minutes

More peony and slightly sweeter than the previous steep, though just as mild. More drying in the after taste too. It tastes like spring rain drops that have landed onto flower petals, that imagery is in my mind every time I sip.

Third Steep – 3 minutes

Slightly sour during this steep but with a creamy finish and just as much peony. It has to be said that the dryness is somewhat spoiling it’s subtle elegance.

Overall – I am not a fan of white tea usually and that is exactly what this tea reminds me of. It’s not very Pu-Erh like except for the peppery, wood notes in the leaves once you start to infuse it. That being said it was still a pleasant and non offensive tea. I don’t think I could drink it all the time though, it’s just too mild for my personal taste. I imagine it’s great to keep hydrated with on hot summer days though. I also imagine that the mild nature of this tea would make it rather forgiving should you over steep it. Essentially it remained very similar throughout all three steeps.

http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/06/24/moonlight-beauty-raw-pu-erh-loose-tea-teavivre/

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90

First Steep – 1 minute

The tea is red brown in colour and bares a sweet malt and wood scent.

In flavour the first few sips taste similar to it’s steeped scent, the malt is sweet but fresh and fairly light with some dry wood in the after taste. Despite the complex nature of the tea it’s smooth in this steep. Further sips reveal some soft smoke.

Second Steep – 2 minutes

More malt and more smoke in this steep, though on the whole it remains smooth and velvety. It’s a medium strength in this steep but even so it’s a light medium because it’s so smooth and easy to drink. Perhaps an increase in dryness which is moderate at this stage but even so the flavour makes up for it. Also because of the increase of strength the sweetness of it reminds me of brown sugar.

Third Steep – 3 minutes

Even softer than the first steep at this point, though the sweet malt still lingers to dance upon my tongue once more. I wish to say more about it but I’m struggling, there is no wood or smoke present, perhaps the last thing I can say is that the dryness has increased substantially.

Conclusion: It mentioned that this black tea was made using the Dianhong processing method and I can see many similarities between this tea cake and Dianhong in terms of flavour. Personally I am a lover of Dianhong and often keep it in stock so it was good news for me to have something like this that I can show some familiarity with. However, a Dianhong in cake form is a new one for me; though I have had it in tuo like buds before which I suppose is similar to a cake. Either way this tea was divine and I was upset to have finished it so quickly. I am not sure what this tea gained from being in cake form over loose leaf but it doesn’t really matter, the result is wonderful.

For pictures and more information please view my blog:
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2016/06/22/white2tea-club-june-2016/

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85

First Steep – 30 seconds

The colour is light yellow and bares a fresh sweet grass scent that is very soft.

Flavour is sweet and creamy though subtle with grass and floral tones. Very easy to drink and very fresh. A touch of dryness in the after taste but not much. Further sips bring out a little bitterness.

Second Steep – 45 seconds

An increase in everything, it’s sweet yet bitter but still creamy. Floral notes that resemble sweetpea are mixed with fresh grass and damp wood. I am surprised by how quickly this steep has thickened in flavour.

Quick break since I have become tea drunk already

Third Steep – 30 seconds

This steep is much better, stronger than the first but toned down from the second. It’s thick and sweet and creamy all in one and it dances around my mouth for along after taste. Bitter in the right places and slightly dry. Grass and sweetpea tones remain but the damp wood has toned down.

This one actually reminds me of an Oolong in this steep, I remember having a Japanese Oolong that was similar.

Fourth Steep – 60 seconds

Some bitterness is present but the sweetness still thickens the tea soup and leads to a lingering aftertaste. Despite an increase in the bitterness it’s still fairly smooth and creamy, though not as much as the previous steeps. Also the dryness in the aftertaste has increased significantly.

Fifth Steep – 80 seconds

Another increase in bitterness, so much so it’s outshining some of the sweetness. I would say the bitterness even gives this a sort of musty clay like flavour at this point. The smoothness has gone and so has most of the cream.

Conclusion: I have changed my steeping parameters in terms of time than I usually would, purely because of the tea. I felt the second steep was too strong and it was changed at that point to attune with the tea to try and get the best elements from it. It’s a sort of trial and error situation that occurred, but in the end I believe I did it justice and it lived up to it’s curious and impressive nature.

This teas main attributes are it’s smoothness and freshness which made for a very pleasant drink. My only negative comment would be that I was hoping for a few more steeps before it reached this level of bitterness. However, for such a young tea it did surpass my expectations. I’m torn between ageing this tea further or finishing it this year. I suppose time will tell with that question.

For pictures and more information please view my blog.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2016/06/22/white2tea-club-june-2016/

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85

Not so much a tea review (it will come shortly) but just a few notes.

I have been very busy recently thanks to a new job and trying to sort my life out in general. I only work 14 hours a week but then mix in my hobbies, my tea tasting and my etsy shop (as well as house cleaning) then my time is pretty busy at the moment. It’s for the best as I have a source of income purely for me now which will help with tea supplies and goods. I have already joined White2Tea club and spent £75ish on one Yunnan Sourcing order and one Crimson Lotus Tea order. My big one from YS arrived today so I have been using my Jade handle cha hai with built in strainer and blue glaze tea cups. Super happy with them.

Along with my new bits I tried this tea, and am still going through it, in fact I’m only on my third steep. The reason I stopped is because it’s been so long since I had a rest and a decent Sheng that I’ve gotten tea drunk! My head is whirling away and I’m sat rocking myself with a smile on my face while I watch some Japanese drama on Netflix. I really needed to relax today and I am happy to have been given that chance. Thank you tea drink Gods for helping me to relax, even if you are fucking up my writing a bit.

Fjellrev

Congratulations on the new job!

KittyLovesTea

Thank you! I wasn’t looking for a job but my mother said her business needs another team member so I agreed to help. Now there is talk of me learning the family business to take over in the future which is all a bit too much to think about at the moment. For now I can enjoy spending time with my family, helping them out and earning money while I’m at it.

Fjellrev

Sounds like a good deal!

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78

Opening the packet I am now face to face with small Pu Erh nuggets, they are highly reflective with a lot of golden tips present. A cluster of earthy brown tones in one little nugget. They are compressed quite tightly, similar to a cake. Each nugget is unique in size and shape but they all contain the same level of golden tips.

On sniff-spection I can detect damp wood, earth, smoke and musk tones. Truthfully it’s also perhaps a little fishy but I think that is down to the age of the tea.

I will be using 3 tea pieces (roughly 4-5g) in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot vessel with boiling water. Usually I like to dedicate a lot of time for Pu Erh but I only have a couple of hours before I have to help my parents with something, so for that reason this will be across six steeps.

Rinse time of 10 seconds due to the size of the nuggets.

First Steep – 1 minute

The nuggets have not broken apart but after the rinse they are soft and giving off more colour. The tea liquid is cloudy red brown with a sweet and earthy scent. Similar to it’s raw scent but much sweeter and thankfully not fishy.

The first few sips reveal a soft and creamy base with delicate wood and earth notes. There is some dryness but not much. As subtle as it is the creamy effect is a wonderful surprise and very easy to drink. The after taste was earthy and dry clay like.

Second Steep – 2 minutes

The nuggets are still rather firm but they are softening up, I could easily pull them apart if I desired to. The scent is smokier but still rather soft.

Flavour is still soft but stronger than the first steep. The sweetness has toned down but the cream persists through the light wood, earth and smoke elements. The after taste is dry with a wood flavour. Also an element of malt that reminds me of golden tips.

Third Steep – 3 minutes

The nuggets are now breaking apart slowly but surely.

This steep is still creamy but the musky earth tone is peaking through a little more than the previous steeps. It’s now a more traditional style Pu Erh but it’s aged very nicely.

Towards the end of this steep it had some sourness coming through toward the after taste which lingered with the musk.

Fourth Steep – 4 minutes

The sweetness has come forward again among the cream, it’s almost honeyed. But the musky earth is still dry and slightly sour in contrast. It still reminds me of golden tip black tea but much more subtle.

Fifth Steep – 5 minutes

The sourness has softened and again the tea is losing the slight thickness that it began to get around the third steep. The cream is still the main flavour at this point.

Sixth Steep – 6 minutes

This final steep resembles the first, expect there is an edge of bitterness in the after taste at this point. The cream is the only notable flavour that is left.

Conclusion: It’s subtle in strength but the cream and sweet wood notes carry this into an easy to drink Shu. I prefer Sheng usually for the creamy taste but this equals a very creamy Sheng but without the grass and floral notes on the side. Also the smoothness of this worked in it’s favour for me.

Given that this tea boasts it can be steeped over 15 times I think they must mean via gaiwan as it started to lose colour and flavour around the fifth steep.

Next time I may try and add another nugget and see if it changes once it’s slightly stronger, but the colour of the tea was dark enough and I believe it’s just one that needs to be experimented with. Perhaps a gaiwan steep would bring out more flavour, but it could be even softer. I will try and experiment another time.

Please view the blog:
http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/05/27/supreme-aged-golden-bud-lao-cha-pu-erh-dragon-tea-house/

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Bio

I’m 28 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Cassie, Mr Sooty Pants,Ivory and Ollie.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

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