485 Tasting Notes

I tried this tea alongside Old Ways’s “normal” Shui Xian. I was a little bit surprised by the results. Visually, the leaves looked pretty similar, though slightly lighter in color, and I suspect roasting level. Aroma was dominated by roast, but I was able to pick out a bit more along with it. Floral notes, and a bit of toasty sugar, almost like creme brulee.

The flavor was harder to wrap my head around. Compared to the regular Shui Xian, the flavors were a lot more subtle. I got much more out of it when I drank it alone versus the side-by-side session I did with the two. Flavors are similar – roasty sweet in the front of the sip, but a little softer with the Old Tree. The finish was stone fruit, floral, and mineral. Very soft feeling overall if that makes any sense. This roast is skillfully done and well rested. Very smooth.

A very good tea in its own right. I wouldn’t consider it superior to the regular Shui Xian, but certainly different. A lot of that might be my relatively inexperienced yancha palate. The slightly heavier hitting flavors of the “regular” Shui Xian stood out to me a bit more, so I very slightly prefer that one. Both are good teas though.

Bottomline comparison between regular and Old Tree Shui Xian – Regular has bolder, stronger, more straightforward flavors, whereas the Old Tree is more about subtle floral notes and aromas, along with the smooth roast. Experienced yancha drinkers may get more out of the Old Tree, but both are quite tasty.

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drank Shui Xian (2017) by Old Ways Tea
485 tasting notes

Recently ordered a bunch of samples from Old Ways Tea – excited to start trying them. I haven’t had enough yancha lately. This leaf smelled delightfully roasty and sweet – it was also visually striking. Long, twisted leaves with a deep black/purple hue from the roast.

Flavor was mainly roasty at front of the sip, with some steeps yielding a lightly sour note that kind of reminds me of really dark chocolate. The lingering finish was the highlight for me. Returning stone fruit sweetness, which is washed away a few seconds later by a smooth mineral sweetness. This tea also steeped out a little bit longer than a lot of the yancha I’ve had.

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drank Rummy Pu by Liquid Proust Teas
485 tasting notes

I got a small packet of this tea a long time ago – it’s been kicking around my storage for quite a while, and I pulled it out today at random and decided to brew it up. The base material is quite nice. I noticed the rum/barrel notes most on the nose. They didn’t come through all that much in the taste. This shou is more sweet than woody. Some heavy vanilla, somewhat rummy in taste, lightly floral, molasses. Again, mostly got the rum on the nose, which made for an interesting session compared to most shou. I don’t generally think of aroma as being a big part of shou compared to a lot of other teas, but this one definitely bucks that trend. If LP ever did another run of this or something like it, I’d seriously consider picking some up.

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A pleasant, though mostly unremarkable, young sheng. Good buttery texture in the mouth with some bitterness and a bit of a sticky feeling, especially in the early steeps. A mostly floral flavor with some hints of vegetal stuff going on in early steeps. The last few steeps were clean and semi-sweet floral.

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Had a sample of this tea from the last time the Sheng TTB passed through. I was definitely impressed by the quality. It brewed up a very thick-bodied tea without being astringent or even particularly bitter. There was a sort of “airy” quality to it that I associate with autumn sheng which contributes to the lighter feeling of it. Good floral and slightly grassy aroma. Mostly floral in flavor. I didn’t find this tea to be particularly flavor focused. More about the texture in the mouth and when swallowed. A pleasant and relaxing session.

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drank 2015 Pretty Girls by white2tea
485 tasting notes

A nice shou puer from White2Tea. I think I picked this sample up the year the tea was released and have just had it languishing in my collection since then. I noticed a lot of earthy notes of mushroom, dirt (in that “good” way), and chocolate. Decently sweet as well. I probably wouldn’t pick this one up over the more affordable ripe options at W2T or elsewhere, but it was certainly good tea.

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Tried a small sample of this included in a recent private tea purchase. I usually prefer spring teas to autumn, but this was certainly a nice treat. Aroma was floral and sweet. Early steeps were easy-going with a very light astringency and a floral, honey huigan. The body started off a little light, and remained that way throughout the tea, though it did pick up some as I reached the meat of the session. Around 6 or 7 steeps in, the astringency picks up – unsurprising for a tea this young – and soon grows to be the dominant part of the tea, though it is still floral in flavor, especially the huigan.

This tea feels lively in the mouth – both flavor and aroma were solid, where in a lot of autumn teas, aroma is dominant. A nice couple of sessions – doesn’t appear the tea is available anymore.

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drank 2017 Manichee by white2tea
485 tasting notes

Had a sample of this one that I only recently got to. It was a pleasant tea, with typical soft Yiwu flavors for the most part. Body was good, as I’d come to expect from all w2t sheng. While I enjoyed each session with the sample, it wasn’t anything that I’m likely to buy – didn’t really stand out for me, especially for the price.

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This is really an excellent Yiwu blend. Definitely delivers the quality I’ve come to expect from Tea Urchin. Thick and pretty leaves with an enticingly sweet aroma before water even touched them.

Like most good Yiwu I have had, the flavors of this were sweet and reminiscent of pastry/dessert. Cakey is how I would describe a lot of the really nice Yiwu teas I’ve tried, including this one. Creamy, vanilla, sometimes creme brulee or custard sort of notes. Also a lot of floral notes to it as well – later steeps become more intensely floral, bordering on soapy without getting unpleasant at all. There is a slight bitterness to the tea reminding you that you are in fact sipping a young sheng. The texture is very thick and leaves you wanting more after each sip. Qi is relaxing.

An excellent few sessions from this sample has me wanting a full cake. I think it would be good for many years, judging by other Yiwu cakes I have. I think Tea Urchin may be the source of my next Doomcart!!

Flavors: Cake, Custard, Floral, Sweet, Vanilla


Ah yes, that feeling of dread just before the purchase is complete…and there’s no turning back.

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This tea is a good example of dry storage done right. I have had plenty of unpleasant experiences with dry-stored teas in this age range (sour, astringent, etc.), so I was a bit dubious when I saw the color of the leaves and the lack of dank aroma. Thankfully, this one is smooth and very drinkable. Good sweetness, decent body, no off-flavors. A solid mid-aged tea.

The liquor is still pretty light in color, so this one could still age a long way. I would love to try something that’s been skillfully dry-stored for even longer. Does anybody know if leaves/liquor will turn as dark as something like HK storage given enough time in dry storage?

Thanks to the teafriend who sent me this sample :)

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A bit about myself: 22 years old, college grad (Double major in Anthropology and History). I plan to make a career of archaeology and hopefully travel (much of) the world in my days.

I enjoy many things aside from tea, including gaming, mixing cocktails, reading, watching anime, and painting miniatures.

My favorite type of tea is sheng puerh. Particularly younger stuff, if only because I haven’t gotten the chance to taste much of anything aged. I also really like oolong (Taiwanese, Wuyi, Dancong, etc.) and Japanese Green Teas. I do also enjoy most other kinds of tea, but they aren’t what I normally buy. I’m not a huge fan of shou puerh, black tea, or flavored blends, with few exceptions.

I really like interacting with the tea community, so if you ever want to talk or swap teas or anything, feel free to shoot me a message or something. Follow me and I’ll follow you back. Probably ;)

You might also see me on reddit as /u/Matuhg



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