130 Tasting Notes
This Sun Moon Lake black tea is very smooth, no astringency and a good amount maltiness. It has a faint sugar cane sweetness, with a milder boldness for an assam. There are initially some greener, more cucumber vegetal notes, along with a mild bell pepper undertone (this last very brief and transitions to the maltier, sweeter flavor).
The quality is certainly there, as you can see the wholeness of the long, hand rolled leaves. They unfurl nicely and hold their flavor for 6+ steepings (gongfu – shorter in gaiwan).
A very nice, calm tea that is even enjoyable for a later night.
First, let me say I love hand picked teas! Especially with the oolongs, as they usually require more courting and patience to wait for their leaves to fully unfurl. What a treat and reward to those that dare to have the endurance to see and taste this great development. The complexity and change in each steeping, yields even more character and delight.
This tea is such a tea. One that is delicate and tender, with a certain youthfulness of the leaves. Young and aromatic, yet deep and fulfilling. Its medium yellowish green color is brilliant, with a sparkly clarity. The taste of the sip is very intense – creamy, slightly flowery, but more clean and palate cleansing. I’m picking up something that has a nice and tasteful mineral tanginess to the tounge(no it’s not the water – I only use filtered water from my Brita)that definitely adds to all the other sensations with drinking this tea. There is a fullness to the liquid, thicker almost. The flavor lingers on the tongue and sweetens the entire mouth.
Each rolled tea ball, has been tightly rolled with stems attached. Not the normal low quality stems that you usually see from some budget teas. These tea leaves, once they unfurl – reveal some very nice looking leaves and bud tips that are attached to the stems. Everything looks like it still has life to them, freshly picked – not the overly dried up and poor quality look.
I’m very pleased with this tea thus far. For the quality, the pricing isn’t bad at all, if your looking for a good quality oolong.
This company ships for FREE anywhere in the US, which another great reason to try them!
Finally got around to trying this one once again – 1 year later. Wow, is all that I can say. There seems to certainly be a good amount of aging that has taken place and the color of the brew is browner. Very tasty and smooth. Now that I have a better idea of the right amount (it gets very strong, quickly if you put too much in the gaiwan), I’m seeing why this is a favorite one of many to keep around. It definitely seems to mature into a very delightful cup of tea!
I know, I know – it has been a great while since I’ve been able to post on here, however all has been good and life continues to speed up as the family grows older. I have NOT stopped drinking tea. In fact, there is not a day that I can remember that there hasn’t been at least a few cups that find their way to my lips. Most days, it is several pots of tea that comfort and keep me while on the go.
Anyway, here is a little concerning the tea:
This one still holds its character of a young sheng, however there is already a certain smoky, medium soupiness to the brew. The bitterness is mild considering the production date and leave a satisfying astringency to top of the tongue. I’m certainly looking forward to tasting this one a couple more times over the next week or two, as well as setting some back for a taste in a couple years. This one, I believe, can grow in it’s complexity as it ages.
For a slightly longer review of this tea, along with a few pictures – try my new(er) blog: http://www.southern-sips.blogspot.com/#!http://southern-sips.blogspot.com/2013/03/2011-yunnan-south-hill-waxy-purple-puer.html
This one was completely different from what I thought it would taste like, however it is really good! For some reason, I was thinking a little darker, more roasted or possibly close to some of the Oriental Beauty that I’ve had. This is not the case here.
Both the dry and infused leaves did not change in its consistency of fresh cut spring grass and wild onions. There is a certain bothiness to the liquid that is full and satisfying. It is very easy to sip this tea, with its smooth green tea-like qualities that ends the mouth with a touch of sweetness.
I found the leaves to be of excellent quality and completely enjoyed watching the leaves unfurl a little after each infusion. This tea is perfect for experiencing with a gaiwan!
There is a small, I mean very small amount of astringency detected if the water temp is much above 185 °F, however I tried it closer to boil and found it still pleasant – not offensively overpowering. No matter the steep time or water temp, the tea was found to be very forgiving – which is uncommon with most greener oolongs. They can be quite cantankerous, and refuse to be nice or sweet if not given their cooler pool of water.
Great job, as I’m finding is usual, to Thomas and the team at Siam Tee Shop with this one! Very nice greener oolong!
Whoa!!! I really wasn’t truly prepared for this tea. It is nothing short of amazing – no joke. Cutting to the chase, it’s a mix between a Taiwanese Sun Moon Lake and Laoshan Black that I’ve had from Verdant Teas. Yes, I’ll go on the record and say it’s that good!
After warming the gaiwan and letting the heat activate the dry leaves as they sit with lid closed for 5 seconds. There are wonderful notes of ripe apricots and fresh cut sugar cane. Add a little hot water for 5 seconds, for the first infusion, and you now have an aroma of raisins, oven dried apples chips and interestingly enough, buttery hominy.
The liquid definitely has the fruitiness similar to some of the Taiwanese Black Assamica strain that I’ve tried, along with a complimenting light coca creaminess. It is very smooth, bright and leaves a clean, minty taste to the mouth – without any bitterness!
I must say, THANK YOU to Thomas at Siam Tee Shop for this one! It was included in a sampler that I purchased and I’m really glad that he was generous to release this lovely tea. I would not have been offended (now that I have tasted and seen its great brew), if he would have hidden and kept it to himself. You couldn’t blame him at all! Wonderfully delicious black tea!
You check out this tea and decide for yourself here: http://siam-tee.de/product_info.php?products_id=41
You will not be disappointed!
Very nice shu puerh! This was one of the ones I was waiting to try for quite some time and I was not disappointed.
I love the smoothness of the sip and the strength to its brew. Really does well with a GongFu styled shorter steeping. The liquid has plenty of body and is not watered down tasting. This allows for quick reload of your next cup and works perfect for the impatient tea drinker. No need to wait here, steep for 7 seconds in your gaiwan and you are all set – time to pour and sip!
There is very little fermentation smell or taste – more fresh uncovered earth or moisten moss. Greener, not old musty. I found no bitterness at all, no matter the steep time (I did allow the leaves to steep longer a couple times, to gauge it’s character under the Western steeping style. It’s all about knowledge and full experience, for me that is).
There were some cleaner, almost medicinal properties to the tea that I noticed the longer I drank. One surprise I found, somewhere around cup 4-5, was a numbing sensation towards the front of the mouth and concentrated on the tip of the tongue. This was most enjoyable and added depth to the overall interaction with this tea and its wonderful complexity.
I’m sure that I’ve missed a few points that are needed to be stated, however my mind is not able to put all the necessary words together. I guess what is written will have to be the only voice at this time. If there is any question of what I’m trying to say – I really enjoyed this tea!
Thank you Stacy at Butiki Teas for this wonderful sample!
Where do I start here? There are so many thoughts concerning this tea and it’s uniqueness. Let me state as we see with this tea, like many other things, it’s possible for other cultural groups to adapt and adjust it to their own region.
Wikipedia voices the following http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu-erh_tea:
Please note, I consolidated the main parts from this article to illustrate the theme of processing provinces.
“Pu’erh tea is a variety of post-fermented tea, specifically Dark tea, produced in Yunnan province, China… There are a few different provinces, each with a few regions, producing dark teas of different varieties… Those produced in Yunnan are generally named Pu’er, referring to the name of Pu’er county which used to be a trading post for dark tea during imperial China. While Yunnan produces the majority of pu’er, other regions of China, including Hunan and Guangdong, have also produced the tea… In addition to China, border regions touching Yunnan in Vietnam, Laos, and Burma are also known to produce pu’er tea, though little of this makes its way to the Chinese or international markets.”
As one can see, this tea doesn’t necessarily follow these normal sources for production and in my opinion, makes this tea even more intriguing!
Using the full portion of the sample in my gaiwan with boiling water, allowing for 7 seconds steeps, I found a sweet fermented sourness to the sip. Yeah, I thought that too – sounds weird, tastes GREAT! You can smell and taste a soy likeness with sauteed onions and roasted corn. Definitely reminds me of some teriyaki dishes that I’ve had from time to time, of which this makes the tea a very nice mid-afternoon or early evening. I could see this being a “dinner tea” in contrast to a “desert tea”. The difference is you could bypass a meal and easily substitute this tea for a soup of some kind.
After the 2nd or 3rd infusion (sorry, lost track), I started letting the leaves steep a tad longer – somewhere around 30 secs. This brought out a bitterness and taste that resembles acorns (yes, as a child I was curious:), then turned to a good astringency. With the longer steeping, it is certainly a full bodied tea, with a lingering tangerine/grapefruit citrusy.
Overall, I must say I’m pleasantly pleased with this tea. Very nice! Thanks again, Stacy for this wonderful addition to your offerings.
What a wonderful and delightful tea from Butiki Teas!
I was quite surprised by the recommended water temperature for this one, as it appears to be a much greener oolong for that temp range(normally speaking). One thing I have learned and never hurts to try, is the company’s steeping instructions. The instructions did not guide me astray. They were perfect!
The tea’s leaves are medium darkness, but certainly leans more to green than roasted. Once you add the water and give the leaves its first rinse, you really see the nice spinach color come to surface.
The taste is sensational, with its floral, creamy and very light, but thick fullness. There is a cleanness, almost mintiness to the tongue. Has a lot of similarities to a First Flush Spring Green Tea, yet with a butteriness. Very satisfying and comforting, especially to the tummy. I really need this tea right now, so I’m glad to have this one on hand to keep me relaxed. Last week was a very long one. Monday’s are usually the days that we feel the impact of the preceding week. Glad for this cup.
One last thing, I’ve been working on these same leaves all day and they show no signs of depleting its great quality liquor. I will definitely have to come back to this one again later on in the week. It has a great character and shows great promise to becoming a favorite. Thanks again, Stacy at Butiki Teas for your excellent service and outstanding products!
For the full review and pictures, see: www.southern-sips.blogspot.com
There was plenty for me to learn concerning this tea, most importantly of it potency. This was my first Xiaguan tea, and I guess they are known for their strength. No words could describe or indicate the pungency and bitterness from this tea. I prepared it with the same amount of leaves as my other puerhs and oolongs – enough to cover most of the bottom of the gaiwan. This I found out was not such a great idea! My mouth was insulted with its bitterness and my stomach began to speak to me as well, because of this dreadful brew. After trying several infusions, there was no found “mellowed/sweet tea”, again promised by the retailer. This almost discouraged me altogether pursuing this tea at this time, maybe more time is needed to allow this sheng to age.
I must say that the owner of the online shop, was most helpful and willing to guide me to this tea’s sweetness and mellowed taste. It only took me a couple more settings with this tea to finally get what was desired. The trick all came down to lessening the amount of tea used. It really only took about 1/4 the leaves of what I normally use and shortening my steep to 5 seconds instead of 15, to bring out the best from this Tibetan brick. There really is a sweetness and very nice savoriness to this tea, once all the right conditions are met. I’m glad that I now do not have to wait a few more years to try this one again – it will certainly not last that long now!