222 Tasting Notes

89

I was going to make the 2008 Song of Chi Tse, but my Golden Shousy teapot isn’t done seasoning yet, so I thought I’d give one of these a try. They were given as a little tea gift from Berylleb.

This is a really interesting tea. I did two rinses, not because of flavor, but because it was hard to get the leaves to open. The wet leaves smell exactly like COFFEE.

It’s pretty amazing. I wasn’t expecting THAT! There are certainly other flavors here, but I can’t get past the coffee. It’s not just the scent. This tea tastes like coffee.

I know we are all tea lovers around here, but if you also dig coffee, then this is definitely for you!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
AllanK

Isn’t it great that Berylleb adds free samples to everything!

Sarsonator

Yeah, and the samples are really good!!!!

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91

This is an interesting one. It’s still young and has quite a bite at the end of the sip, but it’s also creamy and thick, and has a very interesting sweetness lurking about. Wasn’t expecting that!

I’m really liking this, but I think I need to pick up some older shengs. I already have quite a few young’uns around and maybe I need to expand my horizons!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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93

One of the last samples from my swap with AllanK.

And this is another good one. The dry leaf smells a bit apricoty, but there’s also another very sweet scent. Like candy. O_O

There’s no bitterness on the first two steeps and this definitely has a slightly different character from other shengs. It’s got a medium body and is very pleasant through the whole sip. Nothing to kick you in the ass right at the end. The aftertaste lingers nicely.

I added 1/2 tsp of sugar to the sharing pitcher, as A had suggested, and there definitely are some fruity notes that come forward. I don’t think this really needed sugar, but I found that it was a nice addition.

I don’t know if I would buy this one because of the size. How do you even store something like this? Aaawww who am I kidding? It tastes good, so yeah. I probably would buy it. I would be interested to see how this ages!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Ubacat

How big is it?

Sarsonator

The column is 460g, but I just looked and it’s out of stock anyway. :(

Stephanie

column is an interesting tea shape, heh :)

mrmopar

Cause of you two I have 100 grams of this enroute now….

Sarsonator

LOL mrmo… paybacks :)

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93

I’m finding that many good sheng pu’erhs have a similar flavor profile. The most prominent flavors I generally get are apricots and maybe smoke. The level of smoke varies widely, but the apricots are always there. Sometimes they taste more fresh, and sometimes more like dried.

This tea tastes like fresh apricots, with no smoke. The difference between this little gem and some shengs is that the sheng magic hits me pretty quickly. I feel a little woozy and my heart speeds a bit, but not to an excessive degree.

This tea also, although young, has no bitterness I can find yet, even though some bitter flavors are mentioned in the magazine description of the tea. I did one rinse and two short 10 second steeps to get started. My shengxing is larger than most at 6 oz, so I used 6.5 grams of tea and will have enough for one more session.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am gonna float around over here for a little while. :)

http://instagram.com/p/s5DbL3vkcH/
http://instagram.com/p/s4p4EOvkfW/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Stephanie

I love apricot notes in sheng. I find them mostly in younger sheng it seems like!

Stephanie

Your gold cup is just gorgeous BTW

Sarsonator

I love them, too!!! And thank you :)

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100
reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
222 tasting notes

Perfect.

I got the water super hot in my kettle, then soaked my white and badly stained teacups for 15-20 min with this awesome powder. Took a sponge, wiped them out, and they look brand new. No lie. Even my boyfriend noticed and he’s not exactly Captain Observant, ifyaknowwhatImean :p

I reused one bowl of solution for all 8 teacups. One cup had to be soaked and wiped twice, but none needed scrubbing. This stuff is amazing. Period.

Ubacat

I’ll have to get some of that on my next order. I use Pollident tablets but they take a few hours to clean.

Sarsonator

I got a small bag to try, but when that runs out, I think I’ll be getting a larger size. Be aware that at first it may not LOOK like the stain is gone. Do not be alarmed. Just grab a sponge and wipe. I was a little disappointed at first because I thought it wasn’t working. But oh yeah… it was working. :)

Garret

Key for smart soak is HOT water! 160 degrees or above – really gets it fizzing and lifts the stains right out. If I didn’t have the Smart Soak, I’d have quit the tea biz a long time ago :) For our instore samplings and tastings, clean tea gear is a MUST. This makes it super simple. So happy that others are finding it as useful as me. Happy teatime!

OMGsrsly

This is definitely something I need to pick up. Even the “unflavoured” denture tablets smell minty, and that is not a flavour I like!

Angrboda

I use ordinary baking powder (baking powder, not baking soda) and boiling water. Fizzes like a mad things, so do it in the sink. Leave it a couple of minutes, wipes right off with a sponge. Mind you, I can’t remember the last time it was necessary. The dishwasher rarely fails me.

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84

So this was a nice little surprise!

It needed 2 rinses because it does still have some fermentation flavor, but once those are done, it’s very mild and pleasant. I don’t get a ton of distinguishable flavors, but I enjoyed this tea very much. For $7 per cake, I can’t really find anything bad to say. I would consider this to be a good daily drinker!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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80

Weeeeellll… I guess you can’t love them all. A little fairy told me that.

The color here is amazing, like pale amber. And the dry tea smelled nice, but the wet tea had a heavy earthy smell. I did two rinses and some short steeps.

This sample is from AllanK and he did warn me of the strong bamboo flavor, but it’s a bit overwhelming at first. It seems to taper off in later steeps. And even though the earthy flavor gets quieter, it lingers at the end of the sip. I can handle it a little better when it’s at the front of the sip and more pleasant flavors remain in the aftertaste.

I’m really grateful to try this one and I have enough for a few more sessions. Maybe I’ll learn to like it a bit more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
boychik

i remember trying some hei cha, could not even swallow. its great we dont love everything.

AllanK

Most of the Liu Bao I have tried seems to have that bamboo flavor. I don’t know if it is because it is often stored in Bamboo baskets or if that is coincidence. When I bought this I was hoping for something like the Serenity Liu Bao from Fang Gourmet Tea but they did not turn out to be similar.

Sarsonator

I would try additional years and makers, because I can’t write off the whole style from one try. :)

AllanK

The problem with buying Liu Baos is its more hit or miss because there just aren’t that many people selling it. The favorite sellers of mine don’t carry it at all. You can’t get it from Berylleb, Dragon Tea House, or Yunnan Sourcing. Fang Gourmet Tea no longer had it listed on their website but she might get it back in stock. Hers was really good, and really expensive.

Sarsonator

I guess it’s not the “in” thing right now. Harder to find

AllanK

The seller whom I bought the Lucky Dragon from has a lot of Fu Zhuan for you to look at. I thought of telling you this because of the Fu Zhuan you liked so much from Camellia Sinensis, Streetshop88. I bought one of their Fu Zhuan and reviewed it here. It was decent but not as good as the ones you reviewed.

Sarsonator

Thanks, Allan! I’ll take a look. I would like to find a spot to order a whole brick of the fu.

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92

Hello, Sweetie!

This is smooth, like buttah! I also tried the Ontario 1357 from WP last night, but I am gonna write a review on that later. It’s a heck of a ride!

This seems a little more mellow. It has a very pronounced mildness and interesting feeling, like velvety ribbons. The earthiness is almost non-existent. I only needed one rinse. I taste and smell a little cocoa and some mushroominess. I feel a little woo woo after 3 steeps, but I’m not dancing on the tables or anything.

I think this would make a nice tea for after a meal or anytime that a subtle and relaxing feeling is desired.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

Dancing on tables, hmmm??? ;-)

Sarsonator

Not tonight dear. My tum tum hurts. :p

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I’ve had this sample for awhile, while I got over my fear of shou. Now that it’s done, I’ve been diving in!

This had some earthiness, but it wasn’t crazy. It wasn’t bad at all, but it didn’t wow me. Anyway, I liked it. It just wasn’t luuuuuurve.

Tealizzy

I was afraid too but that mandala sampler helped ease the way! It’s like a whole new world opened up!

Sarsonator

Absolutely. Once I figured out a way that worked for me, I have been having a blast trying all the shous!!!!

TeaBrat

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself… ;)

Sarsonator

LOL. I’m not scared anymore! Woo!

KiwiDelight

I love that last sentence. There’s no better way than to describe pu’erh with the way you write.

Cheri

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who had a fear of shou.

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84

I got these on a whim because they are cute, portable, and they match Goldie.

The little brick only needed one rinse and then was smooth enough to drink right away. I found some nice cocoa notes and a very pleasant mouthfeel. It’s not my favorite shou, but I am enjoying it very much. I think that for travel or for convenience at work, these little pre-measured bricks are wonderful!

http://instagram.com/p/sxs-fMvkZk/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
AllanK

Sarsonator, if we eventually do another swap, I have about six or seven of these mini tuochas.

TheTeaFairy

That’s right, keep on Shouing, little Dr Shou, you ;-)

Sarsonator

Do you mean different varieties, Allan?

Yes, Mistress Shou Shou. I will keep on drinking! :)

AllanK

Yes I have at least six or seven different varieties, from Yunnan Sourcing, Tuocha Tea, and EBay. The ones fromo YS were the best of the lot, the ones from Tuocha Tea were mostly good, and the ones from EBay were good.

Sarsonator

Oh cool! I got some flavored ones from DTH, but it was a separate order. Those should arrive soon. :)

boychik

Allan, which ones fr YS?

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Profile

Bio

I live in PA and I enjoy tea. I also make and drink both wine and beer. Someday I want to be completely self-sufficient.

I’m also a practical vegan. This means that I never eat meat, and do my very best to avoid products with animal ingredients, but I’m human and I not only make mistakes, but in some very occasional situations, I intentionally may consume something containing said ingredients. I make the best choice I can, when presented with all my options.

I like: Dr. Who, shengs, dark beer, dark teas, my three dogs, oolongs, springtime, barbecues, sunshine, industrial music, happy things, men with beards, science, and learning new things.

I dislike: politics, politicians, inequality, the Vegan Police, teas that are flavored with mint or melon, heavily cinnaBLARGH teas, and anti-intellectualism.

Rating Scale (Stolen from Cam B), effective 7/25/14:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!

Location

Harrisburg, PA

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