813 Tasting Notes

Ya know, this tea is alright, but nothing stands out. Usually there’s a quality or a flavor note that causes me to remember a tea. I tried this the first time when I was comparing my new Juan shui clay pot with a gaiwan and it just tasted like sheng, nothing remarkable. I had it again yesterday with the same result. Perhaps my palate isn’t refined enough, but I seem to get more enjoyment out of other sheng, so maybe it’s just this tea. I guess it won’t hurt it to hang out in my cupboard for awhile, and then I’ll try again. Maybe some age will help it along. Weird, because they say such promising things about this tea, like, “we want to be able to offer this tea at least once a year.” Oh well. :/

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I’ve had this tea three times now. It is tasty. There’s cocoa, but it’s not dominant, more subtle. There’s also some fruity notes, like cherry or plum. It’s incredibly smooth. I really enjoy it but have a hard time describing the notes. Maybe my tastebuds are messed up due to allergies. Anyway, I can safely say it’s good. Go get some! ;)


i get more cherries and plums in this tea than anything else


We clearly have similar tastebuds!

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Whispering Pines just put out a limited batch of this new tea, and it’s already out of stock! I absolutely love his puerh and the last puerh blend he did with mushrooms, Mirkwood, was one of my faves! So, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one!

This puerh is flavored with cocoa and black cardamom. I’m not sure I’ve ever had black cardamom, although green is common in chai. I looked it up and Wikipedia said it has a smoky character, like camphor. Okay, that could definitely go well with puerh, since puerh can have camphor notes too.

I brewed it up western after shaking the bag vigorously, as recommended. It brewed up very dark. :) Verdict? I love it! It’s like drinking a dark chocolate bar that has cardamom in it. Thick, rich, and flavorful! Mmmm! I also steeped it a second time and it was almost as good as the first steeping. So good!

TheTeaFairy told me that it tasted like peppermint patties to her, and I can definitely see that. The black cardamom has a character that can be taken as minty…probably the camphor note.

Needless to say, I put myself on the notification list for when it’s back in stock. ;)

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Okay, maybe not the most traditional of brewing methods, but I enjoyed this as a milk tea with boba today and it was awesome! Sweet and roasty goodness. Yum yum yummy!

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I had this tea this morning in anticipation of another whispering pines order and it was more fabulous than I remember. It was both sweet and savory, complex, and just plain delectable. Maybe I just had the perfect amount of leaf this time (5g). I dunno! All I know is that it was great!

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Goodbye jinggu golden strand. You had your moments of heavenly creaminess, but they were too few to warrant another order. ;P

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drank ShuiXian by ChaCeremony
813 tasting notes

Marcus of ChaCeremony also sent me this to try! Thanks, Marcus!

I did a side-by-side comparison using one other well-known tea vendor’s Shui Xian. I used about 3g of leaf for each, and steeped them 60s/60s/90s.

The ChaCeremony leaf was darker in color, the other vendor’s was more grey. The size of leaf was similar. The color of the rinse water was shockingly different, with ChaCeremony’s tea coming in a lot darker. The color of the liquor was still dramatically different in the first infusion, but became more similar in the second infusion.

The ChaCeremony tea has a nice roasty bite to it, it’s smooth and sweet, and it has a nice complexity. Some teas with good complexity make it feel like multiple flavors are bopping around in your mouth…this tea does that! By comparison, the other vendor’s tea fell flat. Looking at the leaf afterwards, it appears that the other vendor’s tea is not as roasted as the ChaCeremony tea. I guess I know what I prefer! :)

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Marcus of ChaCeremony sent me this to try! Thanks, Marcus!

I’m still exploring yancha, and haven’t had many, so I decided to use the steeping parameters from Nannuoshan since I remember liking that DHP a lot.

I did two side-by-side comparisons, using two other well-known tea vendors’ DHP. I used about 3g of leaf for each, and steeped them 60s/60s/90s. I noticed a difference in the leaf right away. The ChaCeremony leaf was very dark in color, with long unbroken leaves. The other two DHP were lighter in color, one was actually grayish, and one of them had smaller, more broken leaves including a random stem.

After the rinse, the leaves from ChaCeremony smelled roasty and fruity. The other two DHPs smelled like burnt toast!

The color of the liquor was orange for all, but the ChaCeremony liquor was more rich in color.

ChaCeremony’s tea tastes more roasty than the other two DHPs, sweet, and fruity. Yum! The other DHPs did not have any distinct fruit notes. I love the complexity of the ChaCeremony tea. It’s really delicious, smooth, and satisfying. On the wishlist it goes!!

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Thanks for this wonderful sample, boychik!

This is one of very few aged raw puerhs I’ve had a chance to try. The liquor is a beautiful amber color. The flavor is smooth, with a hint of smoke. The grilled vegetable kind of smoke that I like! There are vegetal notes and fruity notes, like dried apricot, and it also reminds me of wine somehow. It is more complex than that, and I’m sorry I can’t do this tea justice by identifying all the notes, but I noticed multiple flavors dancing around in my mouth. Yum!

It just kept going, so I decided to keep the leaf for a second session. On the second day, it was super nice, fruity, and sweet!

This tea also packs quite the punch of energy, so I definitely recommend a good snack before and during your session to calm the stomach.

Overall, this is a great value for the price…I’m going to have to consider picking up a cake of this one!

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From the Sheng and Shou TTB.

Went looking for this sample to see if it had that lapsang-like smoke I detected in the 2003 Xiaguan ripe I received in this month’s White2Tea club.

The leaf smells like pine smoke/tobacco, similar to a Lapsang crossed with the smoke I usually associate with sheng, but not as strong. Definitely had young sheng bitterness in the early steeps, and that lingered throughout. The later steeps were a little buttery and then finally sweet…it took awhile to get sweet. I definitely had an energy boost from this tea! Pretty good, but not remarkable. I like the ripe one better. ;)

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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