853 Tasting Notes

95
drank 2018 Arbor Red by white2tea
853 tasting notes

Still has a great depth of flavour that is perhaps even better integrated now. The taste is bittersweet and metallic with a woody sourness. There are notes of cacao and nectarines, and a cooling aftertaste.

The aromas are smoky at first – I get agarwood, peat and shellfish. Wet leaves have a lovely sweet and comforting smell that is hard to describe, but it does remind me of forest floor somewhat.

Flavors: Bitter, Cacao, Forest Floor, Metallic, Nectarine, Peat, Shellfish, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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92

I love Song Zhong teas and this one is yet another great example. The profile is complex, atftertaste long and evolving, the mouthfeel very coating and the energy is particularly warming and cleansing.

Dry leaf aroma reminds me of cherries and custard, while wet leaves smell more like apricots, durian, peat moss. There are, however, many notes to explore.

The taste is strong, but not overly bitter. The feeling is warming and expansive, and there is also some elegant astringency. Flavours include marmite, snails, tree sap, tomato vine, almond shell and many others. Aftertaste then has more of some herbal spiciness and sourness. There is also a stonefruit fragrance and further hints of tequila, bread, and berries.

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Berries, Bitter, Bread, Cherry, Custard, Fruity, Herbal, Peat Moss, Plant Stems, Pleasantly Sour, Sap, Spicy, Stonefruit, Tomato, Yeasty

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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81

A very comfortable white tea with sweet leathery aroma of burdock, fresh wheat when dry and of fish/mussels, lemon balm and honey when wet.

The tea is bitter with notes of hay, walnuts, and lemongrass, as well as a particularly warming and sweet aftertaste.

Flavors: Bitter, Dry Grass, Fish, Hay, Honey, Leather, Lemongrass, Sweet, Walnut

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81

I don’t have much experience with Xiaguan tea, and even less so with aged ones. This one strikes me as a very good example though. It has an engaging aroma, super pungent and enjoyable taste with a fragrant aftertaste coupled with powerful huigan. The tea induces a pretty numbing sensation and there is also significant astringency despite the clearly aged character overall.

The aromas remind me of kahlua and barn when dry, and wet earth and freshly cut wood when wet. The liquor tastes of red grapes, black currants, and has also many sour, woody notes. It is bitter and warming with a good dose of umami too. In the aftertaste, I additionally detect a sandalwood essence.

One thing I would count as a potential negative is that the tea really doesn’t last so long. As it is very pungent though, one could try to brew it less aggressively to prolong the session, which is however not so easy given the leaf size.

Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Barnyard, Bitter, Black Currant, Grapes, Sandalwood, Sawdust, Sour, Umami, Wet Earth, Wood, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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78

It’s been almost 2 years since my last report on this bitter shou. It has improved a little, mostly by virtue of losing its fresh fermentation character. The taste profile is thus more nuanced.

The aroma is not very pronounced, I detected hints of blackberry and myrrh there. First infusion reminds me very much of whiskey in its flavours, as well as almond shells and coffee beans. Later I also get peanuts and sour earhty notes. The aftertaste is long-lasting, cooling and quite savoury, almost herbaceous, I’d say.

First few steeps have a thick brothy texture, others are a bit less distinctive with a smooth and slightly tingling mouthfeel.

Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Blackberry, Coffee, Earthy, Herbaceous, Incense, Peanut, Sour, Thick, Whiskey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 160 OZ / 4731 ML

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94

Such a superb ripe pu-erh which has great depth and a satisfying sweetness is not seen every day. Together with a complex aftertaste, calming qi, and a smooth, thick and colloidal mouthfeel, they make it one of the clear highlights of YS selection in this category. Of course, the price is appropriately higher than average, but in this case it is certainly worth it if one is interested in drinking shou with more focus.

The aroma is clean and subtle, but it reminds me of the green undergrowth in waterlogged forests. Flavours tehn include nuts, butter, sage, and molasses. The tea is very mineral and also has a mild crisp bitterness. The aftertaste, besides the strong huigan, is a bit sour, earthy, metallic with notes of camphor, cheese, and popcorn.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Camphor, Cheese, Earthy, Floral, Forest Floor, Metallic, Mineral, Molasses, Nutty, Popcorn, Sage, Salt, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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92

This is an overall very strong tea, not necessarily one to serve to strangers. It has a complex aroma, bitter flavour profile with a fragrant aftertaste and a punching, heady cha qi. I would recommend quite short infusions generally, the tea can then also last for a pretty long time.

The aromas remind me of blackberry, winter honey, pine sap, and sawdust. It is a meaty and sweet, foresty scent. Wet leaf bouquet is more like beeswax and cocoa.

The taste is bitter and woody with a good astringency. There are flavours of honey, curry leaves, baked aubergine to be found, while the aftertaste is quite folwery. Texture-wise, I find the tea soft and colloidal with a coating finish. Also, the piercing bitterness can be felt almost as much as a mouthfeel than as a taste.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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74

A great tea for autumn times, which however doesn’t impress in any particular dimension. It has sweet aromatics and a taste that is mineral and a bit more savoury at first, but later turns into a little flat taste permeated by grape sweetness. The liquor feels light in the mouth, the aftertaste seems to have more presence.

Specific notes remind me of baked goods, pear liqueur, and custard in dry leaf aroma; and then wood, nectar, grape vine, and bubblegum in the wet leaf aroma.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bubblegum, Custard, Grapes, Mineral, Nectar, Pastries, Pear, Perfume, Sweet, Vineyards, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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87
drank Ye Lai Xiang by Langgasstee
853 tasting notes

When I visited the Länggasstee tea house in Bern, I wanted to also grab one of their teas to bring home, and this is the one I chose. It’s a really nice Dan Cong that is neither too fruity nor too flowery, just the way I like it. It has medium bitterness and astringency, and a very long-lasting and complex aftertaste that is quite floral.

The aroma is indeed perfumy and flowery from the get go (narcissus, honeysuckle), but there is a hint of spruce wood as well. The taste is somewhat sweet and woody in the first 4 steeps with notes of fir, tree sap, and nectar. I also like the plump and active mouthfeel. Second half of the session is more fruity with flavours such as apple and juniper. The aftertaste brings further dimension with its savoury (yeast, butter) and floral aspects.

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Bitter, Butter, Fir, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Narcissus, Nectar, Perfume, Sap, Sweet, Yeasty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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76

This sheng is somewhat average in many respects. The one thing I will remember about it is its pungency and bitterness with a cooling floral fragrance in the finish and aftertaste. I suppose it may be a decent option for long-term aging.

The mouthfeel of the medium bodied liquor is airy and creamy. Besides being quite bitter, the tea also has a persistent underlying sweetness that gets intensified as the huigan steps in. The taste is quite mineral and grassy with some grainy notes early on and a bready flavour in the second half of the session.

Flavors: Bitter, Bread, Floral, Grain, Grassy, Mineral, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I am a researcher in math, physics and computer science. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds. Connect at https://rateyourmusic.com/~Togo

I had been drinking Japanese green tea for a while before discovering the world of tea in 2017. I rarely drink blends and generally avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.

Location

Innsbruck, Austria

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