63 Tasting Notes
“floral aromas and juicy character of this tea lull the drinker into an ease of drinking that masks the potency of this tea.” I concur.
dry leaf smells amazing
First cha-hai was amazingly good, aromatic perfume coming from cup, juicy, smooth, really easy to drink. flavor was very good, it reminds me of northern teas. there’s a honey-like, sweet floral lilac (?) perfume from cup. I held cup to my nose for a whole minute just smelling and enjoying it
goes down very smooth and is smooth to drink, no throat catch, but slight astringency interferes with smoothness.
second cha-hai was very boring, vegetal, monotonous, and effortful to drink. I had to actually force myself to drink it and it was not settling in my stomach. I realized I was still drinking this out of habit, so as to not waste tea, but really not liking it.
after 2nd cha-hai the aftertaste wasn’t bad, but it started to annoy. vegetal with a hint of tangy, cloying, bland/sour after taste. the aftertaste was also sticky and mouth coating, in an unpleasant way.
But wait, there’s more! At the end of the session is when all the stuff happened. the kuwei and strong cooling huigan showed up. I had to lean back and started taking deep heavy breathing – right when I was about to discount this tea is when the tea showed up to the party and made me relax and rethink.
Summary: this tea is extremely smooth body, good perfume in the first few steeps…then some intermission you have to suffer through (drink the bitter tea?) then you get to the nice effects (huigan, kuwei, chaqi). However, I didn’t get any qi in later sessions.
Overall this tea was light but still had some kick to it that I think this could withstand a little aging, but I’m not sure if it will improve with age or in what direction it will develop. It also seems like maybe its already entering that “weird” phase even though its only 2 years old, but I don’t know.
I think its way too expensive for what this tea is delivering. Its good, or rather its not bad, but for $.79/g, I’d be better off buying a higher end cake of some other (older) boutique tea.
supposedly the favorite blend of the year by W2T’s owner and I agree, was my favorite of all the samples I got in the last year. High end material.
I have to admit this tea really wow’d me. It had a bitterness to it that was young and wild, but still tame and not overpowering. I will caution – this bitterness is an acquired taste.
It was just so good. Thick, creamy, juicy, bitter, huigan, kuwei, just couldn’t stop drinking it and this tea outlasted me. Don’t think I’ve been able to finish a session yet.
The energy of this tea is best described by heightened senses or awareness, a sense of being present, focus, awareness, heightened senses…there was a bit of dizziness like your head spins but similar to when you take TCM herbs and you feel energy being shifted by the herbs, revealing how off-balance you were. Dizziness wasn’t lasting and didn’t make me nauseous. I enjoyed it.
6g, hongni shuiping, 2x rinse
steamed and rinsed aroma was the most tangy juicy tart sweet smell I’ve ever experienced – sort of like pinot noir wine and amazingly delicious complex aromas I’ve ever smelled in leaves. (steamed aroma = dry leaves in warmed teapot)
the flavor of the first 2-5 steeps was super complex I just can’t describe it, honestly not even going to do it justice. it was amazing, delicious, juicy, complex, subtle huigan and kuwei and chaqi was sinking stomach.
this tea was not very smooth though, a roughness while drinking it in every area. Rough in mouth, rough in throat, rough aftertaste…rough.
all the effects of the first few steeps faded and never returned which left me…dissatisfied.
it was effortful to finish this tea session but given the “difficult to acquire material that rarely sees the light of day in the larger market” I pushed through to see what this was all about.
this tea is still young and will definitely benefit from some age, definitely needs some time to age, and the roughness I think will dissipate and smooth as it ages. It is only 6 months old so…I am hoping it develops longevity and smoothness. But then the wonderful complexity of flavor/aromas may fade.
liquor was medium thick (or rather it was not thin bodied)
This is supposedly very high end tea and I can tell, and agree. but its not something that really impressed me “overall” (the wow’ing experience up front was really averaged out by the weak finish of the tea session)
it was clean, no ill body effects, long lasting mouth watering kuwei even 20 minutes after drinking.
I plan to revisit this tea in a few months, and maybe in a year or two see how its developing. For the price, right now there are more aged teas that perform better to invest in. This is quality tea, but is it “my cup of tea”? I was tempted to get a cake, but backed out and opted for 2017 Treachery of storytelling pt 2 and 2020 I Am.
6g, hongni shuiping, 2x rinse
I woke up feeling groggy, stuffed up, congested, and dry after a sudden temperature drop and resulting rush of dry air, and an exhausting week. This tea cleared me up with ease, it cleared my throat, cleared my sinuses, opened my lungs, cleared my eyes, basically purging dryness and lubricating to the mucus membranes. its amazing to see a tea act so powerfully but gentle.
I’m not saying this tea is amazing compared to other teas, but from a “medicinal” or therapeutic perspective, it was just what I needed.
It is also good flavored and lasting clean feeling in mouth. A bit vegetal with a tangy note in there, which should round off with a bit more age.
6g, 95mL hongni shuiping, 2x rinse
this tea is good.
instant calm when I took first sip. later this qi became sedating/heavy/lethargic. it moved me and I got a body wave of energy, but no goosebumps that usually follows. lingering sweet aftertaste. gently astringent kuwei on long finish after 2-3 cups. VERY aromatic from empty cup on table in front of me. Like a bouquet of flowers on the table. smooth, goes down easily, no catch in throat.
it gets a bit raw on the stomach after a few cups, but I think this is due to the youth of the tea. I think this will age wonderfully and only get thicker/more full/sweeter with time. this is a good quality tea. I wasn’t motivated to buy a cake, but made a note to revisit and see if it develops, so its at least worth keeping an eye on
I have learned that teas stored as maocha then pressed into a cake lose something vital in the process, and IMHO do not age well. They are not necessarily “bad”, but they are lacking. This cake suffers that same fate. The material seems robust like a lot of larger leaves possibly grade 8, possibly some huangpian, but this cake is lacking. Lacking flavor, mouthfeel, body, and qi. Its just sort of bland. No way else to describe it. I wish GTH would offer samples, and tea after tea, I am let down again and again. At this point I can’t recommend a single tea from GTH, I can’t risk purchasing whole cakes after being constantly let down, and I have not had one yet that I thought was worth the purchase or much less that I would repurchase. My GTH teas are my least drank teas that I only drink here and there when I forget how unimpressive they are.
my favorite YQH, I own many cakes, and keep buying more. Its my daily drinker. Since this tea is a blend, sometimes you get a session that’s a flop, but more often than not I get really good sessions. This tea is complex, sweet yet hits the lower register without being cloying or too rich, lingers for a while, and I never get bored.
This is also the tea I give to anyone who has never had puerh and they are blown away at what tea can be. So its safe to say this is a good tea for both beginner’s and experienced puerh drinkers. It can brew strong, but never gets bitter, just a bit leathery tannic which you can dilute with a bit more hot water. I actually prefer the deeper part of the cake closer to the bing hole, the more compressed part. I think the outer edges are too loose and aged too fast.
This is IMHO Yang’s best production and I’ve tried/own quite a few YQH teas. Yet this is the one I always come back to regardless of price or scarcity. Definitely worth a cake+
To bring out the best in this tea I brew higher leaf/water ratio. Around 7.5g in a 95-110mL teapot.