Berylleb King Tea(ebay)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I picked this sample up from Berylleb Tea on Ebay when I ordered a backup gaiwan. I’ve wanted to try some more Xiaguan stuff to see how it is, as I’ve enjoyed what I have had from this factory before. The leaf smelled quite smokey – I was a little worried.
Thankfully, the smokey notes did not translate into the flavor of the tea…at all! I was pretty shocked, because they were quite prominent in the nose. The flavors of this tea were decently simple and consistent. I got notes of dates with an appreciable thickness in the early steeps and a little bit of throat feel as I swallowed. A couple steeps in, the tea developed a slight floral flavor as well, maintaining a decently thick texture. In some of the later steeps, the sweetness became more honey than fruity, but the date/raisin notes returned in the last few steeps. Wasn’t a whole lot going on, but that which was there was pretty tasty. It would probably be better with age, but I find myself able to enjoy these younger factory sheng so long as they aren’t too smokey.
Flavors: Dates, Floral, Honey, Leather, Smoke
This one was weird. I bought it on a whim as part of a Berylleb tea order – should have stuck to Xiaguan tuos and factories I’ve actually heard of. Live and learn lol. It was pretty loosely compressed for a tuo, so I broke off 7.5g for my 120mL gaiwan. The dry leaf aroma was an inoffensive barnyard/hay aroma. Once rinsed, the leaves had a very strong menthol smell to them.
The tea in general was much more minty/menthol than any other young sheng I’ve had. It also brewed up a little bit darker than I would have expected a 2013 to brew. There was some bitterness to this tea which, in the first few steeps, was kind of unpleasant – not because it was too strong, as I love me some sheng with a bite, but it was just an odd bitter note. The tea did get a little bit better after the first few steeps, still lots of of menthol and some thick honey-like notes.
Not a particularly good tea, and a very unusual one as well. I probably won’t drink this tuo up anytime soon, but it might be interesting to revisit it as I hold onto it in the future. At least it was cheap if nothing else.
Flavors: Barnyard, Hay, Honey, Menthol
This tea from Berylleb was strong and punchy without all that much bitterness. It was smooth from the beginning. It continued to be strong and smooth throughout all ten steeps I gave this tea. I did develop some sweet notes in later steeps but I would not use the term apricot. They were more subtle. This tea has a potent aftertaste that is somewhat bitter. As to qi, I can say it has a relaxing qi but this is not what some would call a stoner tea, it’s qi was not quite that strong. I enjoyed this tea immensely. It is at least as good as sheng I have acquired from White2Tea or Yunnan Sourcing. It also claims to be ancient tree, from 400 year old trees. While I believe you should take all such claims with a grain of salt, Berylleb has a good record of telling the truth. I tend to at least believe they believe that this is from 400 year old trees. If bitterness is a prerequisite for a good aging tea, this has enough of it I think it. While the bitterness was not at all unpleasant, it was there but not that much of it. In the end this is a good, slightly bitter sheng for an excellent price. It was on sale for $45 a bing, don’t know if it is still on sale, the regular price lists at $90.
I brewed this tea ten times in my new 150mml ruyao gaiwan from Teaware.house with 10.g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.
Thank heavens my steeping was off from last time. I actually got a pretty strong caramel note with raw cocoa hidden in the tiniest of drops. I used fewer leaves and less water in my new Xiang Fu travel set. The pot makes SO much of a difference in brewing. Anyway, there will be a lot of back logging after this review. I recently took a midterm, wrote a paper, and now writing two more papers. I need the cha qi very, very badly. So, my orders from Berrylleb, Whispering Pines, Liquid Proust and my trade from Nichole will be the next few up. Expect around seven notes about the following eventually.
Back to this tea, I used two pinches of the leaves, not quite measuring them with accuracy. The pot I have also has a 6.5 ounce carrying capacity as it does not have a lid, and the cup in companion holds three to four sips. Petite indeed. Because I used less leaves and a Gong Fu specific tea pot, I was able to enjoy the Shui Xian so much more. I also admit that my ratings depend entirely too much on my volatile moods. This time, instead of a smoked up woody and leathery drink, I got something more nuanced, sweeter even, and complex. There is a slight floral scent now with the wood notes turning something closer to a roasted nut. Chestnut maybe? This was after a minute at most in steeping. I sipped it gradually, and the notes came in between 45 and 64 seconds. It also had a bit of a creaminess to it. Amanda, is this typical of Shui Xian’s or am I imagining it? Steep two, and even in the aroma, there’s a vanilla scent sneaking through. Sipped it, and it was even in the taste. It needs to brew a little bit longer. If only the water was a few degrees hotter.
There were even certain similarities to Whispering Pines Dark Roast Anxi Tie Guan Yin, though you could definitely tell them apart. I recently had that one today, and holy crap I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I really want more of that now, but I’m spent! This is also really good. Glad to have the amount that I do. A single dunce in steeping makes a difference. And brewing darker oolongs lighter is a must for me.
Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Cocoa, Flowers, Roasted, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla
Shui Xian was on my hit list, and everything else that I tried from Berrylleb has been great. This one kinda disappointed me. I was looking for a sweet, smoky oolong with more of a caramel note, but what I got was more leathery, staunchly oak like, and smokey. This is a good, complex oolong. It’s just not what I was looking for.
Was there something wrong with my steeping? Maybe. I started with a rinse, then proceeded to soak it for 15 seconds. Too faint, so I let it sit another 15. Woodsy, and earthy with a complex shift in fog and smoke. Tried it again and again, finally turning the method into western for about 2 minutes with water closer to 180 degrees F. The sweetness really showed through this time, but again, not the best oolong I’ve had.
I’m probably going to review this one again because of how skewed I just reviewed it. I highly recommend this tea for people who like really woodsy and complex oolongs, but not for anyone who likes naturally sweet teas. If it doesn’t work out the second time, I’ll probably end up selling or trading it. Otherwise, Berrylleb is an awesome vendor that I will purchase from again. I did get this tea a day ahead of shipping predictions after all.
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Mineral, Oak wood, Sweet, Wet Wood
Another from one of my Liquid Proust boxes – im guessing this is the tea, if not, let me know and i will change it
Its a nice one – classic Dayuling aroma with a hint of candyfloss in there, or maybe sherbet something. some floral perhaps. anyway, its nice.
Taste is a bit more savoury than the aroma, but again, nice Dayuling, its quite a clear one, not too thick or veggie, and certainly no astringency or bitterness or anything bad for that matter. Weirdly i think this has a bit of caffeine in it, not what im used to.
The cup i had was a bit more subtle than i thought it would be – not that thats a bad thing, it also had a nice green aftertaste. i did my standard 3g/3mins/fisheye boil, maybe it can take a bit more of the heat, or a bit more amount of tea to kick up the flavour a bit.
not bad price too! liked it – didnt set my world on fire but i think with a bit of coaxing it could be a really good cup. certainly not throwing it out of bed :)
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Floral, Grass, Rose, Sweet, Vegetal
hmm, another nice, subtle, aged Oolong.
the main thing i get from this tea is that it tastes like coffee cake & cream. and that really is the thing i get when i drink it, it still has a medium Oolong thing going on, but doesnt scream woods or veg or smoke or roast, just coffee cake & a small dollop of cream.
Flavors: Cake, Coffee, Cream
I’ve had three teas from Berylleb which I believe is not enough to make my opinion yet… but with AllanK’s advice/help, I did just spend $119 on only three teas.
This tea how every is funky… like a wild molded grass. I’m not really a fan of it to be honest. Green teas that look like this in general haven’t been my thing; even the one that Whispering Pines had which I blind tasted because I had no idea what it was. Just not my kind of green :/
This tea is not smoky. It is very similar to Yunnan Sourcing’s Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong of Wu Yi Fujian Black tea. I think this one is the better of the two (at least comparing the 2015 from YS). It’s sweet and malty with chocolate notes.
When I was looking on Ebay for this type of tea it’s very confusing whether it’s this type of lapsang souchong or the smoky one. I like both but prefer this one. I just wonder why it’s called lapsang souchong when I thought the name “Lapsang Souchong” meant smoky?
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Sweet
I’ll be the first one again to review :)
I’ve been craving a good Sheng session, and my Berylleb order came in. I dived into this right off the bat. I opened the package and took in a deep smoky aroma. It carried a slight aged scent. The beeng was of long darkened curls with a few brilliant gold strands standing out. I broke a generous chunk and placed inside my warmed yixing to open up. The scent broadened to the charred remains of blackwood forest after a firestorm. This brew had some intense smoky tones; however, the taste was surprisingly different. The initial sip had a light oak base and a delectably sweet aftertaste. It wasn’t a nectar sweet tone, rather it was a sugar cane sweetness. This smooth taste lasted for quite awhile, and I swear I could even taste the cane itself. The qi from this brew was prominent with the first drink, but it faded soon after. I can still feel a slight subtle presence. This is a great sweet treat. It did not hit the spot though, and I will definitely be exploring my other shengs until I am satisfied, hahah.
Flavors: Char, Oak wood, Smoke, Sugarcane
Thanks AllanK for including this in our swap.
I was just drinking a 2014 winter crop green oolong from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company before this which is a nice comparison. This oolong is what I would consider to be brisk. The bitterness overtakes the sweetness, but it is a darker oolong which makes it acceptable. If it was a tieguanyin with these bitter notes I would rate it low, but it it is not. There is something about this tea that is enjoyable, but at the same time there is something about it that makes it a sipping tea versus a drinking tea.
I wish the honey came through more. This oolong should be brewed quickly, leaving it in for 3 minutes makes it a bit too strong for my liking. Two minute steeps seem to work for me. The is nice and dark after many brews and has a funky smell, but the taste stays strong.
This cute little pu square was sent to me by Sarsonator, thank you sweetie.
Quick rinse and first steep is like a pale version of what it should be…i didn’t let it steep long enough, its super compact.
Second steep and…whoa! This doesn’t taste like shou…it tastes like roasted coffee beans!
Very dark and rich, slightly bitter just like a strong black coffee.
Now, I don’t drink a lot of coffee but I enjoy a cup once in a while. And I drink mine black, so this is very reminiscent.
I would say it resemble Special Dark a tad. Certainly as rich and full bodied.
Third steep and it’s still not completely loose, this will render many steeps.
And it provides a pretty intense qi, made my heart beat a little faster and gave me tons of good energy. Really, i see this as a potential regular morning cuppa. I think it would do as good brewed western style cause it doesn’t have a very complex flavor profile. The steeps tasted almost all the same.
I agree with Sarsonator’, a must try to all the coffee lovers out there!
Here’s a look:
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!
Brewed this one western style this morning. Some puerh teas don’t take western brewing well, either they are too earthy or too bitter. This one is good from the first steep although it is certainly good gongfu style as well. I’m not getting as strong notes of chocolate this time, ah well but its sweet and tasty.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 6.1g leaf and boiling water for 30 sec.
This tea is excellent, almost but not quite stellar. It has very little fermentation flavor left, just a touch, barely perceptible. This is on par with a good quality puerh cake at least, if not the very highest quality. It is good. I might just put in an order with Berylleb for a half kilogram. I only bought 100g. In the initial steeping I detected notes of cocoa or chocolate. By the fourth steeping these notes had deepened to dark chocolate. There were other sweet notes as well. This is a very relaxing tea.
I brewed this 5 times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 7.6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. There were at least five more steeps to this tea but I have had enough caffeine for one night. It got only a little weaker in the fifth infusion. I should have given it one minute instead of 30 seconds. This was a damn good tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
This is an excellent oolong that lives up to the phrase “competition grade”. It is slightly sweet and slightly bitter, but it is bitter in a good sort of way. It has some of that characteristic oolong flavor common in Dong Ding oolongs but it is not overwhelming. It might be described as a musty flavor but I don’t know if that is right.There is also a mild honey flavor to this tea. This is is the first time I gave this the full gongfu treatment.
I brewed this four times in an 180ml celadon teapot. I used 190 degree water and 5g of leaf. I brewed it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 25 sec, and 35 sec. This was without a doubt one of the best oolongs I have ever drank.