China Cha Dao

Recent Tasting Notes

About 3 years ago China Cha Dao sent out some puerh samples. I tried them, then put the rest in storage. This morning I was in the mood to dig in the poo drawer and try something I haven’t had in a long time.

I used my $7 yixing pot. It makes me happy. It’s 10 oz, so its big enough for an entire party in yixing circles. To me in amateur land it is the perfect personal size.

The dry leaf smells of hay. Gave it a one minute steep. The color is a warm orange. Wow this is still quite bitter when hot. I should have done a wash. So I added sweetener. That calmed down the bite. The taste is kind of raisin, woodsy, mineral, with a hint of smoke.

Looking forward to many cups with this today.

I thought my internet would be shut off this morning – I got the overage notice yesterday dated the 27th. They haven’t flipped the switch yet – so yeah!

mrmopar

I love the big Yixing pots also.

K S

I started to order a couple more but given comments about the safety of cheap pots, I wasn’t sure. I can’t find any evidence that anyone has ever actually found lead or other harmful stuff in them. I have found a page where a person purposely destroyed one to have it tested and it turned out fine. So I probably will eventually get more of them. They are just too fun to use.

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83

Backlog:

I actually sampled the 2012 version of this tea.

A rather unique Puerh … light in color and flavor. It smells more vegetative than earthy, which is also quite unique in a Puerh.

Sweet, smooth and mellow. No astringency. No bitterness. Just … smooth!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/11/11/2012-douji-hong-shang-dou-raw-puerh-tea-cake-china-cha-dao/

Charles Thomas Draper

A 2011 raw puerh should never be earthy. A shu, yes. Sheng, never…

LiberTEAS

I usually find most puerh earthy on some level. Sheng are definitely less so than Shu, but I usually taste earthy notes. (Even though the title says 2011, I used the same listing for the 2012 … not that it matters.)

Charles Thomas Draper

It is too new to be earthy

LiberTEAS

I generally pick up on earthy notes in most Pu-erh. I also pick up on earthy notes in some white, green and black teas. They may not all taste of the same “earthy” quality, but it is still earthy to me.

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92

Backlog:

I didn’t notice the same earthiness from this puerh that my SororiTea Sister TeaEqualsBliss did.

This was a surprising Puerh, because I could taste unique sweet and fruity notes! A mild earthy note, but I found that the leaf smelled more earthy than the tea tasted.

Sweet, juicy melon and peach notes with a hint of vanilla. Then I noticed hints of wood. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a Puerh quite like this one before: no strong earthy qualities, no fishy or brine-y notes. Just … really delightful.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/10/20/2011-douji-nuan-jiang-shan-ripe-puerh-tea-from-china-cha-dao/

mrmopar

Jerry sells some good puerh!

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91

Backlog:

Thank you Azzrian for sending me some of this tea. This is a surprisingly strong white tea – stronger in flavor than the typical delicate white tea. While I do enjoy those delicate white tea too, it’s nice when I come across something a little different.

Sweet, vegetative (reminiscent of freshly cut hay) … it’s a very fresh tasting tea. Tasty nutty tones. This is one of those teas that keeps me sipping because each sip is a new adventure. I liked this one a lot.

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93

This one smells like wet wood and dirt…very earthy.
The color is a medium brown once infused.

The flavor is more gentle than I assumed it would be based on the aroma, alone. I’m happy with the level of flavor on the tongue.

It’s somewhat mellow, thick like broth, slightly earthy but a little sweet…like sweet wood. This feels good on the throat. This is a very nice ripe pu-erh! Nice surprise!

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95

Azzrian Thanks, sista!
This was lovely! Grand! I really REALLY enjoyed this! It was mild, a little roasty/toasty, sweet, creamy, clean, and somewhat brothy/soupy by subtly-so!

It’s like ZEN…in a cup!

YAY!

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89

Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 26th but here are the snippits:

I prefer the second steep to the first, and in the future would probably even do a quick rinse, like one would do with pu-erh, before sipping.

The aroma is that of flowers, orange, and grapefruit. The liquid should be rather pale, be sure not to over steep this one. Gong Fu brewing is recommended.

This is a unique tea with a completely different flavor profile from any oolong that I have ever had. I can see where some would adore this tea and where others may not care for it. I think those who adore it will want it in their stash at all times, however for those we do not, they should at least experience an oolong like this once.

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100

Full review will be posted on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 14th. Here are the snippits:

I am not always impressed with white tea, its a little too mellow for my palate, but this one has some lovely character. I really love the creaminess of this one, along with the lovely light vegetal flavor.

it gives me a feeling of looking into a reflecting pool – just staring into it gazing for that little glimmer of a koi swimming by, or a frog that leaps out unexpectedly from the greenery around the pond. It has its subtle nuances and surprises within the cup. It is also so dreamy, relaxing, and mellow.

There is a light spicy note to the sip, like a sparkle of cinnamon on the tip of the tongue. The after taste coats your mouth with the flavor of ginseng and honey!

2012 Fu Ding Ba Cha has many layers of flavors that peek out and keep bringing me back to my magical reflection pool, just now I was sure I tasted something rather smokey. Perhaps it is the haze left behind by the waters as they cool from the setting sun or perhaps it is just the tea cooling a little. Either way this tea is quite dreamy.

Terri HarpLady

nice review!

Azzrian

Thank you! :)

Indigobloom

Love your review! did you add sugar in this one?

Azzrian

None at all! It is so yummy!

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77

So I’ve had this one for a bit from a swap with Dinosara but you know sometimes it takes a while to get to some teas…or your cabinet is overflowing and your wife says no more tea till you finish what you have. This one has been in my work stash. I have liked all the Wuyi teas that I have tried and this one is pretty good. A little nutty and since the leaves are half oxidized I’m getting a little bit of what I would call that sometimes cherry like flavor and honey hints that at least I pick up from the fully oxidized Oolongs. That you don’t get from green Oolongs.

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85

Apparently, a year ago I steeped 2g of leaf about 10 times. Today I only had time for 2 mugs. First had that in your face metallic sheng thing going while this was very hot. It pretty much disappeared as it cooled. It was replaced by a creamy sweetnes that bordered on syrup. Yes I added sweetener but not enough to explain this. It was kind of honey and caramel flavor. The second cup was not as enjoyable. It was sort of bland. Wish I had time for a third to see if it came back to life.

A really rough day mentally at work but I arrived home to find three packages of tea sent to me for review. Yep, the end of the day was much better than the start.

Bonnie

It’s great to come home to tea!

gmathis

Few things beat a pile of good mail waiting for you. Our surprise today was a box of small and shiny Christmas packages from an eccentric auntie. They make really interesting noises when you shake them…

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69

I’ve been sipping on this tea all day ~ it is alright, but nothing memorable. It is a good tea for when you are focusing on other activities. It is a bit nutty and not really sweet – not nearly as complex as I prefer my darker oolongs. Overall, I wouldn’t purchase this but I’ll definitely enjoy what I have.

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92

I’ve had this little brick for a few weeks now but am just getting around to trying it. I do love the elegant box and paper wrappers that douji uses, and I ordered this brick from China Cha Dao on E-Bay with no problems whatsoever. I think it took 2 weeks to arrive from China which isn’t bad.

The first steep of this tea was for around 20 seconds. I got a light yellowish tea liquor and am happy, for a sheng this is fairly mild with a touch of sweetness. I am finding the flavor to be woodsy, slightly tangy and with a touch of bitterness in the finish.

Steep #2 was about the same and Steeps #3 and #4 I decided to drink together in my glass teacup. Some gentle honey notes and slightly floral ones are coming forward in the tea. I have been fairly happy with the few jing mai shengs I’ve had in the past because they all seem to share this characteristic. Only the tiniest trace of bitterness is present in the finish. I’m happy that this is mellow.

I really like this one and it should age like a champ, although it is certainly ready to drink now as well. I’ve had with my two Douji experiments so far, maybe next I will get a cake. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Scatterbrain

I’m really happy about finally starting my journey into sheng, it seems to be an exciting world.

TeaBrat

It is – very fun and interesting!

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86

I really like Nan Nuo mountain tea, and I am also a big fan of Douji. Lucky for me, I had this tea from a couple of years ago, when they price was still ok, although still a bit expensive. Unfortunately, the current Douji 2012 teas I have seen are all much higher in price. But for a larger brand, they still do a great job.

The tea was very fragrant and floral. When I steeped it, the room filled up with a flower smell, very enticing. The tea goes on for quite awhile too. I give this tea a high rating, but for Nan Nuo mountain teas, I think there are still some better options out there

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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81

A review of 2011 Golden Key AAA+ Wuyi Mountain (Chinese Oolong Tea sample by China Cha Dao

This sample I received last year from Jerry Ma, tea vendor in China. I have enjoyed sampling all of their teas. I put a teaspoon of the remaining leaves into my cup and poured the hot water into my cup and leaving it to steep with cover on for few minutes.

After the set time, I removed the cover and notice the tea’s color to be a golden yellow, that light amber coloring. This tea smells very clean; nothing hits you at once since it is a very mild tea. With the leaves in the bottom of the cup, you can smell that the leaves have been cooked; that leafy green texture lingers slightly. Once I remove the leaves, I am left with a lovely cup of oolong. I sip and sip until the very end.

This Oolong was very clean and smooth; lush even; the nose of this tea is flowery but more of melons than floral. It is a sweetly and smooth cup of hot tea. It would make a nice cup of iced tea. I like mine hot, just they way I had it. Thank you for allowing me to continue to sample such fine teas.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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88

I ran across this tea in my stash when I was looking for my Shu puerh, and realized I hadn’t had this for months. The first thing that struck me when I opened the tin was the strong roasted smell of the leaves. I put some in my tea ball, and let it steep in nearly-boiling water for three minutes. The result is a fairly dark tea that smells very roasted/toasty. The taste is very much like a Wuyi Oolong, much more so that I actually remember. The taste is pretty much the standard heavily-roasted Oolong taste, with no tea distinguishing feature, but the aftertaste tastes mineral-ish, but it doesn’t have the same smooth feeling associated with Wuyi Oolongs. Overall, it was a very pleasant tea, but with nothing special as of yet. I don’t have high expectations, but I’ll see how it develops in later steeps.

Second infusion, 205 degree water for a minute and a half. The tea is a nice caramel color, and the taste has mellowed quite a bit. The roasted flavor is smoother, and so is the aftertaste, making it seem even more like a Wuyi. The roasted taste also lingered pleasantly in my hard palate for over a minute, rounding off a very nice second infusion. I have to confess, this tea is much better than I remember, and the rating is getting bumped up again.

ALright, I had two more cups of this, and it was pretty good, but I got interrupted by some eleictical work that my dad was doing, so I; didn;t have electricity to post about it here. The TL;DR is that it was much better than I remember, and I’m really glad I git 100 grams of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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94

As always, Douji is one of the better producers of “main stream” puer. This brick is not really their best effort, but it still destroys most other puer available outside of China. Douji’s lowest quality product still beats out all of the competition, in my opinion.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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3

1st steep: 20 sec, boiling water. Not much flavor and not very pleasant.

2nd steep: 30 sec. Yeah, I really don’t like this, I’m not going any further with it. Yuck.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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84

Nice, toasty oolong – but not as flavorful as the special grade version. Still good though!

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78

A review of 2011 Yang Pin Hao Jing Mai (Raw Pu-erh) Tea by China Cha Dao

I am somewhat disappointed with the Stash Pu-erh and remembered I still had some of the samples from China Cha Dao store pu-erh and today I selected to brew their 2011 Yang Pin Hao Jing Mai.

I placed the leaves after having rinsed them once with warm water in pot to boil for few minutes. I love the teas’ color once brewed; a very dark reddish color and smelling of earth. I like this effect upon my nostrils so much so that I stood there over the stove just inhaling, taking a deep breath of it.

Anyhow, after sometime I did pour myself a cup of tea to enjoy. The rawness of this tea hits me right away; on first sip it is plain, musty with an earthy undertone. The more I sipped and allowed the tea to play around my palette the more I could enjoy the minerals it conjure…supplements like zinc and ion comes to mind and eventually that raw pineapple flavor I have noticed in the past from other pu-erh sampled came to be found in this tea.

I am happy to have a full pot of this and I can cook it again two more times. I must remember to note that samples from Cha Dao are usually ample. Thank you.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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84

Enjoying this roasty toasty oolong tonight “grandpa” style in a decently sized mug. I’ve refilled my mug once now and the flavor is still smooth and going strong. I think I’m finally ready to rate this tea. I don’t always feel like a dark oolong, but when the mood hits – this is awesome.

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91

My study aid for the afternoon. Deeeelicous!
See previous notes for details. Angel food cake anyone?

Azzrian

Hey I wanted to get a sample of this but am not sure what to look for:
Douji “Hong Da Dou”
or
2011 Douji “Hong Shang Dou”
Or are the one and the same?
Sorry just wanted to look for the right thing :)

Bonnie

Good, no icky tea for you. Study, slurp!

Bonnie

Do lang do lang do lang! Do wop! Shoobie do wop!

Indigobloom

Azzrian: Humm, I’m not sure! This was a free sample sent to me by the vendor… Maybe if you email him he will know? Sorry I can’t be more help!
Bonnie: Nope nope, I be takin’ no chances today! slurrrrrrrrp!
LOL hey I commented on that same thing to Mum!! I can’t recall what my ditty was but it went something like Hong Da Dou be do be doooo… but she just looked at me like I was craaaazy. Which I am of course :P

Azzrian

Okay thanks Indigobloom :)

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80

Still working on stat (Linear regression can be really time consuming, especially when you keep getting distracted by stuff…), but my other tea gave up the ghost, so I threw some of this in a cup, and proceeded to to brew it grandpa style. See previous notes for details.

Preparation
Boiling

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