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Recent Tasting Notes
Drank this tea this morning by accident, thought I was pouring some other leaves into my little teapot in the bleary-eyed semi-darkness of the morning hours. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this was the tea that I tasted! Such a soothing energy. Calming. Unlike most pu erh, it has a bit of a floral hint to the aroma and flavour, while retaining some traditional pu erh malty darkness.
Ok. So I went back to the Fall 2009 version of this tea: awesome. The aroma wafted between honeycomb and crocuses and the flavour was similarly sweet and nectarlike. Energy is light and uplifting: effervescent. This is a sublime tea. It reminds me, each time that I drink it, of my first truly fresh oolong experiences when I was living in Taiwan.
I have to say though, that although the Spring 2010 version is tasty, it doesn’t quite live up to the standard of Fall 2009. Can’t wait till Fall 2010 arrives!
The Final Sipdown: Day
Oh? Sorry. I’ve been so caught up in TFS that I’ve forgotten I have other teas to log.
Mark, the fellow behind Cloudwalker Teas, sent me a few samples of tea to log about a week ago. I’m getting around to it a bit late, but here we are at one of three.
When I was little, I was obsessed with white grape juice. No clue why, but it had a flavor that I craved and whenever I had options, it was my poison of choice. I think my mom didn’t really mind because white grape juice doesn’t lend itself to staining. Now, I don’t find myself drinking it nearly as much as I used to. I don’t know if something about the way it’s made has changed, or simply my tastebuds have shifted, but I find it too sweet and the aftertaste strange.
This tea propels me back to my memories of white grape juice. Which really, at this point, is more of a diffused haze; the essence of white grape. It doesn’t possess the sharp sweetness that fruit juices typically do, but I prefer it this way. In fact, it is rounded off by a soft saltiness – a quality that is more apparent to me in the first steep than the second [because yes, I’m on a second steep]. At times, I get a sweetly whispering nectary flavor that reminds me oh-so-much of honeysuckle. In others, I sense an almost yeastiness half makes me think of bread and half of a soft pretzel. All of this is underpinned by the fresh, juicy notes of white grape and that comes rushing through in the finish and aftertaste.
There is a sophistication about this tea that makes me feel as though I should be drinking it out of a flute, but sipping it out of my little bodum mug it seems to be doing just fine.
Finding myself on steep number three now with the flavor holding up just fine has cemented in my mind that I will, in fact, be purchasing some of this to keep on my shelf. Having apparently grown myself out of my white grape juice phase, this is filling the white grape shaped hole in my soul.
Light, springy, satisfying, and delicious.
Opened up a sealed can of this tea this morning. I love opening a fresh tea for the first time from its vacuum sealed package: the smell out of the bag is so fresh and green and floral. The leaves brewed up to a luminescent yellow-green, the aroma was sweet and honeylike, and the flavour had a hint of astringency but was mostly clean and clear. It left that really smooth feeling in the mouth and a returning hui gan on the breath.
I’m not gong to lie, I was expecting something quite different than what appears in the cup. Maybe it was the lofty title or maybe the fantastic tradition behind the processing that caused me to have a delusion of grandeur toward this tea. Please don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a bad or even average tea. It’s just not what I expected, that’s all. That’s probably my fault.
Anyway, it is very reminiscent of a mild cooked puerh or aged sheng. The mouthfeel is very smooth and the flavor profile is mild, earthy and warm. It slides in nicely with some of the better dark puerh I’ve had, in fact after the third steep I blended it with some near spent Menghai Orange-in-Orange and the result is affirming to the quality of both teas.
And as an update I’ve found a very interesting dimension to the flavor profile of this tea. Underneath the aforementioned similarity to better puerh is the thick and earthy tone of grilled mushroom. Portabella, to be exact. It adds a meatiness to the liquor and more depth than I had realized. As the seller notes, a dedicated Yixing pot would most likely coax the best possible flavors out of the brew. This, more so than any other tea I’ve had, would seem to benefit most from such nurturing because the best flavors to be found in this tea are also the most subtle. An Yixing would enable the flavors to compound and concentrate wonderfully, I’m sure, though I wouldn’t go so far as to derive notions of immortality from them.
There is only one path to perfect eternity, my friends.; )
Mmm Mmm good. Cloudwalker Teas is now stocking this tea and it is available on our website. I had some this evening as a pick-me-up before going out to meet some friends. Dark, earthy with a hint of sheng bitter, the taste is all pu erh, and because it is a compressed cake, it’s pretty good value for money. There’s a lot of tea in one of these mushrooms. The energy is lasting as well. Really good stuff.
I’ve been reacquainting myself with this tea the past few days. Like any good pesticide free pu erh, this one is clear and clean on the tongue. It leaves a lasting hui gan (returning sweetness) in the back of the throat and the tongue feeling particularly silky smooth post-swallow. The flavour is earthy, but lighter than many other aged, sheng pu erh. The aroma is much the same. The energy is lasting for this tea and often leaves me “spacey” for a few hours after drinking. That said, I’ve never required less sleep, been more focused and more productive than I have the past two weeks. The morning pu erh experiment has been going very well. Today was the first day in two weeks that I had coffee in the afternoon and that was only necessary because I happened to be reading an exceedingly boring document at work. Other than that, I have not once felt inclined to nap in the afternoon (especially positive since this would NOT be conducive to the ol’ 9-5).
I should mention here that I used only about 2g of leaf in a 150cc gong fu yi xing pot, and infused longer than I normally do, reducing the number of steepings I could get out of this tea. This was a positive thing however because it meant less time in the morning committed to the tea and I woke up late, so I didn’t waste any tea. But this has turned out to be an excellent way to start the day.
I drank some of this tea this morning. You know that feeling you get from coffee after about 15-20 mins? It picks you up until you crash later in the morning. Tea like this one is so energy rich that it actually keeps me going all day. I think one of the nicest aspects of this tea is that it comes from “the wild” so I know it’s pesticide free (which comes out in the flavour since it is clean tasting and not bitter). I’m wide awake now and ready to face the world; who wouldn’t be after a tea like this…
Begins with a briny-sweet aroma and dark vegetal depth that translate into scintillating, oceanic flavors in the cup. The mouthfeel is wonderfully round and hui gan is sweet as nectar with notes of white grape and seaweed. The age adds swarthiness and structure and there is a noticeable warm, euphoric energy once imbibed.
Hypnotic and elegant, a nautilus of tea.
I’ve really been drinking the pu erh this morning. I started with a really spicey cake pu erh from the tea master’s shop super early. This guy is so blissed out that my partner and I used to call him the “tea dude.” He’s timeless. He could be anywhere from 35 to 65 years old, but it’s hard to say without asking him (which might be construed as rude). Anyway, that’s not the tea I’m rating here anyway. Joy: my thoughts on taste, aroma and chi remain unchanged. I am always amazed at the drinking longevity of this tea however. I’ve already steeped it three times this morning with no noticeable loss of concentration in the tea soup. Yesterday I had this tea in the morning as well and managed to brew it four times before the leaves started to produce lesser concentrations. And I continued to brew it into a ninth brew, which was still flavourful and aromatic. I should mention that I did this with a mug, hot water and one of those tea guru mug strainers, not my traditional gong fu sitting, which is preferable but not always possible. I should also mention that the energy has me floating toward the sky and highly focused.
Right now I’m going to echo the sentiments of some others who have tasted this tea, including the seller: “luminescence and viscosity”, “acts quickly to engulf the palate”, “buttery-smooth”, “sumptuous”. These are all very true.
This is probably the richest Bai Hao I’ve tasted with prevalent notes of honey, vanilla, creme and almond. There are faint elements of hay and persimmon and the hui gan gives this a sticky quality that I like.
Nice and soothing to the stomach while still stimulating the palate. This one is not going to give you the sometimes unwelcome bottom-heavy blackness some other shu puerh deliver. Instead, the tone is lifted a bit providing a nicer, quieter, more geltle experience (thus the little star). I’ve also noticed a subtle edge not present in other cooked puer reminiscent of a soft Yunnan red. Again, it’s subtle and gently lifts the flavor out of the murky depths of lesser shu.
This is a really interesting tea. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything quite like it. It is earthy, woodsy, and slightly smoky. It is malty and a little bake-y… and even a little buttery. I can taste distant notes that have hints of flower and fruit to them. There is a deep sweetness to this.
I really like this. I REALLY like this!
Drank this tea again this morning. Never ceases to amaze. I think it is the darkest and strongest smelling of the aged, wet-stored, sheng pu erh that I have. It also has the greatest depth and longest lasting flavour. The smoothness on my tongue lasts for at least an hour after drinking (even if I eat something after drinking!). An excellent pu erh tea. The energy lies more in the yang category, and very potent.
Had this tea again this morning. All this pu erh is definitely having a cumulative effect. I am sleeping less, I have more energy throughout the day and I can focus more intently on one project at a time. Perhaps this is the cumulative effect of the chi energy? I haven’t changed anything else in my lifestyle, so it has to be the tea coupled with meditation in the morning. Anyway, my tasting notes haven’t really changed from the previous posting the other day. Same steep times/temperatures in the gong fu style; the only difference is that this morning I shared it with my mom, who thoroughly enjoys having tea with me like this. Earthy, woodsy, loaded with chi: my kind of tea.
I took the day off from work today. I didn’t much feel like going in and besides, I wanted to drink some tea. So I did. I started with this one, which I haven’t had in awhile and was immediately pleased with the choice (of course). Oolongs have a special place in my heart because of their long lasting and widely varying aromas and flavours. The dry leaves of this tea smell of malty roast. The liquor scent has extreme longevity in the smelling cup. It seems to go on forever smelling of exotic sweetness with a hint of spice. The flavour is, as I mentioned in a previous note, malty, and smooth on the tongue leaving a long lasting hui gan (returning sweetness in the back of the throat). When I exhale I still get the flavour of this tea and it is very pleasant. The energy hits with a wallop as well. You don’t so much feel it coming as simply sink into the moment and completely lose track of time. I have a feeling drinking such high energy teas the past few days is having a cumulative effect on me. Everything around me seems crisper, clearer and more focused. An excellent tea, to be sure.
I’ve gotten into the habit of getting up early and sitting and drinking good pu erh teas gong fu before going to work and it’s been a great way to start the day. This tea is, as I’ve stated before, dark and earthy in flavour. It leaves a very smooth feeling on the front of the tongue and a hint of tang on the rear. The aroma is that of rolling in the hay of a freshly cut farmer’s field. The energy is strong and not understated, making it very easy to clear the mind of earthly thoughts and focus on each movement of the making of the tea with intention. Good stuff.
I don’t really have enough time to be logging this tea this morning, largely because I drank this tea this morning. I totally lost track of time. I cannot believe I haven’t logged it before. This was the very first aged, sheng, wet stored pu erh I have ever tried and it is smooth. The initial steepings have just a hint of bitterness, but otherwise it is quite sweet for a pu erh. The aroma is of dampness on a moonlit evening in a farmer’s field and the energy is potent and lasting. Every time I drink it I’m reminded of my introduction to excellent, vintage teas. The tea master sprang this on me, and man it’s good.
Good grief. This tea is smoooooooth. If you’re into pu erh, which I am, this is surely one of the best sheng, aged, wet-stored pu erh I’ve had. The liquor is smooth on the palate, leaving a lasting hui gan (returning sweetness in the back of the throat); it is almost sweet forward on the tongue, but with that infamous hint of dark forest floor. The aroma hints at the flavour, but with a just detectable foreign spice. Upon smelling the first cup I was immediately hit with the chi of this tea and sounds of the world faded away as I drifted deeper into meditation with each sip.
I drink this when I’m looking for something closer to the more complete fermentation of a black tea, while still wanting a hint of the pu erh earthiness: Dian Hong always delivers. The aroma is indeed sweet smelling for a pu erh and the flavour speak of hints of chicory and perhaps black licorice. Energy is light and breezy.
I highly recommend this tea for those interested in trying pu erh, but have traditionally not liked it. This is a good tea; trust me.
I drank this tea again today (three oolongs in one day, I know, I know, so much tea, but I couldn’t resist). Oriental Beauty is certainly one of our customer favourites and rightly so, it has a uniquely floral aroma and the flavour is reminiscent of citrus and honey. Chi energy is strong, especially when I drink it after other strong chi teas.
I drank this tea today after a particularly nice cliff tea of unknown heritage. I was fortunate to find another 25g! I will savour it over time for sure… Amazing drinking longevity. I steeped this tea about 10 times and it just kept going. What I said in my previous review still stands. It sure packs a wallop of a chi punch.