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Recent Tasting Notes
3g in Gaiwan.
This tea does have a fishy odour in the dry leaf, which re-assures me that this properly made shu pu-erh. This has a good range of flavours, from sweet to very dark. It has a creamy, sweetness on the sip and it has excellent form and body. It is dearer than the Menghai Tianyu Ancient Puer Tea Cake 2006 357g Ripe, but it is worth the extra in my opinion for the extra depth of flavour, robustness and more stimulating drink.
I am really glad that Steepster seems to have the cupboard feature all sorted out, so I could easily sort on the teas I just added… yay!
So this is an interesting tea… normally Xiaguans are smoky and fairly potent. But I do know that Yiwu shengs tend to be more on the mild side, and so is the case with this one. I don’t detect any smoke at all in this. The flavor is very woody with apricot notes. After sipping, you are hit pretty hard with a lemony bitterness that gradually transforms into a sweeter, mellow more honey like flavor. This is a mildly energizing brew that gives a nice, glowing feeling….
I found that when I lowered the water temp. from about 200 F to 190 F, most of the bitterness is gone.
I tend to like smoky shengs myself, but this is a nice change of pace for when I want something on the lighter side. Will be interesting to see how this ages if I don’t drink it all before it ages. :)
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Honey, Wood
Not terribly impressed with this one for some reason, though I normally like puerh’s that come from Dayi.
It says “mellow taste” but I am finding the taste kind of boring and flat. There are a few fruity notes but it seems bland and chalky. I wonder if I am just in a weird tea mood after that horrible caramel nougat earlier so I will try this again another day. For now my verdict is “meh”
This is a sample I ordered from Dragon Tea House. I’ve heard some of the Tibetan flame teas can be really strong… I have a Flame tuo from 2007 that is really smoky.
The traditional way to make this tea is by boiling it and serving with yak butter and milk. I won’t be doing that but it’s actually really good plain. I am doing short steeps of it in my yixing and it’s nice and mellow. Maybe Xiaguans need to age 10 years before they are properly aged? I wonder…
It isn’t very smoky at all, I would describe the flavor as woodsy with some fruit notes like apricot. I detect a tiny bit of smoke but nothing like the tea I had the other day. Also there is no almost no bitterness whatsoever, even after steeping it for 45 – 60 seconds, pretty amazing. Mostly it is woodsy and sweet. Does anyone know if the teas made for the Tibetan market are different than other Xiaguan recipes? Because this sure seems different from the other ones I have tried.
I am adding this to my wishlist. I bet it will be even more tasty in another 10 years and the whole brick is only $19.99. I am not rating it for now but it is good.
Not feeling so great today for some reason. Just woke up from a nap and it is raining, so I thought some puerh would be nice. These are mini coins about the size of a silver dollar and they have a divider down the middle, which makes them easy to split apart. I used 1/2 a coin in the yixing.
The original packaging looks like it comes in a bamboo tube, which is nice. I should have looked more carefully at the website as the 50g sample is $4.99 but the whole tube of 22 discs is only $7.99! A much better value.
I feel this is a pretty good shu for the price. It is chocolate-y and smooth and I am picking up some camphor notes. The only downside is what I feel is a slight musty smell, which isn’t readily apparent. I wonder if this is due to the bamboo? Overall it’s smooth and fairly tasty. Not the best shu I have had by a ling shot but a good every day type of tea.
I need to do something with my puerh samples soon since they are over running my kitchen!
Here’s a sheng I picked up with my latest Dragon Tea House order.
When I first sipped it, I thought it was a very light tea without a lot of bitterness but I was wrong! The bitterness definitely sneaks up on you so that by the time you’re finished with one cup it’s really strong. Very sour, makes your mouth pucker!
It doesn’t have many sweet, honey like notes to counteract the bitterness. I would say it has some lighter haylike flavors in the first couple of steeps. I am not detecting any smoke in this tea.
3/4 steeps – the tea is still so strong that I had to add some hot water to dilute it. When it’s diluted it’s a lot less strong and I am detecting some sweeter notes coming forth. This is a very potent tea however. Always the risk with young shengs.
5/6 steeps – I am getting the same result. The tea needs to be diluted to make it drinkable. Maybe by around 20 steeps this will start to mellow out more. It’s definitely a potent tea… needs to be aged for about 10 years probably. Not sure how to rate this one for now.
Putting my morning frankly: I woke up and packed a bag ready for the gym, prepared a litre of iced Sencha for hydration, did some exercise, almost black out because I pushed myself too hard, did some food shopping, won £1 on a scratch card and am now watching last nights UFC fight. Not a great day so far but I am hoping it gets better.
The raw leaves are a blend of dark brown, gold and red brown colours with some golden tips and sticks present. Scent is earthy, smoky and rather sour.
Steeping roughly 6g of cake
With 100c water
In a 200ml Yixing teapot
Rinse 1 – 10 seconds
Rinse 2 – 10 seconds
Steep 1 – 10 seconds
Once steeped the colour is orange/yellow in colour and bares a smoky and damp earth scent.
Flavour is fairly strong, astringent, smoky and rather dirty, musty. Stronger than anticipated and the astringency carried on in the after taste. Not a great steep.
Steep 2 – 5 seconds
Even stronger and more astringent. Heavily smoky and dry and rich, damp earth and must notes. I’m finding myself pulling a face when I sip.
Steep 3 – 5 seconds
I took a minute sip and screwed my face up. Far too strong and astringent, generally unpleasant and not something I wish to have more of.
I’m leaving it there, this tea was just horrible! Short steeping times didn’t even help with the harshness of this Puerh. Frankly, life is too short to drink bad tea.
All I have to say is YUM! this tea is super delicious. And thank goodness because I got 50g of it with my Dragon Tea House order.
I’ve had some yellow teas that seem bitter and fussy, but not this one. It is sweet and delicious, with notes of chestnuts and sweet corn. I would have to say it reminds me a bit of a long jing green tea but also has some of the same sweetness as a nice green oolong. The tea has a very mellow and soothing energy with a thickish mouthfeel that lingers. Heavenly! This is the only yellow tea I currently own and it’s definitely a good one.
Steeped in my big Lupicia cooler because I just wanted a lot of afternoon tea :D
Part of a beeng sample I got from Dragon tea house…
I happen to be quite fond of Xiaguan teas for raw puerh, though I don’t think they are for everyone. They can be quite smoky and bitter, but this tea is from 2006 so I was hoping it would not be too rough.
This has a wonderful exhilarating aroma that just reminds me of walking through a forest of pine trees. The tea liquor itself has a honey like sweetness with a definite bitter finish and lingering smoke flavor. I wonder what this would be like with another 15 years of aging! It is starting to mellow out nicely, but still kind of aggressive with a big energy kick. I do like these traditional shengs a lot but sometimes a more mellow tea is nice too, especially if bitter and smoky is not really your thing ;)
This rates pretty high on my personal enjoyment scale but after about the 6th steep i got sick of it.
At least I don’t have to worry about breaking the cake: http://instagram.com/p/yfTiEgoLWe
This is the first tea I tried from my Dragon Tea House order. The smell of the dry leaves is exactly like fresh real butter. Steeped it still smells the same just with a touch of tea mixed in.
I enjoyed this tea quite a bit. At first I was breathing in through my nose as I sipped it, and it tasted very similar to green beans with butter. Then I tried hard not to inhale when I sipped at the tea was quite pleasant this way. Much more tea tasting with a creamy mouth feel.
Not sure if I will repurchase, but will certainly enjoy what I have.
Flavors: Butter, Green Beans
this was a sample included in my dragon tea house order and one that i would totally pick up again, though it’s VERY similar to other teas that i love for the same reasons…malty, cocoa-y, dark and delicious. So price would factor in..also the shipping…DH took over a month to get to me, which makes me a sad panda.
Firstly, I cannot believe that I haven’t reviewed this one yet. It’s my ‘go to’ matcha and I have it most days. It’s only $2.49 for 50g for an organic matcha and that was what drew me in from the start, I didn’t expect it to be as good a matcha as it is. For a basic quality organic matcha I have found none better in terms of taste or price. I know it sounds like I’m selling it myself but it’s true, I highly recommend it.
The foam is wonderful though it’s initial colour is khaki which shows it’s not top quality. It smells of seaweed and sweet grass. Taste is fairly creamy and light, slightly astringent but in a pleasing way. Also is sweet and umami with some dryness. The initial flavours match the scent though, so seaweed and sweet grass tones that linger nicely.
As I said it’s not top quality but for an every day matcha that is organic and cheap it’s fantastic. A big hit too with my husband and a few guests that have never tried matcha before but have gone out and bought some afterwards due to this introduction.
Next time I will try the step up and have the Premium quality for comparison though that is $6.49 for 50g. Not expensive but at least over double the price of standard grade.
Flavors: Seaweed, Sweet, warm grass, Umami
YAY for tea from cookies this was a rather unusual tea from this morning.I’ve been busy organising things and um spending too much money on house things today. I enjoyed this one, though it’s different from other barley teas that i’ve had.
it’s roasty and sweet at the same time. closer to coffee than tea. it reminds me a little of some of the green teas that i’ve had when they’re a bit beany? kinda. overall just a really fun tea to try! thanks cookies!
Another one from this morning. I think dexter and i got different batches of this tea. Both are tasty, but mine was a little smoother and refined…or something hahaha Either way, still nice o have this back in my cupboard again for a little while. especially since i don’t have a lot of yunnans currently in my cupboard.