Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


2015 Autumn Guafengzhai Maocha – Essence of Tea


Price: £0.32 ($0.46) / g .

16g free sample received with my order.

6g in Gaiwan

Summary: Aesthetically, the best looking set of leaves I have come across so far. Flavour-wise, it initially provides a fresh, lively juicy mixture of flavours. I feel it does lack thickness.

Dry: Bright, concentrated herbal, darker base – White2Tea New Amerykah 2 comes to mind. Loose leaves, grey and brown, long and spindly.

Wet: Bright and lively, sweet, but with a pungent note.

10s – Light yellow. Fresh, lively, juicy, but has a deep base to it. Sweetness lingers. This has some complexity.

15s – Light yellow. Med bitterness, light herbal. Quite nice. The sweetness lingers, but not heavily, which is a positive for me.

20s – Light yellow. Not so full in the mouth. Very clear liquor. Only very light smoke. No astringency.

25s – It is resisting the high mountain Oolong sweetness, but it’s coming.

30s – Honey sweetness. Still resisting high mountain Oolong sweetness.

10s – There is some juicy currents.

15s – Good body, becoming very sweet.

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2000 Kai Yuan Green Stamp – Essence of Tea

Price: £0.52 ($0.77) / g ~£140 ($206) / 357g cake


8 grams in gaiwan.

Summary. An excellent tea which comprises a tart fruity note blended into softened smoke. The tea shows a mature flavour profile with a clean taste, possibly due to good storage. It is thick and oily in early brews with a thoroughly enjoyable mix of aged fruit and well integrated softened smoke. It lacks longevity and power.

Dry:Very dark brown and flatly compressed. Very mild smoky cheese.

Wet: Complex. Medium cloudy smoke; log burning smoke; beefy, deeper base. Bright, light furniture polish, old building – no bird cage. Warm soil. Soft pastry.

Rinse: Very clear light gold.

10s – Med golden. Sweet sip, a tart fruity note in the body. Very long finish, which is sweet, slightly almond. Minute bitterness. Worn out tea. Smoke is very soft. However, it is currently lightly flavoured. The flavour remains long in the mouth like a grape has decayed into soil: soft, sweet, earthy, but with a gentle bright floral note. This is a special tea. The aged flavours are mature, slightly dry and oily. 88/100

15s – Light brown. Thick in the mouth. The tea leaves an oily residue. There are a variety of aged flavours: furniture polish and old books. The tart, fruity note is there and it blends into soft smoke. 88/100

20s – Light/med brown. Smoke is stronger, but it is very worn down. The fruit note sometimes presents itself as light furniture polish – it becomes that bright; at other times it is darker and fades into the finish. Again, quite oily and the flavours are more pronounced. 89/100

25s – Light/med orange brown. Slight astringency. Log burning smoke has softened. The smoke combines with the fruit note to give a smooth aged taste that lasts long into the finish and remains in the mouth. Here it is not the strong old building, furniture polish, but a heavy and worn down log burning smoke with a mild beefy taste. 88/100

30s – Light/med orange brown. The fruit note, this time is polished wood, appears to buzz in the mouth in the body and finish. The smoke remains steady into and after the finish. 85/100

35s – Light/med brown. The smoky fruit note reminds me of smoked paprika in paella. It’s not as bright, but it has that pungent, woody after-taste. 82/100

45s – Light brown. Thinner. Less smoke. 70/100

1 min 15 – Med orange/brown. Base sheng. Thin. Stewed black tea. Slightly astringent. 50/100

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

another lovely review!


I see that you use the word oily quite a bit… are you referring to the tea’s viscosity and thickness or something else?


This tea is something else :) By oily I mean a residual liquid. Most teas you drink and they go down. This tea had a thick liquid left behind that I could feel go down very slowly. The 2008 Bulang had the same thing.


i do not think I’ve ever had an oily like tea :O

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2005 Chang Yu Hao – Essence of Tea


Price: £0.69 ($1.04) / gram

Summary: Sounds good, looks good, taste fails to impress.

Dry: Med brown, flat, lots of twigs/stems. Med compression.

Wet: Porridge, clay, powdery smoke. A bit flat. No fruit.

Rinse: Light/med golden.

10s – Light/med golden. Sweet dough; thin. 58/100.
15s – Med golden. Sweet hot milk. No bitterness. Flavour is coming slowly. 60/100.

Stab with a fork to open clump of leaves, gently.

10s – Med golden. Am I going to taste anything this time? Golden sweet fruit. The flavour comes in like treacle: soft, subtle and with some thickness.

12s – Dense med golden. Here it is! Soft, sweet dried apricot. The fruit is well pronounced.

15s – Ok it’s here now. Bitter and astringent grip; it delivers an pungent orange fruit flavour. Good body, but not a long finish. Flavours are a bit too close; its too concentrated. 80/100.

10s – Dense med golden. Strong, deep base with only light fruit that is not clearly coming through. It clearly has good strength and is quality material, but the flavours are too muddled.

10s – Dense, darker golden. Flavour is watery. 65/100.

20s – Med golden. Base sheng material. Flat. Reminding me of 2007 Golden Ribbon – well maybe not that bad.

25s – Med golden. Flavour have lost their edge.

Flavors: Orange

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2008 Mr Feng’s ‘Selected Trees’ – Essence Of Tea

Price: £0.60 / g £15 for 25 g.

Dry: Med brown with some grey leaves. Med compression. Sweet wood, but they all seem to smell like that from my Essence Of Tea order so far.

Wet: Concentrated herbal, quite smoky, dark fruit. Yiwu-style sweetness.

8 grams in Gaiwan.

Summary: Power house of bitterness, but of high quality material. Full flavour in the mouth unlike the Mengku 2007 Mu Ye Chun light flavour. Gives good energy. This tea does not have a lot of character, and for a 2008 tea it has incredibly strong bitterness, something which surprisingly is not mentioned in the description.

Rinse: Very clear, light golden.

10s – Light golden. Sweet. Very clear tasting. Mild bitterness. I feel like a cool breeze has gone down my throat. Very mild flavours though. Bit like a Yiwu.

15s – Med golden. Strong bitterness and tart sweetness with some smoke. The after-taste is dry bitterness. This reminds me of’s 2014 Naka. It is a youthful, bitter sheng of quality material.

5s – Light golden. Very bitter and energetic. Smoke is clearing slightly. Consistency is thick just as the description says.

10s – Light golden. This tea has a solid body, which is like a rainbow of bitterness.

7s – The bitterness is softening.

The bitterness can be tasted minutes after drinking.

8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

awesome review


it wont let me see the pics

Doug F

Ditto on both counts.


Create an Instagram account, and then follow me. You should be able to see them then. Thanks for the comments.


account name?


tea123 — Your account is set to “private”. Nobody can view your pictures unless they send you a request via Instagram and you then approve it.


Yeah, let me know if you want to see.


those pics were awesome!

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