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Recent Tasting Notes
For the preparation and consumption of this tea, I used a small, 6 oz. gaiwan and boiled water.
What struck me concerning the leaves of this particular pu’erh was that some are whole, while others are chopped, ripped, and torn. This typically is not a good sign, as ripped and chopped leaves tend to “steep-out” faster. The smell of the dried leaf is vegetal and green…a leafy smell, not grassy. A bit loamy.
The first thirty second steep produced a medium brown liquor, with a soft smell. The earthy flavour bursts in the mouth, but it brings with it some distinctly rough edges. The aftertaste of this first steep is strong, but the but it has a weak forward taste.
The second thirty second steep brings with it an earthier smell that is also smooth and deep. The tea bites a bit on the aftertaste leaves a hard flavour under the tongue. The flavour of the tea is still full, but not strong. One feels that this steeping is relatively light.
On the third steeping of the same time as the others, the smell is “dirtier” now. The colour is a golden brown, and that bite has almost completely gone away. The flavour is smooth, but a bit weaker than before. This tea certainly lacks forward flavours and much “personality.”
I go on to steep it three more times. The fourth is much thinner and lighter; the fifth is no different; and the sixth, which I left sit for multiple minutes, barely changed anything.
I would give this tea an 88/100 on my personal enjoyment scale. The aftertaste really was quite pleasant. A tea such as this goes to show that age is not everything in a pu’erh.
This is the best Pu-Erh I’ve tasted yet. The aroma is not that strong, earthy aroma that sometimes gives me pause and a slight cringe, in fact, the aroma is quite subtle compared to other Pu-erh teas that I’ve encountered. It’s there, but it’s different and quite light.
The flavor is also quite light, and has a delicate flowery note. I am also experiencing the minty sensation as described by Grand Tea. If I were going to purchase a pu-erh, this would be the one I’d buy! That being said, I am sure that one of the things that the pu-erh lovers out there like best is that same thing that I do not, which is the strong, earthy essence. This tea does not have that. It is smooth and well-rounded, but not earthy… it reminds me more of an Oolong than a typical Pu-erh.
I just attempted to visit the Grand Tea website so that I could obtain more information about this tea but it says that it is temporarily inaccessible.
Anyways… this is lovely. I am sitting here with a honey crisp apple and a cup of this tea, and the two compliment each other very nicely. The tea is earthy and slightly vegetative, with an interesting background of sweet and even a little note of savory/sour taste. Complex. Pleasant.
Does this tea smell like dirt? Yes, this tea smells like dirt. But such is a quality beloved of pu’erh. This sheng, or raw, or uncooked (whichever term you wish to use, each variety of pu’erh is a many-named tea) has a clean and clear aroma.
For this tasting, I use a small seasoned yixing pot, filled approximately a third with leaf. The leaves are rinsed and the first steeping is prepared, letting the leaves steep for about 30 seconds. The first taste conveys the earthy flavour well, along with a few vegetal notes. The liquor is light and smells “wet” with a bit of spiciness to it. The aftertaste seems cool and sits lightly in the mouth.
The second steep, of about 20 seconds, is darker in colour. The flavour is not as intense but is far more robust, flowing strongly through the mouth, giving one the full flavour experience. It almost seems as though there is a hint of minty-ness in the aftertaste for this tea. A bit like peppermint, it seems, like a touch of cool spice. One notices that this steeping remains a bit rough around the edges
30 seconds after again immersing the leaves in water, the third steep appears, as dark in colour as the second, and much the same flavour and aroma profile.
Another 30 seconds. The fourth steep maintains the same deep brown, but not quite dark brown, colouration. The flavours, though, are lighter. I cannot escape the strange cool mint-like aftertaste, which is something that barely comes through in the aroma.
Over the next few steepings, various flavours show themselves more dominantly than others. Vegetal flavours, spicy notes, and the complete earthiness all put their best foot forward as the tea continues to evolve.
The seven-years aging has been kind to this tea. If you are looking for a decent pu’erh for regular drinking, this 2003 Qing Yun Hao will surely fit the bill. I rate it a 75/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
Strong earthy scent that reminds me of a walk through an old growth forest – earthy, damp, woody, and even a little mossy.
The flavor is earthy, sweet (a deep, caramel-y note in this tea that I quite enjoy!) Soothing and contemplative, this tea.
I think I may be acquiring a taste for this…
A slightly later harvest, so liquor is darker and the flavors more pronounced. In spite of this, astringency is still quite low.
This stuff is kind of starting to grow on me. If I let it steep a bit longer you can taste a hint of something sweet but not enough that it lingers for long. Not as bad as it seems when I first got it.
On an off-note, my two boys are big enough to sit up in their Bumbo’s now which makes me excited. If you don’t know what a Bumbo is, then you need to look it up. Probably the single most awesome thing you can have as a parent. It’s just a chair, but you can move it anywhere for them to sit in or feed them in.
I’m still new to tea’s and find it hard to get leaf tea around here without ordering online, which I plan to do soon but for now I got this tea at the local Asian Grocer and its not too bad. I use 1 bag per small teacup and it doesn’t have a lot of flavor but you can tell its more than just hot water. It works for now.
This bloom was HUGE! One of the darkest liquids I have seen from a flowering tea. Smells a little like cinnamon – not hot ball cinnamon but an Indian Spice type cinnamon…and cereal and floral type scents.
Very Spring Flower Tasting and almost flour or oaty type undertones. The bloom was beautiful and the taste was a little different than I expected but ok.