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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m trying this across many steeps, to get the full experience. My friend, who gave me a sample of this, told me to use a smaller amount than usual, which I am half listening to and using two teaspoons (albeit one of them was heaping) where I’d usually use a slightly heaping tablespoon.
First steep, I let the water sit for a couple minutes before adding, and steeped for three minutes. The tea brewed to a beautiful amber colour. It’s a little vegetal, and sweet. A little dry. Relaxing, and from what I remember, this tea will continue to make me feel studious and meditative throughout the day, if not in the same way as, say, pumpkin chai would. More adult and refined, more zen.
Second steep was more vegetal, more astringent. I may have used too-hot water, though. Still not bad, just not as good as I’d hope.
Hoping that third, and maybe fourth and fifth steep tomorrow are nice as well.
I don’t have any tasting notes, regarding flavors, etc, but I did enjoy this tea all afternoon, & it had a nicely revitalizing effect on me, which is really what I love about sheng the most. It had a fresh & clean kind of start, a slightly apricot tanginess after a bit, & really, that’s all I remember, cuz that hours ago!
This is the August offering from Jalam Teas, & this is my first session with it.
It started out very clean, with instant clarity of mind. It was a quality that reminds me of sage, not so much in the flavor as in the sense of clarity it imparts, & there was also a slight bitter edge, but it was the kind of bitterness that I tend to enjoy.
After a few rounds I had the image of a pine forest after rain…or some kind of evergreen, or maybe eucalyptus…yeah maybe that. Just a real nice aromatic sinus opening feeling.
I was really enjoying this one, when I got sidetracked, & accidentally left it steep for way too long. Drats! That cup was way too bitter. It took a couple steeps to get back on track, I got one that remind me vaguely of an orchid oolong I used to have in my collection, mildly sweet & floral, but otherwise the magic was kind of gone. Luckily, I have plenty of this to enjoy, & hopefully next time I won’t screw it up!
My first puerh cake! I’m so excited! I don’t have a pick yet, so I picked through (haha!) my cupboard and came up with some tool that I can’t remember the use for. Cheese pick? It’s got two little spikes at the end. It worked really well on this cake, but I’m worried it cut the tea leaves, rather than prying them apart. I did end up with a few still-together chunks, so that should be good.
Holy crap this is dark! The cake is dark, and it brews up dark right away! Once the leaves are wet, they’re so black! The brew is pretty dark too, kind of a burgundy color.
15sec steep: I was afraid to start with 30 seconds, seeing how dark it is. It’s incredibly smooth. There’s a hint of that cedar note I find in most ripe puerh.
30sec: super dark!! Cedar.
45sec: cedar is fading…a little sweeter, maybe bread-like?
1min: a little sweeter, still very dark, a little mineral-tasting and aha! I get that copper twinge at the end.
1min15sec: wow, this just stays dark! Sweet…cinnamon?
1min30sec: I don’t know why, but I think I’m getting cinnamon sugar, and that’s okay with me!
1min45sec: the color is finally starting to lighten up. Still getting cinnamon sugar notes. Woot!
2min/2min30/3min30/5min: creamy, cinnamon sugar water!
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with my first cake from the JalamTeas subscription. Thanks to Pureleaf for mentioning it in the discussion thread! Can’t wait for October’s tea and I’m certainly going to enjoy the rest of this cake!
Here is the September offering for Jalam’s tea club, which features a different 100G puerh cake each month. I love that size of cake :) Most of the teas have been sheng, but a few have been Shou, with this being one of them. Today was my first sampling of this one, which started out with an immediate sweetness & graininess, like boston brown bread, sweetened with molasses. It quickly developed a cream taste & quality, somewhere in the middle it tasted kind of like copper, followed by a kind of sour rye taste, and although that might seem weird to some of y’all, I’ve been enjoying every steep. Now it’s a sweet
There was nothing funky about this cake at all, no weird tastes or smells. It has a very clean quality, a strength to it, & immediately I felt great energy spreading throughout my body, revitalizing me from head to toe!
I few months ago I joined the Jalam Tea Club, & I’m a little behind on sampling the teas I’ve received, but 100G cake arrived this afternoon & I figured, why not?
I haven’t been drinking any sheng lately, & I miss it.
4G + 4oz yixing (rinse) X 10/20/30 etc seconds
Placing the leaf in my heated yixing for a minute, I was greeted with a pleasing scent of light fruit & cream.
I was teaching while sipping, so I didn’t take any notes, but I can say overall that this is a very creamy mild tea, with hints of spinach, apricot, & a little bit of a camphor mouth in the later steepings. The Chaqi is potent & hit me with a wonderful sense of peace & clarity in the 2nd steep, renewed by each successive cup. The even later steepings had an overall cooling sensation, that spread through my body, especially my chest.
Next time I will up the dosage of leaf, as this is a sweet gentle tea, & I want to see how bold I can go with it :)
If you’re interested in finding out more about Jalam’s tea club, here’s their link:
I’m liking how every Jalam Tea cake I get, though all raw/sheng, are all very different.
This pu’er starts off very delicious – light at first, developing a stronger flavor at end of sip. Hay, juicy vegetable stalks and buttery corn notes. There is also a milky texture that is really nice. However, with each infusion Meng Hun gets more crisp and astringent.
I also found the recommended water temp of boiling water made the tea dry by the 3rd infusion, and really dry in later infusions. I preferred 185F, but the flavor wasn’t as strong, but no dryness until the 7th infusion.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/meng-hun-unfermented-puer-jalam-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Pu’er cake unwrapping woes.
As soon as IndigoBloom mentioned the Jalam tea club, I knew I was in, LOL. I started reading the website, ordered samples of some of the previous teas, joined the club, & downloaded Jeff’s book, The Ancient Tea Horse Road, which I started reading last night.
Yes, I know, I probably have a problem that requires a 12 step group, LOL, but having been a member of several 12 step groups of the last 30 years, I promise, I’ll be ok.
(or maybe I’m in denial?)
My samples all arrived a few days ago, & I’m very excited to start sampling them (along with samples I’m working on from Teavivre, Life in Teacup, Tribute Tea, & Yunnan Sourcing…oh, & all the tea trades!! It might take awhile, but I WILL enjoy every single one!)
So this is my first sample from Jalam!
The dry tea, in shades of grey, beige, & wheat, with a green undertone, has the light aroma of a clean horse stall.
Leaf warmed in a preheated yixing = a clean horse stall on a humid day, hint of apple.
4G + 4oz Yixing (15 sec rinse) X 20 seconds = mild clean straw
30 sec = the energy is immediate & restorative
40 sec = A slightly bitter & tangy cup, with a hint of apple peel
50 sec = bitterness subsiding, energy spreading, sweet applesauce on the back of my tongue
60 sec/70 sec = If I still have the headache I woke with, I no longer care
80 sec = oops…I really oversteeped this one! It was really over 2 mins…but guess what? It’s still very drinkable. A little on the astringent side, with a potent green taste, but not bad!
1min 30 sec = I’m sure I lost somethings in the long steep, but this is a pleasant mild cup.
1min 40 sec = lightly sweet, still reminding me of apples
1 min 50 sec = & the sweetness grows, just a little, still apple, plus a hint of sweet grass
2 min = Sweet water
3 min or so…forgot to set timer…Taichi anyone?
I should preface by saying that I am addicted to unfermented sheng puerh, so my palate is not only accustomed to the bold astringency and stimulative qualities of a fresh sheng, but it actually craves it… Not everyone is into shengs (but they should be!), but for fresh puerh loves, this Meng Hun has all of the raw characteristics of a tea that you will want to age, but you won’t be able to because it’s ‘that’ good right now…
I was taken back at the overall balance of flavor and bold aromas of this leaf… I received this with my monthly does of 100g cakes from Jalam teas. Jeff does a great job sourcing teas that otherwise might have never made it into our cups, so much credit to him for finding this one and opening my eyes (very wide).
It has a lot of the usual flavor notes of a good sheng: hay, straw, honey, corn, etc… You get a bit of each, but unlike many shengs which I enjoy, this one has a naturally sweet flavor that accentuates its very un-sweet notes. It’s really nice! Reminds me of cornbread sort of.. Is that weird?
So although I would LOVE to age this baby, and I’m sure that it would age quite well; sadly, it probably won’t survive the next month, let alone this weekend. Highly recommended, if you can get your hands on some…
Flavors: Corn Husk, Hay, Honey, Straw, Wet Earth
Oh my this is super tasty!!!
Sample is courtesy of Jalam Teas and Jeff Fuchs – thank you!
I gave this one a five second rinse and I think it was a good idea. Washed away some dust. Not that there was much.
The TEA! There are fresh mineral notes, stone fruit, molasses and honey, with something bakey hiding in the aftertaste. And something that reminds me of wood. Did you ever get a mouth full of wood chips while horsing around as a kid? That is precisely what it reminds me of, but without the dust, and in a most positive way. Only the first steep so far, and I’m quite looking forward to the next one!
I love the consistency. Rich, like a typical fermented Puerh, but still refreshing.
EDIT: Oh my goodness. Rating bump!! Second steep, I accidentally left it brewing for maybe five min. I forgot to set the timer!
Anyhow, I figured it’d be ok, being that puerh is difficult to oversteep… and I was right! This is amazing. Creamy, sort of like a jin jun mei, and oh so smooth, with a slight burn afterwards, almost as if its been spiked with whiskey. The flavour reminds me of super smooth coffee when its hot, and then the cedar chip, and other standard puerh notes emerge.
This is a very easy sipping puerh. Not my fave type, though if I hadn’t lost track of the time(2nd steep) I might have got more menthol and been more impressed but I guess now I’ll never know. Wah.
Anyhow, I did enjoy it. Really I did. It’s just that whenever I have a lighter puerh, I always think to myself that I really do prefer the darker variety. What a shame. I really need to get into the zen of it. But then getting annoyed at myself for not being able to “zen out” is somewhat counterproductive…. ok I’ll stop.
The tea is good. There is that clay sort of feel that I have mixed thoughts on in the first infusion, along with a long and flat woody note.
Second one is sweeter, with a bit of peach and that slight minty cooling sensation. Not sure about bamboo. What does bamboo taste like again?
Thanks Jalam Teas for the sample!! (by way of my buddy K)
A crisp, clean, refreshing, strong vegetal unfermented pu’er! It’s not grassy and has no fermentation or smokey notes. Very little astringency that only appears in the last steepings. Jalam even recommends you can go heavy leaf here to get more “bite” since this pu’er doesn’t get dry, which would make tea lovers who want a strong flavor very happy.
What I like about this tea was it got better and better with each steeping. It has a really strong green pepper vegetal, fresh off the hot vine flavor, that mellows out with each steeping. Meng Zhr has a “heathly” feel to it too, like drinking juiced veggies in tea form.
I had a long session with this tea before a job interview, and wow I was wired!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/meng-zhr-puer-jalam-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/
My morning started off on a down-note. I called up a tea company, following up on a resume I submitted. Unfortunately, it wasn’t news I wanted to hear. And…that put me in a foul mood. The type of mood that only alcohol would cure.
Well, it was only 10AM, so that would’ve looked a little – um – sad. So, I went with something moderately fermented, but far less damaging. A young sheng pu-erh. This was a loose sample I received back in January, but was just now getting to a write-up on.
As a lot of young sheng pus go, it’s very youthful in its flavor presentation – a lot like a green tea but without the bitterness that comes with it. That and it holds up to boiling water well. No vegetal kick. It was all fruit, earth and flowers. Oh, and youth.
A good way to start the day and kick away job-related doldrums.
Blog featuring this tea: “Do Tea Drinkers Dream of Electric Kettles?” – http://steepstories.com/2014/03/24/tea-drinkers-dream-electric-kettles/
Instagram pic: http://instagram.com/p/l719Laknc_/#
Flavors: Earth, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grapes
Smell: The scent at one point smelled citrus-y, either way it was instantly flavourful aroma.
Taste: After steep, it was a beautiful gold colour liquid. Surprisingly, the sips were all filled with hints of sweetness. When drinking this puerh you can immediately recognize how healthy it is and how good it feels. Good tea matters! I drank this tea straight. It’s not bitter at all, therefore it did not need any additives (ie. sugar, milk). The after taste is rather difficult to describe. Try it and you’ll understand what I mean. The closest thing I could possibly try and describe it as is black licorice. Overall, if you’re looking for a great pick me up/energy boost this is definitely a good go-to tea.
I found Jalam Teas‘s Nan Nuo Mountain to be a relaxing, yet refreshing pu’er that screamed “sit back, sip slowly and enjoy” to enjoy its fantastic aftertaste.
Early infusions this pu’er is a sweet vegetal bamboo and woodsy flavor, that turns mineral copper in later infusions. However, this pu’er has an incredible aftertaste that lingers for at last 5 minutes – a peachy flavor! Yum!
Very nice tea from Jalam teas – very tempting too. A monthly tea club for $19 you get a small cake? That’s pretty cool! I should really drink down my stash first!
Full review of this tea on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/nan-nuo-mountain-jalam-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Flavors: Bamboo, Cedar, Peach, Wood