Norbu TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Really? I filled up my gaiwan for this…I can smell what I call “mall puerh” a mile away, that incense-y store flavor you can find in a million cakes on EBay and Taobao. This is just sad, leathery old poor quality “tea” to which a few young “white buds” have been added in as a sprinkling. Some of the tea is just black leaf along with brown, leathery leaves. You can talk to me all day long about brewing it “cooler,” but nothing will improve this leaf. I can’t believe a company online which is trying to be nice actually would put their name on this cake, but whatever. I’m a person who wants to like a tea, but I’d rather drink dandelion greens from my yard than this.
From the Sheng Traveling Tea Box.
I have an interest in bamboo puerh teas because the method of production is so intriguing – fill sections of bamboo with tea leaves and then steam, roast, dry and age in the bamboo. The bamboo is reported to provide a unique sweetness to the leaves. I am able to appreciate the process by looking at this photo of a farmer making bamboo puerh: http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/-/galleries/the-galleries/countries/asia-australasia/china/yunnan/-/medias/ed820fb8-090f-11e0-bee4-852ca0e067a1-bamboo-tea?gallery=b6bf0ad4-0192-11e3-99e7-2bf391fc38b8&hit_num=1&hits=2&page=1&per_page=50&search=bamboo&search_in_gallery=1
The scent of this YiWu dry leaf is sweet with an interesting spicy note. The tea soup is deep dark gold in color. The wet leaves are whole and nearly 2 inches in length. The tongue and mouth feel alive and tingly after the first few sips. The initial taste sensations are earthy and spicy. The honey-like sweetness works well with a light woodiness. A bit of astringency is found in later infusions but not at all off-putting. Interestingly, I did not detect any remaining smokiness in the smell or taste. These leaves produce cup after cup of highly flavored sweet mellow tea. Multi-layered – sweet and woody with a light spiciness. This is a very approachable raw puerh.
Another tea that i have a bunch of, but haven’t had many opportunities…wait haven’t TAKEN many opportunities to drink. This was one of my teas from today – a woody sort of puerh with a little sweetness to it that made me forget for a moment that i was drinking a puerh. Later steeps take on much more of a black tea sort of vibe.
Oooh. This is FANCY. Thanks Sil for the sample!
And this sipdown puts me at 150! Woooo!
It’s really rich and lightly smoky. I should have had this a few months ago when it was bitterly cold as this tea would be greatly comforting on a freezing night. It’s a little sweet, but I think I’m getting mushroom-y notes in it as well.
Fancy. This tea is fancy.
Thanks Sil! I was surprised by how much I liked this one! It’s very light and refreshing, but still dark enough to give me that black-tea kick that I need! It’s strange, but with the chai/mint combo, I’m getting a bit of a licorice flavour to it, but that just mean that it tastes cool and refreshing. I could easily drink 50g-100g of this one!
This was my second sample sip down today at work…. I can’t believe I haven’t written anything about this before now. I’ve had it for quite awhile…
Today this was really fruity, grapey, maybe even a little wine ish, light, delicate – not bold enough for me. Nice, pleasant but not something that I need to keep in my cupboard.
There were several specific years of this tea in the database. Since I couldn’t identify what year this was, what harvest this was, I just created a generic one. Why not.
This is today’s advent calendar tea.
Ya Bao is one of my favorite styles of tea. I love it.
I decided to have this one grandpa style. This tea is good flavor-wise grandpa style, but trickier to drink because the buds float. A wider mouth cup so one can gently blow the tea out of the way before drinking is highly recommended.
This version of ya bao is not as strong or sweet as many others I have had, but it’s still quite nice. The lighter flavors are really good for grandpa style.
Big thanks to TeaBrat for this sample.
This stuff smells like heaven. There’s this wonderful sweet citrus scent to the brewed leaves, or maybe it’s the smell of spiced apples. It’s accompanied by notes of cinnamon stick and pine. This stuff smells like the potpourri smell you catch walking into some quaint little craft shop. It’s nostalgic.
Being made from Ya Bao, the infusion is rather pale, just a hint of yellow. It’s also slightly cloudy, which isn’t uncommon for fermented teas. The flavor is really unique. It has a bit of a smokey and peppery finish, but the main presence in the sip is like a cinnamon-apple peel kind of taste. It’s got a creamy body to it.
The second infusion of this got a little more strong in flavor. It’s got the tangy Sheng Puer vibe now, reminding me less of loose un-aged Ya Bao and more of Sheng. There’s a fizzy quality to this tea. It’s really nifty. In later infusions the smokier qualities emerge more. There’s a lemony tartness to it that I didn’t really think about at first, but after reading other reviews and tasting some more, it’s undeniable.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Bark, Cinnamon, Lemon, Wood
I overleafed this cup so my first few sips were rather astringent. However, now that it has cooled a little, the astringency has subsided leaving behind a malty yet fruity tea. It’s really quite nice. Thank you Sil for the share. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the other Norbu teas you have me samples of. 169.
this is a nice darjeeling! Thanks nicole. :) I don’t really love darjeelings. But there are a few in this world that i can get behind. This is one of them. This is a smooth darjeeling, with just a little sweetness going on here that i’m enjoying. Passing the little cup’s worth that’s left to Cavo since she might enjoy this one. :)
Nicole sent this one for me to try and i’m glad for it, since I am a fan of trying Norbu teas. Their min quantities are 100g, so it’s hard to get a sense of what i’d like before buying. Thankfully i do have steepster friends willing to split orders or, in the case of nicole (and others!) send samples to me.
This is a very light, refreshing tea. The mint in this isn’t overpowering and blends nicely with the darjeeling. There are under notes of a nature – reminding me more of a black tea, than a darjeeling (yes i know darjeelings are black..but they’re quasi black imo). i like this quite a bit. Thanks Nicole!
I’m drinking the 2004. It is very good, it’s like cognac and honey. Very naturally sweet and rich.
The tea is very tightly compressed and you don’t need too much tea because it really puffs and opens up to be tons of tea leaves. There are ya bao pieces in the mix along with all sorts of colors and types of wild leaves.
The liquor is cloudy pretty much throughout the whole session in my gaiwan. I rinsed the tea a couple of times but it remained cloudy even after many steepings. You definitely need to use your strainer with this tea.
After many steepings, the leaves could have kept going and going but the tea started to taste twiggy to me so I ended the session.
This has become one of my favorite morning tea. The dry leaves are long thin wires and have a wonderful chocolote aroma. This tea stands up to long steeping times very well; I use about 3 grams of leaf to 10 oz of water for three minutes on the first steeping, four minutes for the second. This makes a very bold, malty flavor, but with very little astringency and almost no bitterness. Highly reccomended to anyone who likes black tea, but dislikes overly bitter tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Malt
Interestingly, the leaves have an earthy smell to them that reminds me of ripe Puer tea. After the first infusion, the leaves smell a lot like grapes or wine. The first infusion has a soft, velvety mouthfeel, with a creamy kind of mild sweetness that fades into an earthy taste and hints of cinnamon.
The second infusion is mellower and has more of a classic black tea taste, earthy, woody, dark. The third is more of the same and a touch more tanniny. The first infusion of this tea was really the most complex so far. If it produces any more that are really interesting I’ll update the review, but for now I am going to finish it here so I can relax and enjoy the tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Earth, Grapes, Wood
The first time I drank this tea, it seemed closed-in and lacking in flavor until about the fifth steep. It was okay, but I wasn’t impressed. Looking back, I discovered that I had steeped it at 200 degrees. This time, I used 175 and it seemed like an entirely different tea. I’m really enjoying it.
First steep (15 s; all steeps 3 gms in 3 oz): Tastes like a green tea with unusually good body; grassy/straw flavors. During subsequent steeps (20, 30 s): the grass flavor disappeared and was replaced by wood, with hints of straw and smoke. The flavor deepened and became full and complex.
By the 4th steep (60 s) it was weakening and losing much of its complexity. Back to a light straw flavor. 5th steep (2 min): Rich and smooth. Light but still complex. If 5 steeps seems too little for a pu-erh bear in mind that this 2.8 gram sample has now produced 15 oz of tea, and there is still some gas in the tank.
This tea was an interesting insight (accidental) into how much the water temperature can affect a tea. Also a strong confirmation on the advice I was given to steep young sheng as though it were a green tea.
I drank this tea yesterday while I was at work. I really enjoyed it! It reminded me of a Kenyan Silver Needles I got from Butiki Teas, with some interesting sheng notes mixed in. Very unique! I finished it up, and before I was going to write my tasting note for it I decided to go stretch the canvas print I had just made…AND I TOTALLY STAPLED MY THUMB! :-O
It was pretty painful. If you want to see, check it out here (not for the squeamish!) http://twitpic.com/ebiscg
Anyway, I never got back to my desk to write this note. My manager took me to the MEC and a doctor pulled out the staple and gave me a tetanus shot and some pain killers. Last night was rough, it was pretty painful and I had trouble sleeping. It seems slightly better today and I am back at work! I could use a nap though…and/or some tea!
it is my second day of steeping this fabulous tea.
5g 100 ml gaiwan 200F
rinse/pause/ 5/5/7/10/15/15/20sec etc
Quite unusual for me. Dry leaves are so pretty silvery green and uniform in size.
Sweet, somewhat floral with pine notes. Later steeps introduce anise maybe, but its faint and I’m not sure its anise, but its there. pretty thick, yellow. there is some bitterness but its slight and welcoming to make things interesting.
i’m so glad be able to try such unusual and great tasting tea.
Many thanks to the an amazingly generous Steepsterite.
No notes yet. Add one?
oh dexter… you always spoil me. this is a lovely tea from Norbu and one i greatly enjoyed, though for the life of me, i can’t recall well enough to write a proper note. It was one of the teas that i had yesterday before running off to do my overnight and it was a great start to the evening. But man, it feels like i drank this a billion years ago. I’d be inclined to pick some of this one up again as it really was great.