Seven Cups

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Recent Tasting Notes

Hello fellow steepsters! According to my tasting notes, it’s been two years since I’ve been on this site… such a long time. I look forward to catching up with y’all as I start adding tasting notes again and become more active on the site.

Right now, I’m sitting in SoCal, watching the marine layer recede from the sky through my window. All morning I have been enjoying Seven Cups’ Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) 2014 Organic White Tea. I am steeping the leaves in one of these cool tea jars where you let the leaves steep in the jar and the strainer at the top keeps the leaves from getting into your mouth.

WHAT!? You might say. The tea leaves just sitting there forever and ever? Don’t they get bitter, especially since it’s a white tea?

Actually, contrary to popular belief, a truly good Chinese green/white tea will never get bitter, no matter what you do to it. And, pleasure be mine, this tea has held up to that standard. I allow the leaves to steep in the jar for extended amounts of time, and the brew does not get even remotely bitter.

The first steeping graced my mouth with a medium-light body and notes of toasted cashew and pumpkin seed. Hints of peach pie also come through.

Second steep: body is maintained, notes of nutmeg and tree nuts.

Third steep: flavor is holding up extremely well, even though the mouth feel becomes lighter.

Residual: mostly whole, delicate tea buds, about 30% broken buds, which is more than what I’m used to coming from Seven Cups.

Overall, I enjoyed this tea very much. It’s the first time I’ve tried it since they changed their source and cultivar to Zheng He from Fuding. It’s not quite as buttery as it used to be, and the buds seem more delicate (they break more easily), but it’s still very good and worth the price I paid for it!

Happy tea drinking!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
yyz

Welcome back!

SimpliciTEA

“I am steeping the leaves in one of these cool tea jars where you let the leaves steep in the jar … The tea leaves just sitting there forever and ever? Don’t they get bitter, especially since it’s a white tea?” I have always wondered about why the Chinese do this; and now I am gladdened to read “a truly good Chinese green/white tea will never get bitter, no matter what you do to it.” Perhaps I will have to try this sometime with at least one of my highest quality greens.

chadao

SimpliTEA, definitely try out some of your greens brewing with this method, especially if you have a Long Jing, Bi Luo Chun, Huang Shan Mao Feng, Bi Tan Puao Xue, Jasmine Pearls, or Bamboo green tea. It is actually traditional to brew these teas by putting the leaves straight into a tall clear glass with 185 degree water. The flavor should only get sweeter and more potent over time, with little to no bitterness. If all your teas get bitter with this method, PM me and I’ll see what I can do to send you some samples (I still have plenty of this tea and a wonderful an ji bai cha) that are bound to work :)

SimpliciTEA

Thanks for the offer, chadao! I have a high grade longjing (AAA) that I can try this with.

chadao

Let us know how it works out!

Scatterbrain

This sounds wonderful. I too am just now returning to this site after two years of near-inactivity haha :)

Angrboda

Why, hello! Welcome back. :)

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66

Shoulda made the note right as I was tasting. I remember liking it fine—slightly more than in previous oolongs. Not blown away, necessarily, but perfectly happy with it.

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75

I very much enjoyed my first true pu-erh experience, as I have never before encountered an actual brick like I found in this packet. I was intimidated and afraid that I was doing it wrong, but I think I did fine. The nutty and toasted aroma had me expecting another warming, full-bodied tea, so I was pleasantly surprised by the mineral note in the body. The recess of sweetness really rounded out the flavor profile for me, and I find this to be a refreshing warm-weather tea. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. 7.5/10

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65
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
31 tasting notes

A very delicate and interesting tea. The first stepping produced a roasted quality, reminding me of a hoji-cha style, which mellowed to a gentle sweetness in subsequent resteeps. Therewas a presence of mild tannins throughout, which surprised me because I am so used to tannins fading after the first steeping. Overall a decent tea, would have liked a little more fullness in the body and flavors. 6.5/10

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81

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Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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94
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
291 tasting notes

Let’s be honest, I LOVE oolong, and oolong like this Li Li Xiang is exactly why.

The initial aroma of the dry leaves is sweet and peachy with hints of vanilla and floral. The wet leaves smell of dessert with just such aromas. I used this funky little travel gaiwan I recently got on a whim. The appeal of this piece is that it requires no additional equipment and not really a gongfu table or mat either. It has a little dam built over the inner lip on one side with holes poked into it to hold the leaves back while the water pours through them and off the spout on the other side. The lid of the gaiwan is the cup you drink from and holds all the tea at once so you don’t have to worry about oversteeping. You do, however have to start pouring about 10-15 seconds before your infusion is over or you might oversteep. It takes a bit of time to strain the water through the leaves.

This is my first time really using this gaiwan, but it worked wonderfully for this tea. The first infusion smells floral and fruity and the taste is of vanilla, floral and peach or apricot. Lots and lots of hui gan (recurring cooling sensation).

Steeping number two has a more heady floral flavor with a bit of tanginess and undertones of apricot or peach and seriously, that hui gan is immense! It really lingers in your mouth.

The flavor profile or this oolong is really reminding me of the Shan Lin Xi that came out in an earlier month this year in Steepster Select, though where they differ is that this one seems a bit more fruity where the Shan Lin Xi is more foresty and floral. They both offer a surprisingly bright and light bouquet that is very spring-like. The fruity and creamy tones make me recall a Jin Xuan that I have that’s grown on Mt. Dong Ding.

Really this is a wonderful tea that seems to cover a middle ground between some of my favorite oolong. I really recommend it!

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Flowers, Peach, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Da Hong Pao by Seven Cups
3236 tasting notes

Another sipdown, this one from Lee.
I enjoy roasty oolongs, & this one reminds me of the dessert with layers of creamy vanilla pudding, espresso powder, & cookies. Add a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts, & thats it!

Dag Wedin

mmm, roasty oolongs!

Terri HarpLady

that’s what I’m saying!

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A lovely sample sipdown, shared with me by Lee. Thanks so much.
Pleasantly roasty, with a heavenly gentle floral essence.

Terri HarpLady

and I forgot to mention that I have purple & lavendar colored Irises blooming in my yard right now, next to my lilac bush, which is also blooming. In spite of allergies, I do love spring :)

Indigobloom

I love lilac bushes!! ahhhh that is one of my favourite scents ever

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81

Despite the reviews I read claiming this tea to be “salty” and harsh, I actually find it to be quite clean and subtle. This is my first encounter with a bird’s nest pu-erh, and I hope it won’t be my last.

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Seaweed

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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55

I adore the little bird nests, and GREEN is so true in this case. Happy little green bird nests. I did two steeps. First one better than the second, which is pretty normal, right? EASY to oversteep, so watch yo self. Not my favorite puerh, probably wouldn’t drink it again if given the choice of a puerh lineup. But it wasn’t disgusting by any means.

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drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
216 tasting notes

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93

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Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
880 tasting notes

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drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
880 tasting notes

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30

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Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The look of this mini toucha is adorable. After an initial rinse, I steeped for 10 seconds and got a very bitter brew. I think this may be because in the course of trying to hold the gaiwan lid tight so that the tiny pieces wouldn’t come through, it took about 20 seconds total to pour. I softened it with some extra water. The leaves smell very oceany and vegetal, while the liquor smells smoky, slightly floral. In the liquor scent, I’m reminded of my aunt’s house growing up… dogs, cigarettes, and leather… they were farmers. Might sound odd, but it’s all coming back to me now. (duh-duh-duh dun dun duuun)

The tea tastes mineral, green, vegetal. By the second steep I’m getting more sweetness, but still rather bitter in the finish. Third steep is pretty mineral and oceany, still somewhat bitter, a little less sweet, kind of tart with a subtle pear-like note. Fourth steeping, still very mineral, green, oceany. That bitterness is killing me though. I’m beginning to think this tea needs special parameters outside my normal Puerh steeping guidelines. By the fifth steeping I’m kind off worn out on it. Mostly just tasting mineral and bitter.

Anyone feel free to reply to my review with brewing tips if you think I screwed up. I brewed this tea 10 seconds, 20, 30, etc. I’m going to not rate this tea because my rating would be very low and I don’t particularly want to taint the results not knowing if I just brewed it wrong myself.

Flavors: Metallic, Mineral, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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86
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
30 tasting notes

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Cute little Pu-erh individual piece wrapped nicely. The leaves pressed together are forest green colored.
This liquor does not smell the greatest to me. Then it smelled o.k.
The flavor is all bitter, no other flavors.
I love Seven Cups and have had some wonderful teas from them so I am wondering if I brewed this incorrectly.

From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014

5/11/14
Learning about puerh tea lots more now. The first time I tried this, I was unaware that it was sheng and very young.
I removed my other baby cake / toucha from the sealed pouch and am gonna let him age a bit before trying again :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
boychik

I would do 185F rinse and very short steeps 5/10/15 sec for maybe 6 oz of water. It’s sheng, treat it as green tea

Lee

The Steepster packet says 212F. I have not tried enough of these to know that that must be a typo :( Oh well

boychik

I hope you have more then one to try. Actually I prefer shu you should use boil water and either short steeps or long. You cannot overbrew shu(cooked). Sheng ( raw) becomes incredibly bitter with high temp and long steeps. My first tries were total failure;)

Lee

Oh thanks for the advice!! I have one more,,,will try again sometime soon :)

TeaBrat

yes I would definitely recommend trying at a lower temp as well..

Lee

Yes I prefer lower temps on teas and lower temp teas like white and green so I haven’t tried any pu-erhs like this and it said 212F for 3 minutes on the package :( Glad I have one more

Lion

I also brewed this at 212, though I only did about 10 second infusions. It was a bitter nightmare. I thought nearly all puerhs stand up to boiling temperature, regardless of raw or ripe. Is this wrong?

boychik

Only ripe. Unless you are looking for bitterness(some ppl like it, it’s an aquired taste)
This is young sheng, it will be bitter even with lower temps.

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88
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
257 tasting notes

I burned myself out on Oolongs and had been staying away from them and trying other types of teas. This one was a good one to come back to Oolongs with!
Very delicious with floral notes but they are creamy fruit tree florals like peach and apricot.
There is a wonderful balance to those florals of a delicious vanilla wafer or other vanilla pastry. So this is like a light peach and apricot dessert, not too sweet though, subtle flavors. Lovely.

From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014


Second Steeping — 2 minutes and now that the rolled balls have opened up a bit, the liquor is a deeper golden champagne color and the leaves are pretty big leaves so they are more mature. Tastes a little more of the Tie Guan with those notes of floral and heaviness to the stomach. I have to drink just one cup of Tie Guan type teas because they are heavy on my stomach but very good flavors.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruit Tree Flowers, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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84
drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
62 tasting notes

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Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

This tea is, as the provided description states, very earthy. It reminds me of the ocean and feels like I’m drinking the sea! Very mineral-like. Slightly floral. For some reason it tastes like I’m drinking what would be liquid ocean sand… but in a good way! Slight trace of bitterness, but nothing too noticeable to complain about.:) The only complaint I would have is the leaves themselves. They broke off into really tiny pieces, and even with the bag sealed, a lot of floaty pieces escaped into my tea. I know this isn’t something that is fixable, it’s just how the leaves are with this tea. Overall the taste is very good, earthy, wet, and enjoyable.

Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Mineral, Sand, Seaweed

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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