Tea Urchin

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Recent Tasting Notes

93

This company has some great puerh. I’ve always enjoyed a majority of their productions, and this pressing is no different. I’ve heard a lot of noise about this tea, and the tea gods smiled on me and some ended up in my gaiwan. The cake is heavily aromatic with a sweet floral character as well as some spice. A heavy dark wood note acts as a soft but stern base. I warmed my gaiwan up and prepared for brewing. The warmed cake becomes even better by giving off intense scents of plum, raisan, juicy blackberries, honey, and the same dark wood base. This tea has a lot to give and has some unique scents. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The tate begins light and very sweet. A thick oily mouth-feel followed by encompassing honey tones. The aftertaste is a long and lasting succlent taste with a slight bitterness. The tea carries a faint mesquite flavor in later steeping, and then morphs into an intense brown sugar note. Past that, a light floral note introduces itself, I beleive it to be lily or maybe even a subtle iris. The qi is spot on with an invigorating cooling sensation that begins at heart center as well as a good head buzz. The taste has a kicker huigan and slight kuwei. This is a solid blend, and I really enjoyed it. The only fallback is that the tea drops abrutly. The flavors, huigan, and sensations falter instantly while brewing. Nevertheless, this is still a great puerh. This is one of the teas that you go to the website to buy during the session; however, the tea is now sold out. That realization of a lost tea made me rather sad. I hear the 2016 blend is going to be released soon though…

Flavors: Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Dark Wood, Floral, Honey, Plums, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sil

i had to put myself on puerh hiatus…but this is tempting..thankfully it’s sold out haha

Rasseru

I made it sold out :)

Rasseru

But yeah, most things I’ve had from TU have been great

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I finally took my taste testing a little more serious these past few days. I weighted out 15g of this tea and split it into 3 piles. Sunday, Monday, and today, I went through a session of this tea.

I find it to be easy to brew: Flash steeps provided a more clear liquid that was sweeter, but longer steeps (10+ seconds) began to darken and have a more deep vegetable taste. The leaf, at this point and age, is not as beautiful as it once was which stinks because the pictures of this from when it was first pressed are WOAH!

This could be a pretty good daily drinker with the ability to steep light or medium on the spectrum of depth or even the balance of sweet or roasted spinach. It’s really as simple as that. I don’t find this tea to be a showcasing one, but it’s certainly one I enjoyed drinking for the last few days which means something as I am probably hitting 100 different shengs this year at this point which means the bars keep going higher and higher and higher. Saying that this was enjoyable is a compliment most teas will no longer see anymore.

Oh the issue of trying so many things… so many become typical and I do not look forward to realizing that more this year.

Daylon R Thomas

A lot of teas in general started to taste the same to me after a while. That’s why I’m narrowing teas down to my favorites with the attempt of being pickier in purchase, or go by several suggestions of the people whose taste buds I know. Or can accurately simulate and imagine.

I’m so excited for tomorrow. I’m thinking about minimizing the blind tasting to four teas at most, with two being ideal. I’m also expecting some Shan Lin Xi if you want any.

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70

Off my special diet today and enjoying some other teas I haven’t had in a whole month.. I have been having only 1 green tea a day. This tea was a bit of a disappointment for my first sheng in a month. It was very mineral, straw, and light apricot.

I like raw pu-erh teas that are closer to green teas. This one is okay but I prefer more fruity notes.

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93

Really like this sheng. Its fruity and pleasantly sour. With a slightly thick mouth. The strength of taste isnt too strong at first, and I have had three cups during extended lie-in butnow im buzzing. Its a bit too strong for me, as with other Tea Urchin teas I have tried they seem to hit me quite hard.

Slightly camphor nose & a comforting fruity & vegetal that I seem to like from Yiwu, although this one isnt as round as the snake blend, but there is something soft about it. I sometimes get creamy from this as well – its something like milk, not taste, but in its structure and feels in my mouth. Nice stuff, but im currently balancing on the edge of it falling into sourness, which isnt my preference with this milky-structured (to me) sheng.

I freally really dig the wrapper art as well :D

Flavors: Apricot, Camphor, Fruity, Milk, Pleasantly Sour, Sour, Vegetal

Kirkoneill1988

the wrapper looks cute

Dr Jim

IMHO this is the best value in Sheng.

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Used 7g with boiling water in a 100mL gaiwan. It was quite good, especially steeps 2-5 or so. Got some kind of creamy vegetal or hay notes. It got more and more drying as I went past steep five though, so I think next time I’ll try this with either 200 degree water or a bit less leaf. I suppose I could go and try it both ways. Also, after reading Tea Urchin’s description, I think I may have increased steep times a little bit too quickly. Definitely is good though :)

Flavors: Creamy, Hay, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

This is excellent bang for the buck.

Matu

Yea it does seem like it’ll be great once I get the brewing figured out to my liking. Got one of the last few cakes ;)

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The Trails of LBZ, Case 10 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
Eye candy before reading https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXhClmxYAJ/

First I just need to reiterate as I do many times that I wouldn’t drink all these ‘top notch’ teas if it wasn’t for the amazing tea community. Many times I am surprised with random acts of kindness that I myself am use to being the sender and not receiver. There’s something special about teamail, especially when it’s something you want but can’t afford currently. This time, someone from Instagram hooked me up. A huge thank you to this person as it provided happiness as I went through the samples sent to me. This type of generosity is not just found by those who spend hours online talking about tea and sending it out. The tea community is very welcoming to trade with many people so please never shy away thinking your cupboard wouldn’t interest someone as many times it’s the idea that helping anyone out is an invitation that has been waited upon.
On to the tea.
I could easily sum this up as: Worth the price. However, that would be prior to shipping and what not. A 5g session, which is what I had, runs $8’ish and I firmly believe that what it provided was well worth that tag; speaking in which 5g brews out 20+ steeps while a glass of wine doesn’t refill itself.
The first three steeps were not bitter, but it was easy to tell that the leaf had a little unfurling to do before the smoothness of the session began; but I will make the comment that the lip smacking sweetness is gone by steep four as it begins to mellow out. Once I got this leaf down to where it brewed out something similar on each brew, I began to notice how gentle each sip was in the way that you describe the higher end rice used for sushi versus everyday rice; if you know what I mean, imagine the difference of ramen noodles versus handmade noodles (good ones).
It wasn’t long until I started to taste a combination of squash and a dry sweetness like grape/apple skin. While dry ended teas are not my thing, the flavor of this one made it acceptable in the way that a great yancha also does. It’s hard to say if the look of the leaf or the taste is more appealing as the leaf is just beautiful.
Going into the later steeps it mellows out and provides a thinner soup base texture; this may be due to the drying of my mouth and wetness making contact, or a possible increase in viscosity as it brews. I found myself playing with some steeping time as it went on to see how 45 seconds would do and it didn’t bring out any bitter notes which was awesome; but if it is brewed longer there comes a tart like sweetness at the end of each sip rather than a minor grape/apple skin taste.
It’s the clarity of this leaf that leaves me considering a purchase, but I’ll wait for a group buy and jump on 25g as that would be 5 sessions; and if I find friends who would share near me it would be what… $2 a session if 4 people join in. While it’s not as powerful as the 2009 stuff I had, or as remarkable, it has that purity to it that I found in Last Thoughts, Midas Touch, and spring Bang Dong (which I suspect will double in price as I drive the market to it… :P )

Grateful to have tried this once, online banking will disagree with me by the end of the year : )
https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXhUpaxYA_/ Bath time.

Rich

I don’t see a 2015 LBZ at Tea Urchin? Is that really what you meant?

Liquid Proust

It’s the 2015 maocha from LBZ

Rich

Ah, got it. Thanks.

Liquid Proust

I’ll share with you, :)

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71

I think this tea is really high in tea quality. The combination of sour and smoky flavors really does make this tea taste like a sugar cookie.

I don’t think I would order it again, mainly because I’m not a fan of the weird mix of tasting notes. However, it is really high quality and the leaf looks like it was just harvested yesterday.

You can look at the full review on my blog…

http://coolcodyc.wix.com/theoolongdrunk#!2013-Yiwu-Snake-Blend/c21kp/574cd6e10cf22d4faddc14b3

Flavors: Green, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83
drank Naka 2012 Spring by Tea Urchin
1269 tasting notes

Puerh Tea TTB. This was a very tightly compressed. The first two steeps were very, very light, almost the color of water. Once the leaves opened up it was a little better. This was a strong and bitter sheng. I didn’t notice any smoke. This was not an apricoty sheng at all.

I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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This has to be among the top 10 most unique oolong I have been able to drink thus far. At first I thought it was stored wrong because it smelled like chai in a way. I ended up brewing it and was just… wow, this stuff is complex and confusing.

Strong notes of cinnamon come through with this odd taste of butternut squash. Almost like cinnamon butter and sweet potato fries. While it sounds like a fun blend, this is a straight tea. Really messes with my head as I drink it and to think it’s about $10 an ounce is a great price for such a unique oolong that has aging ability that would be much different than other oolongs

Fjellrev

That is so cool!

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88

I used 7g in my 100mL gaiwan with boiled water. I could tell this was a quality tea.

Early steeps were light in flavor with notes of straw, apricot, and burnt sugar. Though the flavors were pretty light, the mouth feel of this showed its power. It made my tongue feel fat and tingly, and the feeling traveled down the throat and warmed through my chest. As the session went on, the sugar flavor died out a bit. Got straw, apricot/stonefruit flavors, and a pungent flavor which showed the power of the tea. Mouth feel was thick throughout the session and continued to travel through the body. I would probably consider buying a cake of this if it wasn’t sold out. Darn sample-tease lol.

Flavors: Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Straw, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Liquid Proust

There’s a reason this sold out roughly 3 days after I told everyone to drink it :P

Matu

All your fault LP ;)

Liquid Proust

It was literally all luck… the 2016 Sheng Olympics was all me just reading and getting lucky.

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Drinking a tea from my wishlist is always a treat :)
Been wanting to try this for awhile for two silly reasons: it says wild and it is from Tea Urchin.

The leaf is a bit darker then the pictures would suggest, but I’m here for the taste. It has a mild texture, almost a buttery tgy feel but not quite there. The taste is a mixture of green and lightly oxidized oolong to the point that its more like a creamy green. Some nice notes throughout but the loss of the crisp taste from steep one goes by steep two so the sharp notes become mixed in which makes it lose its delicacy (though it’s still nice). I’ll be honest in saying this is probably a tea better about a month after its done rather then later because I’m pretty sure it lost a freshness aspect in the taste that should be there; I could be wrong on this.

Fun tea for sure!

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80

Used 4g in 60mL gaiwan with boiled water.

Had to be pretty careful with steep times early in the session, as this tea can get bitter pretty easily. This tea went for a pretty good number of steeps, probably around 15 as mentioned on TU’s site. Started out with bitter hay/herbal notes with a sweet honey huigan and decent cha qi. As the session went on, the flavors flip-flopped, and honey sweetness came more to the front with a mouth-drying (not particularly bitter) finish. I thought this was pretty good, but the mouth-drying effect did get a little bit intense in the later steeps, so I might try the 2009 version they have and see if that has softened any.

The tea had a thick mouthfeel throughout the session.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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95

Its flavour seems lighter than some Yiwu cakes from other vendors at the same age. A dry fruit/honey aroma, sweetness and tartness are not so intense; however, they are gentle, delicate, and linger in my throat/tounge for an hour. Like the previous review, I can also feel a nice white wild flower at the begining time of the sip. The tea soup has almost no bitterness, astringency and smoky tobacco smell, impressingly, even with extended brewing time. In addition, most of raw pu-erh tea taste become worse if we (unintentionally) drink it at room temperature but Xi Kong remains more delicious for me. This tea is pleasing and I like it very much.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Lightly roasted, sweeter than savoury (honey), a bit of cinnamon & almond. The liquor aroma is as good as the aroma from the gaiwan. Its pretty nice if you like more of a dessert aroma to your yancha. Some fruit in there as well as Orchid. Its not super thick/glossy/creamy/oily but sweet & smooth.

The first four steeps were the nicest, after that the taste and aroma faded into drinking soft pearly water, which is still nice, & with camphor hints that was quite interesting. By the 7th steep I was on 1:30. I think I did 0/5/8/20/30/1:00/1:30, but with half the recommended, 3.5g/100ml, 90-95c. Final steep 2:00 @100c

Premium price but a lovely experience. Next time I will bite the bullet & do 7g/100ml and flash it with boiling water – I think it can take it, and a longer session will be greatly appreciated.

Flavors: Almond, Camphor, Char, Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Orchid

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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So now I know what it is like to have buyers remorse for those who buy YQH and do all they can to make it taste better than it is because of the price tag…

Tea Urchin is my go to place for high end stuff that makes e feel good, but this one did not do that. I should have read more about it online to know it wasn’t within my own preferences of a tea, but when there’s a group buy and you get deals… TRY EVERYTHING!

This particular sheng is in the medium to dark range for a sheng. Typically I like my raw tea to have essence of flower or fruit making it seem like it was a cake worth breeding with things that the bees like, not that the flies like; which leads me to this dark, damp wet hay. Some people really enjoy that taste, I do not.

I am in luck though, I can put 25g of this in the pu’erh TTB that is coming around :)
However, I need to find someone to swap the rest with because I won’t drink this… I’m becoming pickier with my sheng; but not my beengholes :P

p.s. for reference, I did steep this 14 times because it last and I love me some TU so it was hard hard hard to go ‘this is the first one I don’t want to hold onto’

MzPriss

If someone has “buyer’s remorse” with YQH they can send it right to me – I will give it a loving home right up until it goes down my neck and I will savor every drop.

Liquid Proust

I know of at least four people, but that only surfaced after I made a remark; seemed like they didn’t want to because nobody is making those comments.

MzPriss

Well bless their hearts. Teji is my favorite thing right now.

Grill

I’m sorry but “do all they can to make it taste better than it is because of the price tag” is pretty insulting. Why would I even want make stuff up? I’ve spent countless hours talking to people, reviewing and discussing these teas not to spread misinformation but to educate myself and other on what they are all about. On top of that I sampled up nearly half a cake out of pocket the last few months to people that asked about trying certain cakes.

Also to label the whole brand as overpriced, hyped or whatever is shortsighted. You have 3 reviews posted here on steepster, maybe you tried more Idk but there were 39 different teas being offered by Mr Yang and Emmett. Imagine trying 3 teas from any vendor, not loving them and then saying well they all must suck cause these did, seems a bit silly no?

You and others didn’t like them? That’s cool, there are plenty of teas I don’t like that lots of people love. I respect their opinion and they respect mine, like Cwyn said in her blog post, no one can tell you what tastes best to your taste buds.

I don’t want to make it sound like you attacked me personally cause you didn’t. Just like you said you speak for people with buyers remorse, I believe I speak for the people that are very happy with how they spent their money.

boychik

Me three. Love YQH , haven’t tried all of them but whatever I’ve tried was top notch.

Liquid Proust

@Grill it actually isn’t insulting because if you read it in context it is in regards to those who experience buyers remorse. In regards to the amount I’ve tried; that’s the way things are realistically as I give a band 3 songs or a tv show 3 episodes before I decide to give more time to it (which is what money is)

There is just no way I’ll find an old leather taste to be appealing, but I’m always up to keep trying which is what I have been doing. I am the same with White2Tea: I’ve tried over 12 of their raw teas and I’ve only liked one…

Liquid Proust

Thought about the English language and realized that you could say that my comment could have offended you… but it wouldn’t be me who did it but rather those I have spoke to who explained that they too like me couldn’t find a way to enjoy the YQH samples that they had tried. Considering it all comes down to opinions it’s pointless to argue; we know Bernie is a better canidate then Trump, Honda makes better cars than Ford, wheat bread is better than white, Star Trek is better than Star Wars, oh and oolong is the best type of tea. I suppose I don’t realize that people don’t know me so reading my comments are tough. I’m just some dude drinking tea and spilling thoughts from the top of my head. No expectations at all. However, maybe I should review what I say and how I say it. Either way, I come to Steepster without much rereading or monitoring so that could be what I look into changing next for myself.

MzPriss

Um no. Star Wars > Star Trek.

Liquid Proust

Data was hands down the best character on tv of all time. The entire human idenity is his character. Now that’s just one element of Star Trek. I suppose I’ll clarify: Star Trek TNG > Star Wars 4, 5, 6, and that recent remake where there is a larger Death Star in it but this time it blows up planets before it’s destroyed. TNG is hands down 110% more intellectually stimulating than Star Wars.Anyone who starts and finishes TNG will have gained an experience that just… It makes life better.

MzPriss

Nope. Best TV character of all time is Bobby Hill.

Tea and Cheese Lover

TNG or TOS or DS9 or VOY > Star Wars

MzPriss

Voyager was not better than pretty much anything, except possibly Enterprise. DS9 was meh. TNG was MIGHTY but still not better than Star Wars, but close. Because Worf.

Tea and Cheese Lover

I have nothing against Star Wars. A good action movie, but Star Trek always intrigued me. I haven’t seen enterprise and am on season 4 of Voyager right now. TNG was my favorite. DS9 was close. What it lacked in “exploration” it made up for delving deeply into spiritual matters on many levels, and different types of ethical questions as other series. VOY and TOS are tied for me so far. To keep things on topic, I like watching Star Trek while drinking tea ;)

CWarren

Gives Battlestar Galactica an honorable mention before hopping back into his Tardis, (yep, I threw the Doctor in there too).

MzPriss

The Doctor needs to be everywhere.

Gooseberry Spoon

Data is just the best. God now I got to go watch The Most Toys again and wonder…

rosebudmelissa

I’m a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars (and Doctor Who), but Stargate: SG-1 will probably always be #1 for me.

DharmaTea

I’m with you on the YQH MzPriss. I dunno how people have “buyers remorse” with samples but am pretty sure anyone with cakes could find a new home for them fairly easy. Especially when there are price changes coming and declining inventory. Thanks for your comments and reviews Grill. I learned a lot from you and James and appreciate the time and effort you put into it. While I like some of the YQH line better than others my only regret is that I couldn’t get more… As they say, there is no accounting for taste. peace

MzPriss

@DharmaTea – Teji WAS my fave. Now I’ve had Dingji. I echo your thanks to Grill and James. I would have been so very, very sad if I had never had any of this tea.

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86

Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. This is another good raw. It was fairly bitter at the start with as I would describe it two bitter taste. One up front and in your face, another behind it. That stronger bitterness was gone in about four steeps. The second bitterness continued. there were some sweet notes in there too, but no longer the apricots of a young sheng. This tea has in that sense started to age I think. I enjoyed this tea and gave it twelve steeps in a small gaiwan.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 50ml gaiwan with 3.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The leaves were not done. If I wanted to I’m sure I could get another few steeps out of them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
Cwyn

Was this tea from mrmopar’s storage or is it newly acquired?

AllanK

I believe he just received it.

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92

Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. This was an excellent tea. It was a punchy and bitter tea though. Bitter in a good way if you know what I mean. I steeped this tea twelve times and stopped because I had had a lot of caffeine. But I think it would have kept going for a lot more steeps. I think this tea is definitely worth buying. If I ever get around to buying from Tea Urchin it will go to the top of my list. This was good tea. There was a sweet note behind the bitterness too. A very complex tea in nature. You might call that note apricots, not completely sure.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.9g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Rui A.

One of my favourite young shengs at the moment.

AllanK

This one was pretty good.

Rasseru

Yeah I really like this one also. The peacock blend as well

Matu

I’ve got both of them (cake of the peacock and sample of the snake) on the way to me in a TU order and I’m looking forward to them :)

tanluwils

Man, this is one of those popular teas that I probably should try at least once. Too bad TU’s shipping is ridiculous… :(

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92

I’ve had the Tea Urchin order in my pumidor for about a week, and decided it was time to start sampling. If this tea is any indication I’m going to be happy with the order. Though this is a 2011, it is tasting middle-aged: the flavors were more wood than straw, and the color was more orange than yellow. There is still quite a bit of astringency and acid, so I’ll enjoy watching it age.

The really strong first steep has lots of fruit, and hints of straw and veggie. Long, powerful finish. Somewhat chewy texture. Strong cha qi. 2nd steep is soft and sweet and bursting with flavor and cha qi. I really like this tea. Started noticing a bit of molasses, and less fruit or veggie in the 3rd steep. Turned astringent at the end of the cup. 4th steep is quite astringent, slightly bitter, but I still taste a bit of fruit underneath. I haven’t had this for an hour, but the cha qi is hitting me after less than an ounce. The next few steeps were still potent, with a bit of fruit poking out from underneath an astringent woody flavor. Around the 7th steep the fruit began to dominate the wood, though there is still some astringency at the end of the cup. At this point my steeps were lasting about a minute. Still good texture.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML
DharmaTea

Great notes and a good tea. It’s nicely layered and you describe it well. I did get a hint of that LaoManE aspirin bitterness at the back of the mouth in some steeps with sweeter fruitiness in front that was really nice. Also appreciated your description “long powerful finish”, well put. Lots of activity after drinking, assuming thats what you meant.

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90
drank Shi Ding Baozhong by Tea Urchin
193 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Broth, Cinnamon, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Olive Oil

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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