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Recent Tasting Notes
First off, the packaging is almost definitely lying about this being hand-picked, as the leafs are cut mainly to ~1cm squared pieces. However, it’s a very pleasant tea. The aroma is very floral. Although it said to steep for 1 min, I did only about a 20 sec first infusion in 5 oz. water after a quick rinse. It still had a moderate amount of astringency, which I liked. Beyond that, I agree with the “muscatel” description; pleasant sweetness, not very spicy, mild woodiness. Moderately thick mouthfeel. I can get several enjoyable infusions.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Muscatel, Raisins, Wood
I liked this one! It’s nicely floral in taste and aroma, but there’s extra depth – as the name suggests, it reminds me of plums. It also has pretty decent lasting power as I’ve made several cups while sitting here working.
Update: this stuff also makes a terrific iced tea. Seriously, makes me wish it was summer and I could buy bags of every variety of stone fruit and their hybrids I could want.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Plum
First dibs: 10 year aged shu puerh tea by teance.
Engraved dragon head yixing teapot gongfucha.
Dry leaf: subtle mustyness
Wet leaf: light earth, cookies, fermentation (?).
1x medium rinse.
Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) subtle —> earth, ginger (?), cookies. Soda pop(? [weird]). (Taste) subtle
-→ soda pop (weird), earth, camphor, mushrooms.
Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell) subtle —> fishyness, earth (?), fermentation (?), cookies. (Taste) subtle -→ earth, fermentation, camphor (?), mushrooms (?). Light soda pop (?).
Heavy steep; I taste/smell: (smell) subtle earth. Light fishyness. (Taste)
Light —→ earth, camphor, mushrooms, fermentation.
All in all, a decent tea. A tad fishy but decent flavours and cha qi. The Soda pop taste surprised me! I rate this a 80/100 I’ll give the rest to a friend.
Where to buy: https://www.teance.com/collections/pu-erh/products/first-dibs-10-year-pu-erh
Flavors: Camphor, Cookie, Earth, Fishy, Mushrooms, Musty
Very smoky! Reminds me of my favorite rauchbiers, or of smoked almonds. Has a deep, vegetal richness that evokes certain green teas I’ve tried. A bit astringent. 4 resteeps and it’s still tasting pretty good.
Flavors: Almond, Grass, Smoke
A fresh and light green, with subtle seaweedy notes, but not so much that it tastes vegetal. Instead it is mostly fragrant and nutty like salted edamame. Very delicious and easy to overdose on.
Flavors: Green, Soybean
I don’t drink a lot of darjeeling, so I had to look up the flavor profile of this one from Teance. The wintergreen aroma they describe is definitely there, as well as a light-roasted coffee bean or nutty scent. Deep auburn-brown brew after a short 1 min infusion (4g in 6 oz.) My teeth will be a pretty color after this one!
The flavor follows the scent – like an espresso followed by a burnt biscuit with jam.
Flavors: Espresso, Mineral
I put aside enough time over the weekend to brew a kung fu session of this tea. The dried leaves lure you in with some fresh grass and floral notes. Just like the instructions on Teance, I didn’t give it a rinse, and the first brew was relatively flat with faint hint of the honey huigan in the back of the throat. Starting in the second steep, it starts to come into its own with an assertive honey and floral note, with crisp and clean texture in the mouth. The huigan flavor is consistent through to the fifth steep, with the sixth steep starting to fade a little bit. I am sure I could have prolong the session with a longer steep after the 6th round, but I called it a wrap and moved on.
Overall, it was pleasant tea to drink on a weekend afternoon. According to Teance, this is a charcoal roasted tea, though it must be very lightly roasted because I didn’t get any of the full body or subtle complexity that I would expected from a medium or high roast level tea. I can see it as a good intro to oolong, one you can drink while relaxing and share a nice conversation with friends gathered around.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Honey
This was my gateway drug back into tea. I hadn’t realized it yet, but I was coming down with strep throat (I had it twice last month) when I decided to brew this. I really loved this combination. Such a simple combination, and yet so flavorful and soothing. I want to remember to get more of this soon.
Wow. This tea is great. It’s important to brew it as instructed, at 160 degrees. I experimented with bringing it up to 175 and it definitely tasted burned. At 160, it was light and slightly buttery, sweet, and round. I will keep it for special occasions, as it’s a bit pricey so I don’t want to run through it too quickly.
I am off to a late start since I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I don’t know what I am thinking by drinking puerh in the evenings. That is my favorite time to drink them but then I always have insomnia!
Anyway I haven’t gong fu’d too many black/red teas but I think that needs to change. I really enjoy this one but some of the other reviewers did not. I love the flavor profile which has notes of sweet potato, pepper, a bit of tobacco and malt. I discovered you can gong fu it for at least 5x before it starts to give up any flavor. If you’re into Yunnan blacks I would recommend it as a good one to try, though it appears they are all sold out of it on their website.
Gah, I was just in the middle of typing a tasting note for this and I accidentally closed the window I was writing in. Don’t you just hate that??
Anyway this is a really nice yunnan from Teance. First steep was at 205 F for 1 minute in the yixing. Tea liquor smells like brown sugar and I am getting notes of malt, sweet potato, pepper and brown sugar. A very smooth and sweet infusion and delicious. The 2nd steep I decided to go for 2 minutes. It is definitely darker and peppery notes are becoming more prominent, but it also has yummy brown sugary, bready notes like a delicious pastry. I am definitely not disappointed with this but yunnans are probably my favorite black tea at the moment.
I’ve been searching and searching for the best Yunnan Gold Tips out there and these are it. Teance should be more reviewed on here because their commitment to finding the best tea is unmatched. The viscosity of this tea is out of this world. I’ve never had a more satisfying cup of red tea… Laoshan Black from Verdant comes close, but this has a complexity that you just don’t quite get from the Laoshan.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cacao, Malt
A friend of mine gave me a bag of this tea a long time ago. I never opened it because I thought that would save the freshness until I wanted to enjoy it. I have the April 2013 harvest…which is over a year ago, so I was a little worried it would not still be good. It tastes absolutely delightful! Nice and light, smooth, crisp, and I get light melon notes, as indicated by the package. I will definitely be enjoying this one now that it’s open. :)