The Essence of TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Puerh TTB #3. Thanks to EoT for the samples.
1st steep (10 s): There is a bit of spice in the nose. The taste is quite strong for a 1st steep. Smooth and sweet, with a rich blend of straw, toast and floral hints. The finish is also good; silky smooth and long-lasting. I’m feeling a lot of cha qi, but this is my second sheng of the day so the effect may be cumulative. 2nd (10 s): The tea is a medium straw color. Smell is richer; a hint of smoke? Really big and rich and super finish that seems to just keep getting bigger. Too big for my head!? Partly I think it is a powerful cha qi taking over. Between the finish and the cha qi it is hard to actually taste the tea. It is richer than the first cup, with wood and caramel flavors replacing the floral note. Also not as smooth; there is a bit of tartness and tannin, especially at the finish. This is the sort of tea that I’m tempted to just pound down and enjoy the cha qi, but I want to set a good example and review the tea since it was a donation to the puerh TTB and I was the one that required tasting notes for the donated teas. I’ll take a break then come back.
3rd steep (20 s one hour later): Light straw aroma and flavor. Less nuanced. Sweet, with a hint of bitterness underneath. 4th (30s): More wood than straw. A dark richness that’s hard to identify; not quite earthy. spice? (another review suggested nutmeg, and that is close) Finish and cha qi still dominant. Later steeps were mellow and rich and slightly spicy.
I liked this tea a lot, at least in part because it presented so many different facets. After the first cup I was thinking approachable. After the second I was thinking tea drunk. The third and fourth suggested the need for more age, and I’m now on about the 7th cup and it’s just really pleasant. Smooth, full flavor in the mouth, a finish that is still going strong, and a nice buzz from the cha qi. What’s not to love?
I’ve tried this for the third time today and I have about 5g left.
Initially and each time, I was disappointed with this tea as it takes off very slow. The first 3-4 steeps have you wondering how this could’ve ever passed EoT quality control, it’s thin and flat, yet bitterish, leathery and sour – like many of the forgettable low-quality productions from the times of the pu-erh craze (2006-2007). Gradually, however, things gets better and signs of maturity like notes of old books and woody sweetness (no red fruits though) start to come out. Around the eighth steep the flavour profile is fully developed and the tea is round enough to satisfy.
Unfortunately, although it never was really smooth to begin with, later steeps also produce more adstringency and the mouthfeels becomes somewhat gritty. Nevertheless, this one gave me a few decent cups.
To conclude, I think the price of 144USD is too high, considering that 149USD can get you something very “proper” in the matured pu-erh depatrment. Yes, I mean W2T’s HK Style.
Edit: After 10-12 steeps I wouldn’t speak of Qi, but I found its caffeine-level to be just right. I’m alert yet not agitated.
From the Steepster Puer TTB round 3
A really nice mellow sheng. Notes of apricot fruity, herby with a hint of spice and floral with a slick texture. The pu’er is also sweet and with a light dryness that tingles a bit making it a pleasure to drink for texture. Later steeps are more herby sweet and very nice. Great young sheng and totally ready to drink now. Lots of qi in this one too, I was flailing around at around steep 5 or 6.
That price though, it’s pretty high, but this pu’er is pretty good. This is my first try at Essence of Tea btw.
From the Pu TTB
Very mellow, thick, and sweet. The early infusions have notes of mushroom, minerals, herbs, and green wood and a slight floral touch. A well balanced tea with a strong qi that became apparent by the third steep. Great mouthfeel as well
Later infusions taste very warm and clean with a nutmeg note and nice creamyness. Under the influence I noted that it tasted like “drinking liquid candle light”
A super nice young sheng; I don’t know how it could be much better. I experienced some sticker shock upon seeing the price, but I do think this is the best young sheng I’ve had
Flavors: Green Wood, Herbaceous, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutmeg
2006 Bingdao Peacock – Essence of Tea
Price: £0.60 ($0.89) / g
£180 ($267.06) / 400g cake
Note: I got a 16g sample of this with my order.
Summary: Grainy, vibrant orange fruit flavour with a medium, well integrated smoke. It fills the mouth with its immediate expanding thickness. Let down by being astringent from the start and overwhelmingly bitter and harsh after only a few brews. It’s like a xiaguan tuo has been made thicker – a xiaguan tuo on steroids…
Dry: Dark brown, some silver leaves. Bumpy piece. Faint concentrated herbal – different to smoky cheese. Med compression. Smells mildly fresh.
Wet: Med smoke, mellow concentrated herbal, some peach.
Rinse: Light/med orange/golden.
10s – Med orange (not golden) The first sip reminds me of a Xiaguan tuo: grainy fruit with a lot of smoke behind it. Interesting. This is tasty, but then I am a fan of Xiaguan tuos. Bitterness is kept at a reasonable volume. i.e. not too high. Fruit is vibrant and obvious. It has a freshness to it. There is a slight astringency to this, so I’m guessing the material is not the best.
15s – Med orange (not golden) Fruit and smoke are well integrated. The flavour is grainy, bitter fruit riding with smoke in a simple, friendly, stimulating way. Liquor has some thickness to it. It leaves the mouth slightly dry and smoky.
20s – Heavy bitterness and too astringent. However, I like it as I like the bitter fruit in a Xiaguan tuo.
5s – Med orange. Bitterness goes under the tongue and rings. Smoke has partially cleared. There is an orange fruit note in here, which presents itself in a vibrant and juicy manner. Shame it carries heavy bitterness. Mouth is very dry.
10s – Light/med orange. Watery, bitter and some base sheng.
25s – Med orange. Lots of bitterness and astringency. The orange fruit note it still there.
Flavors: Grain, Orange
2014 Long Lan Xu raw Essence of Tea
Summary. A very good, fresh raw pu-erh with a strong body and very long finish. Flavours are sweet raisins. Emits strong energy. I’m impressed.
Dry: Dark brown; few silvery leaves. Very light, bright concentrated herbal. Med compression.
Wet: Light smoky, med bright concentrated herbal, fresh green. Slightly deep base to it.
Rinse: Light golden.
Note: This is my first time using the my new handmade cup from Pottery West :)
10s – Light yellow. Flavour is sweet raisin with a lingering sweet raisin finish. The body is lacking. 75/100.
15s – Light/med yellow. Body is there now, and it has some strength. It does not stick around. This has the fresh concentrated herbal flavour, but it is not overbearing. The finish does have a slightly astringent grip. 78/100.
20s – Light/med yellow. Intense body and the flavour lingers for a long time after the swallow. It has a s strong base, which gives the sweet raisin flavour some depth.
25s – Med yellow. This is one powerful and strongly flavoured tea. Noticing a sparkle in the finish. The transition from sip to finish is quite heavy. I’m feeling strong energy from this tea.
30s – Good form and a long lingering finish.
35 – No multi layering, but very good power, body and finish.
40s – Med yellow. Thin. A lot of bitterness, med smoke, becoming base sheng, but still going.
Picos blue– Not so good. The cheese swamps the tea with it’s roqfort like acidity. 2/10
Dorset blue – The bright bitterness is clouded by the mellow creaminess, but the beefiness is too much of a contrast. 6/10
Yorkshire blue – Very good. The mild creaminess goes well with the bright bitterness and allows the tea flavour to be tasted. 7/10
2006 Wild Peacock raw – Essence Of Tea
Price: 14p ($0.21) /g
Note: I received 20g of this free with my order.
Summary: A tea with heavy smoke; average base material showing slight almond notes. Characterised by a strong wood/ash note in the beginning. Body is ok. Finish is smoke-heavy, but it’s ok. Not a long brewing tea. ~5 steeps. I’d have to partially disagree with James of teadb with this tea. I think the smoke would put me off if this was my first tea.
Dry: Smoky cheese – same as other EoT teas so far. Very dark brown, flat piece. I received one chunk, leaves and dust (to get the 20g I assume). Later the aroma is that of a black bin bag (unused of course). Very high compression, similar to that of a Xiaguan tuo. Looks similar to 2000 Green Stamp…
Wet: Med electrical smoke. Faint log burning smoke. Later raisins.
Rinse: Bright, clear light golden.
10s – Med golden. Watery, soft wood.
Rest for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Watching teadb’s latest video – a review of this tea.
15s – Darker med golden. Ok the first sip: soft, no bitterness, rounded. There is a strong note in the body like a wood burning note. It stands out. That note remains solidly in to the finish, finally appearing in the throat as a dry, thick wood/ash note. It is sweet, rounded and friendly, but lets keep an eye on that wood/ash note. Not oily; medium thickness.
20s – Med golden brown with an orange tinge. The body consists of raisins: some sour and astringent. The smoke is thick and doesn’t move; it is even peppery. Is the tea well integrated with the smoke? No, but it has a bite to it which I like.
20s – Med golden brown. Lost that orange tinge. Heavy, rounded smoke. Tea is weakening. Heavy smoke can be tasted after drinking, but it’s not to bad if you don’t mind smoke.
25s – Med golden brown. Base material is average, although it does have a slight almond note. Drying my mouth.
35s – The smoke is slow moving, while the tea is faster moving.
50s – Med golden. Flat, bitter, even sour…
2004 Private Order – Essence of tea
Price: £7 ($10.54) for 25g (28p ($0.42) /g)
8g in gaiwan.
Summary: Heavy smoke has become rounded and smooth, and the flavours are ok, but there is nothing special here. Average tea, heavy smoke has been aged, that’s all. Bacon smoky.
Note: I can’t find this for sale anymore.
Dry: Dark brown, flat chunk, med/high compression. Looks like 2000 Green Stamp… Smoky cheese aroma.
Rinse: Med golden brown.
Wet: Med smoky. Electric smoke and log burning smoke.
10s – Med golden brown. Faint log burning smoke. Aftertaste is log burning smoke. Body is ok. Thin.
15s – Dense med golden brown. Another sheng from Essence of Tea with the bitterness worn down, and the smoke has softened. Both components are well integrated, but it is lacking bite. Thicker.
25s – Dense med golden brown. Slightly astringent grip; slightly drying. Log burning. Not as good as 2000 Green Stamp. A tiny hint of Beef Space Raiders….
30s – Med golden brown. Smoke is staying strong, but the tea is fading.
35s – Med golden brown. Very strong, thick smoke: it has softened, but it is still very heavy.
1 minute – Med golden brown. The smoke is well rounded and heavy, but the tea underneath is average.
1 minute 20s – Less dense. Med golden brown. Watery, base sheng with a tonne of smoke still.
Thick, oily in the mouth and throat, astringency peaks in the early steeps but is still evident mid-session. Pretty sweet with stonefruits, a familiar profile for good quality young gushu. Body is above average. If I were to criticize, it’s less dynamic than I had hoped, but it could be in part due to my lack of focus. Overall a very enjoyable clean and active tea.
At ~$0.50/g it compares well to other 2015 productions in the same price range, especially if you value body/texture. There is excess moisture in my sample, but it may be in part due to the air-tight bag it’s been sitting in.
2000 Green Peacock – Essence of Tea
Price: £0.34 ($0.50) / g £98 ($144) / 357g cake
Summary: A very good aged tea which comprises a tart fruit note with softened smoke. It has a lot in common with the 2000 Kai Green Stamp and has greater longevity. However, it is let down by overpowering smoke and astringency that come after a few brews. It also has less depth of flavour.
8 grams in gaiwan.
Dry: Smoky cheese (Bavarian cheese) just like 2000 Green Stamp. Dark brown with light brown leaves. This is not as compressed as 2000 Green Stamp and not as dark.
Wet: Med wood smoke, some electric smoke, straw.
Rinse: Very clear light gold.
10s – Light/med gold. An aged fruity woody note with a gentle tangy edge. Smoke is barely noticeable. The sweet wood note stays long into the finish and long afterwards. It is currently very lightly flavoured. 84/100
15s – Light/med gold. Light soil in the background. The fruit note is mild and sweet, then it turns slightly sour and becomes very light furniture polish. There is a slight dryness to the fruit as if it has been cask aged. Mild aged flavours: very light furniture polish and old wood. Smoke is minimal. 85/100
20s – Light brown. Slightly later arrival for the brown-ness than the 2000 Kai Green Stamp, but here we are. Medium dark smoky base, but soft. The fruit note stretches out across the whole flavour profile, instead of being a small part of it like in the 2000 Kai Green Stamp. Nice tang in the fruit, slightly astringent finish. Yet, very smooth. 87/100
25s – Med orange/brown. A lot of smoke. So far the smoke was minimal and well integrated. This is not so well integrated. Medium astringency and strong dark Xiaguan-like smoke. However, the fruit it strong enough to be tasted, but its being overpowered by the smoke. There are some aged flavours: light furniture polish, but these are difficult to taste because of the smoke. 80/100
30s – Med orange/brown. Astringency is a minor problem here. The fruit note goes long into the finish. It is a smaller part of the flavour profile now and has a tart bitterness which causes the mouth to salivate, and then it becomes sweet. 82/100
35s – Med orange/brown. The fruit note is losing vibrancy. It showed a grey/clay side here. The smoke has lessened, but was thick in parts. Slightly astringency. Thinner. 80/100
45s – Med orange/brown. Smoke first, then fruit. Mild astringency. Fruit has slight furniture polish. Leaving the mouth quite dry. This is lasting longer that the 2000 Kai Green Stamp, which makes it better value for the number of brews alone.
1 min 15 – Med orange/brown. Some stewed black tea, light furniture polish for the fruit. Background smoke bites into the finish. Slight astringency.
1 min 30 – Med orange/brown. Smoke, light furniture polish. Slightly harsh, but drinkable. 78/100
2000 Green Peacock – Essence Of Tea
Price: £0.34 ($0.51) / gram
7g in Gaiwan
I got this tea sent as a replacement for the 2000 Green Stamp that had ran out.
Dry: Smoky cheese (Bavarian cheese) just like 2000 Green Stamp. Dark brown with light brown leaves. This is not as compressed as 2000 Green Stamp and not as dark.
Wet: Med/strong smoke, dark fruit, mild aged flavour.
Rinse: Med golden. I wouldn’t say brown.
10s – 1st sip and I’m thinking, this is not as good as the 2000 Green Stamp. Very soft lingering finish. Wet wood flavour with hot wood shavings. Soft fruit. This is a worn out tea, but not so much that it has lost it’s flavour. It has perhaps lost its bite.
15s – Light brown. Interesting. The flavours, wet wood and hot wood shavings, swelled into a smooth finish. This is not as thick and definitely not oily like 2000 Green Stamp.
10s – Light brown. Very smoky. Very nice fruity, burning log flavours. It is not as pronounced as 2000 Green Stamp.
20s – Med brown. This tea is the component of a tea’s bitterness and smoke ageing, and currently it is too smoky, the smoke has not yet transformed into a rounded soft, warming flavour, and the bitterness which gets a little astringent has not aged into as smooth drink. Right now the smoke and bitterness two separate components that have not yet blended into the 2000 Green Stamp.
25s – Med golden brown. The colour show this has not aged as much underneath. This is not leaving an oily residue in my mouth like the 2000 Green Stamp, nor has it got the same quality of finish. This has a slightly drying, astringent finish. This gets harsh like plantation tea.
From the Puerh TTB #3
This tea had the most powerful cha qi I’ve ever experienced. So much so that it was difficult to take meaningful notes for this review. This is my second review. I took a 5 gram sample and split it into two parts, tasting one immediately and the other after it sat in a small zip-lock bag for a few months. This is the second review.
1st steep (10 s): Very strong for a 1st steep. I’m already feeling the cha qi. Flavor is leather with hints of spices and wood. The spice is especially obvious in the nose. Full-body cha qi. Unfortunately it also seems to be affecting my stomach. in the next few steeps, the spice became less prominent and the flavor became more smoked meat than spice. Rich and fairly strong. The taste is sharp and more tannic, with some bitterness. the 4th steep (30 s) started sweet and ended bitter. At this point I took a 1 hour break because I needed to clear my head. The next day I continued, and found good flavor though not terribly special.
Rating is difficult. The flavor is more bitter than I like, though I keep reading about “good bitterness,” I’m not really a fan. On the other hand, I love complexity in teas, and this one was very interesting. Each cup had multiple flavors and each cup was subtly different from the others. If I had to complain it would be that the powerful cha qi prevented me from fully appreciating the subtlety of flavor. I found myself just sitting and meditating for 5-10 minutes until the cha qi wore off sufficiently for me to brew the next cup.
In my internal notes, I rate separately for flavor and cha qi, both on a 100 point scale. I set the scale too low initially so had to give this tea the same cha qi rating as W2T’s Last Thoughts: 110 on a scale of 100. My highest rating.
Thanks again to Essence of Tea for contributing to the travelling tea box.
I recently exhorted people to write reviews of the TTB teas, so realized I need to set a better example. Hence, this review. In fairness, I’ve been inundated with other teas: two group buys from Liquid Proust, and one from Emmett, and two groups of samples I wanted to get through before Black Friday. However, it is now after Black Friday, and I’m out of excuses.
This is a tea I set aside before I sent out the box. I’d never had Essence of Tea puerh before so I was looking forward to trying some of their teas. The first steep caught me unawares, as it’s been a long time since I’ve had any Bulang, and this was a really powerful example. I was initially a bit put off by the earthy, slightly meaty nose, but the taste was great: very complex with earthy/leather flavors and a long, slightly sweet finish. As the cup cooled, the aroma changed from earthy to spicy. The second steep (10 s) was similar to the first steep. Very complex. I’m really starting to notice the cha qi. I was feeling light-headed when I prepared the second steep, and now I’m feeling it throughout my body: Very relaxed and detached. The mouth-feel is thick; almost chewy. The finish is so powerful that there is no obvious change in taste when I swallow (or even a minute later). The 3rd steep (20 s) has a rich meaty nose. The taste is wet wood with slight bitterness on the tongue. 4th (30 s): Wet wood with increasing bitterness but still interesting and enjoyable. I’m still working on the 6th steep but the trend seems to be for the flavors to become more woody and somewhat bitter. I would say that the tea peaked during the second steep. It is still good now but less exciting. I realize that I need to clarify that the bitterness was not excessive and I suspect many reviewers would have referred to this as “good bitterness”. To me that’s just a contradiction in terms.
I was surprised to see that this tea was only 3 years old. I would have guessed closer to 10. I guess that’s the effect of Malaysian storage. I’m not a fan of bitter teas, and marked this down a bit because of the bitterness. However, I really loved the complexity and the subtle change of flavor from cup to cup and even within the same cup as the tea cooled. Someone who likes “good bitterness” might really love this tea.
Thanks again to David and Yingxi at Essence of Tea for contributing this tea to the travelling tea box.
This tea was something powerful. I opened the package and was struck by a very prominent camphor scent. This aroma was fresh and intense. I broke off a chunk and placed it into my warmed gaiwan. The aroma deepens to an all encompassing camphor with eucalyptus. I could feel this scent begin to cleanse my body. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The wet leaves reminded my of the leaves of a eucalyptus tree. This session is largely composed of cooling sensations with an underlying of wood tones. The flavor was incredibly peculiar. The brew begins as cask wood and alcohol. The term “bourbon barrel” comes to mind. The drink carries a prominent menthol and camphor flavor that fills the mouth and follows through to the stomach. The drink emits a cooling sensation that encompasses the body. The qi is quite powerful and centering. The feeling begins in the temples and encroaches upon the body as a whole. This is a very “now moment” tea. The tea sips begin with a peppery kuwei and a dripping pleasant huigan. The mouth feel is nice and lubricating with a smooth filling. The aftertaste leaves a whisp of smoke. I love the mouth action this brew brings to the table, and there is plenty of hair prickling. However, there is a heavy bitterness present in the brew, as is with all other bulang. The leaves are large and unbroken with buds and some large stems. This cake runs in line with the classic Bulang material characteristics. The sips contain nice tantalizing kuwei, a sharp swift bite, light cask wood, and finish with a lasting slight huigan. The unique part is the storage, which added the menthol and camphor like tones. This tea is a prime example of how strongly storage can affect your puerh. I would compare this to the non-Malaysian stored version of this Bulang this company offers.
Flavors: Alcohol, Camphor, Eucalyptus, Menthol, Oak wood, Pepper, Smoke
Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #3
After drinking the Green Peacock yesterday this just seemed to be the next one for me to try. The first thing that is easily noticed is that it is much darker, though I am not intending to compare the two as they are different but that is what I will do. The mouth feel isn’t as smooth or lingering as the Green Peacock which is one of my favorite parts about pu’erh. This is a tea that the first six steeps did not appeal much to me because the slight bitterness needed to be pulled out and the deep taste of sheng was a bit stronger than I like. For those who like a stronger sheng this would be a great option, but people like me who want a cotton candy that has been fermented and looks like leaf this is not that.
Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #2
It was about one week before this TTB was announced to have a new round that I asked someone here about Berylleb’s Peacock teas because I have enjoyed the style quite bit. As I was about to buy four samples, a few weeks later, I noticed EOT provided two for the TTB :)
This tea is potent from the first steep which is nice right now because I need the strength. The tip of my tongue gets a slight sweetness during the taste of the liquid and as it goes down the sides of my tongue to my cheek experience a passing camphor taste which is quite enjoyable. I’m not sure which portion of the cake I had as it was broken off nor how it was stored for the last 2 months…. and I don’t care, if a tea taste good than it taste good. I’m looking forward to trying the purple peacock now!
Now I’m window shopping….
https://www.essenceoftea.com/tea/puerh-tea/2012-eot-qishenggu-400g-puerh-tea.html has my attention :)
Puerh Tea TTB. This tea is one that I at first, because of the coincidence in the name, took to be a shou puerh. It is a tasty young sheng instead. Only after drinking it did I find out the nature of the linguistic coincidence. Huang Shan Shu is the name of the village from which the tea is sourced, not shu in the sense of shou. It is a quite tasty sheng. It had very little bitterness to it. There were the traditional notes of apricots and stonefruits in this tea. It was sweet. It is also mildly astringent. There are no notes of smoke and I didn’t get any camphor. Overall I would rate this among some of the best sheng I have drank. It seems to have some qi as I am feeling quite relaxed after twelve steeps. Stopping now because of the caffeine but I’m sure this tea would have gone a few more steeps.
I brewed this tea twelve times in a 60ml gaiwan with 5g 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. This is a good tea to drink now because of a lack of bitterness. I don’t know how it will age as I have heard that bitter teas age better.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Stonefruits
Puerh Tea TTB. This is the first tea I am drinking from the box. The first couple of infusions were light yellow in color with the taste of a totally non bitter young sheng. At first I was unsure if I was really drinking an aged tea. After about the fourth steep the leaves had fully opened up and it took on the color of an aged sheng, a dark amber brown. I noticed that Grill mentioned storage taste in this tea. I did not find what is commonly called wet wood or wet storage taste. There was a spicy note however that was quite strong and prevalent throughout the first eight or ten steeps. It never completely went away even after fifteen steeps. It did however mellow out. There was a flavor in the middle steeps that I just call aged flavor. It crept in but I don’t know how to describe it. This tea was smooth despite the spicy taste. I think I would even say there was a taste of camphor in there. I am currently feeling the effects of this tea’s qi. I would not use the term tea drunk but it is quite relaxing. This is definitely a tea I will want to look into buying, don’t actually know how much it costs.
I steeped this tea 15 times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. Even so it took several steeps for this tea to open up. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min. The tea was pretty much played out at fifteen steeps but I probably could have gotten one or two more steeps out of it.
Another EoT sample from the TTB – Round 3. This tea was pretty simple so this wont be a long flowery review. Sweet and fruity, decently thick ( thicker than the green peacock). Durability was pretty good, session wasn’t all that dynamic but honestly wasn’t expecting fireworks here. This is something for the price that I’d buy a couple of brick of as a tasty cheap daily drinker type. Falls right in line with a couple of other teas I’ve had in this price range and would love to have it in my rotation and I can see why it sold out so fast. Hoping this comes back up for sale soon.
Second TTB review. I admittedly started this session not expecting much as most Bulangs I’ve tried have been harshly bitter and overall disappointing. Glad to say this tea was anything but that. This was rich, thick and oily. Bitterness was fairly strong but not at all harsh, in fact it was of the most enjoyable parts of the session. The kind of bitterness you would get from both high quality espresso and semi sweet chocolate. Those flavors were the most dominate in the flavor as well along with caramel, brown sugar. Some dark dried fruits and mushrooms were also present but in the background and didn’t make their way to the forefront till the end of the session. Coated the mouth and throat well which led to a strong and long lasting aftertaste. Big floral bloom in the mouth upon breathing out which was a bit surprising since it didn’t show up in the taste. Maybe it was there when younger but has been aged out by the excellent Malaysian storage. Qi came on fairly quickly, by the second cup or so and lasted throughout the session. Not overly strong but persistent and of good quality, best way I can describe it is I felt pretty damn awesome lol.
Glad to have finally had a great session with a Bulang tea and any MengHai county tea in general. Finding good high quality west banna sheng (without paying through the nose) seems to be very difficult as compared to tea from Mengla county.
First tea I’m reviewing from the TTB – Round 3. 5 grams in my shibo, gave them a quick rinse and let sit for about 5 minutes before starting my first brew. This tea has definitely seen some humidity and would benefit from some airing out for sure. Early tastes were dusty books and basement with underling fruit, camphor and some vanilla. Overall really complex and enjoyable flavors and my favorite aspect of this tea. In general the body was light and the after taste wasn’t that strong. Some throatiness early in the session but it didn’t develop or last for more than a couple steeps. As the session progressed the storage tastes lightened but never went away completely, astringency on the tongue and cheeks on the later steeps until the very end. Had to push this tea fairly early which is usually a sign of trouble but it turned out to be fairly durable and got around 15 steeps.
Overall the tea was pretty enjoyable but nothing mind blowing. Some people may be turned off by the storage taste but it doest bother me. As I said earlier airing this out would do it wonders as the flavors were the highlight of the show here. Also I do like teas with thicker bodies and oily texture but I’ve come to not expect that all the time from older tea.
Yesterday I spent time throughout the day enjoying a 2004 Yiwu. A few months ago, Essence of Tea offered a “sale” on a few very special somewhat aged teas they had introduced on a very limited basis. I picked up a few different 25g sample packs and this ChangYuHao Yiwu was one of them. Whole leaves from old trees nicely darkened by 11 years of aging – genuine non-plantation leaves; careful storage in Malaysia; and all the characteristic aromas of true quality YiWu material. The aroma from the wet leaves is sweet and rather pungent. Very clean tea liquor with sweet and spicy umami. Definite throatiness and a lingering aftertaste in the mouth. A smooth, heavy, sweet tea with feel good cha qi – I am happy to have an opportunity to session this 2004 YiWu. This is a good tea!
This was quite an experience. I let this cake air out for a little bit. I saw the 2000 year, and I knew I had to jump on it. I love the experience from aged sheng; especially, when it is properly stored. The cake consists of long twisted knots of muddled black and is intertwined with little bronze linings. I broke off two generous chunks and placed in my warmed jianshui pot and gave it a shake. I let the dry leaf warm up and sit for quite some time. I really wanted this brew to wake up from its 15 year slumber. I lifted the top and took a peek inside my clay pot. The scent was light but intense. It gave off the scent of age. It was like an old book store with the musty parchment. I also took in a dried fruit scent, perhaps it was grapes. I washed the leaves twice to get them to fully open. The liquor was tarnished gold. The old book scent followed this brew consistently. The flavor was largely complex. I am happy that I let this cake settle before brewing. The taste began as a deep raw wood. It was like the core of mahogany and mixed with cherry oak. This taste then moved into a dried fruit with a lasting huigan to follow. The liquor had a intense and brief kuwei that was soothed by a fermented fruit taste. This mixture frequently transits from a heavy wood and slight earth, to a more fruit and spiced tone. The brew lasts forever! I was able to pull countless steeps while still achieving a prominent orange liquor. The background flavor of camphor also follows the drinker the entire session. The qi is something special. The feeling is not overwhelmingly powerful, and it sneaks up on you. I did not notice it for most of the session. For me, it began at my temples and forehead with a warming sensation that grew into a fiery internal feeling. This wave of warmth rushed through my body and lifted me up. This session helped calm me down and help me focus for the work ahead. I enjoyed this brew thoroughly, and it is a good example of some aged sheng. I believe that if stored properly this could grow into something even more fruitful. Lastly, I am happy to be able to experience Malaysian storage. This country’s storage conditions was a new concept for me, and it was a wonderful experience.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Drying, Musty, Paper, Smooth, Spices, White Grapes