The Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

84
drank 2012 Bulang by The Essence of Tea
145 tasting notes

Brews a medium yellow-orange. Very earthy and woody definitely aged “beyond it’s years”. Thick and buttery with notes of pretzel, citrus, sandalwood, camphor, and vanilla. Slightly medicinal. Moderate honey sweetness and a fairly strong bitterness.

Part of me wants to like this tea a lot, but I get a sort of off putting note that reminds me of over-ripe oranges on a hot day. I suppose that’s a strange thing to taste, but I grew in Florida with an abandoned orange grove in the back yard. It had it’s perks; free oranges and the lovely scent of orange blossoms wafting though the air. It also had it’s downsides though; rotten fruit and rats and rattlesnakes thicker than your arm! Any way you put it the taste of this tea brings me back.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Citrus, Honey, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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From the Puerh TTB

To start off, I steeped this one quite aggressive as I was feeling in YOLO sheng mode. That was a bad idea with this tea – the flavor is pretty harsh. It is strong, soggy ashtray of menthol cigarettes, and a prominent sour bitterness that lasts a long time after each sip. The texture is a slick feeling in the mouth, and the dryness is moderate, but whoa, the most bitter bulang I’ve had. The smoke is light, it tasted like it got drowned out at some point.

But yeah, a new sheng drinker should likely stay clear of this one, or steep it low, around 185F. If you are a sheng drinker who loves bitterness (more bitter than W2T New Amerykah) have at it. The loooong aftertaste is quite pro, if you like bitter.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 14 ML
Cwyn

The smoke is such a shame.

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I woke up this morning knowing I needed a serious tea to power me for some cleaning that needed to be done. I grabbed this on because EOF is expensive so I made a dumb association with $ to qi.
This was quite nice. Chest warming and a mild head feel with a taste that mellowed out by steep four; became quite nice but I think that it does need a few more years. The mouth pucker is almost, ALMOST, gone. Probably only 2 years of some storage on this and it will be golden. The only negative aspect to this tea is that it is on the darker spectrum of sheng, to which people will continue to hear me say that I like my light sheng.

Ranting time:
Last night I had some friends over and we were talking about how one of my friends was kicked out of the church because he took a stance that homosexuality is not a sin… as difficult of a conviction that such a thing can be right now with things happening in the US and the church figuring out how to respond, it’s just beating me up. So, anyways, if only it was that simple!
My parents ended up joining us and it’s only around my friends that I discuss such things because I know that they will throw the: ’ I thought we taught you better’ and make me feel as if they ‘failed’ me…
My stance on not understanding psychological and biologic implications to life choices leads me to believe that this whole issue revolving around gay marriage is stupid. The condemnation has now put me in a position were I may not speak to my parents as much because they think that my thoughts are tainted and I’m not sure if I can channel my love for them to see past these negative comments that they spread to the rest of our family. Stupid ass drama that doesn’t need to occur; my thoughts do not change the way in which I act. Whether I think A or B is right or wrong, I’ll always treat people with respect and treat them as I would want to be treated.

Tears are shed as I lose my family because of my own thoughts which now define me…
p.s. that friend who was kicked out was a pastor and it was done via email; for real?

Teazilla

Dude, I know exactly how you feel. I grew up in a Southern Baptist household and my best friend, of 14 years now, is gay. He also used to be an active member of my parents church. In fact, we met at this church (lolz how times change). There were many, many times that I had serious conversations with my parents that inevitably devolved into arguments because my parents were incapable of understanding at it’s root that it’s just not a choice. Eventually, things came to a head when their church pastor spoke out one Sunday around the same time the US was legalizing marriage for the LGBT community and started saying things like, “Real Christians will vote against this.” I don’t like people thinking for me, and I sure as hell am not going to sit and listen to some pastor telling me that the person who has willingly been there for me and been the best friend I could ever ask for was going to Hell, solely for being gay. Fuck you, breh. That’s not what my Christ teaches. So I started looking around and I now consider myself part of the Presbyterian Church of USA (PCUSA, not to be confused with the archaic PCA). Their beliefs are more in line with my own, and they consider spirituality and religion to be a very personal journey, to be defined by free-thinking individuals under the tutelage and guidance of the church who focuses around the ministry of Jesus more than some Old Testament verse that is surrounded by controversy and misinformation, even amongst scholarly circles.

Whew! I didn’t mean to blow you up, I just say that to say, if you wanna talk about it, I’m all ears. I’ve mostly retained my faith through the whole ordeal, but it’s definitely caused me to view differently how I integrate my religion and spirituality into my life. :)

Kirkoneill1988

don’t worry Andrew, we love you just the way you are! :D

mrmopar

AS Christ drew the symbol in the sand and asked who among you is without sin? I ask you those who are withut sin cast the first stone. Then said “Those that condemned you are not here. I condemn you not”. As the Bible said “Judge not lest ye be judged”. It is to be judged by God not any of us here on earth.
God made us and loves us for who we are. No matter what. Else fore, why would he have sent his son to save us all. Jesus was asked how much do you love them. He said this much an spread out his arms to be nailed and crucified for us.
He loves us all as we are.

Whiteantlers

I’m sorry you are going through this, LP. I have been surprised and touched by religious people here treating me with kindness and respect. A friend and I parted ways not too long ago because he was always fast to tell me that my ‘lifestyle’ was an abomination to God. I have been told and have told others that God created us in His image so did not create anyone who is imperfect. Thank you LP and thank you, too, mrmopar for being kind, generous, decent, caring, open minded people.

Cwyn

I wouldn’t give up on them. My long experience with conservative religious people is they are likely to change a stance when confronted with someone they love, given time. The key is an issue that is close to home, not just a hypothetical moral dilemma. When one’s own child is gay, that hits home more than someone else’s child. Look at Dick Cheney, if he can become an advocate for gay rights, nobody is a lost cause.

Kirkoneill1988

That’s a great point mr mopar

Kirkoneill1988

Christ died for everyone! :) there are far worse things out there. And I’ve been guilty of one of them. But Jesus loves me and died for me. Remember this, if god did not care about you, me or anyone, Christ would never been born. Keep your head up! Enjoy the good things of life that’s what god likes. When we do that and care about others. I care about you.

Kirkoneill1988

If you need to talk to me, send me a message

Shade

I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but your comment struck a chord in me. As a gay female who is, incidentally, an atheist and someone who cut family ties early in life… well, I’m often dumbstruck by the willful ignorance and disrespect that I see people direct at one other as if doing so were a badge of honor. It’s a wonder that anyone has the unmitigated gall to tell others who & how they should love and to pass such harsh judgments upon their character and worth as people is… wow. Just… wow.

That said, it’s always reassuring when I see people such as yourself who, despite what personal dilemmas may come of it, choose tolerance over bigotry. I can’t speak to reconciling theological morals and family dynamics, but I do hope that open minds and open hearts prevail.

Liquid Proust

@Teazilla The most important part is keeping dialog and not being exclusive with conversations. Why people won’t discuss comes out to what I find to be ridiculous answers… as if they have the plague or something.

@Kirk Nobody should dismiss someone because of their thoughts. If I acted on my thoughts in a way that harmed someone sure, but meerly just saying I believe this or that shouldn’t be enough to put me in a category of people someone can’t talk to.

@mrmopar exactly… and I had thought that the Golden Rule stretched beyond all people as a simple practice, but I continue to learn it doesn’t :(

@whiteantlers I never let the people speak or act for me which I believe causes some disconnect with religion nowadays. People tend to associate the actions of one for the whole group; it’s understandable, I helped a friend work through prejudices that kept her from religion all together because of a tragedy (sister was raped by a pastor on church grounds). This is the same reason that any type of people get prejudged to do or act a certain way which is wrong. Everyone is different and at the least deserves their chance.

@Cwyn I still have a lot in me, but it’s really hard when your mother gets on the phone with your family to tell them that her son (being me) is going to hell… just not the kind of thing I would like to be said around my family because of my thoughts. It’s really awkward at family events now; especially the time I told my mom I was Baha’i and she believes anyone who is non Christian is atheist so everyone kept saying they were praying I’d find God again…

@Shade I hope people can get past private affairs of one another as well so we can communicate without such anger and disgust. It really takes a lot out of someones day to think about the private life of two people who are attracted to the opposite sex and then bash them; it’s as if you’re missing life that can be lived by following a passion instead of tearing another one apart. I don’t get it… I mean, I tell people oolong is the best type of tea and I believe that but if they say otherwise I say cool and then it’s to the next topic.

@All Every year my beliefs change because I encounter new people and learn new ways to view things. As Kahlil Gibran explains things, you really have to travel around the mountain and not just up and down it to figure out the angles. The coolest part about all of this is how much dialog I have with those who drink tea about these matters or I get to speak to those I never would be able to because of the internet.

Thanks for your thoughts all :)

Kirkoneill1988

@lquidproust your right! you’ve been so kind to me and i appreciate that. you are a good fellow and friend :)

Kirkoneill1988

@liquidproust ive done terrible things in my life and to have people be friends with me. it’s such a blessing.

mrmopar

Kirk we all have done things we are not proud of. It is a learning experience on this world. The Golden Rule will always apply. It can take some people a while too learn it. I know it did me.

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Working this one up tonight. I bought this after tasting a sample of it a while back. Mengsong material is usually pretty decent.
I grabbed 11 grams out to start with and gave it a rinse and a little sit time.
Wet leaf you can pick some hints of floral but subdued and there is some smoke in there as well. The tea brews a nice aged golden color in the cup.
It starts out fairly thick and seems to rattle around in the mouth a bit. It is a pretty strong brew with the mintyness and camphor and bitterness rolling around in there. It is not as strong as a Bulang area tea but it is quite strong. Letting the cup cool a bit the bitterness can really come to the front. I see this one doing quite a few quick steeps as I am already 8 in and the leaf keeps giving. The aged profile of this will make you think it is a few years older than it actually is.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Floral, Mint, Smoked

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
tea123

Better than the 2008 Bulang? ;)

mrmopar

I never had the chance on that one. It was gone away I heard good reviews of it though.

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Drank this for three hours while working on some computer maintenance :)

Solid smell of smoke when just examining the dry leaf. Brewed this one hardcore for two steeps and tossed, left alone for 8 minutes and came back to it. Liquid has a nice middle color to it telling me that it wasn’t going to be light nor would it aggravate me with a strong taste. I ended up tasting a mixture of storage on this tea which was really odd. The one thing I noticed most was how dark the leaf became after my 3 hour session. Almost a amber hue to the leaf as if it was either dark leaf in the beginning or the storage did this. Unsure of both accounts because the taste was a bit hard for me to determine. Does this mean I don’t know my stuff or I was correct that the storage taste is mixed which makes it hard? I don’t know :/

It was an enjoyable session, but I would have prefered the other Peacock raw I’ve had from EOT over this one.

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Lately, I’ve been exploring affordable semi-aged teas and I’m quite happy with this one. It’s a great example of clean wet storage. Dried leaves are a dark purple tone and largely intact. Wet leaves have a sweet forest aroma after the rains. This is an easy-going tea. There are no off-putting flavors to speak of and the tea soup is clear and an attractive deep orange. It has a straight forward flavor profile of sweet forest floor(peat?), sandalwood, ripened plums and dried stonefruits. It’s very smooth, warming, has good energy, and develops just enough astringency (accompanied with fruity sweetness) in later steeps to keep the drinker’s attention.

Having had sessions with this tea before and after it’s acclimatized, using a gaiwan and nixing teapot, I’ve come to appreciate its reliability—which I attribute to well-sourced leaf and careful storage. Now that it’s lost some of that initial awkward storage flavor/scent (smoky/stewed prunes..yuck), I can enjoy it on a regular basis!

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From the PU TTB: I much prefer this one to the Green Peacock. Soft, with a hint of sweetness. No musty old basement to this one, which suggests it’s been well stored. And the mouthfeel is absolutely smooth/creamy/lovely. I’m eight steeps in and feeling a wonderful relaxing qi, and so far not much in the way of bitterness. This sheng is right in my aged sheng wheelhouse and I am gutted it’s sold out :-(

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Thank you to the good tea friend who gave me this sample. This tea was strong, this tea was fairly smoky. I was getting notes of hay and tobacco along with the smoke initially. These notes persisted for a while. It’s hard to say exactly when they were no longer a factor, but at least six steeps. This tea turned into something nicer, it just took a while. By steep twelve it was fairly smooth. I did develop into something with a type of sweet note, although not the sweet note of apricots of a young sheng. I don’t think I will buy this but you never know. This might just have the characteristics of something that will age well, but that is a gamble. It might not age well at all. It had already aged somewhat. The tea soup was somewhat red although not as red as the tea I drank yesterday from Yangqinghao. After drinking a Yangqinghao it’s hard to give something else a good review. I did like this well enough to steep it twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan.

I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10g 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. I’m sure I could have gotten a few more steeps out of this if I hadn’t hit my caffeine limit for today.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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From the PU TTB: I think this might be the oldest sheng I’ve ever had. It starts out, well, frankly unpleasant. Overwhelming storage/musty old basement. Once it gets going, there is a tarty fruity sweetness; somewhere in that old basement, underneath the leather books and ossified apples, there’s a pleasant sourness. But the overwhelming note is camphor, even after numerous steeps. It does get a tad bitter when pushed. Some 10 or 15 steeps later I am tea drunk as hell. Upshot: I didn’t love it enough to want to buy more, but I am still drinking it and it’s not just for the buzz. Approaching 20 steeps and this tea is showing little sign of weakening. And it’s growing on me a little.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCY8U_DGgNW/?taken-by=curlygc

jschergen

Haven’t had HK Style yet?

curlygc

I think I have and I seem to recall that I didn’t care for it. I have to check my notes to make sure I’m not confusing it with another tea. I assume it’s similar to this one then?

jschergen

They’re fairly different as far as aged teas. That one got pretty humid and was then dried out heavily. More mellow than this one, if I recall correctly.

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Purchasing from different vendors has taught me about my storage preferences. I’ve had several sessions with EoT’s 2012 Qi Sheng Gu, 2012 Bao Tang, 2014 Long Lan Xu 2006 Wild Peacock, and their 2000 Green Peacock. They all share the similar aroma and strong initial flavor of smoky prune in their first 3 steeps. I’m not a fan. I can only assume this is a storage issue since the affects are the same across teas. This is unfortunate, as I’ve heard nothing but good things about EoT.

The tea soup starts out cloudy orange and gradually transitions to yellow, which I find interesting. The smoky prune aroma is a turn off and only begins to recede after the 5th steep when the leaves release a tingly/numbing sensation and subdued floral notes I associate with 2015 YS Bang Dong and some YS Jinggu teas. I’m a big fan of this characteristic.

I’m annoyed by the fact that the storage has dominated the flavor and overall experience of what is probably a lovely tea (and other EoT teas), so far. I hope to return to this tasting note with positive edits.

The Essence of Tea

Strange… the Wild Peacock and Green Peacock come from different places and have had different storage from the other teas. Maybe there’s one with this flavour that has influenced the others while being shipped to you, or maybe the flavour is coming from elsewhere in your tea brewing. Try airing them our for a week or two and see if it helps.

tanluwils

I initially suspected the Wild Peacock is responsible for this effect, but since the samples are sealed I suspect there is another unknown variable at play. I find I’ve been storing them separately for a few weeks now and that initial smoky aroma/flavor is just starting to wane. I’m happy with structure of this tea after the 5-6th steep, so I hope that comes to the fore as the storage smell/flavors dissipate.

mrmopar

Keep us updated as I have the Wild Peacock and another on the way.

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92

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?

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

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69

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.

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
tea123

Interesting review :)

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90

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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99

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

I want this one..

Rasseru

Another shop where my wallet pulls me past whenever I look at it – mostly due to me wanting to try some authentic Bei Dou Yi Hao.

mrmopar

I agree. I have had some of their other stuff. Pretty good. The exchange rate is killer to your wallet though.

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83

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…

83/100

Dry: Dark brown, some silver leaves. Bumpy piece. Faint concentrated herbal – different to smoky cheese. Med compression. Smells mildly fresh.

https://www.instagram.com/p/pMiY1IDuWN-6vUi02JvDKrLTAqjOF6gJtX80

Wet: Med smoke, mellow concentrated herbal, some peach.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_pmQaNIDmTx-8kAw8-Z5FNVwJr9oICZjOnH940

Rinse: Light/med orange/golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_pNMmeoDvr7QA90IYA9BPGcTbUbrNaNY-rRnI0

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

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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82

2014 Long Lan Xu raw Essence of Tea

Price:
25/25

82/100

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fP26AoDqqolH2bXPtAiLSgd2m9w8Pt6K-B5o0

Wet: Light smoky, med bright concentrated herbal, fresh green. Slightly deep base to it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fQ3UUIDs89XZFKPyt_2is-uUGnU7JxUwY8Dg0

Rinse: Light golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fQi5coDsTN0rPqdxhzaWZ79SOziAgTl4zDp40

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.

Cheese pairings:
https://www.instagram.com/p/_feuuQIDpqZQ4rtbmloKzq6zU7YwxVfrJD01w0

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

Flavors: Raisins

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tanluwils

I like how you take notes! I’m eyeing this cake, so was quite informative.

kevdog19

Get a huge kick out of the “Cheese pairings”… this is the first time I have ever seen this haha. +1

tea123

You reminded me that I got one of the cheese names wrong. Corrected it now.

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75

2006 Wild Peacock raw – Essence Of Tea

Price: 14p ($0.21) /g
Note: I received 20g of this free with my order.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XTdEDIDnLYpury_I17Y9MzV4mg4C6yb-tgCk0

75/100

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…

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XVwNBIDr1GbtV8GrGbew2bargU1crrL7By-I0

Wet: Med electrical smoke. Faint log burning smoke. Later raisins.

https://www.instagram.com/p/XoZUEIDtxcCp8wWyjQedAz4434XNlqos8vII0
https://www.instagram.com/p/
XoeqAIDt7811ZoS54kCnxWTcFAVuOMaBGllw0

Rinse: Bright, clear light golden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_XWsDkIDtWi4mCQFSpMpgcmIqnMyRHdDk3Y1o0

10s – Med golden. Watery, soft wood.

Rest for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Watching teadb’s latest video – a review of this tea.
http://teadb.org/2006-eot-wild-peacock/

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…

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

Love your reviews. I wish I could write as well.

jschergen

Very interesting and quite a bit different than my take. You got a lot of smoke and I don’t remember any at all! Hard to tell where the differences are coming from… Given that half of the cakes are stone-pressed and half are hydraulic pressed and they’re all mixed together, it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s a few consistency issues with the cake.

Kirkoneill1988

awesome review! is it possible to inbox me with the link to this tea?

Kirkoneill1988

thats the only tea ill most likely buy a cake of. rest are way over priced for young puerh cake/tuo/brick

tanluwils

If it was highly compressed, I suspect it was machine pressed. I would agree with jschergen on consistency issues as I’ve read several contrasting reviews of this tea. Hopefully I won’t be too shocked by my order!

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76

2004 Private Order – Essence of tea

Price: £7 ($10.54) for 25g (28p ($0.42) /g)

8g in gaiwan.

76/100

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-11RCbIDvHX0H58ZiACf0hNrLE4J53f3t5IBg0

Rinse: Med golden brown.

Wet: Med smoky. Electric smoke and log burning smoke.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-19FqAIDuxyak_ED3waJ6ZnmXPQv4Qz6TpSlc0

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.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
JC

I wouldn’t go as far as saying not recommended but I do agree this tea adds nothing to the collection :P

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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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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84

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.

84/100

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAK59-oDlsWX3N40QXAHs6S2JqmfGhPFJdpCI0

Wet: Med wood smoke, some electric smoke, straw.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAWSCrIDqD9C8kTsUc2lROGbPkPgJdMUOUE_g0
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAAWVHzoDqNOV798lfebA7oFKukTf_bGtLK-xE0

Rinse: Very clear light gold.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BAALq2XoDn9ecu5x2dIY0Lg5wryFqXM9HkNue40

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

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kirkoneill1988

lovely review

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84

2000 Green Peacock – Essence Of Tea

82/100

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.

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
The Essence of Tea

If you have a little more of this tea, I’d encourage you to try it again. I’ve compared it a lot side by side with the Kai Yuan Green Stamp. Initially I didn’t think it would be as good, but with some familiarity with both teas, this came out as the clear winner. I found it thicker, richer and more vibrant than the green stamp, with a much better lasting aftertaste. If you have some of the Green Stamp left, it might be worthwhile to compare them side by side. I think you might be surprised.

tea123

Thanks for the comment. I do have more of both teas and will be trying them again. As for a side by side comparison, unfortunately I only have one Gaiwan.

The Essence of Tea

Great, I’m glad you’ll get another chance at both teas. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this comparison.

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88
drank 2012 Bulang by The Essence of Tea
265 tasting notes

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.

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

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88
drank 2012 Bulang by The Essence of Tea
265 tasting notes

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.

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

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90

Wow. Deep, dark body reveals intense sweet fruit. Intense, oily and powerful delivery. Just a few thoughts on first trying this.

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

I liked this one too.

tanluwils

Lots of buzz around this tea. Too bad it’s sold out. :(

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