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Recent Tasting Notes
his Henglichang Bulang tea has gotten some mention from other bloggers with widely varying opinions. Thanks to Apache, I had a chance to try a sample. Luckily, I had not read any other reviews prior to sitting down for my session – so the scribbles in my little notebook were from an unbiased mind – relatively speaking…read more of my thoughts below
This tea was the sample I received from EOT with my mom’s purchase. I will be using 6 grams in 4oz of water.
Dry smell: The dry smell is nice. It has a sweetness to it but also a dark, deep aspect. It reminds me a lot of the dragonwell from teavivre. It smells very much like green tea.
Taste: Surprisingly, there is no bitterness from such a young sheng puerh. It doesn’t have the crispness of a young green but has a lot of the vegetal flavors. It is slightly darker than a green and has a smoky taste
Wet smell: Very vegetal, not nearly as sweet, like string beans
Qi: There is vey little qi present if any at all. So far the only tea I have tried that has a noticeable qi is the 2011 mansai so I don’t have much to compare to, but it does not have nearly the same feeling.
Mouthfeel: This tea is very smooth. It seems to glide all the way from first sip to the swallow. It leaves no dryness at all like some other teas do. It has some thickness but not nearly as much as the 2011 mansai. The aftertaste is very nice, sweet, and vegetal. It also lasts for much longer than any other tea I have tried.
This was my first real experiment with pu erh where I know what it is (young sheng). I admit I am pu erh ignorant and have been hit or miss about them, so the odyssey continues. I don’t tend to find them offensive I just tend to find them lacking in flavor or having cardboard elements.
This tea came in nuggets, but they were excellent looking – whole long leaves pressed together rather than the little broken pieces I have seen before. It came apart fairly easily and smelled great. Almost musty in a way, but musty like a garden shed in mottled shade – something fresh and deep, yet green.
This is like nothing I have ever tasted before.
It is almost floral, as though I am mouthing a damp garden in the rain with earthy notes taking over. These dry and come to the front as leaves of an old book. This one is a really synesthetic experience for me.
Mmm. And it fades into a sweetness at the end… perhaps from some kind of bourbon candy or … no, it is like an amaretto, a deep smoky amaretto, mixed with a harder liquor. Don’t misunderstand, there is no bite, just a smokey sweet aftertaste.
I think I’m in love. A tea that is damp gardens and old books on a rainy day with a dash of an amber sweetness? I couldn’t ask for anything else.
Thank you, Amanda for including this in the box you sent!!
This tea saved it for me. Well, not just this tea, but this tea and many other fine, traditional, lightly roasted oolongs that rescued my palate from the high-firing, heavy roasts that my body rejects. To be blunt: there is something about drinking liquid roast (such as from tea or coffee), that I simply have not yet learned to love. With the help of fellow tea chums, I’ve learned to taste, appreciate and respect the variances and wonders of more heavily roasted, aged oolongs, but I’m still a long way from truly enjoying or looking past that roast taste in my cup.
And for the above reason, I am so happy to have access to these lightly roasted wonders. There is so much that I like, or absolutely adore, about the 2011 XiPing Anxi Tie Guan Yin. Hopefully my favorite tea blogger over at The Half-Dipper has not just dismissed me as a “fascinating girl-man hybrid” :). The tea is a treat for the senses. There is no denying its delicacy, its lightness, and the fact that it doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but it is just so good! The dry leaf provides the scent of orchids, which open and fill the room after a very quick rinse. The taste is well balanced, a combination of floral notes, wild honey and nuts. Citrus and almost somewhat of a woodsy flavor begin to appear in later cups, keeping the tea grounded. The tastes dance and evolve as the silky delicacy of the tea fills the mouth. The qi is calming, the aftertaste cleansing, and the durability outstanding. I am always amazed at how much these leaves have to give. The traditional, organic production methods add another layer of comfort and peace of mind with each cup. Somehow, this light, green, young leaf provides so much of what I look for in a well-aged sheng puerh. I will definitely be returning to this again and again, especially during those warming days of late spring and summer, or any time I simply want to relax and get lost and charmed by an elegant tea. Very much recommended.
Very delicate!! Too delicate for the price, though. I expect a Nan nuo to have more floral potency than this, and more astringency too!!
I would have given it a higher rating, but the price is too high for the quality. There are better Nan Nuo teas out there, imho :)
Exceptional tea. It’s so understated yet full of aroma and emotion. On the nose there is a lot of cinnamon, and other spices with a lovely caramel body. In the mouth some of that wet leaf and forest floor show up. Dusty minerals and ‘brown’ flavors linger on the finish. The best part though is how the finish lingers for minutes.
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this Puerh.
This has a smoky flavor to it which melds nicely with the earthy notes. Notes of wood, and a bitterness that contrasts with the sweetness… I don’t usually taste bitterness in a Puerh, and this isn’t a distasteful kind of bitterness, but a savory one which adds to the richness and complexity of the overall cup. As I continue to sip, the sweetness seems to increase as the bitterness becomes smoother.
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this Tie Guan Yin. It’s lovely!
This is quite different from other Tie Guan Yin Oolongs that I’ve tried. The floral notes are prominent, with very little vegetal quality. There is a slight toasted, nutty flavor to this cup and this complements the honey-esque sweetness of the cup.
Pleasant, silky mouthfeel, and an overall pleasing cup of tea. Very spring-like!
I really enjoyed this one. It probably has (for me) the best price/quality ratio from teas I’ve tried from EoT. Its energy is very good, the tea tastes nice and complex. I could not find any weakness. More notes at: http://jakubtomek.blogspot.com/2012/03/1980s-bamboo-wrapped-tuocha.html
A fine aged tea, nicely priced. It has still remains of youth in it, a lot of strength. More notes at: http://jakubtomek.blogspot.com/2012/02/1997-hen-li-chang-bulang.html
I steeped this tea over the course of two consecutive days. I started yesterday morning, but found myself running late to work, and needing to abandon the session much to my dismay. I actually found it hard to pull myself away from the tea, and admittedly, had a bit of a sulk while getting ready.
While there was a decidedly humid aroma and flavor with the initial steepings, it quickly dissipated by the third steeping. The tea at all points of the session was remarkably clean however, never muddy.
The liquor was thick and coating well into the latter part of the second day. It presented an exceptional level of vaporous camphor, vaguely reminiscent of a blue basil which I planted this past summer in my yard.
The sweetness of the broth grew in intensity throughout the two sessions until the leaves were thoroughly spent.
One of the last, and for some reason most memorable, notes I detected was musty rose.
The tea was incredibly calming. I remained in a languorous state for some time following the second session this morning. I think I could possibly still taste the broth if I coaxed my memory hard enough to recall it some 5 hours on…
This is an excellent example of an aged pu-erh tea. The taste is very true to the description: complex, very smooth, and without a hint of astringency. The notes I find in the flavor are decaying leaves, wood, earth, dates and leather. Quite earthy in fact. The tea has a wonderfully rich amber-brown color even on the first steeping. The whole experience of drinking this tea is like walking through a deciduous forest after a heavy rainfall.
There is a lot of energy in this tea as my head seems to be in the clouds now after a couple of infusions.
Overall this is an excellent tea and a good place to start exploring aged pu-erhs.
This tea is coursing through my veins at the moment which frankly may become an issue as I need to cycle to work in a bit. The coating in my mouth is generous, and appears to not have any immediate plans to dissipate. My temperature is elevated, my palms are sweaty, my head is… well, it’s really rather blissed out at the moment. I want to stay with this tea all day right now. My furry drinking companion is looking at me in the oddest fashion. She may be wondering why I look so oddly contented. :) Happy.
I posted on this tea at greater length on the EoT website, but wanted to make mention of it here as well. Oolongs were my intro to the culture of teas some years ago and will always have a special place in my heart because of that, however of recent I noted that my desire for them had begun to wane in favor of red or puerh. This tea however, changed this dramatically. I once again find myself looking for oolongs to steep.
While the aroma and taste of this tea are exceptionally complex (notes of roasted sugar cane, wood, earth…), it really is the effect of the cha qi that lingers with you at considerable length. During my first session with this tea, it sunk deep into my chest before radiating out into my limbs. It was so beautifully calming that I struggle to remember another time in my life that mirrors it. A truly outstanding tea that deserves attention.