The Phoenix Collection
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Recent Tasting Notes
Quick Notes Finally logging this one. I’ve been drinking it none end and now that I’m almost out of it I finally decided to log it.
Dry Leaf – Raw Sugar, vanilla, malty-bitterness, citrusy and plummy.
Wet Leaf – Sweet and malty, warm sugar some citrus notes.
Gong fu Style – Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5-6g
1st – 1sec – Very clean and citrusy at the front that has a slightly ‘savory’ maltiness that lingers before it becomes clean and sweet again.
2nd – 1sec – The lid smells like vanilla infused sugar. The liquor is clean, sweet(like warm water with sugar) and refreshing on front. As it washes down it has a savory malitiness that linger a bit. The citrus notes is a bit more apparent and it feel refreshing.
3rd – 2secs – The lid smells like raw sugar, vanilla and maybe (almond?). Citrusy up front and immediately sweet. The body seems savory while maintaining its sweetness(good balance) as it washes down. It has a light body not ‘heavy’/‘creamy’, it feels refreshing, smooth and clean.
4th – 2secs – The lid smells like vanilla, almond and sugar. Citrusy up front and turns sweet, slightly ‘cleaner’ than previously. The malty notes are not as strong although it is still present as it washes down.
5th – 4secs – The lid smells sugary, vanilla and some faint almond. Sweet with citrus notes. It turns slightly savory and malty as it washes down. It has a cleaner aftertaste, very refreshing.
6th – 5secs – The lid smells slightly malty, sugary, vanilla and faintly like almonds. Cleaner start, not as citrusy, but very sweet. The body maintains its malty and almost savory characteristics. The aftertaste is malty and sweet with freshness.
Using a small Gaiwan, I’m able to get past 11 steeps with this one. I love it western cup as well with 10, 15, 20, 30, 45 seconds and 1min steeps. I feel like this tea doesn’t change as much as most black teas do with a ‘flavor peak’ although the 2nd and 3rd steeps can be the most easily noticeable in taste.
The tea is very forgiving in the sense that if you do over-steep(bitter) you can still get a good steep on the next one, it doesn’t seem to retain the bitterness in the leaf. I would compare it to Imperial Golden Buds(Yunnan), Golden Bi Luo, and even nicked named it ‘Golden fleece’s dirty sister’ (Golden fleece from verdant). I call it ‘dirty’ because verdant’s version was very complex BUT very subtle, this one seems bolder.
Bolder vs Subtle doesn’t mean good vs better it is just what it is. Bolder vs Subtle, depends on your preference which one is ‘better’.
Thanks to JC for sending me this one! I’m sorry it has taken me so long to try it.
I broke off a small chunk of the tea and decided to steep it in my yixing teapot. This tea has a lovely aroma. At first I was thinking it smelled like an evergreen forest.
Steep #1: It’s been a while since my last sheng. I steeped this for around 30 seconds and was surprised and how mellow it is, you can never tell with younger shengs. The tea liquor is only slightly bitter in the finish and I am also picking up on the fruity notes which are quite pleasant. I have a slight tingling on the tip of my tongue. :)
2nd steep: 30 secs?? I am getting the vegetal notes, perhaps I steped this for a little too long because the 2nd steep is more bitter than the first, still it is good though. Woodsy and a bit of smoke. It seems very invigorating on this overcast day.
Not sure if I will be able to write more on this tea as I have so many things to do this morning… It is really good! Might consider getting a cake.
I started my morning with this one today. I was up early and decided to have a cup or two before heading off to work. I ended up having four cups.
I decided to go for short infusions with more leaf to make stronger cups. I didn’t made it to work as early as I hoped but it was well worth it, there’s nothing like being able to relax your way to work in the morning. I need to restock this tea!
Not really a tasting note. Rather a comment and clarification.
I have to bump this one up a bit. I love it, I got the 250g cake and in less than a month I’m half way through it. I drink it at home and in the office. The part that made me realize how good it is… is finding myself at home contemplating the idea of having tea and browsing my ‘stash’ and ending up having this Puerh. Honestly, once I wasn’t sure what to drink and I literally told myself ‘Let me think about over some Tibetan Puerh’. If that is not an excuse to drink it, I don’t know what is. :P
Anyway UPgraded its score, more than well deserved.
I’m WAYYY behind in my Notes ‘quota’ :P I have several teas I have to add to steepster and add notes. Work, Holidays and work (no error here) has been on my way. I have to catch up to you guys! To the tea!
Gong Fu – Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz / 6g
Dry Leaf Plummy, sweet, rock
Wet Leaf Wet rock, Plum, Honey, Orchid floral, refreshing
Liquor Pale and somehow golden yellow
1st 2secs Lid smells of honey, rock, plum and spicy. The liquor has a ‘wet rock’taste with apparent Orchid floral that is sweet and slowly gives hints of apricot/plum that also has some honey sweetness. The aftertaste is mostly plummy and floral that lingers in the mouth but specially on the throat.
2nd 2secs Lid smells of rocks and then turns honey sweet with floral plummy notes. The Liquor has a very apparent ‘wet rock’ taste that lasts long before turning plummy/apricot like. The tea is very complex and different notes appear with each slurp. The aftertaste is rock like with plum/apricot notes that lasts as it turns honey sweet. The Floral and plummy notes linger in the throat.
3rd 3secs Lid smells honey sweet, wet rock, plummy and floral. The liquor is plummy, ‘wet rock’ with honey sweetness. As it washes down there’s a floral, honey and plum taste that lingers before the honey and ‘rock’ taste reappears. The aftertaste is sweeter but equally floral and plummy and lingering.
4th 4secs Lid smells like wet rock, plummy/apricot and honey sweet. The liquor has notes of ‘rock’ that linger before the plummy/apricot and honey sweetness set in. As it washes down it has a stronger floral presence. The aftertaste is long lasting; it starts plummy floral with sweetness and becomes mostly sweet in the mouth but very plummy in the throat.
5th 6secs Lid smells honey sweet with hints of wet rock and apricot/plummy notes. The liquor has a ‘wet rock’ taste with apricot/plum notes, the sweetness takes a bit longer to set in, which allows to appreciate the Orchid floral notes. The aftertaste is of ‘wet rock’ and plums and lingers in the mouth but specially in the back of the throat.
6th 8secs Lid smells like wet rock and then honey sweet with hints of plum. The liquor is plummy and floral with some hints of ‘wet rock’ but weaker than previously. As it washes down it becomes floral and fragrant. The aftertaste is floral plummy and later turns sweet in the mouth but the floral plummy notes linger in the back of the throat.
7th 12secs Lid smells plummy and floral and becomes very honey sweet. The liquor has an apparent ‘wet rock’ taste with honey sweetness and some apricot/plum notes. As it washes down it seems cleaner with ‘wet rock’ notes before it becomes floral and plummy. The aftertaste is plummy sweet in the mouth and floral plummy in the throat.
8th 20secs The lid smells like wet rock and honey sweet with faint plum/apricot hints. The liquor has ‘wet rock’ notes, floral plummy notes that becomes sweet as it washes down. The aftertaste is floral and plummy and it lingers in the mouth and throat.
I love this Mi Lan Xiang! I find it incredible that is perfectly balanced, nothing is overwhelming about this tea. I’ve had other Mi Lan Xiangs that either over do it in sweetness(by high firing) and kill the floral notes. Or are excessively floral by (slowly firing) and bury all other notes.
Last thing. I quoted all the WET ROCK taste references but not the scent ones. Mostly because you can smell wet rock.. but well I haven’t gone around picking up wet rocks and tasting them. But somehow ‘wet rock’ makes sense. The only thing I would compare it to, is drinking river water that is running down a rock.
Thanks to JC for sending me this one, I don’t have a ton of experience with drinking Liu-Ans, this is only the second one I have ever had! Regardless I decided to steep this in the Yixing teapot I have for shus and there is a lot of similarity to a shu pu-erh, this tea seems to me to have a slight coffee bean aroma and flavor with a hint of bitterness in the finish. Pretty interesting but I don’t know if I would buy it and I have no idea how to rate it so I’ll leave that off for now…
Thank you to JC for sending me a sample of this. I’ve had a few silver needle puerhs and I’ve liked them immensely. When I first saw this I thought it was a green tea, anyway the leaves are very slender and beautiful looking. I probably should have used the whole sample I was given but I used 1/2 of it instead so I suspect this will be a very light tasting.
I steeped this in the Yixing and did a quick rinse, not even sure if that was necessary but oh well… I steeped it for around 30 seconds and it has a nice creamy flavor, reminds me a bit of almonds and is also a bit floral. Very delicate and nice for an evening.
2nd steep: I am getting the melon flavor here and I can kind of see why this tea is named snow mountain, it seems to have the essence of a fresh frosty mountain.
It’s really lovely, thanks for sharing JC! I may steep this a few more times tonight and will keep you posted. ;)
Quick Note Longer steep times!
Dry Leaf Sweet, slightly earthy.
Wet Leaf Earthy, sweet, creamy and refreshing
Liquor Dark bronze color with thin malty layers on top.
Gong Fu in Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5-6g
1st – 30secs Sweet and smooth with some creamy earthiness, initially has hints of bittersweet chocolate as I slurp but quickly fade. As it washes down it is fairly clean and sweet. There’s a slight savory note that is pleasant, the aftertaste is sweet, earthy and refreshing.
2nd – 30secs Earthy, thick and creamy with bittersweet chocolate notes that turns very sweet. As it washes down it becomes slightly savory with earthiness, it slowly turns sweeter and smoother; this lasts through the aftertaste which is also very refreshing.
3rd – 25secs (leaves opened) Thick, full bodied and creamy. It is also very sweet with bittersweet chocolate notes and hints of earthiness. As it washes down it is cleaner and sweeter. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and very refreshing.
4th – 30secs Less thick than the last steep but still full bodied and creamy. This steep is slightly sweeter and the bittersweet chocolate note is still very present initially but it fades as you drink. As it washes down is smooth and refreshing. The aftertaste is sweet, slightly earthy and very refreshing.
5th – 40secs Smooth, sweet and earthy with faint chocolate notes. As it washes down is more subtle but maintains sweetness and smooth earthy hints. The aftertaste is smooth, sweet and refreshing.
I did two other steeps one of 1 minute and the other 1 1/2 minutes. These steeps were very pleasant but weaker in taste. It could resemble a slighly earthy black tea with very refreshing aftertaste. I usually prefer Sheng Puerh but there’s something about Shu/Shou/Ripe that is better for me specially now in colder weather.
Dry Leaf Sweet with floral bitterness.
Wet Leaf Floral bitterness with smoky presence that becomes sweeter and mellow as you smell it.
Liquor golden-yellow that is not bright
Gong Fu in Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5g
1st – 2secs Lid smells bittersweet floral with raw sugar sweetness under a thick smoky scent. Liquor, is sweet and smooth with a smoky hint that is very pleasant. A very sweet aftertaste that is also refreshing.
2nd – 2secs Lid smells bittersweet floral with smoky notes that turn sweet. The steep is smoky, sweet and floral with the slightest hint of ‘green’ that is somewhat herbaceous and smooth. As it washes down it is very floral and slightly bitter with some astringency that smooths down as the very sweet aftertaste takes over.
3rd – 3secs Lid is smoky, floral, slightly bitter and sweet. The liquor is bittersweet floral with apparent smokiness. As it washes down it is very floral and slightly herbaceous with some astringency that quickly smooths out. The aftertaste is floral and slowly becomes very sweet and refreshing.
4th – 5secs Lid smells bittersweet floral and strongly smoky that becomes sweeter. The liquor is bittersweet floral with strong smokiness that wears astringency and some bitterness. As it washes down the astringency smooths down and becomes floral in taste. The aftertaste is floral and sweet and becomes sweeter and refreshing.
5th – 7secs Lid smells sweet, smoky and floral with some bitterness. The liquor, is bittersweet floral with apparent smokiness that wears some astringency but quickly becomes smoother. The aftertaste is very floral and lingers longer before becoming very sweet and refreshing.
6th – 9secs Lid smells slightly cleaner and sweet with smoky and floral notes. The liquor is smoky, slightly less floral/bitter with some astringency. As it washes down it becomes smoother with floral and sweet notes. The aftertaste is lingering floral and smoky but becomes very sweet over time.
7th – 13secs Lid smells sweet and smoky with some floral notes. The liquor is bittersweet floral, smoky ans sweet with some astringency. As it washes down it becomes smooth once again but becomes sweeter rather than floral, although floral notes are still present. The aftertaste is very sweet and refreshing.
8th – 16secs Lid smells sweet, almost fruity with some smoky and floral notes. The liquor is cleaner at first and quickly turns sweet and smoky with subtle floral notes. As it washes down is more floral than initially and maintains its sweetness. The aftertaste is very sweet and very refreshing.
I did 12 steeps of this tea which I enjoyed very much. I was told must people do 6-8 and I think I know why. That is the range where the floral bitterness and smokiness start to fade. I’m not sure this is a good reason for me to stop steeping specially since it maintains its sweetness and I can’t explain how refreshing this tea is. I love it, I already took a layer off the cake to keep at work, the rest is strictly gong-fu at home.
Well, not everything can be great lol. This is a very savory black tea that is also extremely smoky, yet somehow not ‘burnt’ taste to it. I can respect it and appreciate it from time to time at work and have found myself ‘craving’ it specially in a cold office day. I guess its savory and smoky taste is warming to me.
Other than that, it isn’t a great tea. I’ll probably never restock it even though it is extremely cheap.
1st – 30-40 seconds – VERY smoky, it is savory and the smokiness is somewhat overwhelming for me. I can drink it at work but is just a ‘something to wake up tea’ better than a teabag anyway.
2nd – 30-50 seconds – Not so much smoky, still savory with the slightest sweet taste in the background as it washes down. I think this is pretty much the steep I can enjoy. To me is somewhat like having a smoky soup in the morning to warm up and start the day.
I find this tea to be a very cheap option for the office but I still won’t restock. David’s collections has other cheap ‘better’(for me) black teas.
Dry Leaf Sweet, floral, plummy/apricot, fresh.
Wet Leaf Vanilla, creamy, sweet potato/taro, apricot.
Liquor Pale greenish-yellow
Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan 6oz/5-6g
1st – 2secs The lid and leaves smell extremely sweet, fruity and creamy with citrus notes. Floral and fruity with strong citrus notes like orange peel that is subtly in its lingering presence. As it washes down it becomes sweet with hints of vanilla. The aftertaste is subtly sweet, floral and citrusy.
2nd – 2secs Lid and leaves smell extremely sweet and citrusy with apricot and vanilla notes. Sweet and floral with citrus and vanilla notes that slowly fade into floral sweetness that lingers through the aftertaste with is very refreshing.
3rd – 4secs Lid and leaves smell sweeter and floral with slightly less citrus and apricot notes. The liquor is very floral and it becomes plummy/apricot like with strong citrus notes. As it washes down the strong floral slightly fades and lingers with vanilla notes. The aftertaste is sweet and refreshing.
4th – 6secs Lid and leaves smell sweet, floral vanilla with apricot and citrus notes. The liquor is Citrusy and sweet, vanilla floral with apricot notes. As it washes down it is very sweet and refreshing with apricot notes. The aftertaste is sweet and pleasantly refreshing.
5th – 8secs Lid and leaves smell sweet and strong apricot with citrus notes. Floral citrusy with apricot and vanilla notes. As it washes down it remains floral and the aftertaste is refreshing and lasting.
6th – 12secs Lid and leaves smell more apricot and citrusy with some sweetness. The liquor is very citrusy and apricot/plummy like with floral vanilla notes. As it washes down it becomes rather sweet and floral, this lasts through the aftertaste.
I got a good 9 steeps out of this one. This one has some subtle notes but it is complex in the many notes that it bears but they are fairly straight forward and enjoyable with little effort. I love it. This is the lightest roast version of this tea I had and by far the most ‘plummy/apricot’ like, very good. EDIT!!! I’ve been going through all my Oolongs again. this needed a ‘grading’ update. So does Gong Xian!!!
Dry Leaf Sweet, slightly earthy.
Wet Leaf Earthy, sweet and refreshing
Liquor Dark bronze color with thin malty layers on top.
Gong Fu in Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5-6g
1st – 10secs Sweet and refreshing with slight earthy notes. As it goes down it feels slightly creamy and very smooth. The aftertaste is sweet and very refreshing.
2nd – 10secs Sweet and smooth that becomes creamy and very refreshing with hints of earthy notes. The aftertaste is sweet, malty, and very refreshing. After a bit of time the earthy note gives hints of what could be a dark/bittersweet chocolate? :)
3rd – 10secs Thicker, creamier and smoother and sweet that slowly becomes refreshing as it washes down. The liquor is smooth and there’s a faint roasty/earthy taste. The aftertaste is sweet and refreshing.
4th – 10secs Sweet, smooth and creamy that is very refreshing. The freshness is very present and everlasting. The aftertaste is still very sweet and refreshing.
5th – 15secs Sweet and smooth with some maltiness and creamy full body that is very pleasant and almost filling. It continues to be refreshing and sweet as it washes down and continues through the aftertaste.
6th – 20secs Sweet and creamy that is very smooth and has some maltiness. It somehow manages to be full bodied, creamy and refreshing at the same time. Sweet and refreshing aftertaste.
7th – 20secs Sweet and creamy that is very smooth with some creaminess and some maltiness. As it washes down it becomes cleaner and very refreshing. The aftertaste is cleaner but still sweet and very refreshing.
I love this Puerh! It is simple and VERY enjoyable. It resembles a few other more expensive Puerhs for half the price! I have to say I’m impressed by the leaf/bud distribution on this one since I’ve seen Tibetan Puerhs that look like someone compressed the leaves from their backyard in Autumn (they are still really good, they just look ‘rough’). I’m going keep re-stocking this one.
Dry Leaf Honey sweet, orchid and fruity(candy like).
Wet Leaf Plummy, fruity, floral, Orchid floral, honey, fresh.
Gong fu in Yixing Gaiwan 6oz/6-7g
1st-2secs Clean and sweet with very subtle orchid floral notes. The sweetness is honey like and lasting. The liquor is very refreshing and clean, as it washes down the aftertaste is sweet and very subtle floral.
2nd-4secs Clean and VERY sweet with subtle floral notes. Honey sweetness is very present with a slight fruity hint. This Oolong has a refreshing character that is very note worthy. Its aftertaste is sweet and subtle with floral notes.
3rd-6secs Sweeter and slightly less clean, with some floral hints being present in the front. This floral sweetness lasts as it washes down and becomes refreshing and through the aftertaste that is still very sweet and slightly floral.
4th-10secs Sweet with orchid floral notes that wears the slightest bitterness that fades quickly into sweetness. As it washes down it remains sweet and refreshing; there a faint herbaceous note that is pleasant. The aftertaste is sweet with subtle floral notes.
5th-15secs Very sweet with orchid floral notes and slight fruity hints. The taste becomes slightly floral and then fades into sweetness. The aftertaste remains unchanged.
6th-20secs Slightly less sweet that previously. The liquor still has subtle floral and fruity notes that lingers very subtly as you continue to drink. As it washes down it becomes sweet and the aftertaste is sweet and slightly more floral.
This Oolong is very good, it is very sweet and takes several infussions well. The thing is that is very subtle and after having tried the ‘Ba Xian’ Oolong this one will remain in its shadow for me. But it is still a great Oolong that is easy to enjoy if you are looking for simple sweetness and enjoyable is you like the challenge of subtle complexity. EDIT going through all my Oolongs I felt I didn’t do this Oolong justice Bumping up its score!
Decided to go in a light roast/oxidation Oolong adventure and ordered a sampler of Phoenix Mountain Oolongs. Not disappointed.
Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan 6oz/5-6g
Dry Leaf – Honey sweet, fruity and peach/plum scent.
Wet Leaf – Extremely sweet and fruity, sweet potato, peach/plum with citrus hints.
Liquor – Pale yellow and green color that still lively.
1st – 4secs Lid smells incredibly sweet and fruity like peach or plum and somewhat citrus. Sweet and fruity but with an apparent floral note that then turns bittersweet floral that is reminiscent of a very fruity and extremely floral Tie Guan Yin. The aftertaste has a hint of vanilla sweetness and floral.
2nd – 4secs Lid smells sweet and fruity with citrus notes and a apparent peach/plum. Extremely floral and fruity that wear some bitterness but very pleasant. As the bitterness diminishes the sweetness becomes apparent and balanced once again reminiscent of a TGY with added fruitiness. The aftertaste is sweet and very floral and long lasting.
3rd – 5secs Lid smells sweet and fruity with citrus notes, peach/plum notes and more floral. Bittersweet floral taste that is very apparent and pleasant, as it washes down it balances and again resembles a TGY. The liquor remains very fruity and floral and the aftertaste is lasting in the palate and the back of the throat.
4th – 6secs Lid is still very sweet and fruity in scent; the citrus notes is still very apparent and so is the plummy/peach but the floral notes are slightly less apparent. Floral bitterness and fruity at the start and once again balances out with it’s sweetness that is honey like. The aftertaste is very sweet and floral and seems to last forever.
5th – 10secs Lid smells sweet and fruity with apparent citrus and peach/plum notes. Sweet and floral with some bitterness (not as strong as previous) that turns sweeter as it washes down. The sweetness lasts through the aftertaste with floral notes that are very pleasant.
6th – 20secs Lid still wears apparent sweetness and fruitiness, this time the peach scent is more defined and the floral is Orchid like. The liquor is very floral and again slightly bitter but slowly turns sweeter, once again reaching that bittersweet balance that is very pleasant and that lingers through the aftertaste.
A very very pleasant Oolong! That is also very complex is taste and scents. I feel like I would continue to buy this tea but not make it an every day tea. I feel its complexity requires you to slurp the liquor to truly enjoy it as its fragrance is surely part of the whole experience. I might start getting more into lighter Oolongs after all. I made several other steeps, if I felt the floral notes were weak I just cranked up the time, it never really turned astringent and its bitterness was very pleasant.
Quick Notes Longer steeping times for contrast with the short steeping tasting notes.
Gong Fu style 5-6g tea 5oz gaiwan Initial wash of 20 seconds
1st – 30secs – The liquor is light bronze color. Sweet and creamy body that is very smooth and pleasant. It then turns savory with subtle earthy notes. Really smooth and mellow with some camphor freshness that lingers through the aftertaste which is also sweet.
2nd – 20secs – The liquid is a dark bronze color with light malt layers. Sweet and creamy, it is a full bodied tea. Very smooth and pleasant with only hints of earthy notes. The creamy sensation covers my tongue; it feels like slightly swells my tongue. The savory notes are more brothy and apparent with hints of wood. Very refreshing and sweet aftertaste.
3rd – 20secs – Leaves are loosening up and the liquor is a dark bronze color. The liquor is creamer, smoother and sweeter then turning savory for several seconds which allows an earthy/woody notes to be appreciated as part of its brothiness. The aftertaste is slightly brothy/soup like before turning sweet and very refreshing.
4th – 20secs – Leaves smell very creamy, sweet and earthy. The liquor is sweet, almost fruity before becoming creamy/buttery and covering the tongue. Only a slight savory taste with faint earthy note. As it washes down the creaminess cover and turns very sweet and refreshing in the aftertaste.
5th – 30sces – Sweet and refreshing, then slowly turn creamy and goes down very smoothly. The savory notes are barely present and the earthy notes that were already subtle seem even more hidden. A very sweet and refreshing aftertaste.
6th – 30secs – Very sweet adn smooth the creaminess is present but decreased in ‘speed’ to set in, the camphor freshness seems to take its place before it sets in. The earthiness is only present when initially ‘slurping’ your tea, then disappears in sweetness and freshness.
7th – 35secs – Sweet and only slightly more creamy than previous than the previous steep. There’s a faint/subtle earthiness to it. The aftertaste is refreshing and sweet. From this steep and on the tea seems more like a black tea in its sweetness and creamy body, the earthiness very subtle.
I made several other steeps adding about 5-10 seconds as I saw fit.
This tea is very good and ‘weird’ at the same time. When opening the wooden box I got a strong camphor scent and earthiness that reminded me compacted compost (in the greatest way possible).
Dry Leaf – Honey, malt, chocolate scents.
Wet Leaf – Honey, extremely malty and chocolaty with floral plum/peach scents.
1st – 1sec – Golden yellowish color. Very clean and sweet taste that then becomes malty and chocolaty. The maltiness gives it a medium to full body with smooth feeling.
2nd – 1sec – Golden bronze liquid with thin malt coating. The liquor is really malty and the chocolaty taste has a fruity bitterness to it(like a darker fruity chocolate). The aftertaste is bittersweet chocolaty and malty with apparent sweetness.
3rd – 1sec – The lid of the gaiwan smells like raw sugar and honey orchid. Slightly sweeter with a smooth malty full body that gives it presence in the mouth. The aftertaste is mostly malty and sweet.
4th – 2secs – Sweet and malty with a bittersweet chocolaty maltiness. The chocolate taste is not as apparent is this steep but still present. The taste is slightly more plummy/peachy/flowery and sweet. The aftertaste is malty and sweet.
5th – 3secs – Cleaner at first then it turn malty and chocolately. The floral note is very subtle. The steeps is not so much bittersweet, it is more sweet than previously. The aftertaste is sweet and slightly more malty.
6th – 6secs – Cleaner and sweet, almost no chocolate taste to it. Even though the chocolate notes are a lot more subtle, the liquor is still malty and smooth. The aftertaste is still very sweet.
7th – 10secs – Slightly more sweet and malty. The extra seconds slightly ‘revived’ its chocolaty and malty notes. The liquor is not as full bodied as previously is has decreased in its creamy/maltiness. Still very sweet aftertaste.
I made several other steeps. This tea later becomes very sweet and clean. Like a imperial golden bud, very sweet and subtle maltiness. I love this tea. However, this tea is not as forgiving as others, you have to experiment with it, it is fairly easy to use too much tea and make a bitter tea by thinking it looks very thin and fragile. Otherwise, its just amazing.
Dry Leaf – Sweet,vegetal, nutty and plummy scent.
Wet Leaf – Sweet,nutty,fruity and vegetal.
After the leaves the water they look ‘alive’ and bright. Very pleasant it almost begs to be prepared in a glass tumbler or glass gaiwan.
Gong Fu Style – 5g leaves 5oz Gaiwan
1st – 2 secs – Very fruity sweet, almost plummy. In contrast is nutty and vegetal. It seems clean and sweet during and after drinking, the aftertaste is vegetal in aftertaste.
2nd – 2 secs – Light green color in the liquor. Very nutty and vegetal, the nuttiness stays but becomes more sweet as it washes down. There is a slight plummy taste that is very pleasant, even if you are not fond of floral notes.
3rd – 3 secs – The lid of the gaiwan smells sweet and nutty; the leaves smell nutty and sweet and very vegetal with a very bright green color.
The liquor is very nutty and vegetal with subtle plummy notes. This steep is a perfect mellow balance with pleasant sweetness that lingers.
4th – 4 secs – Sweet, nutty and vegetal. As it washes down the nuttiness becomes very apparent. The plummy taste is very subtle but doesn’t seem to faint away, rather it lingers through the sweet and nutty aftertaste.
5th – 4 secs – Sweet and nutty. Its vegetal notes mix with lingering plummy taste, it seems very well balanced. As it washes down, the nuttiness is more apparent and stays during the aftertaste.
6th – 6 secs – The lid of the gaiwan is still very sweet and nutty, while the leaves are more vegetal and sweet. The liquor is sweet and nutty, the vegetal notes is more apparent and more nutty. The plummy taste is almost gone but the aftertaste is just as sweet and nutty.
7th – 8 secs – Sweeter and more vegetal than previoius steeps. The nuttiness very present while initially slurping the liquor and then again while it washes down. The after taste is sweet and vegetal while still maintaining the nutty taste.
8th – 10 secs – Sweet and nutty, the vegetal note is slightly ‘revived’ and then cleans into sweetness that lingers into the aftertaste. At this point the tea tastes more like a Silver Needle tea with nuttiness added to it.
9th – 20 secs – Sweet almost fruity. There is barely any vegetal notes in the liquor. It once again reminds me of a nutty Bai Hao Silver Needle.
10th – 30 secs – Sweet and fruity. The nuttiness is reminiscent or a nutty rice or oats, very pleasant. At this point there’s a slight astringency.
Very pleasant tea. I’m not the biggest green tea enthusiast and is love this tea. I recommend using the hottest water possible below boiling temperature with short steeps. Although longer steeps are really good and I do them at work, specially because it is a very forgiving tea that I haven’t been able to really over steep.
-I didn’t buy this tea myself, a friend asked me to purchase it for him and
I guess deemed me worthy of a generous ‘sample’. So I thank your Roberto, greatly appreciated!
-I’ve tried the tea 3 times now and this time around I used very short steeps. I really wanted to taste the leaves as they opened. So I guess that even with the initial ‘washing’ the first steeps may be considered too light for some.
Gong Fu with 5oz gaiwan – 5-6gm of tea
Dry Leaves – EXTREMELY refreshing and camphor scent with a very present earthy/dry compost scent.
Wet Leaves – Mostly sweet and earthy scent with muskiness and very present freshness.
1st – 1sec – Very light bronze color; light and refreshing with almost hidden sweetness and subtly savory notes. It feels very refreshing and clean. The aftertaste is purely sweet.
2nd – 2secs – Clean and refreshing with more sweetness than the previous steep but there’s some noticeable savory hint to it. There’s a very slight earthiness to it and even though is mostly ‘clean’ it has a good body that seems to ‘coat’ my tongue almost buttery or creamy.
3rd – 1sec – A darker bronze color; Sweet scent and creamy scent from the lid. The liquid is very sweet and mellow, once again feels like it is coating my tongue in a creamy/buttery sensation. Very sweet aftertaste.
4th – 1sec – The leave in the gaiwan start to separate; the scent is more earthy than previously. The liquid is VERY sweet, smooth and almost ‘heavy’ in its creamy sensation. There’s a slight increase int he earthy notes but it is still very subtle. The camphor freshness is incredible and present from the start through the aftertaste.
5th – 1sec – Sweet, refreshing and creamy. The tea is almost about to loosen completely, giving it another sweetness ‘jolt’ to the steep. The tea has proven to be ‘filling’, the creaminess of its body stays in my tongue even long after the liquid has washed down.
6th – 1sec – The leaves are fully loose now; its scent is very sweet and creamy while still sustaining its earthy and refreshing scent. The liquid is sweet and very smooth and slightly more ‘creamy’ than before. A ‘hidden’ note that has been evading my recognition is identifiable as a ‘woody’ note, as if you could taste the roasting basket used to process the tea(in a GREAT way).
7th – 2secs – The scent from the leaves is slightly more earthy, sweet and creamy and it sustains its freshness. The liquid is Sweet(lasting longer now), smooth and the creaminess took longer to set… or the sweetness simply captured my attention for too long. At this point it feels like I’m ‘eating’ the tea rather than drinking, is filling like a light chowder soup.
8th – 2secs – The scent from the leaves is mostly creamy and sweet, the earthiness follows and then seems refreshing. The liquid is Smooth and sweet, slightly earthy but overtaken by the creamy sensation and the the sweet and refreshing aftertaste.
9th – 3secs – The scent from the leaves is unchanged but I just noticed the lid of the gaiwan smells extremely creamy and sweet like a well made cream of wheat in the morning (great now I’m hungry for it). The liquid is Sweet and smoother, there’s a ‘clean’ feeling before the creaminess sets in. At this point its creaminess and sweetness remind me of drinking a very good and creamy black tea on its 3-4 steep (gong-fu-style).
10th – 3secs – The scent changed slightly, its already subtle earthiness seems to be more faded. The liquid is very Sweet and smooth, clean and then refreshing, taking longer to become creamy and allowing more time for its savory notes to briefly make an appearance before the sweet aftertaste.
11th – 4secs – The scent is very sweet, refreshing and creamy, the earthiness is very subtle. The liquid is Smooth and clean and then sweet and refreshing, not as creamy anymore. It seems to turn cleaner and sweeter faster.
12th – 5secs – The scent again is very creamy, specially from the lid. The liquid revived its sweetness and its smoothness, refreshing with just a faint not of earthy.
13th – 6secs – The scent more subtle but maintains its proportions of sweetness,creamy, camphor and earthy. The liquid is Sweet but cleaner for a longer time before some of the creamy sensation takes place. Sweet and refreshing aftertaste.
-Sorry for the extremely long tasting note. I just wanted to make the tea justice and be able to express this:
I noted that using gongfu style during the 8-11th steeps the tea starts to resemble a creamy black tea, smooth, sweet and creamy. The earthy notes are extremely subtle in this tea, something that was confusing to me at first, but that is very pleasant and impressive at the same time.
Once again Thanks to my friend for sharing!
I usually leave my ‘high end’ tea to be enjoyed at home since at work distractions seem to get in the way of great tea time. I’m glad I changed that, I brought some of this puerh with me and I’m loving it. If anything it allowed me to better savor the aftertaste since I really couldn’t do back to back gong fu.
I agree with my previous notes, sweet clean and then broth like and savory like a mushroom soup with camphor freshness and some spiciness in some steeps. BUT, since I couldn’t make my next cup right after the finished one.. I noticed that over time the aftertaste once again becomes really sweet and mellow, it is almost as if you had been drinking an well aged sheng.
Now I’m going to ‘braking’ my cakes and leaving layers of it in all the places I frequent just so I can have some then :P
A new tea type for me. classified it into Puerh because most people do, but even they admit its a different animal. I’ve been curious and unsure about trying and finally had the cut to buy it.
Gong fu Style 5g/5oz Gaiwan
Dry Leaf – Floral Bamboo fragrance, slight sweetness.
Wet Leaf – Bamboo floral fragrance, smoky, sweet.
1st Steep – 2secs * – Unusually sweet, charcoal roasted scent and taste with some bamboo smokiness. The sweetness is like a golden bud black tea but then wears a bamboo fragrance like a ripe or raw puerh would. It is very refreshing and clean at the end with only a slight smoky aftertaste.
2nd Steep – 2secs – Sweet, smoky and more apparent bamboo fragance very hidden bitterness. The sweetness again is reminisent of a black tea but the ‘bitterness’ is more like an Oolong or a well aged Sheng. The charcoal notes remind me of a charcoal roasted TieGuanYin or Da Hong Pao, which can in turn resemble a tobbaco taste. The aftertaste is slighty smoky and refreshing.
3rd Steep – 2secs – Fragrance of charcoal roasted Oolong and bamboo that becomes sweet. The taste then becomes slightly floral adn somewhat ‘mineral?’ as it fades like an oolong would. The aftertaste continues to be slightly smoky and refreshing.
4th Steep – 4secs – At this point it reminds me of a fading black tea, as black teas have ‘peaks’ of flavor and puerhs and oolongs tend to be more lasting and consistent. All the previous notes are there but they are somewhat faded. This however opens up to subtle floral notes similar to a well aged raw puerh with just hints of smokiness.
5th Steep -6secs – This steep also has the same properties as the previous one, the sheng like properties are more obvious, but still very subtle notes. The aftertaste has remained refreshing.
6th Steep -10secs Revived by the added extra seconds, the smokiness and sweetness are present again. As the steep goes down it reminds me of that faded black tea/high oxidation Oolong. The aftertaste is slightly sweeter and smoky ande very refreshing.
I was able to get 10 really good steeps out this one. Just like a black tea it seems to have peaks in flavor and I’ll have to continue experimenting with the times. Overall very pleasant and confussing, in the best of way possible. This tea seems to integrate traits/characteristics of different tea types, very nice an just spikes curiosity.
I work for a roof, food and tea :P.
Dry Leaf – Spicy and earth scent
Wet Leaf – Earthy and sweet with spice like notes in the background.
Cup – Brews into a Bronze or darker golden color.
Gong fu style 5grams/5oz Gaiwan *
1st Steep – 2secs – Sweet and earthy scent, the earthiness reminds me of freshly cut mushrooms; it wears a earthy/musky scent. The steep tastes like a very earthy miso soup with a slight spiciness in the tongue. The aftertaste is savory.
2nd Steep – 2secs – Very sweet and earthy. It feels broth/soup like to me, it almost reminds me of a root vegetable soup back home; very filling and warming. It has a very pleasant aftertaste that is savory and just a hint of sweetness. ‘Umami’ puerh, very good.
3rd Steep – 2secs – Sweet scent with some hidden spiciness. Slightly cleaner start with earthy sweetness. This opens up to the broth/soup like umami taste. This time there is some spiciness present and then turns into a camphor freshness.
4th Steep – 2secs * – Clean and sweet steep that becomes earthy and slightly savory, the broth seems a perfect balance between sweet and savory. The aftertaste is savory and refreshing.
5th Steep – 4secs * – Sweet and earthy, the two extra seconds seems to have revived that strong earthy soup notes and some spiciness with it. This steep wears a slight astringency that might be just because of an accident with my strainer :/. Savory and refreshing aftertaste.
6th Steep – 4secs * – Sweet and spicy taste that becomes refreshing, then savory and earthy. This tea has a very good balance between savory notes and natural sweetness that is very pleasant. The aftertaste again remains savory and very refreshing.
I’ll continue this one later. It’s late, I with I didn’t have to sleep sometimes. We need to add 2 more hours to our days so we can have more ‘Me’ time.
I continued this tea in the morning. Very warming and filling with some spiciness. Amazing cake.
Finally back to steepster! Work has been draining me endlessly, but it was worth it when I saw my received shipping notice! ‘Tea christmas’ as my friend named it. I ordered several Puerhs from David Hoffman so I’ll probably keep posting as I drink them :D
Gong fu Style – 5grams 5oz Gaiwan
Dry Leaf – Bittersweet floral and fruity with hints of earthiness.
Wet Leaf – Bittersweet floral with ripe melon/peach scent, reminds me of a ripened peach on the verge of being rotten but is still good.
1st Steep – 2secs – The steep is sweet and bitter with lively floral notes. There’s a strong fruity flavor that is reminisent of dried peach/plum, it has some bitterness but wears no astringency. The aftertaste is ripe honeydew melon sweet and lingers for a long time.
2nd Steep – 2secs – Bittersweet scent with peach/plum fruitiness. The steep is more fruity and floral sweet with some slight broath like smoky taste, as it fades it becomes sweet and clean. The aftertaste is very sweet.
3rd Steep – 2secs – This cup is incredibly sweet and clean with just hints of bitterness and still no astringency present. The dried peach/plum taste is very present and lingers in the palate, it is very fruity and floral at the same time the smokiness is very faint in noticeable. Once again the aftertaste is very sweet.
4th Steep – 3secs – Sweet and fruity with floral notes. As i keep sipping down the peach/plum taste becomes very apparent, the slight bitterness just enhances the sweetness and balances it. The aftertaste here is more reminisent of ripe honeydew and has hints of camphor freshness (I had noticed something in previous steeps but wasn’t sure).
5th Steep – 4secs – Sweet and floral with some bitterness and just a hint of astringency that is very pleasant. As I continue drinking the bitterness and the sweetness opens up for the dried peach notes that have been very present from the begining. The aftertaste continues to be very sweet and refreshing yet lingers in you mouth and throat for a long time.
I was able to get 16 steeps by increasing 1 second per steep up to the 8th steep and then adding 2 seconds per steep in the following steeps. I’m pretty sure I could get more, specially if you like cleaner steeps (still very sweet and enjoyable just not so fruity/floral or bitter). Bulang Mountain killing it again! This cake is a dream. Edit Spelling
I decided to do an actual tasting note. I’ve been holding back because well I wanted to make it justice since it is my favorite puerh so far. I’ll probably keep revisiting and adding notes as I keep tasting.
Gong Fu Dedicated Yixing Pot 4oz with 3-5grams of tea.
1st Steep – Fruity sweetness like ripe honeydew that becomes clean and becomes fruity and floral as it goes down, it wears a slight bitterness in the aftertaste.
2nd Steep – Fruity and floral fragrance with stronger aftertaste that plays between floral and sweet fruitiness and slight vegetal broth with refreshing finish in the throat.
3rd Steep – Clean Start with apparent sweetness and slight bitterness. It starts turning floral and fruity with slightly vegetal notes and refreshing after taste.
4th Steep – Clean start into a floral that turns vegetal and broth like that leads to a subtle fruity sweetness. As I continue drinking this steep the sweetness seems more apparent with slightly bitter aftertaste.
5th Steep – Clean and sweet start lightly resembles honey with floral tones and somewhat vegetal taste. The scent of ripe melon is apparent for me at this point. The after taste is more sweet and fruity but quickly turns vegetal and refreshing.
6th Steep – Cleaner but sweeter in the front with more apparent fruity notes of honeydew melon that becomes floral and slightly vegetal. The aftertaste is cleaner and refreshing.
7th Steep – Sweet and clean with notes of melon that become floral but this time seems to stay mostly fruity and sweet. The aftertaste is slightly vegetal and refreshing.
8th Steep – Sweet and clean with subtle fruity notes and floral aftertaste that is slightly vegetal and some bitterness that becomes refreshing in the throat.
Some notes: I steeped for 2 seconds on the first 3 steeps and added 1-2 seconds to the following steeps and the cup always maintain a sweet honey like scent. I was able to do 14 steeps last night and continued this morning. When I mentioned ‘vegetal’ I guess I would replace ti with ‘Umami’ a savory taste that is very pleasant but no specific description seems to apply. I will continue to come back to this tea, I love it and its very subtle and complex a the same time.
The dry leaf has a smoky and bitter scent with hints of floral sweetness; but when wet, the smoky bitterness becomes more apparent, the only thing I can compare it is to the smokiness that would come from a campfire that uses wild wood.
Gong fu gaiwan 5oz
1st Steep (2secs) – Sweet and clean with smoky body that becomes floral. It has a smoky, floral and sweet aftertaste that turns refreshing; slightly astringent.
2nd Steep (2secs) – Clean sweetness that turns slightly bitter with a heavy smoky body with strong but pleasant floral notes. It becomes refreshing after the flowery aftertaste with slight astringency.
3rd Steep (2secs) – Smoky and flowery bitterness that becomes sweet and floral without loosing its smokiness. The aftertaste is floral and smoky but it becomes refreshing/camphor like.
4th Steep (4secs) – Smoky and flowery with sweetness that accentuates the wood smokiness with slightly bitter floral notes. This steep had very refreshing/camphor feeling.
5th Steep (5secs) – A Cleaner sweetness into slightly smokiness that becomes more apparent as it washes down and it becomes floral with faint sweetness and it feels refreshing on the throat.
6th Steep (6secs) – Clean feeling that becomes smoky and floral with some bitterness. This steeps wears a bit more astringency but is not unpleasant as it becomes refreshing once again.
7th Steep (8secs) – Clean and refreshing and it slowly gives hints of the smoky and floral notes that become more apparent as it washes down and seem to last longer on my mouth. Once again becomes very refreshing as the smoky and floral notes fade.
8th Steep (10secs) – Very clean start that becomes smoky and turns floral with some bitterness(almost bittersweet, in a good way). This steep become slightly more astringent and later more refreshing.
I did 14 steeps of this tea and I’m pretty sure I could have made more (late and too many bathroom breaks), but to me its an amazing tea just because even though it might be a ‘basic’ Puerh, it is well aged and it has all the characteristics of the Maocha but subtle like a fine aged Sheng. And frankly love the smokiness, is like straight out a camp fire.