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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a very nice shou! Quite an interesting find – Yiwu Mtn. material used in this brick. Large wild-tree leaves plus stems mixed to enhance the sweet wood flavor. Traditional stone pressing.
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a ripe using Yiwu material. The very dark wet leaves give off a sweet baked foods scent which becomes richer with spice overtones as you move through several steepings. Beautiful dark tea soup is syrupy and very soon the flavor matches with a deep dark sweetness. Nice complexity for a ripe puerh. Smooth and soothing in the throat with a long lasting aftertaste. There is nothing offensive or off-putting about this fermented tea. This is a great wintertime shou to warm up those cold days. Very aromatic; dark and smooth; deep woodiness; upfront sweet richness which continues throughout the session. I definitely like this tea and look forward to enjoying it many more times!
Update: Very flavorful for seven steepings but then it becomes rather thin.
Verdant brought back a limited supply of this one during the last Cyber Monday sale and I had to pick it up. Very glad I did for I know that it is real Ban Zhang which is quite difficult to obtain these days. This is a powerful tea with a definite bite to it.
Begins with a lovely clear and bright golden tea soup with a thick and sweet leather-like aroma. Progressing through several steepings, the color begins to turn more orange. Body is low and strong. At the front of each sip there is definite smoke and bitterness but it becomes sweeter at the back of the throat. Note, this is a heavy, dense sweetness with smoke and pepper in the early steepings. The texture here is thick, smooth, and very satisfying. After each cup, I am left with mouth watering and a fuzzy warm feeling in my body – interesting that I feel both mellow and alert at the same time. After each of the many steepings it remains pungent and potent with a bit of sweetness coming through. Each cup is full-flavored with long-lasting aftertaste. Overall, quite a tea with a balanced mix of bitter and sweet that infuses first the nose, then lips, tongue, mouth and throat. This is strong and potent stuff and I am delighted to have more in my tea cabinet to enjoy from time to time.
I should add that there is an interesting backstory to this tea. As reported by David Duckler at Verdant:
“This pu’er is a unique example of a brick pressed by a small farmer’s cooperative. Their family has a plot of land on Banzhang mountain, which is considered to be the absolute top in terms of pu’er. They eventually got sick of selling the pu’er leaves they picked with care to the big factories for pressing because they felt that the pu’er was treated like too much of a commodity by the bigger companies. They took a huge risk and started their own pressing of bricks.”
So THIS is what all the fuss is about! I’ve heard amazing things about this tea and they were all true…it is absolutely delicious! It has a rich, silky mouth feel and loads of fabulous flavor. I’m mainly getting sweet potato, but also a hint of honey sweetness and just a touch of spice. It also re-steeps beautifully. This is definitely one of the best black teas I’ve ever had. Thank you so much to beelicious for the sample!
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Malt, Spices, Sweet Potatoes
I had a small sample of this tea, 4g, and I’m really not sure whom I got it from as all my samples were mixed together. Sorry!!!
Anyway, this tea is really good.
First sip, I immediately thought honey. Then it got a little fruity. It’s pretty sweet. A little orchid. Lots of honey goodness. And it keeps on giving.
This tea is truly outstanding. I got it from verdant’s five for five deal for new customers, and I’m sure I’ll be ordering some more of it. The first thing you’ll notice if you sit down with a cup of this tea will be the aroma. It smelled almost heavenly, and the scent definitely brought back memories of all the times I’ve had jasmine in my life. Sipping on the tea, the most prominent flavor would be the jasmine. It was almost like drinking a cup of flowers. The tea could also be tasted, and was certainly of a high quality. There was a surprising amount of sweetness, but not overwhelming. It was sort of like someone stirred in just the tiniest drop of honey to it. The way it felt in my mouth was almost like diluted honey as well, it was thick and smooth. There wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness or any other taste that could be considered unpleasant. This is certainly a tea I would reccomend, in fact it might be a new favorite of mine. I’ll certainly be ordering this with my coupon within the next handful of days.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Jasmine
I remember the first time I tried this, I thought it was pretty good but didn’t really see the point of adding extra chocolate and roasted grains to a base tea that’s already heavy on the chocolate and roasted grains. So today, I decided to try it head to head against plain Laoshan Black. I brewed both of them western-style in a mug – 3g in 10oz boiling water x 3min. So… I think I actually find this less chocolatey and grainy than the straight tea, lol. Maybe it’s the oolong in there that’s diluting the effect, I don’t know. There’s definitely a brightness and acidity in the cup as it cools that isn’t unpleasant but seems a bit out of place in a chocolatey tea. Not bad, but I don’t think I’ll need to restock this once it’s gone.
I received this sample from Kittenna. Thank you!
First I noticed that the leaves have that “chocolate dirt” scent to them. Uh oh. Thankfully that’s not too apparently once steeped. It’s more sweet potato or roasted squash in flavour. A little malty.
Not bad (actually pretty good) but not flavours that I think I’d find myself craving.
I’ll probably steep this a couple more times today, just to get the most out of the leaves.
To go with my cups, what better than this equally beautiful Gaiwan. I’m totally in love with it. Though I wouldn’t say I have overly small hands (perhaps I do T_T), I love the size of this Gaiwan as it’s so comfortable to hold. It just fits really nicely! I never burn myself when using it, which is an obvious plus, and the parts all fit together perfectly – there’s no wobble or anything. Liquid flows really well when pouring.
Much as with the cups, my guests are always impressed by the beauty and style of this Gaiwan. It’s my immediate go to, now, for brewing Tieguanyin – I like to think that my favourite tea is being served in the most beautiful Gaiwan I’ve seen, so far! :-)