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Recent Tasting Notes
My order of reserve Verdant pu’erhs came this past week, and I am finally trying one out!! I have also been using my gaiwan the past couple of days, about time! This one smells so wonderfully woody in the bag. The leaves are quite fine and separated, definitely a lovely loose pu’erh.
I did two quick rinses in the gaiwan, and then steeped for about 4-5 seconds with boiling water. The steeped liquor is a dark rich brown color, with a hint of red in it too. Like a garnet in the bubble cup. The smell is again woody, a bit musty.
As for the flavor of the first steep, there is a lovely wood flavor. Musty too, my boyfriend said it is like an old piece of wood lol. This is also I think only the second time he has had pu’erh, and the first time he hasn’t just been sipping from my cup to taste it! (maybe I should have started with something a bit tamer, like Noble Mark lol). I do get that as well, the musty, aged scent of a log sitting in the damp forest for a few years, slowly breaking down and absorbing the forest scents. Mmmm. Yes, to some that might sound weird, but to me it is quite relaxing and grounding. I feel a bit of the caffeine from this, a pleasant relaxing feeling. There is also a bit of a sparkling texture already, that clear, fresh feeling.
Overall, I am enjoying the first steeping of this. Hoping to do a few more before we head out to get some shopping and our pumpkin. It also is looking like rain here, so I want to just sit inside and watch Star Wars with the guy and cat and sip this shu throughout the day. :D can’t wait to see what the next few steeps bring! No rating yet, as I need to have a few more cups and sessions to fully experience the flavors and form an opinion :)
Flavors: Musty, Wood
This one came from TeaTiff (again). I must say, it seems like the ratio of tea to other stuff is kind of off here. I’m not sure whether it’s just my sample or the tea in general, but there is a ton of coriander and citrus peel and stuff, and very few tea leaves. It smells sweet and citrusy in a pastry sort of way.
This one reminds me of Verdant’s Campfire Blend with a bit of black tea added. The flavors are pretty much exactly the same – vanilla, citrus, spices, and that pastry note. Definitely not complaining as I enjoyed Campfire Blend quite a lot, and I’m enjoying this one too. I do feel I should have steeped it a tad longer as the flavor is quite mild, and it’s basically an herbal anyway! Overall, yummy.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
Did anyone else think that the dry leaves smells like chocolate? I stood there for a moment looking around wondering where the chocolate smell came from after I opened the package, I looked into the package, smelled it and then realized it smells like chocolate. so very odd. Luckily it does not taste it all like chocolate, no I’m sure it would have tasted good with chocolate. It’s just not what I wanted this morning.
I love how smooth it is, so grassy, so nice.
Hmm, this isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem that different from your standard Moroccan mint tea either, aside from the addition of fennel, which I approve of. I was still getting a lot of char flavour as is typical for a gunpowder base and none of the buttery notes that should be there with the laoshan green. I’m not a huge fan of the gunpowder flavour profile, so I would have been quite pleased if this were a bit different.
Flavors: Char, Fennel, Mint, Roasted
2006 Bulang, Tiandiren Teavivre
I mentioned a couple weeks back that I had this after someone mentioned having it. I noted that it tasted horrible. I was flash steeping at 195 and it tasted like cigarette water. Yeah, I’m from Iowa and I went through my tobacco chewing days like everyone else. The worst “chew,” as it’s called, imho, is the sawdust stuff that comes in a hockey-puck called Copenhagen. This all to say that brewed at that temp, this Bulang conjured memories of Iowa and I was only too eager for the right time to try again at my normal raw tea temp of 175. Big, big, big difference. Positive. Much sweeter, a hint of sour. The cigarette, not necessarily tobacco but yes, taste lingers in the background, not unpleasantly.
Curiously, I had read about this tea last week, when my tea amigo showed up with a sample of this for our monthly Bamboo and Loquat tea session through Meet-up. I flash steeped this puppy up with water at 195. Just as the article I read noted, it smells like cigarettes, contrary to what the author noted, through several infusions, it tasted like cigarettes as well. Not smoky, but astringent, slightly sour and acrid. This tea delivers a wicked cha-qi and my tea amigo noted that this might be a good one for folks who are trying to kick the habit, but neither of us found it terribly enjoyable or tasty after four infusions.
I’d recommend this for folks who want a long lingering buzz, much longer than a cigarette and long for that cigarette taste… if that what it can be called.
11/13/2014 tea for a sick AnnaEA 6g/100ml gaiwan/ varying temps. Last of my sample.
I spent the afternoon with this and I never really got a whole lot of specific flavors or tastes from it. BUT, I just wanted to keep drinking it. Later on I brewed a puerh I know I’ve always liked in the past and it didn’t really taste good anymore – it was full of strange unpleasant notes I’d never tasted in it before. I’m not sure about if this is a good tea and if I like this or not but it was definitely interesting.
Marco Polo TTB
I’m assuming this year’s is the one in the package, although no year is specified.
The name of this tea makes me wonder. I always assumed that most all tea is hand picked, but I guess not? Hehe, that gave me a vision of someone using some sort of lawn mower type contraption to cut leaves. But doesn’t tea grow on trees? =P
The taste of this is light, and I would say that it’s slightly faded a little. The dried leaves were tightly curled into little caterpillar like shapes. They didn’t fully unfurl until the second steep, but those leaves were quite large! Maybe an inch and a half from tip to stem.
As I said though, the taste was somewhat faded for me. The liquor was a pale green and turned more yellow as the steep grew longer. It was faintly sweet and faintly floral, just pretty light all around even when I just let it sit in the cup, it was still quite light. The taste was actually rather one sided for me, but I can’t even tell you want that note is.
The mouthfeel is not full, nor creamy, but it leaves a satisfying finish, clean.
A tea to sake the thirst, but not one that leaves me guessing, or really wanting more.
I made a pumpkin bread with cranberries. It looks quite pretty. I was hoping that this tea would be a robust enough to drink with it, but I guess I’ll have to go look for something a bit heartier.
What a week! Work sucked, house stuff sucked (electrical issues) and well… SUCK!
So today I have been taking time to try some new teas. This one is a winner fo sho. Very mildly earthy, like clean moss. Some coffee and chocolate notes. A lightly sweet finish and nice aftertaste. It’s a little leathery perhaps also. Just little hints here and there.
It’s a loose shou, nice and easy, no prying. Thumbs up!
I bought this tea from LuciTea last winter. Thank you.
I really enjoy dark oolongs, but I think Red Robe has to be my least favorite. This has hints of mineral, earth and carmel. This as a less tangy/fruity bite too it than and lot of the similar oolons. I have at least 1/2 ounce left of this. I will have to compare with the other Red Robe I own.
All I want to drink with this colder weather we’re having is shu! Made a mug of this to have while watching hockey tonight. Super soft and smooth, earthy, a slight sweetness that is bordering on caramel..oh and perfect relaxing feeling to unwind tonight after another busy week half over lol. Only half left, and so much to do! Relaxing for now. See previous notes on this tea :)
It’s cold and rainy here, and the list of my usual teas has been becoming boring lately for some reason…maybe the change in season? So I decided to try a new to me tea tonight! And I also wanted shu for the weather..but not the usual suspects lol. Something rich, something warm, rich, comforting! Also had another ridiculously busy day at work with more overtime hours (think I have maxed out my allowed banked hours for the year now) and my head has been hurting on and off today from the cold, rainy weather outside. So this one has to be tried!
A disclaimer – I had some garlicky pasta for dinner lol, so hopefully it doesn’t impair my tasting! Also am replacing the Brita filter and just cleaned the kettle, so this is made with tap water and hopefully not too vinegary water lol. I rinsed the kettle and reboiled it and threw that bunch of water out, so we should be good!
The dry smell is a bit musty, a bit earthy..not overly strong smelling, but definitely a shu pu-erh, in a good way! I did a 25s rinse (steeping Western style), and the leaves smelled a bit fishy still, so did a second 15s rinse and the wet leaves open up to this strong, woody scent! Heady! Mmm a wet forest, perfect for what I want tonight :D so the actual steep was for 30s, the liquor is fairly dark, and there is a smooth woody scent to the cup.
As for the flavor, yes, that darn garlic from my dinner is interfering a fair amount lol, but I can discern a light earthy flavor, not too strong, certainly not overpowering or fishy to me! There is a hint of that olive oil flavor I know from that awesome black tea that Master Han made, what was it…oh, Master Han’s Yunnan Black! Yes, that is definitely in there..but the earthy woodiness tones it down and mutes it. It is a bit musty, but in a good, damp wood way. And I detect a hint of sweetness somewhere in there, kind of in the middle of the sip to the end of it, maybe the fennel making an appearance. I also get a slight linen aftertaste for some reason, I like it, but maybe it’s the mustiness lingering.
Overall, this is tasty and warming. This is such a pure tea, it feels fresh and cozy simultaneously. It is exactly what I needed tonight – grounding, relaxing, comforting, just what I needed. Now I’m even more excited for my incoming Verdant order, which consists mostly of the new pu’erhs they just released! Now that I have experimented with more pu’erh, I am excited to get back to the ones from Verdant, previously the shu’s were a bit much for me with their bold flavors, but now I can appreciate them :)
Anyways, a tasty tea! Not sure how to rate it since the garlic is interfering, so rating subject to change :)
ETA – I resteeped this tea!! Landmark moment lol, I hardly ever resteep anything anymore. I am quite enjoying the calming sensation from this tea, and how it warms me fully, even my emotions. I would consider ordering this again just for the good vibes I get from it! :)
Flavors: Wet Wood
Too lazy to look at the ingredients, but I can see/smell rose, pepper, tea buds, some berries and maybe some jasmine. There is a very nice peppery flavor to this tea. I was hoping that a nice cuppa would improve my headache, but alas, no. This tea is delicious though!