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Recent Tasting Notes
Time to bust out my Yezi pu’erh samples! I’m working from home today, so I figured I could try the 3 pu’erhs they included as samples in my prior orders.
Method: The Yezi site says to use 30 sec to start, then increase by 10-15. Seemed too long, so I did – 5 g, 3 oz, rinse then 15-20-25 seconds, 205 degrees, ru kiln gaiwan. Long pu’erh steeps make me nervous!
Aroma: I’m guessing this is a ripe pu. Please correct me if I am wrong. It smells cavey and earthy. I am learning to appreciate these aromas more, but I admit that they still make me a little uncomfortable.
Flavor: I blended the first 3 steeps into one mug. The flavor is also earthy, but I do catch pleasant little hints of chocolate. I’ve had some pu’erhs with a sharp taste, but this one is very smooth. I like it, but I want to like it even more than I do. It feels very thick and substantial and the aftertaste is actually more pleasant to me than the tea itself.
Here’s pics in my brand new gaiwan:
I am so worn out! I spent the day redoing my room to make room for my newest treasure. Ben’s parents wanted to get rid of an antique writing desk that had been in their family for at least three generations, possibly four. In a near spastic fit I claimed that thing in a heartbeat, I have a real weakness for antiques and desks, so it was the double treasure. Now I just need to get another tea kettle so I can have tea in the bedroom and in the tea lair!
Today’s tea is from Yezi Tea, Yi Fu Chun, a tippy golden tea from the Nanhu Mountains in Fujian, China. Apparently these mountains are covered in a dense fog 200 days a year, meaning the tea that grows there is more or less kissed by clouds, it seems to make it a bit whimsical to me. Add the fog to my intense love of fuzzy golden teas (they are just so cute!) and that makes me a happy tea sipper, or at the very least an interested one. Oh my that is a pleasant and heavy aroma, it seems the leaves collected the dense and heavy feeling of fog rather than the wispy one. There are notes of oak wood, molasses, cocoa, and a touch of smoke. It is intense, not sweet, but more like a rich molasses cookie and cocoa powder.
After the golden leaves have been steeped (and have left their delicate fuzzies behind) the aroma is still strong in the real of molasses and chocolate, though this time it has a sweetness the dry leaves lacked, also a tiny hint of loam. The liquid is even sweeter, retaining the chocolate notes but adding in some delicious stewed plums and cherries.
I decided to do something a little different with this tea, I brewed it Western Style! The first steep is incredibly sweet, like a bit of peaches and honey mixed with my tea! There are also notes of molasses and oak wood with a slight hint of smoke at the finish. The tea manages to be very rich while maintaining an air of lightness about it.
For the second steep the aroma is sweet, with notes of stewed fruit and roasted peanuts, there is a delicate hint of smoke at the finish. The taste is much richer with notes of oak wood and roasted peanuts, this fades to molasses, and lastly a delicate hint of smoke and peaches. Kind of like the way peaches cooked on a grill tastes, this lingers as an aftertaste. This tea is delicious and very smooth, I like it!
For blog and photos (including my cat pretending to be a secretary) : http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/07/yezi-tea-yi-fu-chun-black-tea-tea-review.html
Flavors: Honey, Molasses, Peach, Peanut, Smoke
Life has been challenging for me the last six weeks or so, and now just when I thought I was getting back into some sort of normal routine, it reaches out and kicks you back to the ground.
This is a really nice black tea. It’s reacting well to my weird steep parameters at work. It’s exactly what I need this morning. I’ve overleafed it a bit, and that has caused a little bit of bitterness – but in a good way. Makes it a bit stronger, a bit more breakfast blend ish.
I’m just going to take some comfort from some good tea and hope this day passes quickly.
Origin: Wen Shan District, Taiwain
Dry Leaf: Scent is nutty, buttery and leaves are deep forest/spinach green color. They are thick, twisted threads.
Method: 4 oz porcelain gaiwan 200F 45" then 55" steep
Wet Leaf: Floral, buttery, tangerine scent. Medium to large size leaves that had been twisted. All the leaves have carefully had the large part of the stem removed. Very precise and uniform leaves.
Liquor: Light, clear, golden pineapple color. Smells fruity and sweet. Subtly floral.
Flavor: (45") Creamy mouthfeel, subtly floral, buttery. Absolutely no astringency or bitterness. Very high quality Oolong.
(55") Still buttery and very good. Even after the leaves have opened up fully there is no astringency or bitterness. Very smooth Oolong.
baozhong (Bao1 Zhong3) = very lightly oxidized tea (formerly?) wrapped in paper during drying, literally the Wrapped Kind (包种 or 包種) – in Taiwan this word is often applied to any oolong
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Flowers, Nutty
I think I’ve been drinking this tea for pretty much the past three days. Thank you to Albertocanfly for sending this to be through the Tealephone.
My littlest teapot definitely isn’t about the size of a gaiwan. (I really need to invest in one… maybe.) It holds maybe a full 8oz, or thereabouts. I think I’ve gotten through maybe 7 steepings, but while there is a little bit of flavor left if I leave it to steep a long time, it’s mostly just colored water at this point. Steeps are 212*F, starting at 1min and adding 15 secs for each additional steep…. with a little bit of lag time for me walking back to the pot and pouring it out. =)
So, the dry leaf smelt fruit, and it was still really compact, not too many loose leaves.
The fishy puerh smell didn’t really fade until maybe the third or fourth steep, but the liquor was smooth and nice throughout. The liquor was a very saturated red at first, and it gradually got lighter in saturation, but it’s still on the red-golden color. It did really come out to be as red-gold, I think the name golden peacock is very apt.
I’m glad this came in the Tealephone, I probably never would have tried it otherwise. Thanks again Albertocanfly!
This was one of the samples I apparently ordered in my sleep one night. I did a good job! I didn’t really know much other than “black tea” but if I had to guess, given my limited experience, I would have guessed a Yunnan just from looking at the leaf. I love Yunnans so that’s good! I can’t say that it’s so very different from others that I have had, but it was a very enjoyable cup and obviously a high quality tea.
What a fun TTB! :D The idea behind it is so cute it makes me feel like I’m back in elementary school transforming “my dog is dark brown” to “it’s Dill’s deck now.” tehehe.
This tea is wonderful. Thank you Kiwidelight for choosing this tea. I never would have picked this out for myself but it is really delightful. It is a delicate black tea with luscious honey notes. Astringency does not exist in this tea’s vocabulary but smooth caramel does. And oh that malt…mmm.. making my mouth water… thank goodness it has given me four steeps..tehehe^.^
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth
Yi Fu Chun is described on Yezi’s website as a smoky black tea…I have an aversion to smokiness in tea, as I’ve been chased out of my home twice by wildfire. I don’t exactly associate smokiness with relaxing around a campfire, more like frantically trying to find pets and belongings to evacuate. SO, I was hesitant to approach this sample.
In the packet, the dry leaf smelled sweet and slightly cocoa-y…hmmm….no smoke! Okay then, steep time!
I am wonderfully surprised by this tea. Yi Fu Chun has similar notes to Fujian blacks that I have had before, but the notes are much more restrained. The bottom note is certainly a deep cocoa flavor that sits on the tongue a bit longer than the sip lasts in your mouth. Then comes mid notes of slight malt/grain/cannabis. The top note is a touch of floral, though I can’t quite place it through my allergies today. It is a similar profile to LB by Verdant and Bailin Gongfu by TeaVivre, but dialed in for a warm summer day. I am appreciating the delicateness of these sometimes cloying notes in the humid (yes, today it is humid. Global weather patterns are weirder and weirder these days) summer day in the Southern California arid heat.
Flavors: Cannabis, Cocoa, Grain, Malt
MzPriss commented yesterday that she liked this better than the Jin Jun Mei. BETTER than Jin Jun Mei? Ok – that’s all I needed to hear for this to become my “inspired by my dashboard” tea of the day.
OMG she’s RIGHT. This is amazing, fantastic, everything I LOVE about Fujian Black tea.
I was at work and I drank about 7 mugs of it through out the day. I don’t measure or time at work – some had long steeps, some had short steeps, some more leaf, some less. Every steep was different, and yet every steep was wonderful in it’s own way. Less steep time, lighter, brighter more fruity. Longer steep times, deep, dark, bitter chocolate. It reacted exactly as it should have. You can pretty much do anything to this tea and it will handle it. If you don’t like it, play with the steep parameters, it changes greatly with steep time. This is very close to being my perfect black tea. Thank you MzPriss for the inspiration.
Some people sleepwalk, apparently I sleep tea order. I totally have an email confirmation for this from four days ago, but only vaguely remember ordering it. But it showed up today.
It was a quiet day at work (calm before the storm) and I shut down early and decided to Gong Fu this. Five infusions later, I love it. I can’t say it’s so very different from the Eastern Beauty from Green Terrace, but that could just be my untrained taste buds. It was all yummy and honey fruity awesomeness though. I would definitely order it again.
I’ve been drinking this at work for the last couple of days….. It’s a strange one.
I normally like Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong – but this isn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t get any smoke at all (I wasn’t expecting full out Lapsang, but was expecting a little). There is something boozy in here – it says scotch, but that’s not it. I’m getting more wine, grape, alcohol and it’s not working for me.
It’s too bad, I like Yezi, but this one just isn’t for me. :((
This Tie Guan Yin is the best one I’ve had yet. I will not go into much detail as I think Yezi Tea’s description of it is perfect. To summarize, it is very sweet and vegetal with light floral notes of orchid and a bit of a resinous camphor note. It has undertones of caramel and honey. Very sweet and rich oolong, love it!
Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Honey, Orchid, Vegetal
Origin: Logu, Nantou Co.; Taiwan
dong ding (Dong Ding) = mountainous oolong producing area of Nantou county, Taiwan, literally Frozen Summit (冻顶 or 凍頂)
Dry Leaf: Buttery, daffodil-scented yellowish-green tightly rolled pellets on stems.
Method: 4oz Porcelain Gong Fu pot 5grams tea 3oz water 200F No rinse
45 seconds first steeping then 55 seconds for the second steeping
Wet Leaf: Mostly 2 leaves on a stem. Honey and daffodil-scented. Leaves dark forest green now.
Liquor: Light spring green color, scent of the daffodil and honey.
Flavor: First infusion – Buttery flavor and mouthfeel. Not too floral in flavor, it is more on the nose—which is perfect.
Second infusion brought a touch of balancing bitter (but not harsh) and the liquor is a darker spring green color. Very good floral Oolong.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers
This tea is full of warm sweet fruit notes of canned peaches and a hint of mandarin, all mixed in with buttered grains and cocoa. Really tasty and surprisingly rich considering it’s short steep time. Thanks to Dexter for a chance to sample this tea!
Pretty sepia tinged copper brown broth
20s first scent very fruity like canned peaches, cashew butter, roasted notes, cocoa
Taste. Cocoa, peaches, butter, a sweet grain note in between polenta and oatmeal, honey, if you hold the tea in your mouth and breathe in the peach notes are very distinct and their are also hints of canned mandarins, otherwise the flavours blend into each other. the tea tastes very rich even after only 20s, it is thick and slightly buttery on the tongue.
25s fruit notes slightly brighter and stronger, more honey, cocoa, butter, a little cinnamon, less grain notes, a touch of citrus tinged floral.
40s. Cocoa, grain, malt, sharper more citrus toned fruit, honey, butter, sweet fruit lingering in background with a light floral tone.
70s. Similar to previous steep but maltier.
I’ve been drinking this tea at work for a couple of days now. The last time I wrote about it, I thought it was finicky and “white wine up you nose” odd.
It seems to have been behaving since then, and we are friends once again. While this is not my favorite Jin Jun Mei – it has been really pleasant the last couple of days.
I love Jin Jun Mei – it’s one of my favorite styles of black tea.
I love Yezi – it’s one of my favorite sources for black teas.
Why am I not loving this today ? – it’s seems finicky – not behaving. One cup was good, one cup was not so good – none were amazing.
Seems oddly “white wine, up your nose astringent” (yes that’s something that I’ve made up, but some teas seem like that to me) when it’s really hot. Much better as it cools, but still not the rich malty, chocolate that I’m looking for.
I’m sure this is just me, I’ve had it before and was AMAZING – just hope this is just me having a cranky day – this is too expensive to be a finicky tea…..
I haven’t had pu’erh in a while, even though I adore it. So I decided to crack this open to start the day.
The dry leaf smells of worn leather and sweet tobacco. The taste is smooth and mellow – a hint of damp earth. While I don’t find this complex, I do find it enjoyable and easy to sip.
I’m on my third steep (western style) and I can see that I’ll get a few more steeps out of it.
Thank you Dexter for sharing this sample with me!
The aroma has elements of cedar, peat, and dry grass. The taste is very slightly of honey and flowers, somewhat like chamomile but is mostly masked by the signature aged taste of puer, woody, a bit peppery and smokey, there’s a slight aftertaste of five spice. and lingering peppery quality. There’s also a bit of green bean in there somewhere. It’s slightly astringent. I’d call it more of an intense puer than a mellow one.
Flavors: Flowers, Green Beans, Honey, Peat, Pepper, Spices, Wood
I’ve been drinking green and herbal teas for weeks. I feel like I need a break and a good ol’ cozy Chinese black tea. Plus, it’s been chilly, overcast, and rainy here over the past couple days and it will be like that tomorrow. I don’t mind cold but where is the sun? :(
So I broke out Yezi’s Jin Jun Mei. Hands-down, one of my favorite Chinese blacks. The leaves are tiny, slightly twisty, hairy, and a mix of brown and tan (cute little things). I brewed them in Verdant’s test tube steeper, a perfect instrument to become acquainted with a tea’s nose and to smell this one’s wet leaf aroma, which so much like fudge brownies. The liquor is golden, fuzzy, silky, full-bodied, and flavorful; and is full of malt, chocolate, and honey goodness. Overall feel is a hug.