Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

Autumn 2015 harvest
Tastes of sweet potato, honey and malt, spice and floral. A hearty and satisfying cup when brewed strong, which also brings out some tannins in the cup.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHF9pnwhVFy/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 g

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Cheap black tea with long leaf that has dry chocolate and malt notes, how can you go wrong?

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90

Decent black (red) tea that has been pressed into 100g cakes. I like the size and design, and at about $6 after shipping, they’re a good value as a gift for the tea drinkers in your life.

The tea does not have the strong malty/chocolaty taste that many Yunnans have. Instead it has a taste I would call ‘matured spring’. While I certainly wouldn’t say it tastes like any particular fruit, it gives me the impression of late-spring black raspberries.

I definitely feel a relaxing ‘Cha qi’ that is supposedly from where this tea gets it’s name. I noticed that the wife was a bit more snuggly after her cup as well (and she thought it was very good, ‘very tasty’ – and went after another cup later on in the evening)

A 100 gram cake might not last as long as 100grams of loose tea might. Depends on how careful one is to use exact amounts when breaking it up.

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90

{NB: review from 25g sample, not whole cake}

Dry leaf – SWEET, FRUIT, HERBAL: bitter honey, honeysuckle, dill, fragrant wood/incense; in pre-heated vessel: prune, dried date and fig more prominent

Smell – WOOD, FLORAL: fragrant wood, light honeysuckle, some smokiness and ash

Taste – SWEET, GRASSY, VEGETAL, FRUIT: prominent bitter honey, green hay, fragrant wood smoke – hickory?, nice vegetal flavors of bitter green, some steamed green bean, musty. Undertones of lightly brewed English breakfast tea, dry spice (nutmeg), hints of fig and date, some ashy notes. Creamy lactose sweetness in aftertaste, prune and date flavors strong in aftertaste.

Well – there’s quite a bit going on here. For a young raw, this is very pleasant and has great flavors going on. There is some astringency, but personally, I don’t find it to be overbearing. It’s pleasant like a cup of good black coffee.

This one has me intrigued. I like the range of flavors that it offers. Additionally, it makes you burst into sweat when you drink it. I know this is a common pu’erh side effect, but this one isn’t messing around. Who knows what kind of chemical voodoo is responsible for that, but it’s fun nonetheless. Nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning and going toe-to-toe with your tea.

One final note – personally, I felt like the more interesting flavors petered out fairly quickly. I’m no expert, but I will chalk that up to the tea’s youth. However, there were several other reviews that made special mention of the longevity of this tea, but that just wasn’t my experience. Could be user error, I guess. Interestingly, I had a better experience with a clay pot (7g/160ml) than a gaiwan (4.5g/60ml), even though the gaiwan had a higher leaf:water ratio.

Anyway, my sample is gone and I simply looked forward to every session I had with this tea. Is definitely on the short list for my next pu’erh purchase.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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85

Backlog 18 June 2016

I had started writing notes on the review last weekend. However, I must’ve become distracted as I often do whilst in the middle of the session…Although, according to these notes, the time was several minutes after a shu pu-erh session, so I’m guessing that I was pretty ‘tea drunk’ during this session (there are pictures in the review notebook alongside the notes).

Anyway, let us move on.

The dry leaf: Smells of a metallic, chocolate, and nuts (odd mix of aromas for a white tea). It is a light green/brown color. The tips of the leaf are slightly brown/black; with a slight hue of silver along the leaf.

I used a slightly higher temperature of water for this tea, for whatever reason. It seemed to work well with the leaf, so I kept it at 200 F. I used 5 grams of the leaf for 150 ml of water.

First steep: 15 s. There seems to be a slight malty and nutty taste on the tongue. The liquor is ‘clear/light green,’ so the flavor is surprising compared to its color. I’m reminded of a black tea that is less bold.

Second steep: 25 s. The physical leaf is opening up—it has a green-ish hue—reminds me of a raw pu-erh. There is more of a vegatal aroma, but the flavor is still malty & nutty. There appears to be a hint of jasmine, too.

Third steep: Malty vegatal flavors. I jotted down, “tastes like Spring rather than Autumn….fresh leaf quality…like spinach, perhaps.”

Unfortunately, that is all I had noted. Apparently, I had traced the wet leaf onto the paper & made some doodles of eating some sort of food out of as bowl. Ha-ha.

Good tea, though.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BG17CQcg-7h/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

Flavors: Cocoa, Jasmine, Malt, Nutty, Spinach

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78

After reading others’ reviews, I think I might have increased my steep times too quickly – something I need to work on. I seem to do that with a lot of my sessions. I got this sample as part of a Liquid Proust puerh box. I used all 6.3g in my 100mL gaiwan.

I found the aroma from the leaves to be a tobacco-y with almost a hint of something citric as well. Flavor in the early steeps was a light grassy or hay with a thick and creamy texture – the texture is definitely one of the highlights of this tea. I mostly got a dry hay/straw/grass flavor with increasing bitterness followed by a nice and sweet honey-tasting huigan. A pretty good tea, but not one that I need to buy a cake of.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Honey, Straw

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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89

I got this tea in a stash sale, and I had to try it today because the smell of it was so incredible. I think that some flavors got muddled in shipping, even with the good packaging, because it smells very different this morning in my little sealed glass jar—still good, just no longer good enough to eat out of the bag.

The smell coming off the brew is overwhelmingly molasses, smoked blackstrap molasses. It reminds me strongly of making molasses “tea” for those days when one needs an iron boost.

Taking a sip, and the scents are represented perfectly in the flavor. It’s a complex, layered sort of flavor, with molasses dominating the mouth, then a caramely sort of sweetness hitting the middle of the tongue. The smoky flavor seems to be carried on the molasses, but doesn’t hit for a couple of seconds. There’s a dry finish at the end I could do without, and it seems to be getting worse as the brew cools. Ah well, I should be drinking more water anyway.

More information on additional steeps later.

Okay, off topic now. Since I don’t have a blog or journal or anything, this review is going to have to act as such.

I’m sort of having a tea identity crisis, and it’s making me see why people start making their own blends. For so long, I thought that the chippy, black, bitter teas that most shops put in blends were good. I enjoyed those teas mixed with peach essence or whatever with calendula leaves to make people think of peaches when they drank it.

Now I’m trying these blacks, and they’re so smooth and complex on their own. And while I will always, always love a good blend, how can I go back to what I was drinking before? Is this the end of my beloved Peachy Black or Coconut Cream? Do I go back for a bit and find a way to rediscover my old favorites, or am I one of those people now that can only get tea from online vendors? I loved going into tea shops and smelling all the teas and collecting everything that smelled good to me, but I’m learning now that smell does not necessarily correspond to taste.

What does everyone else do when they discover stuff like this? How does everyone curate their collection? What thought processes go on behind decisions like “I should keep a couple of ounces of this around” and “meh, I can stand to let this one run out” and “I have to keep a supply of this to keep for the rest of my life”?

Flavors: Caramel, Drying, Molasses, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Daylon R Thomas

….yeah, Yunnan black teas change your perception of some altogether. Your old favorites will still be your favorites, maybe for different reasons. There’s a few “cheaper” teas that I still really enjoy. It just depends on what you use your tea for and what you absolutely know you like. Let those be your guides. Also talk to the people here on Steepster, especially with ones with similar preferences. If you are trying to figure out what you like, expand your horizons, ONLY get samples because a tea journey can be QUITE expensive. I apologize for preaching lol. I’m in a little bit of a dilemma myself because I have A LOT of teas, but missing a few of the ones that I’d want to keep lol.

Rasseru

I spent a lot on tea the last couple of years, now I have a good enough collection & knowledge of how much I drink that I can let things run out and then casually get some more – I was offered some more Jin Xuan the other day for example, and I looked in my stash and I was correct, I only have a couple of cups left of my last one..

As long as I have some of each type of tea I’m usually happy – and remember that you usually just have to wait till next season, or maybe someone else stocks something similar

I cant go back to ‘normal tea’ any more. Cheers Steepster

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89

Being rather new to this I am not certain I have all the correct terms but I find this tea delicious for being such a young shou. Maybe it is the Bulang in it but there are hint of wood and a sweet aftertaste at the back of the throat. I think I prefer this to Green Miracle. Will be stocking up on this one.

Preparation
9 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Lovely leather, tobacco and mineral notes. Best with ample leaf and cooler temp.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BG7gwqojR5Q/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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Beautiful. Sweet notes of dried fruit/raisin, chocolate/malt/rye bread with the very tiniest hint of floral earthiness. Smooth and flavorful.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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Sipdown.

Ubacat gave me some of this in a swap last summer, and I’ve been slowly drinking it down. However, I’ve never noted it until now. Weird.

This definitely has a green, vegetal taste, but there’s an earthiness to it underneath that reminds me of moss. I have to admit that I’m not as big a fan of green tea as I used to be, and nutty, beany teas like this one are part of that shift.

The best part is that I was able to take the tin I stored this in and re-use it towards housing that big-ass bag of Golden Monkey Black Tea that I got from Teavivre earlier this week. :D

Ubacat

I was having this tea this afternoon too! I need to drink it down to cross it off my tea list.

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90

Backlog 16 June 2016

Well, quick thought before I dig into the review. It has been a LONG week. I’ve had forty students this week, and after spending a total amount of 120 hours with them between three weeks, I think we’ve all gone a bit daffy. I love them all, but after this week, I need tea—and a lot of it.

I wanted some tea that was stronger than Sencha, Chamomile, or an herbal/rooibos blend; therefore, I dug this tea out from the “Samples from Tea Friends” box. Yeah, I happened to start drinking it after 7:00 P.M., when I needed a full eight hours so that I could get up the following day at 5:45 A.M. to get ready for the day. However, I was so hyper/tea drunk, that I ended up saying, “The heck with it, I’ll keep drinking tea” until 12:30 A.M. And the result was a bit interesting.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGvBgTXg-6n/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGu0WmfA—g/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGvC8ZDA-9n/

A quick note on the flavor/color of the liquor before I decide to run away from the computer, to spend the day lost in the woods…..It was an enjoyable ripe pu-erh, and the chrysanthemum gave it a nice sweet floral bite. I jotted down, “malty floral flavors, with those wet wood, earthy, and sweet river nectar (?) notes.”

Overall, ‘twas a great session.

P.S. This sample was given to me by Kirkoneill1988 via tea swap. Thank you. It was quite fun.

P.P.S. This is a cheap tea that’ll blow your mind and get ya pretty tea drunk. Great for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/2013-yunnan-sourcing-pu-erh-teas/2400-2013-yunnan-sourcing-xue-ju-shu-pu-ripe-pu-erh-and-snow-chrysanthemum-tea-brick.html

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

Mikumofu

Looks like you have some company in those pictures! ;)
This tea sounds quite exciting, and as I have some loose snow chrysanthemums on hand, now I wonder if I could make my own floral + tea blends with them.

R.F. Hill

Go for it. It was a fun little time, and h having “tea pets” for company was fun (really, they’re toys for my inner child from my wife). I think the snow Chrysanthemum goes well with Pu-erh.

Mikumofu

Tea is always better with friends, no matter what shape they come in!
I just happen to have some loose shou pu-erh from my latest order…nice coincidence since I don’t often have any on hand. Will be worth experimenting!

R.F. Hill

I hope that you enjoy the session. Let me know how it goes :)

Kirkoneill1988

glad you liked it. i think i have a small chunk left

R.F. Hill

Well, you enjoy it. Quite a tasty tea.

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70

This tea has a silky mouth-feel and a rich, earthy taste. The fermentation taste is a bit strong at first, but by the 3rd steeping it mellows considerably.

Not my favorite sort of tea taste, but definitely an enjoyable experience.

Flavors: Hay, Mushrooms, Wet Earth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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this tea was recommended me by James fr Teadb. its not a first try, ive had it before. yesterday it was quite powerful, i dont remember experiencing such strong qi from this tea. it was very nice, sweet, menthol cool, with quick powerful huigan. But… i think it had so much effect on me that i acted like 3yrs old and hurt my friend’s feelings. Im sorry. it must be a weather too. i have to blame it on something. it wasnt me, its them

https://instagram.com/p/BGrrOnUBwrG/

Preparation
6 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
Rui A.

That sounds quite good and I should actually get a full cake from YS.

paxl13

qi is on and off but when it hits you… it’s like being run over by a truck!!!

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82

Well, I’ve never had bi luo chun before. Is it supposed to be salty? Because… it’s…. strangely salty? Not in a super overpowering way, but definitely a little salty. Huh.

The leaf itself is pretty—pale, and a little crunchy and moist, very cute in their little swirls. Smells nutty, like most of my Chinese green order. The broth is a light gold green tea liquor, deliciously sweet and creamy and nutty (quite a lot like cashews tastewise, actually), but with that saltiness to it that kind of reminds me of soy sauce a little bit. It starts off heavy on the nut and smooooth, becoming somewhat floral towards the end with an additional bit of bitter and astringency. It coats the back of your throat after sipping, leaving a strong aftertaste and lingering presence.

I liked this the best out of the three greens I ordered and it was definitely the most unique, I thought, but be sure to wash your teaware carefully after brewing this one as it gave everything else a salty tinge to it too that I poured in the same cups, ^^;

I tried this one both western-ish style and in a gaiwan. I think I preferred the western, although I probably also messed up the steep times on the gaiwan and did roughly gaiwan recommended steeps on the western so… heh.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nuts, Soy sauce

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I’ve managed to come out of this with almost no notes. I can tell you what this tea is not: It is not bitter or astringent or smokey. It doesn’t brew up very dark. It doesn’t get super earthy or really anything for that matter.

It is however very pleasant to sip one while reading. It’s subtle and I can’t decide if it’s the sort of subtle that I shouldn’t bother with or the sort that I should keep around for peaceful mornings.

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90

A nice a floral medium-light roasted oolong. The orchid note is predominant, but theres also a butteryness like shortbread cookies and a fruity note of peach. Sweetness is moderate but not overpowering.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Green Wood, Mineral, Orchid, Stonefruits

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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82

My favorite of a group of 5-6 samples of 2-5 year old shengs in the $30 to $60 range from Yunnan Sourcing. This cake had a very pleasant youngish sheng flavor with almost no bitterness. In fact I could hardly get any bitterness even when I tried with near boiling water in later steeps. Not to say that this is a boring tea at all, there’s plenty of good flavor packed in there, it’s just very mellow and relaxing. The loose compression also was a positive for short term drinking. All this considered, this is a cake I will likely purchase at some point as an excellent daily drinker.

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Shortest review ever: yancha cocoa puffs. mmmmmmmm

Liquid Proust

I decided to make one shorter than yours!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Rich

I loved this one as well, short steeps worked best. I found the cha qi very energizing and lively! I will definitely be purchasing some, though probably not a whole basket.

curlygc

Rich: I bought another 50g. I haven’t even tried the other Tian Jians from the dark matter buy yet!

Rich

Yeah, I think this one is unique. I believe the other ones are more damp and possibly smoky.

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80

Ok, letting the leaves air out for a little while definitely reduces the moss aroma revealing a really pronounced plum/sweet tobacco scent.
Giving it more leaf and more time in the teapot adds body and a very nice crisp finish (sort of a light tartness perhaps). The moss flavor is now more of a background note tasted more towards the back of the throat but it doesn’t last into the aftertaste. The taste of plum and stone fruit is front and center now and very good. No bitterness detected and if there is any astringency it is more of a tartness.
I don’t know if I’ll buy this one in quantity given the size of my current tea collection and the teas yet waiting in my wishlist, but if someone were brewing up a pot, I’d be the first one to the table.

Flavors: Plums, Stonefruits, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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80

The wet leaves smell of old moss. Oddly pleasant.
Tastes of moss, plum and earth. Not very strong, but pleasant. Next time I’ll brew it a bit stronger (more leaves, more time)

Flavors: Earth, Moss, Plums

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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