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Recent Tasting Notes
Another tea from Terri i decided to have this one with another from the same area. I find more and more that the imperial grades from YS are often not for me. this has a bit of malt, but it’s got a thin brew taste to it. There’s a bit of sweetness here and some tannins. Overall, a decent cup, but not my favourite.
First things first – this is a gorgeous cup. I love African rosewood and the silver being almost white is such a perfect complement to the wood color. It feels good to hold and the wood keeps the silver from burning my fingers.
I used this for the first time tonight with a Dian Hong. I compared an unglazed clay cup and the silver rosewood cup and a Crimson Lotus silver cup. I wouldn’t have noticed if not doing it side by side like this but there is definitely a moderating influence that this cup exerts on at least this tea. It sat in the pot for a bit longer than desirable. In the unglazed clay cup, it was pretty harsh. It was a bit more mellow in the CL silver cup but in this one it was noticeably smoother and the bitter edges seemed to fade.
I am extremely curious to experiment with other teas in this cup now.
This is my first sampling of any puerh tea. I’ve prepared it gong fu style.
Prior to steeping, the tea smell is light and earthy with notes of straw and sweet grass.
First infusion: 5 seconds
Color: Light red/orange
Smell: mossy and vegetal
Taste: Bright and earthy up front with a lingering straw, wood finish.
Second Infusion: 10 seconds
Color: Much darker red, maple syrup
Smell: deeper vegetal, steamed spinach
Taste: Leather with a slight bitterness on the tail. Sweet light wood finish that lingers. Satisfyingly astringent mouth feel.
Third Infusion: 20 seconds
Color:Dark red amber
Smell: Damp straw, delicate but sweet leather
Taste: Bitter raw leather with sweet straw and spinach
I continued with the infusions until the flavor began to subside . Overall I found this very enjoyable. I don’t think it would be fair to throw a number at this as I have nothing to compare it to but it was a wonderful new experience. Would recommend.
This is worth experimenting with to see if it agrees with you, but I don’t think its for everyone. I did enjoy it. It was smoky, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy it. A hint of molasses sweetness was sensed in the background.
Flavors: Smoke, Wet Earth
The brick is full of “golden flowers” . It has earthy components of dry mushroom and hay, with very little bitterness. What I am enjoying most about it is the warm, relaxing feeling that comes after drinking it.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Barnyard, Hay, Mushrooms, Nutty
Immortal Monkey, may you live forever! There are many teas on steepster that have gotten rave reviews of 95 or higher and yet they do not stand up to the refinement and sophistication of this tea. With the active mouthfeel of raw, with the richness of ripe – and definite potential for future deliciousness, this tea outstrips the appeal of – let’s say – phatty cake – with it’s heft, smoke, leather and in your faceness – by a more subtle seductive, mysterious, come hither allure.
Taste and smell absolutely no “fishy-ness” or fermentation flavor what-so-ever. In style it reminds me of some of the 2012 smaller leaf lesser fermented Dayi cakes 0532 and 7632. Granted, I reviewed the 7632 with some sketicism, having fallen in love with the brown sugary deliciousness of 2012 Yongde Blue. But my palette has come to appreciate more subtle brews that defy description – where you really can’t define what exactly is so wonderful – while knowing they are. This kind of tea pulls you into the meditative realm where flavor, sensation and mystery meet.
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Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
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Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Spicy
Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil then poured into a glass cha hai prior to going into the gaiwan. With Autumn approaching, I wanted to add a daily-drinking Dian Hong to my roster – I’m very happy with this selection.
The dry tea is redolent of sweet potato and hay with a hint of milk chocolate. The buds appear just a little dingy or bruised compared to the bright pure gold appearance they have in photos on YS’s website, though this may be a result of transport.
After a 10 second wash the wet leaves take on a “brisk” and faintly vegetal aroma in addition to the aforementioned sweetness. Their striking uniformity grows apparent as they become fully hydrated/saturated.
Eight steeps at 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120sec: Tawny liquor; musky with clay-baked yam aroma; complex malt, grassy sugarcane, a touch of sorghum; finishes faintly woodsy with a hint of chocolate or even burdock emerging at times. Medium-thick mouth-feel; no impression of tannins. The first steep had a special brilliance of flavor that proves fleeting and difficult to capture in words. Color shifts to more of a satin sheen gold,while the aroma, flavor, and body all dull somewhat by the sixth steep. The tea continues to be nourishing throughout the session. Caffeine is evident, but more energizing than speedy (sweating, racing pulse, etc.).
Refined yet rustic – making for a pleasurable experience; good value to boot.
This is a very interesting white tea.
I picked this one up because my son and I have been enjoying white tea together, and it was inexpensive and a bit unusual.
I was not let down. What I got was a very light colored tea, with a slightly sweet vegetal flavor.
This is a fermented purple, but no description of the fermentation process. It tastes to me a bit like Hei cha. Ive gongfu’d this a few different ways & I much prefer it with kid gloves, slight less heat & flash steeps, if I brew hotter & longer a malty taste comes out & it tastes more like a normal black tea & a bit mushed together.
The bag & leaf smell of a sweet/candy I cant place, really lovely aroma. The taste has a thickness like dense water, with the ever-present sour note of purple leaf there.
All the flavours & aromas are hard to place really! Id love a course where you smell every aroma, im not good at this part. It is plant-y like a sheng but has other flavour-colours going on.
I do really prefer my purples with a roast, from my experience with them. I think the char compliments the sour very nicely (zi hong pao for example – I havent tried the light roast version) But this is still nice. Its a bit like the sourness of plum but softer. cool stuff
Flavors: Plants, Pleasantly Sour, Plums
From the Pu’erh Plus TTB.
Brewed in a ceramic gaiwan. The tuocha weight totaled 5.4g. I was going to give it two 10-second rinses and a ten minute rest, but it opened up very quickly, so only one rinse was necessary. Steeping times: 2, 2, 4, 4, 8, 18, 30; 1.5 minutes, 4, 15.
The tuocha smells of cedar wood. Letting it rest in the pre-heated gaiwan brings out an aroma of pulled pork, which gradually changes into honey BBQ sauce, and then to chocolate. The wet leaf smells of tapioca and smoky pine wood.
The soup is deep reddish brown, full-bodied, and creamy. It’s somewhat cloudy at first and takes up to four infusions to finally clear. I may should have kept the tuocha better. Who knows how long it’s been sitting in the little plastic baggie (kept in an open cardboard box). The first two infusions taste funky, which begins to lessen at the third, when I also taste a hint of chocolate. The fourth infusion has that cream of mushroom flavor I haven’t tasted in shou in a while, but it is also sweet (not incongruously so). Fifth infusion and onward, there is flat cedar wood note, almost paper-like at the end.
This might be my tastes since I haven’t had a mini tuocha in more than a year. More likely, this might be a lesson on how I should keep shou mini tuos if I ever stock on any.
From the Puerh TTB # 5
The color of the liquor reminded me of honey; golden yellow, fun to look at.
The flavor of the tea reminded me of honeysuckle nectar. Sweet, floral, and honey notes throughout the brew. Very smooth and sweet. There was zero astringency or bitterness on the tongue.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Sweet
Dry leaf – CHOCOLATE, NUT, FRUIT: dark chocolate and cocoa, with notes of roast peanut, orange peel, and dried apricot. In preheated vessel – rich fruit develops: dried apricot, peach, orange peel, peach jelly candy, some fruity oiliness
Smell – NUT, FRUIT: roast peanut, peach notes, hint of green leaf/twig bitterness
Taste – NUT, FLORAL, MINERAL, TART, PEACH: In the mouth, general oolong roasted nuttiness, vanilla and light floral scents come up from time to time; slight wet rock minerality and green leaf astringency; fruity tartness carries hints of strong peach flavor that is to develop. Aftertaste brings a wave of peach (fresh, peach jelly, peach jelly candies, even peaches and cream), that is balanced by a perfectly balanced mineral “bassline.”
So, this is the famous ya shi.
What a great session. First of all, PEACH! This thing screams peach. Not at first, but, once that first hui gan comes rolling around… It’s strong, it’s rich, it has depth – all kinds of various peach flavors come from the throat and coat your mouth.
This is so delightful (not a word I use often!) and so distracting, in a way, that it took me a while to appreciate the in-mouth flavors. At first, I kind of wrote them off as a little subdued, a little (just a little) lacking in complexity. However, after pausing and taking my time with it, I began enjoying these flavors as well. In the mouth, the experience is drier, with an intriguing development of pleasant tannins and minerality subdued by a familiar roasted nuttiness and oolonginess. There is a fruity tartness, too, that hints at the waves of peach that are about to arrive.
So, A+ on providing an interesting and rewarding tea session that got my Saturday off to a great start.
A few parting notes – One, this guy has some staying power. After 6 (maybe 7) steeps, the flavors get a little woodier, not in a bad way, but you can tell you have tapped out the initial flavors of the leaf. Nonetheless, the peach flavors continue as strong as ever, to the point where I felt a little guilty ending the session. Probably could do something with the spent leaves and have some awesome iced tea or something.
Two, I don’t really note qi. I don’t seek after it, and most teas generally make me feel about the same. This tea, however, has some power. On one particular day that started at 5:15 am, I had two rounds of tea – some raw pu’erh about 9 years old in the morning, and this stuff in the early afternoon. The oolong won. Way more power – totally tea drunk.
In fact, currently tea drunk. Post too long. Must end. Get some of this – you won’t be disappointed.