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Recent Tasting Notes
This sample came from miss cookies. Between looking at the description and the tea itself, I was a bit confused as to whether this is technically a white tea or a sheng. So I ended up just steeping it like I would a regular silver needle. The leaves are similar to other silver needles – they’re long and covered with silver hairs. However, I can definitely tell that they’re been compressed into a cake. They look somewhat flatter than usual and they have an interesting crimpy texture. Dry scent is subtly sweet with hints of stonefruit.
The steeped tea does smell like a combination of white and sheng teas – it has the soft hay notes but there’s also a touch of menthol. Yum, I was afraid this would come out bitter, but it’s not even close. It’s actually very sweet and there’s the most lovely and super creamy grain flavor that reminds me of oatmeal with cream. There’s a bit of apricot that especially comes out near the end, and I also get a tiny hint of sheng-y menthol and a slight cooling sensation on my tongue. I really like this one, and I imagine it would only get more delicious as it ages.
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Hay, Menthol, Oats, Smooth, Sweet
More Yunnan Sourcing! This one came from a swap with Ubacat. I’m not always a huge fan of greener oolongs, but I figured since I’m trying all the YS teas that I possibly can, green oolongs should be included as well, especially since I know how much my tastes have changed in other areas. These pellets are a gorgeous color of green with some lighter and darker tones. Dry scent is sweet and grassy with strong peach notes.
The steeped tea smells quite floral, which worries me, and I can smell the peach as well. Luckily for me, it’s not horrendously floral in the taste. This tea has slight, soft grassy notes. I know people generally take “grassy” as being a negative term, but it’s definitely a positive thing in this tea. The overall taste is quite light and sweet, and there are soft peach notes throughout the sip. The floral and peach come out more strongly at the end. This still isn’t my favorite type of tea, but it’s tasty enough and I wouldn’t turn down a cup.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Orchid, Peach, Smooth, Sweet
Another Yunnan Sourcing tea from a lovely tea friend! Visually, this tea looks different from the other pure bud teas. The leaves are large, but they’re not as fuzzy and there’s quite a bit of grey-brown mixed in with the expected golden color. Dry scent is fairly strong on the stonefruit notes and is almost tart.
In the steeped tea, I smell cucumber which is quite interesting. I also get a bit of cucumber in the taste and I find it nice and refreshing. There’s a bit of an earthy base underneath the flavor of cucumber and strong apricot notes. I think I overleafed this a bit, but considering it’s a Chinese black it’s not bitter at all. With a bit less leaf or possibly a slightly shorter steep, this would probably have a bit less earthiness and more lightness to it. Still yummy though!
Flavors: Apricot, Cucumber, Earth, Hay, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits
Hello tea friends! I haven’t been posting notes lately because I’ve been working on sipdowns of teas that I’ve already logged, and I’m not the type of person who feels the need to log a tea every time I drink it. This sample is from Sil. The leaves definitely look quite wild, they’re long and gnarled and their color is a combination of gold and dark grey/brown. I didn’t get much of a dry scent from them.
The steeped tea smells quite fruity in a wine-like way. The aroma almost reminds me of Darjeeling a bit. Wow, this is a unique one! It has a strong herbaceous note at the beginning of the sip that reminds me of thyme and perhaps oregano? There’s also malt and a touch of hay. The end of the sip has strong and fuzzy stonefruit notes, mostly apricot or peach. Underneath it all there’s a thickness and a smooth bread-like flavor, though I would describe it as more of a flatbread than a yeast variety. Very interesting and tasty!
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Herbs, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits, Thick, Thyme
Breaking into this one a day after getting it? Yes indeed. I usually let these sit a few weeks in the pumidor to open up a bit. The dry aroma on this said “drink me now”. so I will. I rinsed this last night to prepare for this evening. The leaves are an olive color and look really nice in the Yixing. When hit with the hot water the aromatics of hay and flowers come to mind. I did 3 short steeps into one 10 oz. cup.There is a nice golden amber color to this one in the cup.
First sips say mang Fei for sure. Strong kick on this one. Very strong for an Autumn tea. It hits full on. Very thick active mouthfeel on this one. Fantastic tingle on the tongue with a bit of drying after sipping. The bitterness of this progresses from a sharp bite to a bit of drying a few seconds after to a semi-sweet floral grassy note. In terms of strength steep this one very quick. It is a very potent Autumn tea and has that kick butt attitude when you drink it. Very nice . They say the strongest teas age well, I think I am going to be really interested in this one in a few years. A truly wonderful Autumn tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Drying, Flowers, Hay, Thick
Marzipan sent me this tea. it was a total surprise along with our joint Tao Tea Leaf order.
I love smoky teas. And i love this tea. smells pretty strong but doesnt taste too smoky/ashy to me. in fact, its quite sweet. i didnt need any maple syrup which i usually add to LS.
I really enjoy this tea during our Juno Blizzard all morning. thank you so much Marzi for sending this tea to me. im sure this 50g wont last a long time ;)
Thank you for the sale, Ost! The spring harvest of this tea is my FAVORITE lighter black tea. I was hoping this one would be just as good with a little bit more flavor. It kind of is, but the last time I had the Spring harvest, I didn’t use two teaspoons, so it’s a little difficult to compare. But the flavor is perfect for a lighter black tea. The leaves are gorgeous amber orange and very twisty and fuzzy. The flavor is honey, caramel, sweet potato. The three steeps are pretty consistent. I’d always use two teaspoons in the future as less than that isn’t really the same. So so delicious. I’m surprised there isn’t more of a difference in flavor, because I’ve noticed I am kind of sensitive to different harvests. Maybe there really isn’t much of a difference in these harvests though.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // half mug // few minutes
This came as a sample in my last Yunnan Sourcing order. As usual, YS does not disappoint with the quality and the size of their samples.
Though Jin Jun Mei are usually not my favorite black teas, this one I must say hits the mark.
The scent is beautiful, and so is the color of the brew, stunning.
It has a nice body, feels thick in the mouth.
Sweet and somewhat savory, slightly salty, the main note I can detect is definitely yam or sweet potato.
It has a bit of smoke, but very subtle.
If I had one Jin Jun Mei to keep in stock, this would be the one for sure. I might purchase this.
I needed peace and focus tonight, and this tea gave me just that.
Relaxing session by the candlelight…
This is actually a “second” tasting of this one I forgot to put a note up on the first time.
I prepared this tea last night the same time I got an XiaGuan ready to drink today as well.
This cake has some nice features, not too tightly compressed and nice looking leaf on the cake.
I did the usual 10 grams and gave a rinse and let it sit in the yixing. The aroma when I opened the lid was very nice. Sweet , citrus,floral. and pine. I brewed it up with 3 steeps put in a 10 oz. cup. I love big cups of puerh.
Nice vibrant floral punch to this one. Good bitterness, fruity and definitely sweetness at the end. This is a thick mouth and tongue coating tea. Nice yellow color a bit darker than most puerh this age. I am really enjoying this one again.
I have the “ripe” version of this on the way and I am looking forward to trying it as well.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Floral, Pine, Sweet
Wow as soon as I threw the leaves into the warmed yixing I was slapped awake woth the smell of something toasty and sweet. I imagined a warmer graham cracker and immediately thought of s’ mores after. Unfortunately my paranoid was confirmed my yixing is still not season thoroughly and is sucking all the flavor out out out tea. Every steeping no matter how short or how hot/cool of water I tasted nothing but the assamica varietal.
Putting off reviewing this until I throw it in a gaiwan to see if this tea is all bark and no bite aroma/flavor wise or my pot is a flavor sucker.
Flavors: Graham Cracker, Toasty, Toffee
I took this one to work and brewed in my double glass walled travel mug. I thought I took a pu’erh and was surprised to find a white tea. And one I hadn’t reviewed yet either. I just used the hot water from the hot water dispenser (water cooler) as I think that one is around the 175. I know it’s definitely less than 185. It was the best I could do at work.
I love how these leaves looked. So big , furry & white. It brews up to a pretty bold white tea. The liquid was an amber colour.
What struck me first about this tea is I got a caramel note. It seemed to taste like caramel to me but was between a caramel/malt flavour. This is the element I believe CameronB picked up that was similar to a black tea. On the YS website , they note that as this tea ages it becomes more like a black.
It’s interesting how we all get different tastes and then our brains interpret it in different ways too. What can I say? Caramel just seemed to stick in my head .
I didn’t get any fruity notes but I noticed this tea was VERY sweet; and of course I picked up the typical hay notes I get from most whites. The second brew on this was a bit too weak for me but the colour was still quite dark. I would like to try brewing this one gongfu next time.
Overall, an exceptional white tea!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Sweet
Breaking out a sample of this I got a while back. I read over the site to give a bit of “feel” to this one.
I got out about 9 grams of this to be brewed in the small Yixing yellow pot I was gifted with.
Leaf on this seems to be medium sized with a good bit of green color to it. I had expected
much darker with the age. Read a bit more on the site and Kunming storage. lots drier
than Malaysia or Hong Kong. A good point as I seem to like dry aged better.
I gave a quick rinse and went to steeping.
This tea is punchy in the first sip. A nice tingle with a touch of astringency to it.
The body of this is nice. Not overpowering but it has a strong presence.
Bitterness, a bit of ashiness are players in this but the almost metallic creeps up and turns very nice into sweetness. Floral notes are also in this one as well.
I think this is a tea to wrap around and set back and relax with.
A nice and engaging cup.
Gongfu in the Clay Pot.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Metallic, Sweet
In the brewed tea aroma: molasses, cocoa
Tea has a strong white tea swampy taste to it. Molasses-honey sweetness in the background with a slight bitter cocoa edge.
Second infusion at boiling for 4 minutes. The cocoa flavour really comes out!
Third infusion at boiling for ~6 minutes. Cocoa-y, slightly creamy and delicious.
Thanks to Sil for sharing with me!
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Molasses, Sweet
These little nuggets are so creamy and sweet.
I so wish I had hoarded them. But they are sold out now sadly :-(
Simple tea, but so comforting and soothing.The taste is rich and deep, vanilla and raisins mostly.
Sweet caramel undertones, but I also get a nice fresh mouthfeel at the end of the sip.
For those who like me are very sad to see it gone, here’s what I think could replace it, though I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems to be the 2013 version.
Also, pics of tonight’s session :-)
4g in Gaiwan.
Dry leaf: Concentrated herbyness; loose compression: the chunks pry apart by hand. They are colourful.
Wet leaf: Immersed in tobacco smoke; concentrated herbyness; fruit.
Summary: Someone call the fire brigade. There is some apricot. Even a glass of water is not enough to put the fire out.
Advisory: I recommend drinking water along with this tea, as it is quite strong.
As the description says, this is one powerful tea. Also something about it being intended for longer term aging…
5s – I feel the weight of the soft apricot, amongst foreground smoke, push down into my abdomen. The smoke, which is considerably thick, and some of the fruit, remains in the mouth after the swallow. Dramatic.
10s – Apricots and stone fruits. The smoke swells in the mouth, at the back of the throat, after the swallow, that it seems sensible to open the mouth to let it escape.
15s – This tea is interesting in that it is in between a mild floral and a heavy/bold tea. Post note: The subtle fruit gets swamped by the smoke.
20s – The fruit and the smoke are inseparable and the thick smoke is relentless.
25s – Even a glass of water is not enough to put the fire out.
Flavors: Apricot, Campfire, Smoke, Stonefruits
Beautiful Eyebrows gotta love the name.
Just realized this is an all bud plucking….. whooops no wonder why it slaps you awake. In an effort to drink within freshness and find an excuse to open something new I once again jammed by yixing full of leaf, which being small tender buds is extra dangerous because one oz volume wise can easily weigh 10-15 g or about twice as dense as most rolled and 3x as dense as most twisted oolongs.
Flavors wise this time around everything got muddled and all I tasted was generic hong cha, tickle of spice like a diluted chai with a slight toffee bitter sweet finish. Not the highest quality as it did seem to bubble (tea scum on only the first 2/3 steepings) on every infusion but depending on much hong cha you drink I doubt it’s worth spending double the price for a slightly better quality just be sure to rinse your tea a tad longer than usual possibly.
A reliable, cheap, SUPER caffeinated but balanced calming energy due to its spring plucking, hong cha that will never brew bitter. I am noticing a trend of only appreciating teas as my stock runs out oh well given my current inventory Im sure I will live with the 65+ other teas crowded my cabinet. A sure staple, Win Win Win.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Toffee