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Recent Tasting Notes
The more tea from Scott’s 2015 pressing I try the more I want to make an order. This one is no exception. Good qi, great mouthfeel, and easy to drink.
The flavors aren’t overpowering in one direction or the other. This is more like a well-rounded, consistently smooth, drink. Mild astringency, mild floral notes, and mild bitterness. These traits compile to make a very drinkable and friendly liquor each steep.
After about 8 steeps this one turns bittersweet and is refreshingly consistent.
I’ve brewed this up a bunch of times, currently doing a thermos brew of this tea. Gongfu brewing is definitely not necessary for this tea as the flowers overpower the leaves. Either way this is really just a pleasant, warm, and comforting sipper. Nothing complex or out of the ordinary, just an easy-drinker for winter, in a good way. Malty sweet feng qing meets spicy floral chrysanthemum. For the price it’s a good office tea.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Malt, Spices, Spicy, Sugar, Wood
Fantastic tea! This one makes me run back to the gaiwan. Energy overflows out of every cup. My heart is pounding and I am starting to sweat after just 3 steeps, now that’s power.
It tastes of green hay accompanied by mild bitterness. The mouthfeel after each cup is a testament to the power of this tea, as it remains for several minutes.
Each brew gets sweeter and sweeter. The wet leaves have a slight musty scent to them.
2016 Sheng Olympics
I couldn’t tell you why I took some of this to work with me… but I did. With that being said, I used a kamjove and water that was probably 90c from what I have been able to asses while brewing at work. My session, which lasted six hour , consisted of 10 second steeps. The amount of steeps that I ended up with was over 14 and I stopped counting after 10. I’ll be honest to say that I feel like there might be a possible write up in the future for me as I take a lot of pee brakes because of how much tea I drink at work.
This was one of the most looked forward teas for me because it has some time to sit and do it’s thing. What was really weird about this was the background taste of honey for the first six steeps. Unsure if any other raw puerh has ever had me taste a thick sweetness hidden inside it, but it was there. This tea for me is in the medium area for thickness and darkness. The taste is comprised of very smooth notes that stay on the lower area of the mouth and the roof of the mouth. There’s some roasted vegetable notes with a small hint of stone fruits because the sweetness mixed in there appears that way for me. Since I was at work, I am unsure if this provided any real feeling or not because I stay quite busy and never notice anything besides the ‘I have to pee’ feeling.
I will say that I was very pleased with this. I do have some more to try at home with better conditions and I think comparing it to the 2009 and 2015 will be quite interesting :)
Every now and then I like to return to old favorites to see how my palette has changed. This was my very first YS purchase and my first foray into the world of high quality oolongs.
This Taiwanese style high mountain tea from Anxi remains a great jade oolong. It has a creamy orchid flavor and thick vegetal body with hints of vanilla. It’s probably the most vegetal oolong I’ve had in recent memory. It doesn’t take too kindly to long steeps and develops a strong seaweed like taste if oversteeped. The flavor of this tea seems to deteriorate much more quickly than others after the seal is broken and the tea is exposed to air. Compared to a real Taiwanese oolong, it’s more buttery and less sweet.
Overall a solid oolong that gives you great bang for your buck.
Flavors: Orchid, Seaweed, Vanilla, Vegetal
Super sweet and pungent smelling. I adore raw tea like this, just clean, pungent, and smooth. Some floral or fruity aromas show up a few steeps in. Definitely on the young side, the brew is super smooth and so easy to gulp down. I’m very pleasantly surprised, and enjoyed this tea thoroughly.
A bitter start leaves for a smooth finish. This tea is energetic and fiery coming out of the gate, but quickly eases out and develops soft notes of fruit and mineral, or soil-like, after taste. The bitterness disappears after about 3 or 4 steeps. Very easy to drink and a well rounded tea. Thick soup and soft flavors.
Next time I want to try this in yixing and see what flavors surface.
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Fruity, Smoke
Reviewing Spring 2015
This is an outstanding old arbor tea. Big, luscious full leaves and buds with thick stems. The aroma and flavor are quite similar to a Feng Qing black tea I’ve tried previously, fully fruity and malty. Even short steeps give full, thick body. Really nice black tea.
Packed my small gaiwan with about 5-6 grams of this tea. The first brew yielded a blast of sugar cane sweetness, huge florality, and a nice mangosteen note. the next two brews ramped up the bitterness with a thick mouth feel and minerality. The aftertaste is thick and sweet causing lots of salivation. Lots of cooling in the throat and good re-welling of sweetness up the throat. 5-8 brews saw a drop in bitterness, with a more creamy body taking hold, as well as a return of more fruity notes in the ball park of candied citruses.
A very enjoyable young sheng, even in the dead of winter, a bit thicker and darker then expected for its youth.
Quick note on this one I bought this in May 2014 from Yunnan Sourcing drank it and never log it. I was moving my teas around today to rotate and found it so I decided to dive in.
Dry – Leaf has a darker hue than it used to, which makes me happy to see some aging going on. The scent is mellow tobacco, faint wood and bittersweet to sweet notes, nothing special.
Wet – The leaf are sort of choppy but not bad. The scent is very apparent (but not unpleasant) tobacco (maybe, just maybe some smoke), combined with very medicinal bitter/ bittersweet and even sweet notes.
Liquor – Amber and at times sort of cloudy.
The tea is very straight forward with bitter to bitter sweet tobacco and medicinal notes that linger in the middle and turn sweeter as it goes down. Something note worthy is that the body is very smooth and even has thickness to it, specially when considering usually teas like these tend to have a more astringent and lighter body; with that being said, some astringency is still here, but is not unpleasant. The huigan is sweet and lingers that develops a nice camphor. This tea is making me hungry to the point that I stopped drinking to cook something.
Hind sight is 20/20, for $14 back then (and now sold out) this was a tea to buy and store, it won’t become AMAZING, but it will sure turn nice if you like a more ‘traditional’ tobacco-like Bulang Puerh.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco
After a dozen of session with this, I can write about it :)
This was my second full cake I ever bought. I made that purchase based on the pictures and reviews; a mild pu’erh with a beautiful look :)
This sheng brews so beautiful because it can be controlled by the user :)
This doesn’t have the punch that the 2012 Wild Monk has, but it surely has the color and a comparable taste. I’ve sent this to a few people to explore the lighter side of raw puerh with hopes that they will enjoy it as much as I do.
Instead of writing about my methods and ending notes from each session, just look at this tea porn: https://www.instagram.com/p/9pC8CwRYMI/
Good one! Starts with a hint of sour, hay, something familiar can’t place it.
Nice, mellow in a good way, but strong, does that make sense?
Stays nice earthy, mellow, mild tart of citrus, eventually into something like cherry or raisin in the aftertaste.
This came in the Yunnan Sourcing Tea Club (Puer Only) for Jan 2016.
Came on very strong. I was buzzing around the room within 4 steepings. Early infusions full of bitter astringency, in a good way. A bit dry in the mouth, but thick and nice as well. Thick in the throat too. Hay, a hint of sour lemon (?) in the beginning. Was steeping at 20 seconds and brought this down to around 10. Probably should have done this sooner. Sweetness really came out somewhere after 7 or so. I thought I tasted honey dew melon! Great stuff!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Hay, Honeydew, Lemon
Had this one in my gaiwan and it didn’t disappoint as this is my first try of this tea in a very long time. Sweet astringency accompanied by a soft bitter aftertaste prevails after each sip.
Strong mouthfeel with a medium qi makes this tea a pleasant drink. It’s easy to drink and reminds me of some of the first Chinese green teas I have tried so many years ago.
Very consistent from steep-to-steep. The astringency falls off after about the 5th steep and leaves the sweetness and slight bitter after taste to satisfy the drinker. The liquor gets thicker in later infusions as this tea becomes a very drinkable treat.
The taste becomes a woody and leafy combination.
As far as the energy level of this tea goes; I got a wave of heat in the first steep or two, but after that there is little sign of increased energy which is probably the only downfall for this tea (due to the fact that I enjoy drinking tea that can fuel rockets).
I had this yesterday morning. The dry leaf smells like freshly baked bread.
The aroma transfers into the taste with notes of baked bread, molasses, brown sugar. In the aftertaste, there is slight fruity notes but I can’t quite put my finger on which fruit it is.
The resteep at 4 minutes perhaps has less molasses and more fruit.
This is my favorite Don Cong I’ve tried, though to be fair, this is only the third Don Cong I’ve tried. The roasted character is beautiful, and the underlying Don Cong varietal character is clean and clear (in its own rustic way) and only mildly floral. While other Don Cong oolongs can be bitter, this is much more balanced. Even with long steeps, there is only a faint drying character. While not particularly sweet, this tea is still very satisfying due to its crisp nature. I really like this, though I’d prefer a Da Hong Pao or Qi Lan rock oolong anyday. I reserve this for when I want something a bit crisper than normal.
One of my old samples of tea I am working on sipping down. I am on my 5th steep (or somewhere around there) and it’s been pretty consistent. This tea hasn’t really been stored properly since it’s a sample so it probably hasn’t aged much.
I found it slightly sweet with a bit of bitterness. There’s also a bit a fruitiness. More in the earlier steeps but still pretty consistent. I haven’t noticed too much caffeine or buzz from it; which is a good thing. I guess it all depends on what you want in a tea; and how you feel at that time of day.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Sweet