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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been drinking down a load of green teas I got from YS in the fall but just never got around to reviewing. They’ve all been pretty good.
Today I am having this one. It’s a slightly astringent green with a bit of nutty & green bean notes. I tend to really like the deep green flavour from green teas. Because this one is very light on that I am enjoying it; but it’s not my favouite out of all my greens.I think some of the greens I have from Spring 2016 (this once included) are starting to fade just a bit. It’s really surprising how a fresh green tea can be so good I would rate it 100. Then one year later, it wouldn’t even taste like the same tea. I store them in a dark cool room but they still fade a bit over time.
Flavors: Astringent, Green Beans, Nutty
The last of my sample happened to be just under 6 grams. Conveniently pressed a bit tighter than Scott’s more recent cakes, these leaves have maintained their unique qualities quite well, I think. The tea soup is a gorgeous pale yellow and crystal clear. Steeped leaves, while still greenish and floral, are beginning to take on a leathery and sweet grainy scent.
The first 4 steeps are the best. The liquid is vibrant with lovely mouth activity and a strong cooling sensation, a combination I quite enjoy. This spreads throughout the mouth and touches the back of the throat. Quite a medley of notes—acorn, pine, cedar wood, honeysuckle, and Brussel’s sprouts, and in that order of prominence. Perhaps a hint of nutmeg somewhere in there, too.
From steep 6, I pushed the tea harder (with boiling water and longer steeping times) and was rewarded with more cooling, pine, and sweet acorn with some typical Mengku florals in the background. This went on for some 13 steeps. While expensive, it’s a lovely tea that has all a young sheng lover could want and appears to be moving gracefully into mid-age. I wholeheartedly recommend pu heads to sample this one.
Edit: The qi here is just fantastic…
I bummed a bit of this from my girlfriend and have been drinking it Western style (brewed in a thermos) at the hotel the past few days. It’s really quite tasty and easy to brew. I’ve just been using water from the hotel’s hot water machine. I’m able to get three infusions out of the leaf as well. It’s a sweet and slightly nutty and vegetal with an overlying sweetness. I also detect some floral notes buried within the taste. Great value and a really pleasant daily drinker if you’re a fan of Chinese greens.
Flavors: Broth, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal
Flavor: Wet leaf smell is super skunky. I honestly can’t remember much of the flavor because the Qi was so awesome. It is similar to 2012 mu shu cha but that has more flavor nuance whereas this has more energy with a little less relaxation.
Qi: Tons of energy but also very relaxing. It makes even the most strenuous hike seem effortless.
I’m surprised this only has one review.
Flavor: First few steeps are vegetal like a v mild sencha. From steeps 4 onward the vegetal softens and is replaced with slight flower bitterness and astringency that pleasantly turns to stone fruit and by 6-7 steeps has added a lemony note. There’s cooling in the mouth and throat and an awareness of breathing. My mouth tastes of peaches or apricots for 10 min after a sip. Wet leaf smells a bit pleasantly skunky, gaiwan lid is flowery and a little tropical fruit.
Qi: Invigorating but very relaxing and reflective. Perfect for meditation. It’s rare for me to find puer that energizes me without agitating.
Flavors: Floral, Lemon, Stonefruits, Vegetal
Smells deep and smoky.
First steep is a lightish amber. It’s smooth and smoky, and I’m getting roasted seaweed and smoked salmon. rhinkle says “watery fish.” Mineral aftertaste. The empty cup has that fruity heicha scent that fades to a light smokiness.
In the second steep, I feel like the flavors both lighten up and balance out a bit more. The liquor becomes noticeably more viscous in the third steep (especially so the more I let the liquor cool), with more of that sour fruity flavor that I associate with heicha along with the deep, roasted notes.
After the fourth steep, a nice sweetness starts to come through. Enjoyed quite a few more steeps, as well. This carried me through to the end of the day and I may be able to push it even farther.
Flavors: Fish Broth, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Seaweed, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
This tea is a bit floral, a little bit buttery and a faint vanilla note to it. I am drinking from a cup I got from TeaAve. Do some of you remember getting those free tea samples with the free cup, taster cup, & tray? It seems everytime I drink a tea from this cup I get vanilla notes. Is it the cup? I don’t know but I was just wondering. Is it even possible for a cup to give vanilla notes to tea? Maybe it’s just that every tea I’ve had in it has vanilla notes.
This is the standout from the group of semi-aged raw pu-erhs I recently purchased from YS. The soup is sweet and thick; the stone fruit/tobacco/mushroom flavors are evident but not overwhelming. Some aged shengs are so mellow that they are soporific. This one is robust and invigorating, without being bitter or ashy.
Another quick review, as this was a sample I brought to work.
The roast, as it usually does, comes out as a nice toasty flavor. The last reviewer was correct though, as the dominating flavor is FRUIT by far. I wouldn’t call it peach. To me, it’s more like apricot and grape skins. Whatever it is, it’s STRONG.
There’s also a pretty strong floral component, that when combined with the fruit flavor reminds me of sitting in an orchard in springtime. Fruit blossoms!
A very nice sample. Thank you tea swap friend!
YUGE camphor smell right away. Nice taste on the rinse actually even though I put one solid chunk into the gaiwan. Creamy taste, slightly fruity. Color of the soup is teetering on orange but is still pretty yellow. Smell is evolving to woodsier but the camphor is there still. Flavor is very mild but my chunk hasn’t finished opening yet.
3-5th steeps are gaining astringency but still nice. Flavor is starting to get where I want it, I should’ve broken up the leaf a little bit but oh well. A little chalk and earth, a little citrus, a little eggplant. 6th+ are all pretty similar, nice astringency level and decent flavors. Not intensely exciting and absolutely not worth the $50-100 that a cake is going for to me. Good though.
affordable white cake? I jumped on it ok. I got 2. They’re only $8! and look how pretty
It came apart so nicely in whole buds it was great
I’m just going to jump right into the tasting notes
Early session, brewed at 85C:
It’s so sweet, but it’s like a artificial sweetener sweetness, it’s very thick with some grassy notes and a very lovely creamy texture, there’s a corn-bread kind of aroma which is also quite lovely. There’s a vanilla-like flavour, and in the beginning is sort of drying on the tongue, there’s like a cookie-like taste, it’s more desserty than most white teas I’ve had. Soo smooth and creamy,
mid-session brewed at 90C:
More pronounced flavours, everything’s more powerful, but the drying is a lot stronger, and very milky tasting,there’s a floral, fruity.. taste that becomes prominent but I can’t make anything out. I’m gonna raise it more now to see how it does.
still so pleasant, no trace of bitterness, a bit of a woody/rocky note, but still some fruits and flowers, if anything it’s only gotten more complex. Okay lets do 100.
I think it’s fruitier. Stonefruits? More aromatic, quite a bit dry, but still perfectly reasonable amounts of dryness, it’s really impressive how tolerant this white is.
I accidentally got the paper wrapper for this wet.. and so I wrapped it in normal lined paper.. Is that going to be okay? Or is it not permeable enough or something..
I found this one to be fairly smokey in nature. There were some aged flavors in this tea. Weak flavors of leather and tobacco I would say. This is one in my opinion that has just taken the first step towards becoming an aged tea. I may break this one up and store it in a Jian Shui canister I bought from Yunnan Sourcing. Then try it again in six months and see if it improves. Anyone who likes a bit of smoke in their tea will probably like this one. It was not too expensive, I forget what I paid for it.
I steeped this eight times in a 100ml Ru Kiln tea pot with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. I could have kept going but decided that with the shou I drank earlier I had had enough caffeine for today.
I tried the 2015 BNS and this one seems a tad more potent. Pretty mid-sized dark olive green leaves are intact and a pleasure to brew in my small-ish gaiwan. There is a fresh forest aroma emitted from the brewed leaves that is floral and savory. Tea soup has a medium thickness, nice clarity, and a darker golden hue.
It’s not complex, but rather unique in it’s flavor profile. At first, I had a difficult time associating “mushroom” with desirable notes in tea, but now I see similarities with the savory sweetness of shiitake mushrooms. As others have described, mint prominent here in both flavor and as a cooling sensation the spreads to the back of the mouth. Andy’s mint thins come to mind, specially in Scott’s 2016 batch where I’ve detected subtle dark chocolate notes together with the mint. Other notes I found were stinging nettles, damp forest moss, and acorn. It’s uniqueness makes for nice break from teas I typically drink.
The cha qi by is noticeable by the 3rd steep. Interesting flavors are consistently present into the 10th or so steeps, becoming even more minty and herbal from steep 5 and 6.
I was planning to brew this with my new charcoal stove for tea. But it seems that the charcoal that Chawangshop sold me is basically impossible to light using normal methods. They suggested I use the burner on my gas stove to light the charcoal then transfer it. However this sounds like a recipe for an apartment fire so I didn’t try that. I tried another method they suggested but to no avail. No amount of lighter fluid would make the olive pit charcoal catch. I don’t even know if it is possible to light the stuff. And I can’t buy a propane camping stove to use outside to start the coals because my apartment does not permit any propane tanks of any sort on the premises. So I brewed this tea indoors. This tea has a bit of a sweet note to it along with some leather and tobacco. It is a nice enough aged tea for the price. The tea liquid is very dark, as dark as any ripe tea really. I only steeped this eight times but I am sure it would go twelve steeps or even fourteen.
I brewed this tea eight times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9g leaves and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Yayy finally my ys order arrives! I ordered my first yancha along with 3 dancongs and some other less important non-oolong teas. All of the oolongs smell delicious, this one’s dry leaf smells roasty, cocoa, vanilla, minty, and sort of fruity like raspberry or orange peels, I’m also curious to see how dancong does like a year and a half after harvest
In the warm gaiwan, there’s a warm sweet, sugary honey-like aroma, some mintiness, and a lovely.. uh I think it’s like a orange-flavoured syrupy.. aroma.
hm I get a bit of a spinachy taste, and a honey aroma, a nectarine taste, with a lovely dancong soapy sharpness on the tongue. Okay I always read about how you shouldn’t use a cha hai with dancong and I usually have just used it anyways cause then I can use my strainer and but okay so I tried without and it seems to be kind of a lot better tasting.
I get sort of a buttery aroma in the third, and a peach like aroma, and a lingering orange juice.. with pulp.. thing. it leaves a sweet thickness in the back of the mouth and throat. also a lingering gummy grape kind of aroma, this is a lovely dancong. Later in the session, an almondy lingering aroma kinda takes over.
The flavour and aroma lasts for a long time, i’m on 10th-ish steep now, and there’s some bitterness creeping in, still a very pleasant dancong bitterness though.
This tea started out unbelievable tasting, and went to pretty good tasting by the end. Overall, it’s a delicious tea.
So I’d been sort of putting this one off for a while for a few reasons.
1) I have lots of other good stuff I’ve been jumping at
2) I thought it would be a pain to portion out
3) I have been made to eat goya many times and have yet to like it.
Today will probably be a short day and I wanted something new so I figured I’d give this a shot. I had forgotten that each portion is actually individually packaged, and the portion I pulled out was a perfect 5g, so I didn’t have to do anything, just threw it in the gaiwan. It smells pretty nice, a bit like bread.
I see that a few people decided to do lower temps with this one, so I figure I’ll give that a shot. After a quick rinse I can smell the roast, and I separate the leaves from the melon a bit. First steep comes out amber and has a sweet and nutty scent.
First sip is smooth and creamy, not too strong in flavor, but I get some toasted sweet rice notes. The second steep is distinctly sweet and chestnutty. The melon in no way takes away from the tgy.
This one carried me through the rest of the day and I definitely enjoyed it!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chestnut, Creamy, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sweet
This is potent, viscous, sweet, and spicy, with underlying bitterness. Nice light compression on the leaves, as all of Scott’s recent cakes. The steeped leaves have a nice sweet fragrance of grain and honeysuckle. The tea soup has a deep golden hue—borderline orange, something I hear is typical of Jinggu. It’s possible I added more leaf than usual, but I still don’t get that color using similar brewing parameters with other new young sheng.
It steeps consistently musky sweet roasted grains, spicy rosemary, savory mushroom, and roasted zucchini. I noticed over several sessions the nice cedar base in this tea. Very nice qi in there too that is evident from the first steep. These leaves are reportedly from tea trees plucked only twice a year, which I think explains the impressive viscosity and potency of this tea. I’ve had most of Scott’s Jinggu teas and this seems like a cousin of the Bai Ni Shui, but more potency and sweet grain notes.
This Sheng performed and tasted pretty much as expected—medicinal, leathery, marginally sweet, concentrating in the back of the mouth/beginning of the throat. I did not expect, however, the level of bitterness I experienced, even with 10 second steeps.
So even thought this is a perfectly serviceable semi-aged raw pu-erh, I prefer the 2002 Ancient Spirit from YS for its smoothness.
Amazing value for the money. These little things are pressed so tightly that it takes a good 12 steeps or so just to get the damned things to open up. But the tea treats you with great flavor until then, so enjoy the ride.
It’s sweet, raisiny cocoa in the beginning, growing more sweet potatoey, malty, and earthy as it opens up.
Amazing value and a good experience. Would make a great daily gongfu drinker.