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Recent Tasting Notes
A package arrived from china today! Yunnan sourcing order has arrived and with it some new and old yunnan blacks!
This one is new, the aroma when i opened the bag was malty and sweet! The tea itself is not really sweet but very malty without astringancy, perhaps a tiny bit fruity?
I found this info about the mao feng varietal.
Keemun Mao Feng (祁門毛峰) – A variety, where Mao Feng means Fur Peak, which is made of only slightly twisted leaf buds and is sometimes noted for a smoother and different flavor. Many people prefer to brew a smaller quantity of this tea for a much longer time than usual, up to 7 minutes, to bring out more interesting tones in the tea.
I will try half the leaf for 7 min, kinda like i brew Indian assam teas.
I really enjoy this one. The taste is rounder and fuller than the golden buds dian hong, yet not as sharp and smoky as the purplevarietals. It is something of its own i guess, havn´t tried that many keemuns.
Anyways its time to get some shut eye!
Another morning of drinking a quality black tea gongfu session!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45/sec 1/2/3/4/5 min
This is a lovely malty & sweet cup! The earliest steepings featured a creamy vanilla sensation, which quickly transformed into a rich toasty flavor & a thick mouth. This one shares some qualities with the Jinggu Golden strand that I drank yesterday, as if they were brothers, but of course, it has a personality of it’s own. My favorite steeps were by far the during the first 2 minutes, as the unfolding of a tea & it’s flavors & sensations excites me, but even the last cup had value, with a creamy kind of flavor.
rinse 5/10/15/20/30 etc
I really like this tea. Dark bittersweet chocolate and cream of wheat. No earthiness. all leaves are whole golden brown. The brew is clear copper-red color. I haven’t noticed rice notes. If you like Special Dark by Mandala you will enjoy this one. they seem related.
Flavors: Cream, Dark Bittersweet
A wonderful surprise gift from boychik. This tea is unlike anything I’ve had, I reckon. It’s smooth and sweet and has some satisfying rich black tea flavor, yet there’s a freshness, almost a green element to it too, a little plant-like. The sweetness is a kind I’m not at all used to with black tea; it’s more like the kind I love and associate with greens like Laoshan Green and good bilochuns. I wonder if that’s the cane sugar they describe in the unusual quick-fried process. Whatever it is, it’s delicious and unique (and perfect for the season, which can’t make up its mind if it’s still winter or going to honestly stay spring—this is how I feel right now: https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/10154100_622880174469069_8744260657632339606_n.jpg ). Later steeps bring out an oat bran smell I’m digging. Man, I may have to procure a bunch of this. Awesome find, boychik! And thank you so much for sharing it (and so much of it! Gosh) with me. :D
I rarely do gongfu sessions first thing in the morning, but I think I need to change that, because my taste buds are probably at their best. (Although having allergies, I feel that my taste buds aren’t at full function, like I’m missing alot of nuances right now). With that in mind, I pulled out this tea.
This is a beautiful golden tea, with the leaves looking so robust that they remind me of insect legs. Not much dry aroma, but if you heat the leaves up in a warm little pot, they begin to give off an essence of honey & buttered toast.
5G + 4oz tiny teapot (rinse) X 15/30/45 sec = buttery caramel with a growing bass note, ultra smooth bee pollen, & the beginings of a tongue tingle! I love tasting the leaves as they open up.
1min: My favorite cup, so satisfying
2min: tingly almost metallic tongue, spreading to my throat & sinuses & I feel as if my sinuses are opening, as if my circulation has improved.
3min: Making my mouth water & my throat a little dry…kind of a strange combo.
4min: I rarely go this far with a gongfu sessions, but am enjoying the moment. The taste has remained pretty much the same throughout all steepings, & although it’s beginning to wane, there’s actually still plenty of flavor here.
5min: Just a light taste of honey & wood, almost like an elixer of life.
6min: This final cup is sweet, kind of like agave. I have a pretty good tea buzz going.
Time for some Taichi.
I am reviewing the Spring 2012 harvest.
This is one of the few Yunnan blacks that I will gladly steep Western when in a hurry, and is a favorite when working at my desk in the afternoon.
I use 4 grams to 236 ml of 190 F water at 1/2/3/4 minutes, with the last steep reduced to 177 ml. The leaf responds quite well to this treatment. I get aromas of cocoa, honey, malt and occasional hints of vanilla. Although the cocoa does not translate into the cup the sweetness does, especially in the later steeps, accompanied by pleasant citrus notes and a hint of ginger over a medium black tea base. I find myself going “Mmmm” out loud without thinking about it.
Today instead of a hint of citrus I got significant Meyer lemon notes, which was extremely tasty. I’m not sure if it’s because this tea is changing as it ages or if I did something different and did not notice. I’ll pay attention to the next few sessions to see if that is a trend. If so, no complaints!
I’ve already got the spring 2014 harvest on my wish list for my next YS order, and am looking forward to comparing harvests two years apart.
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Malt
ohhhh, I’m really not the best person to be writing the first note on this tea, haha. Welp, here goes nothing!
First off, thanks very much to boychik for the sample! I’m a moron and forgot to do a rinse before my first steep, which I did in my semi-western style. 1 min steep. I have never had a shu this sweet! I am assuming it is a shu?? I’m not even sure, it tastes so different…no dark woodsy musty notes, but definitely a fermented taste here. There is a faint taste of bamboo shoots…perhaps from the basket?
I’m not sure if this is something I’d want to drink regularly, but I’m enjoying it this morning and just appreciating how DIFFERENT it is. I will be interested to see if the next steeps change much flavor-wise.
It’s a sample from my recent order fr Angelina’s Tea. This company has top service. They were out of stock of some tea so they refunded the money and gave me lotsa free samples.
This mini tuo is so cute . Doesn’t have a strong smell of rosé which is a plus for me. Very strong floral teas make me sick. It is there on a background complements nicely strong prune and leather notes. I really like Haiwan recipe. Recently I read on tea chat that mini tuo are all gross. The best thing you can do is to flush it down the drain. Politely disagree. Some are very nice and super convenient on the go
Flavors: Leather, Stonefruits
Wow, this is something really special and unique. It’s like… fresh cut hay and dried wildflowers, I think. Very strong in both aroma and flavor, and impossibly sweet. Smooth and thick in the mouth, and did i mention sweet? Fresh and crisp yes, but if fresh floral green teas taste like spring, this tastes more like a warm breezy afternoon in mid-summer. Very lovely and powerful.
it is truly Spring in a cup. pale green, sweet nutty and so refreshing. like sugar peas
165F 1tsp 8oz could be brewed many times. Steeped only for 1min. As cools doesnt get bitter.
i’m not green tea person but I love it.
Flavors: Nuts, Peas
I got it yesterday from YS US site. It took only 4 days. I’m still awaiting my order fr China which I placed a month ago. Sigh
Anyway this tea is awesome. Never thought, just gave it a shot. The brew is deep red. Wet leaves smell of prunes. The brew tastes like prunes and some leather. It’s smooth and creamy. Yum. I think I should get more of it.
2 rinses 5/10/15/30 etc
Flavors: Cream, Leather, Stonefruits
Best I have had to date a little anxious that I accidentally tried my two most expensive cake samples in the last few days, zero smokiness, zero bitterness, zero petrol taste, can not comment on qi or aftertaste as I have a huge caffiene/theanine tolerance and I took flavored fish oil which have their own orange flavored aftertaste lol. Started out herby then sweet like a melon and finally I am getting a mild fruitiness with a slight bite like a meyer lemon or blood orange.
I am finally starting to understand sheng and it’s appeal. Reading something a while back only now just hit me because this tea reminded me of a white tea, something along the lines of "Pu’er starts out tasting like green tea(bitter and astringent just like a green tea would be if you were to throw boiling water on it), later they taste like white tea(slightly fruity with a little astringency, more adept to higher temperatures as technically you can use near boiling water on them), after like an darker oolong (Have not tasted anything this “old” yet), and supposedly finally smooth like a black tea or ripened pu’er(smooth as possible and complex sweet flavors).
This makes sense if you think it existentially and how all types of tea come from one plant so theoretically it is slowly oxidizing itself through the stages of different types of tea. I am pretty jacked on tea at the moment so maybe I am just rambling but whether correct or not I feel a moment of clarity and understanding.
Flavors: Green Melons, Mineral, Orange Zest
Excuse the simile but this felt like the cadillac of raw Pu Er. I have not had very many raw and sadly this is my “oldest” raw pu er, sad I know but I am still learning. I was so used to super young bitter, smoky, sharp petrol flavor, with a mouth drying after taste but this tea had a heavy mouth feel, it was quenching instead of throat drying, after taste was a little light but had a pleasant sweetness, also the slight smokiness disappeared after the first steeping. I was so cautious because I was used to the super bitter/smoky young sheng that after bracing myself and tasting this tame sheng I upped the steeping times to 30 seconds then a minute then two minutes at which point it of course it got a little bitter but I was stunned a sheng was drinkable with longer than flash steepings.
This is my first youngish sheng and I look forward to trying older and older through the years. This tea had a great qi and a very pleasant soothing brew, it was such a comfort after drinking the fast and hard super young shengs I was accustomed to that felt like a bare bones two seater fun to drive on certain occasions but you feel every bump from hard suspension and not suited for everyday practical driving, this felt like an old caddy boat with the numb suspension and cornering of a semi. An eye opening experience for me and it makes me excited for all like aged samples I have accrued recently.
Flavors: Asparagus, Tobacco
Great tea but not what I was expecting, it had Mi Lax Xiang for sure but I was expecting more roasted flavor.
I will admit this is my first Mi Lan Xiang but I envisioned it being a roasted flavor with honey overtones instead I got just the honey sweetness. Don’t get me wrong it was pleasant and a great taste I just was not expecting it to be so “light” almost along the lines of a green oolong, in fact all I could think of was similarites between this and the Jin Xuan I tried a few days prior but this had less of the creaminess, body and none of the floralness of that greener oolong.
I will keep tinkering away this is my first interaction with it but maybe letting it go for the full 30 seconds first steeping and increasing from there rather than starting at 15 seconds.
Overall great flavor, high quality just super light and sweeter than I was expecting.
I received this as a sample from Scott in my last YS order. After reading the description, I’m definitely excited about sampling this tea. I begin by breaking apart 5 grams from the sample chunk. I immediately note the number of white silvery buds – very nice. The wet leaves are of a green/yellow colour with some tints of red. There is a smoky, fruity aroma emanating from the beautiful leaves. The resulting soup is of a golden amber colour which turns out to be very clean. I find the prominent feature of this tea is its mouthfeel. It leaves a pleasant dry mouthfeel in the mouth with a subtle sweet hui gan rising up from the throat. For those who enjoy some astringency, this te ais definitely drinkable. However, some may find this tea requires some aging – which, of course, the tea will definitely benefit from. 81/100
this morning I am finishing off this sample I got from Terri
I just went to the Yunnan Sourcing website and I noticed they have some 2014 black and green teas in stock. I don’t know if I will be able to restrain myself in the near future but I should hold off for a while because I overspent the tea budget in the past few weeks.
This is a lovely lighter tea with notes of honey, apricots and malt. It ha a nice natural sweetness and needs no additions, it’s a delight to drink plain. Thanks again for this one Terri!
I picked this one up when Yunnan Sourcing was having a sale, I believe it was in December, but hadn’t tried it until tonight. So, so, so good. It tasted like Cheerios and chocolate, both in the best ways imaginable. I’m glad I finally tried this tea. It will be difficult not to drink it up fast!
(While searching for when the sale was, I noticed that Yunnan Sourcing sells tea via Amazon??? Has anyone here ever purchased tea from them that way?)
Tea Explorer sent me a generous sample of this one! The pieces of brick are very sturdy, like compost that has been pressed & aged, or like those old style adobe bricks, dried in the sun. I put a 4G chunk in my Yixing that is dedicated to shengs, gave it a couple of rinses, & off we go!
I’ve been sipping it for several hours, & I can see why it might go well will yak butter, as it is traditionally served, as it is a more robust but smooth tea, with a nice deep color of those chewy brown caramels you can buy, & a flavor that is smooth & kind of buttery on it’s own, & a little sweet. I’m a little short of Yak Butter, so I’m just drinking it plain. There is a taste to it that almost reminds me of roasted barley, & a light smoke. That’s all I’ve got for now!
I warmed up my 4oz teapot & dropped 5G of this tea into it, just to let the leaf warm up, & I was rewarded with the aroma of milk chocolate & honey!
Then I steeped it for 15/30/45/60 seconds, etc & every cup was delicious, starting with cream & honey, then malto-meal & honey. Thanks to Tea Explorer for sharing this one with me!
A nice mature full flavored ripe tea, with somewhat light body. It has a very good flavor, a bit woodsy and mushroomy, and it just tastes ‘old’ though I’m not even sure myself what that means. Definitely worth trying at least a sample to see what you’re in for, since the price is somewhat steep.