yunnan sourcing (private label)

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Recent Tasting Notes

30

My overwhelming impression was of bitterness.

Beneath the bitterness, there was a flat, uncomplicated sort of vegetable taste, with a bit of earthiness.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
mrmopar

This one is still too young to drink I think. With a few years age it will transform I think.

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80

Has enough bite to keep me interested and the aftertaste sticks around for a while. All things I like about sheng. The tea is reasonably soft, but still far from the softest Yunnan Sourcing sheng I have had. It is an above average sheng at a ridiculously good price!

Flavors: Bitter, Pear, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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92

Dry leaf: EARTHY, FRUITY, CEREAL (sweet hay, rich compost, almond, grits, cooked corn, hints at molasses, coffee grounds, stewed berries, vanilla bean, dark dried fruit – prune, date)

Smell: EARTHY, BRINY (hay, compost, oatmeal, grits, bread pudding, pleasant “ocean” notes – brine, seashore)

Taste: EARTHY, CEREAL, NUTTY (hay, rich earth, leather, grits/cream of wheat, raw nuts – almond and Brazil nuts – dark mushroom, buttery, creamy vanilla, hints of vanilla bean, stewed fruit, red fruit, ripe banana, cinnamon, nutmeg). One very pleasant characteristic of this tea is noticeable bourbon note that weaves in and out on the palate during several infusions.

The only bad thing about this cake is that once you start to get to know it, you begin to regret only having 100g of it. For my palate, it is easily one of my favorite ripes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Initial nose off the hot wet leaves is burly, with aromatic wood and a more subtle smoked character that fades directly into a very subtle and not-ouf-of-place cologne-like perfume. As the leaves cool, this settles into a musky sweetness with hints of the initial aroma. There aren’t any sour notes to this tea, which I often find and dislike in a lot of early-middle-aged teas around 2009/2010. I also feel like the way this tea is going to age is apparent, as if its on the cusp of going somewhere really nice. The current enjoyability of this tea, and the pleasantness of the early aged character made me excited enough to purchase a cake of this for some aging. Should be a nice show over the next few years.

PS Thanks to mrmopar for this sample. Learned a lot through a trade we made.

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86

Just had a sample, to some up my feelings about this tea quickly I’ll say this. I’m definitely buying at least 2 cakes.

For 19 usd there aren’t many readily available better deals than this. It has a medium thickness to the body, a long lasting sweet finish which develops dynamically, a solid bitterness and cooling sensation, and a nice flavor profile.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Green Wood, Honey, Pear, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 4 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
mrmopar

I love the wrapper on this one. I bought it just for that.

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90

Brewed gongfu style in a 100ml gaiwan. Very thick, got many steeps out of it (8-12). Great huigan and mouthfeel. Strong cha qi/energy. Started sweating and feeling quite pleasant after the third steep. Very little bit of the fermentation taste, gone after the first couple of steeps.

Throughout there was a strong earthy, woody, almost floral flavor. Not malty, maybe a touch of black-tea-style sweetness. Nutty flavors increased with each steep.

Absolutely great tea for the price.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81

Just finished my mini cake, and I wish I had more! For the price this is a lovely cake to go to when you want something comfortable and flavorful. It can endure brew after brew and yields a full and thick woody brew with hints of cocoa, TCM, incense, and leather. I’ll be buying a few more to stock away. I don’t think this is a tea with long term aging potential, but it will be even more pleasant for a few more years.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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84

So I brewed up about 7 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at about 210f. Two customary rinses to get the funky junk of the pile off. This tea has lost that fermented smell and wasn’t funky at all. I see some reviews saying it is fishy but I imagine these are older tastings and this tea has had time to mellow out. I did quick steeps at first at about 5-8 seconds. I find this ripe to be a light smooth mouthfeel but not lacking at all. I brewed a bit heavy to see what it had. I noticed a really nice caramel flavor or honey sweetness on the back end. It has the traditional coffee-esque bite that a good ripe has. Definitely a good morning tea. A medium energy to this one. Not too strong, not too weak. It didn’t give a ton of infusions like some other ripes but gave enough to enjoy. Not a bad tea. More age will make it even better.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mrmopar

That old funk mellows over time pretty well.

SilasSteep

Yeah I’m finally starting to see that with some of my teas. Thankfully time is on our side with the funk!!

mrmopar

Yes. I rarely drink any shou under 2 years age. Just sit on it and let it get better.

SilasSteep

Yeah I am the same. I have tried some newer ripes and they were undrinkable to me. A 2015 Menghai V93 is one to be specific. Tho I did try it again months later and it has mellowed some already. Should be good with more time.

mrmopar

The 2008 and 2009 V93’s are peaking out now in my collection.

SilasSteep

Nice. They get a bit pricey when I see those for sale. Gotta pay for age tho I guess.

mrmopar

Buy early grasshopper!

TeaExplorer

mrmopar is a wise man and worth heeding.

The 2009 version of the Yi Dian Hong is very good right now. I also laid in some of the 2012 when it was cheaper, hoping it becomes nearly as good as the 2009 in a few more years (perhaps around 2018-2020).

SilasSteep And I shall heed the advice. It definitely can use some more time TeaExplorer but if the taste now is any indicator it will be a tasty tea in a few more years.

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I actually did this two days ago so I am doing it again tonight.
I am pretty sure I grabbed this from Jasetea after roaming their website. A Yunnan Sourcing tea from 2009 and sold out on the YS sites.
I got all the shake and little pieces from inside the wrapper to brew with. I think it was about 12 grams and in the gaiwan to steep.
I rinsed it and let it sit about an hour before brewing to open the leaf up a bit.
This one is just about to get into the darker gold/copper color.
The brew was done in 3/3/3 sec brews. It sips light and goes quickly into a full thick almost oily coating with a nice good bitter punch to it. It gives some sweet but it is a while after sipping and the bitter subsides before this comes to front.
This one is turning into a good strong tea in its middle age. I will be interested into seeing how this ages in the future.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
teatortoise

Interesting. I enjoy thickness and oiliness in a green liquor more and more, for shu. Definitely growing on me. It’s a nice alternative to a thick,oily black tea. One doesn’t want to be limited.

teatortoise

On another note, the more I drink puerhs, the more I agree with your sentiment that shu is more enjoyable than shen. You can definitely appreciate the flavor and the process much more, not to mention that, although shen benefits from aging just as shu does, it really doesn’t seem like it would “improve” on itself, if you know what I mean.

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77

very solidly compressed. 2 20-sec rinses, then (15s): Clean aroma; no earthiness. Woody with a hint of fruit; bitter at the finish. 2nd (15s): more fruit, hint of caramel in nose. Taste is mostly just woody, with a bit of earth, but less bitter than before. 3-6th steeps similar. OK but not much character.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Preliminary Review

Interesting note: when I bought this tea a few months ago it was priced at $4.00. Now it is $4.80.

150ml easy-pour gaiwan, boiling, using my standard times for pu-erh: rinse/30/60/90/120/360, Stevia added.

Yesterday I finally tackled the task of compartmentalizing all of my pu-erh; I decided to keep my sheng (raw) in a cardboard box that four Teavana teacups came in (the size of a small shoe box) and my shou (cooked) in a tall terra cotta wine brique with a cork top I found at a goodwill recently. Unfortunately, I found that this mini-cake almost fits in the brique. Then I thought, “Well, almost is not going to stop me from putting this cake in here!” Anyway, I had yet to try this tea, so I decided this was as good time as any to take some tea from the cake by trimming some off one ‘edge’ so it could fit, and then brew up the ‘trimmings’; in the process of trimming a little at a time while seeing if it would fit it turns out I had to take enough tea for about three steeping sessions; so I decided to brew up about 5-6 grams right away and then put the rest in a plastic bag (I plan to brew the trimmings sometime over the summer.)

I am sitting here writing this after the tea is all gone, as I wasn’t planning on writing this review. So, my observations here are general. Later this summer I plan to pay more attention to the flavor and aroma for a more thorough review.

This tea is different than any of the other cooked pu-erhs I’ve had: it was lighter in flavor, smoother, and even seemed to have a kind of fresh quality to it without any of the musty-ness that most of the other cooked pu-erh seems to have had. It wasn’t harsh, edgy or too fishy either, as I was expecting from reading about how young cooked pu-erh can taste. It had a beautiful reddish-brown color that was much lighter than the color of the cooked pu-erh I had just yesterday. This is my first mini-cake and I have to say, overall, I am impressed with the entire experience; it’s very different than brewing up a sample or a mini tou. I may try brewing this up in my Yixing next time.

Although I still don’t find cooked pu-erh to be something I would drink for pleasure, this is probably the best tasting one yet. As varied as I understand the selection of pu-erh teas to be, and as deeply rooted in Chinese culture as it is, I decided to invest my time and energy into exploring this class of tea hoping to unearth a least a few of it’s hidden treasures. For me this is a kind of long- term experiment, undertaken in large part because of how pu-erh seems to not only captivate tea enthusiasts worldwide but to hold their attention for a lifetime.

Flavors: Fishy

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
TeaExplorer

I have been working on the 2009 version of this tea and have laid in some of the 2012 for aging. With the 2009 I use 8 grams in my 100mL gaiwan with short steeps (10-15 seconds) and get a rich, balanced full bodied cup. I put it in a similar category to the 2009 Mengku Rongshi Golden Buds Ripe, flavor-wise, but less expensive. After reading your review I’ve decided to pull out one of the 2012’s and give it a try this week.

SimpliciTEA

Glad to read you like the older version. I would be interested to read what you think of this one. I plan sometime soon to try doing steeps with a quality pu-erh for shorter times, as you mention.

mrmopar

Agreed this is a really good inexpensive cake. I have a few of these aging myself.

Terri HarpLady

thinking I might have to jump on the bandwagon…
As always, you guys are such a bad, or is it good?, influence on me, lol

mrmopar

Both Terri!

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87

This one is pretty good, very dark liquid, very smooth slight earthy sweet taste, with some woody notes maybe even hints of cinnamon. This one is just full of flavor, good for everyday drinking.
This one would be for someone new to puerhs, it is very enjoyable with offensive flavors.
The aroma is decent too, only a slight fish scent at the beginning, not too bad, i like it :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
mrmopar

Yep I agree good one to have as an everyday puerh.

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