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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Puerh TTB # 5
Backlog 25 August 2016
Smokey and floral notes throughout. There’s a bit of sweetness that lingers on the tongue (stone fruit?). There is a slight astringency in the mouth; which goes away after a while. The 9th steep has a slight honey note that arises from the tea. I sure do enjoy Bulangs!
I purchased this in hopes of finding a substitute for Verdant’s, since I won’t purchase from them anymore due to their deceptive marketing. This was quite similar to theirs – tiny curled leaves, and a rich malty chocolate type brew. I found this to be a bit lighter and fruitier than what I recall from Verdant. It is quite good.
Bought 50g of this a while back and am just now getting around to trying it. It is relatively good. There is a slight malt note. There are some chocolate notes. Also, I’d swear I’m getting a roast note. I don’t think this tea was roasted so maybe I’m misinterpreting something else. Overall I like the tea. As to is it as good as Verdant’s? I don’t think I’ve ever tried Verdant’s so I don’t know.
Steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This is my last session with this tea, about which I said someplace else that I don’t see myself spending $190/bing on it.
I had a single chunk of beenghole material that clocked in at exactly 8g, I was able to slip in the pick and separate it into a half-dozen or so flakes pretty easily. When I warmed these by putting them in a heated gaiwan, I didn’t get much smell. Sort of generic maturing raw puer, with a bit of sweet hay or grass. I rinsed with boiling water for about 20s while pressing the leaf flakes with the edge of a teaspoon.
The first five or so steeps are mostly a sort of light-fruit sweetness, like white grape or apple. There is a nice enough mouth feel but not a real coating effect for me. I’m steeping with 208F water like 5, 10, 15s… and it takes until the 6th one before the leaves are really unfolded/unstuck from one another. A little bit of aged (OK, partially matured) flavor starts to show up at this point.
My previous couple of sessions with this portend that it’ll last 10+ steeps of gradually downhill from here. It’s nice tea, but does not have any special power that I feel, or taste that knocks my socks off. If I hoped to find why people rave about LBZ by drinking this tea, it was not successful. Maybe a Spring pressing of the same material would be more impressive.
Flavors: Apple, Drying, Leather, Tart, White Grapes
This is a nice puerh with a fair amount of bitterness in the early infusions. I also noticed a sour note for the first couple of steeps. This could be because this teat was dry stored in New York for a few months before I decided to try it. After a few steeps a sweet note emerged in this tea. Pretty much the standard notes for young sheng, apricots and stonefruits I would say. Overall this is pretty good tea. It has an aftertaste that lasts a while. It is very pleasant in later steeps. As far as qi goes I didn’t feel any from this tea but I rarely feel qi from any tea so it does not surprise me that it is sadly missing. Maybe I’ll feel it as I finish my last cup who knows.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.1g 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, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. It had not weakened much in the twelfth steep, it would have gone a few more steeps but I had reached my caffeine limit for today.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Stonefruits, Sweet
This cake is complicated. I like it. A lot.
The completely conflicting reviews I’ve read are interesting. Some say due to wet storage this cake is very aged for only being a 2007, others state a lack of any wet storage notes. I’d have to agree with….. both. This cake is very interesting, especially for the price.
Not overly aromatic sitting in the wrapper, but upon steeping this up I immediately noticed a lot of green left in the leaves and a noticeable flowery fragrance. While still being fairly green, I did get a hint of wet storage flavor in various steeps. Early on there was definite bitterness, but the age/wet storage was there as well. Around steep number 5 or 6 this cake hit a beautiful balance of sharp young sheng flavors I enjoy and a slight aged profile to smooth it out.
I would definitely recommend this cake to several people:
-Anyone just starting to get into aged cakes, as it’s not overly aggresive with the aged or wet storage profile
-Someone who doesn’t completely favor young or aged sheng, as this has enjoyable qualitaties of both
-Anyone on a budget, it’s stupidly affordable for what’s being offered
-Someone looking for a cheap cake to continually drink and follow the aging process without worrying too much about it
I had this tea for quite some time, and I had no idea I owned it. I was attempting at some late spring cleaning, and I came across a jar of this. I decided that I should finally give it a go. The leaf is heavily compressed and gives off a smooth and sweet scent with some heavy woody base. I take in the familiar tang of tobacco common with most aged sheng. I warmed up my jianshui and placed a chunk inside. The aroma deepened into a thick candied fragrance with syrupy textures. I take in a light smokiness and some slight tobacco. The leaf gives an underlying aroma of brown sugar. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The mouth sensation consists of a full feeling thick like oil. The taste is sweet with honey syrup. A muddled grass tone lies underneath. The huigan is great and potent and lasts extensively after each sip. The later steeping brings on a slight bitterness to intrigue along with dry tones to wipe away the palette. The qi began as a wonderful cooling effect that washed over my body. The feeling proceeded to cause me to really space out. A lingering taste of sugarcane and sweet vegetables followed me. The qi began climbing and my hairs were rising. This brew was very stimulating, and the huigan was sweet and drowning. i really liked this tea. I love the teas that are not the prettiest looking and almost seem unwanted, yet they surprise you with such a memorable session. I enjoyed this tea so very much!https://www.instagram.com/p/BE_1YfgTGfa/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Drying, Heavy, Honey, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood
I found this sheng to be very sweet and quite long-lasting. Used 7g in a 100mL gaiwan with boiled water (turned it down to 200F later in the session). I drank this over a 24 hour period, leaving it overnight because I had to get to bed before I finished the session, it took so long. 17 steeps total I believe.
The leaves from this tea are pretty cool looking, with some white/silver leaves mixed with different shades of brown and green. Dry, they smelled buttery and fruity, and after rinsing the leaves, it was more of just a sweet fruity/maybe herbal aroma. Different from most raw puerhs in that respect.
I successfully kept my steep times down with this one, as I seem to fail to do so often! Working on that! So I got almost 10 steeps in before my steep time rose above 20 sec. Right from the start this tea was thick and sweet, with honey and floral flavors dominating it. Also got some grassy/hay flavors in the front on a couple steeps, always accompanied by a nice honey sweet finish. The texture of the liquor was creamy even through the late steeps. On my 4th steep I was reminded of brown sugar. Even that steep had the honey finish, so definitely one of the sweeter raw puerhs I’ve tried. In steeps 3-7 or so, the thickness and flavor were very notable not only in my mouth, but as I swallowed as well, giving a good throat-feel which I don’t get all that often.
I didn’t get too much of the fruit flavor that I smelled in the leaves (like apricot). It reared its head just barely every once in a while, but I only tasted it distinctly on my final steep, when I just left some water sitting in the gaiwan for maybe 5 min.
Towards the middle of my session, it started to get a little drying and just a touch bitter. This was right before I went to bed last night, so when I came back to the tea, I lowered the temp to 200 degrees and was rewarded with another 6 or 7 lighter but still pleasantly sweet cups of tea.
I really did enjoy this session, but I don’t think I would want a full cake of it, because at some points it was almost sickly sweet to me at some points. As I drink more puerh, I think I’m starting to find that I like mine to have at least some bitterness to them. Makes them seem stronger maybe. I wonder how this tea would age. Not much of any bitterness to age out of it – would it get sweeter? That might be crazy lol.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Sweet, Thick
Bought this from the international site.
Strong. I get a big vanilla note and a big roasty note with some floral aroma. The minerality is subtle.
I did this Western style in yixing 87C, 1 tblesp, 150ml for 2min, 3min, 3min, 4min, 5min. Strength carries through the first four infusions.
5th steep is getting lighter with a soft fruit note and slight woodsiness.
I’m a little wary of brewing this in the same yixing that I use for Whispering Pines’ Wildcrafted Da Hong Pao. I wonder if the medium-strong roasty note in this tea will overwhelm the fruity flavour of the clay absorbed from the WP version. Or is that getting a little pedantic? It’s not like I can afford the WP version on a continuous basis anyway.
Can’t feel any qi with this one but I do feel rather relaxed.
Still on the hunt for a fruity DHP. I really enjoyed it though and it’s at such a great price point. If I had the budget, I honestly would order one of every DHP listed on the Yunnan Sourcing website.
It’s rare that I drink flower infusions, but this one really intrigued me, so I purchased from the Chinese site (not the US one despite title here).
Firstly, the cake itself is beautiful; I’d be happy to have this on display..but drinking is even better.
Steeped aroma is of milk chocolate, dried strawberries and musty earth (the mustiness is not unpleasant nor a fault).
Very rich on the palate, coating all parts of the mouth with honeyed sweetness, chamomile. Long finish.
I make this in a gaiwan. It requires a bit of coaxing to get a thick liquor on the first steep.
Dry leaf: EARTHY, SMOKY, SWEET (noticeable barbecue-like sweetness and spiciness, hay, tobacco, campfire, hints of raisin, cola, black cherry, wildflower honey)
Smell: EARTHY, SMOKY (strong tobacco, hay, black walnut, campfire)
Taste: EARTHY, SMOKY, SWEET, FRUIT (tobacco, stewed tea, hay crispness, barbecue-like smokiness and sweetness, black walnut, dark honey, blackstrap molasses, cola, dark dried fruit – fig, prune, – stewed raisins, autumn leaves, hints of cinnamon, allspice, and clove). This tea has already changed significantly over the year I have owned it. It has gotten noticeably sweeter and more complex, and, frankly, more delicious.
If you are like me, you are met with a barrage of birthdays, anniversaries, Hallmark holidays, and various other things that require gift-giving with not the slightest clue of what to give. Make your life easy and get this tea for that special person on that special day. Or get this tea for yourself on that special day. Or any day. Great tea – great price – gift box included. What more could you want?
The Trails of LBZ, Case 8 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
So… I got on Steepster and looked around to see if anyone owned some of this because the samples were and are sold out. Being that it is $190 a cake, it’d be a gamble that if good would be a steal for what it could cost but if not it would be a whole $190 out; or just saying an opportunity cost of possibly 2 Dong Ding cakes and a Jingmai cake.
So, I found someone and tempted them with the now sold out 2009 LBZ that YS had which was at $240 but I doubt that is what it would be sold for now. That tea set the bar for everything else period. As the best sheng I ever had, I’m still upset I cannot buy it as it’s the first cake I’d pay a few hundred for: http://steepster.com/Proust614/posts/335389
The leaf looks like nothing special and has a scent of old tobacco and whorish storage; it’s been places :P
The first few sips were odd because it was like a tea that was made from wood and then aged in a tobacco jar that wasn’t fully cleaned. With those thoughts aside, and being authentic on my experience, I found that the storage notes faded at around steep 3ish. Now it was time to play with this : )
So… this is darker than I would like it to be, which has something to do with being 11 years old and the storage that it has gone through, but I was able to push through multiple steepings of this because of those feels. Taste wise it stays with that grandpas old tobacco that grandma hid 30 years ago so he couldn’t have it and then someone stored some sheng in it not knowing that it needed to be cleaned.
So why are those feels what am I talking through keyboard? Yes, something as if that sentence you read correctly and now I recollect thyself.
Okay: This tea did a few things for me. Number one, my eyelids are heavy and I look like I fell asleep in a hotboxed car and just woke up. My arms are really light feelings so I can be one of those outdoor floats if I wanted to be right now. This is a calming tea for me, like a … relax and let time continue on slower than it really is passing by; I could talk about the perception of time and the time that Data encountered this complex issues in The Next Generation, but now is not the time.
So the taste of this is not what I prefer but this feeling of just floating on a cloud and letting the cotton candy caress me is quite enjoyable as well is the clarity of my imagination that I’m trying to hold back on while I write this up.
I hope that the same that I sent to my friend ends up being favored over this as well so I can find more confidence in myself in evaluating tea. As the world of evaluating tea is very scary when it comes to pu’erh, I want to establish myself as a laid back dude who knows taste accommodation with people who will vouch for me as I start to bring people in and make recommendations.
Wait did I begin blogging on this tasting note? Okay, so back to watching the end of The Flash and Arrow; wish these shows didn’t have to take a whole year to start watching again, I’ve really enjoyed the nightly discussions my dad and I have while watching them.
From the Pu TTB
A nice slightly aged sheng thats lost most of its greenness. Sweet and herbaceous with notes of sugarcane, basil, and moss. Slightly vegetal and mineral with a floral rose quality. I liked this one quite a bit and decided to pick up a cake, it’s a good price for a tea with a little age behind its back.
Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Mineral, Moss, Raisins
I was excited to try these tous ever since I got them in a swap with Matu, but never really got around to it until today. I’m sort of a sucker for cute pressings—I was won over by Nan Jian’s 2011 Mushroom just because it’s a mushroom. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was excited to try these things, primarily because they’re so cute.
I knew something was up when I dropped one of these into my gaiwan and saw a bunch of tea dust fall off. Not promising…but I hit it with a double-rinse and started brewing.
I don’t know how to say it nicely—this tea is gross. Bitter, astringent, with no fruit, hay, or interesting notes I’ve come to like from other puer. Sort of thick, I guess? But mostly just bitter all the way. I’d say avoid—they’re cute, but taste like puer instant coffee.
Essentially powdered tea leaves. These guys are everything I dislike about mini tuos. While the leaf quality and size was better than generic garbage-grade tuos that most tea shops not specializing in puer sell, these are still very hard to get a good cup out of. The leaves are just so small and fragmented that any heat at all instantly brings out a sharp bitterness. I normally enjoy bitterness/astringency in a young sheng, but this is far too much with very little else to offer. I think only one of several tries have given me steeps that were enjoyable, so I haven’t found myself returning to these.
With that said, these are still much better than what I’ve found from other non-puer shops. If convenience trumps all they aren’t a bad idea, just be careful to steep at lower temps than normal. I would stick to the shou mini tuos from Yunnan Sourcing however as the bitterness there is less of an issue. I need to find my notes of which specifically, but there is a 5 g mini shou tuo from YS that I actually enjoy more than many cakes offered much more expensively.
Brewed in a gaiwan,
Fresh green latte aroma. The gaiwan lid is milky and grassy. Silky smooth to start, transitions nicely into a bittersweet liquor. I, being such a huge fan of matcha latte, find this to be a very unique and exciting tea. Not like most of the teas I have tried, it has a special aroma and texture that fills and coats my pallet.
I seriously enjoyed this tea for what it is. My taste may be a little less selective for these types of teas, but either way it was enjoyable to say the least.
Inky and rich. This is a delicious and aromatic Yunnan black tea that oozes light brown liquor. The fragrance is full of malt and caramel with allusions to cocoa or carob. This isn’t super complex, but the richness does pull me in more so than other similar Yunnan teas (like pure bud bi luo chun).
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #50
Three teas today that were the last servings in the teabox that I removed. For two teaspoons of leaves, this brewed up quite light. Though there was a chewy breadiness to it. I didn’t think to classify it like the Fujian it is (not really caramel to me). I also thought it would be smokier but it isn’t at all. This one is a bit of mystery. Happy to have tried it, but I’d rather have something in stock that actually seems like a Fujian tea to me.
Started alittle bitter for me but then 5 steepings in, a sweet almost sugarcane note hit the tip of my tongue and surrounded my upper mouth, then 4 more steepings later a floral smell to the nose was quite pleasant. Sadly i had to go to work so i didnt get to continue, I believe it was only going to get better