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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
This tea is not bad, also by no means incredible. I did like it in the end even if it started badly. It started out with notes of tobacco and leather. This slowly transformed into something nicer over a period of many steeps. By the twelfth steep I was getting a sweet note that slightly reminded me of prunes. A little bit of sour sweetness if it could be described as such. I think this is a tea that is really just changing. It had a very dark color to the tea liquid. It was aging. It seemed in the middle of the aging process. I don’t have room for this in my pumidor so it will have to be dry stored in the New York humidity. We have hot humid summers and dryer the rest of the year. We will see if this tea improves. It’s not exactly bad tea, there is just a lot of room for improvement.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.4g 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. I am neither going to recommend this tea nor am I going to not recommend this tea. Some people will like it, some will not. The notes of leather and tobacco did turn into something more pleasant. My best description for this new note is a slightly sour sweet taste of prunes. By this I do not mean the tea had a noticeable sour note, just a slight taste.
Flavors: Leather, Tobacco
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
I’ve heard the saying “Tea Drunk” many times in the past, but I’ve finally experienced this feeling today. I have had two full 24 ounce pots of this, and I’m working on a third. The great thing about this is that I’m still working on the same leaves. However, for this third pot, I’m going to take it slow. I’m so bloated right now, but it’s a good kind of bloated: the tea kind.
I mean this tea is nutty, cocoa-y, rich, and delightful. I think I might finally give up chocolate. Seriously, I am fond of pure teas that could really replace all desserts. My Yunnan Sourcing selection is that and everything. I’ve tried two out of the six teas that I bought, and I can’t seem to move on to anything else at the moment. I’m really enjoying this selection.
Flavors: Cocoa, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
I used the whole 7g package in my 120 ml gaiwan, and it turns out that was probably too much because the expanded leaf after a few steeps sticks out over the top of the gaiwan.
Leaf is a beautiful dark green with most leaves very intact. The taste is flowery and vegetal. I’ve not had many flowery tasting teas, so this is a unique treat.
Not a bad tea imo. The leaves are decently small, but I’ve had smaller in Xiaguan tuos before. Certainly was astringent and bitter, but I didn’t get any smokiness off of this. And the bitterness wasn’t unpleasant to me. It faded in later steeps and was replaced by a nice hay type of flavor, though not particularly sweet.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Hay
Thank you to Nicole for giving me a sample of this tea (Ya’ll should probably get used to that for the next week or so as I review all of the teas she sent me ).
I enjoyed this tea this afternoon while my son was finishing up his nap before we went to pick up my daughter from school. I guilty pleasured this tea by enjoying it with some shortbread cookies. And what a fantastic pairing. The tea itself is pretty solid. Nothing that is a game changer but a really nice drinking tea.
I have to say, more than any tasting notes I picked up from this (of which were some malty tones and bright woodsy notes) this tea actually gave me a feeling more than anything. On the drive to get my daughter, it was such a clear headed, peacefulness. I wanted to give graduation speeches on the importance of kindness and gentleness. I had thoughts of continually teaching my children the power of spreading happy selflessness.
Sounds goofy, sure. But I felt and thought these things and I feel very certain the tea helped my mind achieve this very serene and peaceful sensation from which I am still coming down from. That works for me.
Free sample from YSUS, for my splurge in oolongs. This sample was 21 grams, very generous. A quick look up on the site provided no inside knowledge so its basically a blind tasting. Use a thin walled 100 ml gaiwan and used the approved mrmopar brewing techniques, which produces a smoky tea, viscous with soft florals, no astringency or bitterness. It is a decent tea and further research on the goog says its meant for the Taiwan market and is tightly compressed for their humid environs. I purposely over brewed my 6th session to see if I could coax out anything other than the smokiness and not much showed up other than puckering bitter. I’m going to recommend it because although it may not have much depth it still is a smooth smokey tea is that’s your thing. Oh and the other is that I can’t find it anywhere online.
Very nice example of the Phoenix powerhouse fragrant tea. Right away I noticed the leaf as well processed, tight twist and roasted lightly Over the top floral notes and the flavors of honeysuckle, musk melon and slightly sweet. Well structured mouth-feel and a tiny bit of astringency that compliments this teas aromatic boldness. This is one of those teas that I give to jaded coffee drinkers to win them over to our side.
Can’t imagine how I haven’t reviewed this yet. It’s sweet and deep and savory at the same time. Longer steepings bring in that not unpleasant sour note along with a deeper savory nature. Maybe a little ash in the background. And I am not buying more tea this year. Which makes me really sad to note tonight that my supply of this is getting dangerously low.
Having tea with all the pets tonight and using a repaired pot. I didn’t get all the crack sealed, apparently, as it is still leaking a bit. I don’t like the JB Weld repair much since it is shiny. But, it’s better than never using this pot. Maybe if I get back out to Seattle some time, the Market Spice Tea shop will have another one that might not be cracked. :)
This is a strong and somewhat bitter tea. Not that there wasn’t a sweetness too but this was bitter. I’d say I noticed a pronounced bitterness through the first six steeps. It developed a nice sweetness in the seventh and eighth steeps. Not quite apricots, but a little harsher sweetness.
I brewed this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.2g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. I have heard that bitter teas age better, then this one may be a good candidate for aging.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
I purchased the 2015 version, which is a real treat. Tasting 2014 feels almost like cheating since I get to see how this tea’s sweetness evolves. Similar to the 2015, I get ripe apricots, sugar plums, rock sugar, and a pungent orchid aroma at the bottom of the cup reminiscent of fragrant summer nights (heightened in the 2014). Later steeps reveal interesting textures, savory notes, and a spicy sweetness.
True to their description, Qing Mei Shans are extremely pure tasting and buttery. No doubt this material is well sourced. The cha qi gently sneaks in there, but is quite powerful once it takes hold. I’m feeling tea buzzed after the 4th steep. This tea great body and is expansive in the mouth. Wonderful mouth-feel and hui gan! It’s almost blissful. The aftertaste is very pleasant and persistent. Time will bring out more interesting textures and sophisticated sweetness from this tea.
Note: Previously, I’ve been using mouth feel and hui gan (returning sweetness) interchangeably, but I learned from drinking this tea that they are, in fact, quite different!
I tried this tea a few months ago , loved it , but failed to write a review at the time.
This is the BEST Tie Guan Yin I’ve ever had. It has an amazing floral bouquet. It’s very light with not a hint of bitterness. There’s a bit of sweetness and buttery flavour to round out that great floral aroma and taste.
This tea is expensive but I say it is worth it and plan on getting some if I place an order in the future (and there’s still some left).
Flavors: Butter, Floral
This was fantastic! I’m going to go a little in depth; because, I feel that this tea deserves that.
The dry leaf have an enticing slight aged scent. It’s hard to describe. It’s alike other aged sheng with the common old parchment aroma, except there is a lingering sweetness like stone fruit. It’s unique and doesn’t seem to dissipate even after being left out for a little bit.
I took a bunch of leaves and placed them inside my warmed jianshui. I shook these guys up and let them sit there for a bit to waken up. The scent that arose from my pot was amazing. I took in a deep sweet grapes aroma. These grapes smelled like they were ripe on the vine. This vineyard scent was followed by a walk through a warm oak forest. The light wood tone in the background kept the aromas grounded and stable. They too did not dissipate, and they seemed to fill my room. I sat for some time just enjoying the warmed teapot.
I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves deepened tremendously and became quite complex. The scent begins with a rich tobacco tone, alike fresh pipe tobacco, and then continues unto spinach and fermented pear. The scent was very aromatic and filled the air extensively. As the session went on the scent became more rough and sharp. The sweet tobacco was replaced with a spice scent. The spinach and pear became a resinous sap scent. These leaves gave off some enticing aromas.
Now unto the best part, the taste. This was something special, that I’ve only tasted in a few sheng sessions. The sip beings with a pear and apricot flavor. This sweet tone slams into your taste buds and sends a prickling sensation throughout your body. The flavor progresses to a light sweet oak and a tangy creme. The huigan was phenomenal! The huigan was the special part. It completely filled the mouth and slowly moved down the throat. This was unbelievably sweet and succulent like warm sugared honey. The aftertaste is a sweet yet sour cream. This is a pleasant sour tone; it’s very light and keeps the taste buds alert. The brew carries a lubricating mouth-feel and fells good going down. The brew is incredibly smooth and silky. These flavors were deep and lasting; they made quite an impact on your taste buds. However, the huigan fades at about the sixth steeping. The liquor becomes drying and completely changes. The slight wood tone is still prominent except the sweet overripe fruit flavors are replaced with dry fruit, alike white grapes. The taste becomes slightly tannic at about the eleventh steeping and all sweetness has disappeared. The brew continues to be filled with dry, wood, and stonefruit tones for an incredible amount of time. I have no idea how many times I steeped this, but it took me most of the afternoon.
Now let’s talk about some power. The qi in this brew was commendable. The sensation begins at the heart center of the chest at about the second steeping. This feeling grows into a deep warming wave that spreads outwards in the body. The qi takes comfort behind the eyelids and at the top of the head. There it radiates forward and pushes you outward. It was a wonderful feeling, and it put me in an amazing mood. I was very productive afterwards, and the energy lasted well after the session. I was amazed at the endurance of this qi. It’s something to experience.
Now for a little critism. Is this authentic pure LBZ? I would very much doubt it. I could be mistaken, but this is too good of a deal for 10year aged LBZ. However, this is still a killer tea. I do believe it was blended with LBZ material. That goes to show how good just a little bit can be.
I loved this tea, and I will be enjoying for quite some time. I highly recommend trying this out :)
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Drying, Honey, Oak wood, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, White Grapes
I should have known better, considering it’s a mini toucha, but it was a free sample with my order. I gave it a chance. I’m not going to go into much detail. I’ll just list a few aspects of the gongfu session. My strainer clogged at the first, third, and fifth steeping. My tea table almost overfilled because how much I dumped. The initial sip is a sharp bite (even with flash steeping) and the after taste is also a sharp taste. I also brewed light for my yixing. The yixing became completely clogged by the “end” of the session.
This would be good if you wanted to western brew puerh on the go. It says it’s meant for portable brewing in the description. Personally, I don’t know of many people that drink puerh western brewed. However, I could be mistaken and many people could enjoy puerh in a big pot. Anyways, this was not a big win for me.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Smoke
I brewed up about 5 1/2 to 6 grams in a 100ml gaiwan at 210f. I started this off at about 205 but due to the light nature of this tea I bumped it up to 210. This is my first encounter with a humid stored sheng but I detected no “mustiness” etc. and other reviews reflect the same sentiment. This has a very interesting nose. In the beginning, the wet leaf smells of apricot/fruit and a medicinal quality/antique store. This is a really smooth tea almost too smooth for me but maybe I should abuse it a little bit more and see how it gives. It starts off thin and with a nice fruity and floral taste with a bit of the medicinal quality. After pushing it a bit and getting into the heart of the steeps (about number 4) this tea started to show itself. A nice sweet taste with lots of floral tones in the nose and taste. At about steep 4 a really nice returning sweetness starts to come into play on the back of the tongue. A very nice sweet/floral sheng with some age. I like this tea and plan to revisit it again soon. For me the only thing to get a bit more acquainted with would be the medicinal taste. Its not off-putting in any way but definitely different for me. Not sure if its because of the humid storage or just the area/leaf/processing although I have heard of this taste in many different shengs. All in all I would recommend this tea. It is very smooth and sweet. Don’t be afraid to push it a bit. Lastly I shall speak on my favorite quality of this tea: The Qi. This tea is so calming that I actually feel a bit stoned from it. So that said, it makes a great calming cup for when you want to relax. Enjoy.