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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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
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
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