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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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