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Recent Tasting Notes
I got this with my recent Yunnan Sourcing order and I have no clue why. I don’t really drink very much pu-erh, so why I would even look at it is a mystery. I can’t remember having done so, I can’t remember having put it in my basket and I can’t remember having ordered it. I can’t even remember why I would order it.
But it’s on my order confirmation, so I must have, mustn’t I?
And, you know, it’s not like I don’t like pu-erh. I like it just fine. It’s just, most of the time I’d rather have something else. I feel much the same way about green tea, actually.
But then for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been drinking it on my Wednesdays. And now I’m finding myself a little concerned about how much is in the pouch. Or rather, about how much isn’t in the pouch.
No, it’s not knock-your-socks-off-super-duper-fabulous. It’s merely… very drinkable. Which in a way is actually better, because when something is knock-your-socks-off-super-duper-fabulous a lot of people, and I think many of you will agree, will try to preserve it, fearing of running out and ultimately wind up not actually drinking it. With an eminently drinkable tea you get a really good tea which you actually allow yourself to have.
This one is running low on me, but it doesn’t make me stop making it for fear of running out. When it’s gone it’s gone and that’s all. If I’m not drinking something because I’m hoarding it or if I’m not drinking it because I haven’t got it really amounts to the same thing in the end.
So while I have it, I’m actually enjoying it. It’s mild and smooth and slightly earthy and slightly mushroom-y. I can’t even really describe it. It’s one of those ‘just tastes like tea shrug’ kind of teas. With qualifiers for the type, obviously
Will it make me drink more pu-erh? Doubtful. I see this pouch as a bit of a fad, really. It’ll pass, I expect. (It always does) Now, if you’ll excuse me, these designs don’t stitch themselves, you know.
I’ve had this tea sitting in my closet in a small cardboard box for several months now, and decided to take it out and try it out.
I had brewed this tea for the first time immediately after it arrived. That first cup was more typical of a white tea, with delicate hay notes. Naturally sweet, I didn’t add any sugar which is unusual for me.
This cup surprised me, as I could taste sugar cookies, and even eventually milk. These flavors float atop the fresh hay notes mentioned before, and all meld and blend together for a very smooth and soothing cup of tea. Lovely!
I can’t wait to try this again in the future to see how the flavors unfold with time.
Flavors: Cookie, Hay, Milk, Sugar
This is a high quality cake made with material from ancient trees in Lincang. The beautiful whole leaves are “picked” off the cake very easily. Gold colored liquor with a pleasant aroma. The taste is smooth and sweet and full in the mouth; balanced with pleasant bitterness in later infusions making the cup more complex. Decent longevity – I’ve taken if for 8 rounds. This is a very solid production for which the price has risen steadily over the past two years. At this point, it might have risen a bit too high.
Oh well, forgot I even had this tea.Broke out the old “Large Teavana Perfectea Tea Maker II”, since I had forgotten that I had that in the closet as well. Used quite a bit of tea ~10g since there is a lot of empty space in that maker. Brewed each batch for about a minute and was not that impressed. This 2015 dry leaf is a mix of green, brown and white with a slight hay scent, brewed you get the aromas of butter and pine nuts with a hint of floral. The brewed leaf showing small buds with 1-2 leaves and muted flavors of the butter and pine nuts, no floral but a presence of white pepper and astringency. In no ways a bad tea but I’ve been spoiled by some really good Liu An Gua Pian which is my gold standard.
So, I am drinking the Autumn 2013 picking of this tea. I may have dulled my palate prior to drinking this by eating pizza drenched in habanero sauce, but I’m still really enjoying this tea! I really like how it has lots of malty and chocolatey notes, but it isn’t a tea with big tannins, which allows some very strong floral notes to come through. The combination isn’t what I’m used to or what I expect out of a black tea, but I get the feeling that this tea might grow to be a favorite.
infusable inshmusible… I’m on my 4th infusion of this powerful, deep, dark, delicious shou and just to prove a point I steeped my 5th on just 5 gms while writing this review.. still a sweet opaque brew. Can’t get into the flavor details since I’m recovering from sinus surgery but suffice it say that this brew is cutting right through the barriers to my tastebuds
I’m rushing to try a few samples while YS is still running their 12% off sale.
This is a style that I like. Slightly sweet, not too bitter. I immediately noticed some smoke in the nose, but didn’t really see it in the taste, which was a sweet straw, with hints of wood and a trace of stone fruit. The taste became richer in subsequent steeps, but the flavors didn’t change all that much, with the exception with the appearance of some tannin at the end of each sip.
There was a really nice finish, and enough cha qi that I had to stop for a few minutes to let it wear off, so it wouldn’t affect my judgement too much. Bottom line is that I really liked the tea, so need to decide whether to buy more or just to go with samples.
lovely stringy golden leaves
Medium-dark choclate and malt aroma with campfire notes, especially of wet leaf. touch of red fruit in there also
Smokiness much more prominent on tasting, especially the finish. quite lively. Round and polished, a textural treat.
Went really well with sausage and lentils. brought out its sweeter flavours
Thanks to boychik for a generous sample, of which I got to enjoy two sessions with this tea. It reminds me of a cross between Drunk on Red from YS and Bangdonghong from W2T. It has a bit of raspberry fruitiness, and a little spiciness. Very nice tea, and I wouldn’t mind having more in my cupboard.
This one started off really smooth without any bitterness. After a few steepings I increased the time and got some really subtle bitterness combined with a nice sweet aftertaste.
I went outside and even after about half an hour i still had the reminiscence of it on my tongue. Pretty nice.
Andrew granted me some of this Spring 2015 batch. I used a tea spoon for 8 ounces, brewed it up in 30, 55, 85, then 110 seconds. Malty all around. First one a little bit more sweet potato like, and the middle too kinda caramel like with dark cocoa hints. Last steep was a little bit more unexpectedly floral. Steep five and six kinda reminded me of honeysuckle or orange blossom. A good, solid Dian Hong. The only bad thing is that I’ve been spoiled by Whispering Pines Imperial and by Liquid Proust French Toast. Hey, this cup is still good and I think I might be a little bit more satisfied with generous leaf portions or better timed steeps.
Smoky sweet and fruity to start. Wet leaf aroma is intense and lovely. Very slight bitterness in early steeps that gets more intense with later steeps. Camphor, spice, and mouth numbness. 4 or 5 steeps in and I have spontaneously begun to sing. The cha qi just about starting to take effect when my wife slides a plate of poached salmon and broccoli sauteed in garlic and olive oil under my nose, and I realize that I am starving.
After dinner I resume my drinking. While I am not normally one for food/tea pairings, I have to say that the chilled honeydew melon I am currently enjoying is a lovely counterpoint to the smokey spice of this hot tea. It’s nearly 8:30pm and I’ll probably regret continuing too much more as I can feel the caffeine and think about running a few laps around the neighborhood. But then I remember that I do not run unless I’m being chased by a bear or a serial killer.
In sum, seeing as I’m still a pu noob this tea is probably the most “aged” sheng I’ve ever had. It’s a bit too much on the smoke/bitter end of the spectrum for me, but I am glad I got to try it.
Apropos of nothing, do professional tea drinkers have to stop and load the dishwasher after their wife makes dinner? #firstworldteaproblems
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Flavors: Brown Sugar, Sweet Potatoes
Tasting #1 – Steep Time 2 Minute
Very faint in flavor and aroma. At this point the only thing I can discern is hay or dry grass.
Tasting #2 – Steep Time 4 Minutes
Now there is a very mild flavor of a roasted oolong, but still distinctly the flavors that you might associate with a barnyard.
Tasting # 3 – Steep Time 6 Minutes
There isn’t much more going on at this point. The tea is easy to drink, the flavor is subtle so it’s easy to continuously drink it. Overall, its a good tea but I prefer something with more complex flavor.
White teas are delicious cold! Its so easy to mess them up if your water is too hot but when they’re cold there is no worry about the astringency and the subtle flavors have an opportunity to flourish.
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honeysuckle, petrichor, Roasted Barley
I thought I enjoyed the last harvest I tried, but this Spring 2015 is amazing! Honestly one of the best teas I’ve ever tried. It tastes so strongly of pastries it almost tastes flavored. Holds up well even in a travel mug. I just picked up another 100g but am considering updating my order to get 250 instead. I don’t think it can get much better than this
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Molasses, Pastries
It took me awhile to get my nerve up to have this tea. This came with the August monthly pkg from YS. After having the ginseng oolong which I really liked I thought I would give it a try. I brewed it up following YS directions on their webite.
This tea looks just like the picture. It looks like little broccoli florets. Dry the smell is a strong sharp scent. Can’t think of anything it’s similar tom so can’t really describe it.
Infusion one. It brews up with barely any colour. A pale pale pale yellow. Almost looks like water but there’s plenty of flavor. It was very sweet with a sharp but muted bitterness. There was also the spicy taste of the ginseng. Overall it wasn’t that bad. It was a bit strange to me but still good.
Infusion two – The bitterness got a bit stronger in this infusion. I didn’t like as much as the first. The spicy ginseng taste was stronger too. Whereas the first infusion was mostly about the sweetness, this one was more about the strong ginseng flavor and bitterness.
Infusion 3- Wow, everything was so strong on this one. Bitterness got so bad. It reminded me of Kuding tea which has a bitter/sweetness taste. I couldn’t drink the last infusion. It was way too bitter.
It would be interesting to pair a small amount of this tea with a pu-erh (as YS suggests on their website). I might try that with the small amount I have left. So far I wouldn’t be enticed to buy this tea no matter how healthy it is for me.
Drinking this as I write. Impressed by the incredibly dark opaque brew and not just when brewing in the gaiwan with a large tea to water ratio but even in 10-12 oz of water. The flavor is deep, sweet, nicely tingly on the tongue with a great, sweet, long finish. Will have to report back when I have the time to see how it holds up and changes (or not) over multiple steeps. My only regret? I didn’t buy it at YS.us when it was only around 16 bucks. Now $22 but with last weeks 10% discount, well worth it … at it’s former price – a ridiculously great deal.
Flavors: Bark, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Jam, Pecan, Tobacco, Vanilla
This will probably be a lengthy review…
So I’ve been searching for the right sheng and shoe variations for my own taste preference. This is one very enjoyable journey so far, but it must be known that such a journey never ends! I decided to try samples from all over first and surprisingly Yunnan Sourcing was not one of them. Thankfully there is the US site now which is fast and a flat $7. This was the only one I picked up because it sounded like what I was looking for. The best part is the community, I was able to purchase this cake and split off pieces of it to others which reduced the cost a bit. This also means I will be making another purchase sooner than later :)
Breaking the cake went smoothly :) http://postimg.org/image/uant70z3t
Had to try this asap so put about 5 grams in my kamjove and began my sessions. I found myself outside drinking this with the fourth Marcel Proust novel… but I couldn’t read because there were two birds playing some kind of game in the tree in front of my so I watched them for a good two minutes. Ten steeps in and a bee comes to join me: https://instagram.com/p/8I1nXdxYMY/
I tried to get it to taste the liquid, but I realized I probably would have harmed it so I let it just walk around my shirt until it flew off.
This tea is crazy though. At first I was really confused because it smelled like roasted zucchini. What an odd experience it was to just smell it. I ended up smelling it multiple times before drinking it because I just wasn’t sure. Once I first tasted it I realized that this was one deep sheng. The flavor for me is like a smooth raw pu’erh that had a roasted vegetable taste with backed of smoke (very light though). The mouth feel is nice on this, but it only occurred at the back end of my mouth which was a new experience.
This will now be a cake that I will sample off to others because it was a fun experience and I find it to be a smooth deep vegetable sheng with a taste that is quite different.
Now that I have had this tea I am looking at the next two to know what I’ll get:
The nice part of YS is that there are samples for their full cakes which some places do not offer, but it does seem that more and more places are providing samples to purchase.
& to think that pu’erh was something I really disliked in February…. it take time as I was told and I was told right :)
I spilled a whole cup of this tea over that book I was suppose to read… so now this will live on longer than I thought :p
Last night I had a 20+ steep session with a sheng so it was hard to decide what to end with at 1am… I decided to pour out 4g of this and let it sooth me to sleep.
Upon opening the bag I thought to myself, ‘dang this tea leaf is ugly’. However, the look isn’t that important so I got my water (185f) and brewed this up. The thickness of the liquid is a medium which is interesting for a floral tea because it adds to the mouth feel. There is a lasting feel and taste which is quite nice, yet I am unable to name the sort of floral taste this tea provides. This tea would probably be better suited to be drank outside or during the day; I believe I made the mistake to think all florals are a soothing/sleepy tea.