Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

Crisp autumn leaves and Dutch cocoa aromatics when dry, earthy autumn leaves and dark sweet prunes when wet. Amazing golden liquor with a surprisingly yancha like flavor without the heavy mineral notes. Beautiful plump leaves when fully opened. Takes multiple infusions well. Exactly 7g with 120ml just under boiling temperature. 10s, 15s and up for 5-10s climbs before reaching its peak. A happy mountain heicha that I very much enjoyed and one in which I might treat like oolong next time around in regards to parameters.

Another Dark Matter 2016 selection, fifteen tasted and only four left to try; looking forward to them all. It’s been fun.

7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Dry leaf has a somewhat fruity smell. Wet leaf reminds me somewhat of dried apricots.

First steep liquid is golden yellow.

The taste starts out fruity and sweet. On later steeps some smokiness comes in as well as some sourness.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Flavors: Astringent, Spicy

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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I found this tea decidedly not spectacular. It was not terrible, but was not great. There was a fair amount of bitterness and astringency. The astringency was very strong. It never developed what I would call a sweet note but more of a not bitter note. There were no wet storage tastes to the tea and taste of tobacco and leather was only mild and in the first few steeps. This was not a terrible tea but was certainly not what I had hoped for. There was a mild qi to it but not much. This is also a tea they are now sold out of at Yunnan Sourcing. I got the last one. I had considered it for some time and I decided it was now or never.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.2g 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, and 1 min. The tea was not done but I really didn’t feel like continuing.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter

Boiling 9 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Care of Dark Matter 2016.

Sweet Pine Smoke, Rich Tobacco, Thick & Luscious Liquor, a tea made for those who love a good scotch and cigar…my favorite tian jian by far. 7g, 120ml, boiling with infusions starting at 15s and moving up to…who knows, I’m still sipping on it. This is definitely one to stock up on.

Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Some of the reviews on this said that there was a meat flavor note to it, and this was certainly true initially, and it wasn’t the best flavor note, but after a couple of months, it’s effectively disappeared, or at least my palate has gotten used to it. I could drink it all day for many days straight. Nice and malty and sweet and fruity, and it’ll produce a respectable number of steepings for a black tea. It’s also interesting to see the variations in the tea it produces at different temperatures. For later steepings, however, cooler water as low as 170F is best for preventing the brew from tasting sour. I’d recommend all YS Bi Luo Chun teas based off of this one.

180 °F / 82 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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As far as black teas go, this one is just so deep in complexity. Based on this, I would strongly recommend all old arbor black teas from Yunnan Sourcing. It’s so well balanced with dark fruit notes, appropriate sweetness coupled with a perfect amount of bitterness and full body. It also held up well to many steepings, and just continued to develop and produce good tea. I’d be really interested to see if this ages well, but unfortunately I don’t think I can wait long enough to see!

185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Returning once again to another Dark Matter 2016 selection. Flavor notes in all the right places; Toasted Brown Bread, Semi-sweet Florals, Happy Little Mineral Notes and a nice leafy green finish…

6g, 120ml porcelain, 190F. 15s-45s for a count of six infusions with a few 90s-2m steeps @boiling to extract all the leftover leafy goodness.

I truly enjoyed this oolong.

6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Quickly discovered that this needs some longer steep times to truly bring out the flavor so after one quick infusion I moved it up to 2m for a total of three times before ending with one 3m steep. This is very light with some subtle earth and bamboo sweetness. Nice cha qi. Used 6g of leaf in a 120ml pot at boiling temperature. I’d really like to try this again with twice the leaf amount and after some more aging.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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There’s nothing mini about these little tuos. Smooth sipping, slight camphor, buttery mouthfeel. Nice mellow earth and some hints of floral goodness too. 6.1g tuo, 120ml porcelain, boiling temps with one 10s rinse which I admit I drank without remorse and at least ten infusions, ( maybe a dozen), of 15s upwards to 90s before this little one could give me no more. Beautiful Metaxa colored liquor. If I drank more ripe this would easily be a staple in my cupboard. Unwrap, prepare and enjoy…

Note: Another Dark Matter 2016 selection.

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Update 2: After god knows how many steeps, this tea is starting to fade. I’m now getting my beloved apricot notes, although the butter flavor seems to have disappeared. Funny how flavors can kind of poke their heads up for a steep or two and then just disappear. Astringency has remained high although bitterness is fading. The vice on my head is also loosening. It’s been an interesting afternoon for sure.

Update: Jesus Christ, I’m on steep like 18 and the tea is still strong as ever. The qi on this stuff is insane. Starting to wonder if the leaves are laced with cocaine or something… Anyway, taste is getting better, more mild and with some buttery flavors creeping in. I’m gonna keep steeping—I’m determined to finish these leaves, even if it puts me in a coma.

Original Review: Got a sample of this from LiquidProust (so many samples! so generous!). I picked this tea to brew up because it has some absolutely gorgeous maocha—long, unbroken, fluffy leaves with a deep green color. The smell out of the bag was also really nice. Apricots and grass.

So it’s safe to say I started brewing this up with high expectations. Did it deliver? Er, well…

See it’s not bad. It’s just really not my thing. It’s pretty bitter and strong, with a little sweetness here and there. Very vegetal in early steeps. It sort of reminded me of drinking cheap-o green tea bags, which is something I get with really strong raw puerh. Could be I used too much leaf, I suppose.

Also side note—as I’m writing this the qi is hitting hard. It’s getting strangely hard to type, and my head is getting that floaty feeling…yikes.

All right, this is getting rambly but I take back what I said about cheap green tea—this tea doesn’t deserve that. It’s definitely getting sweeter, and less bitter. Maybe the last steeps will be softer…only time will tell.

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175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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1996 Cnnp “green mark te ji” ripe puerh cake review

Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha

Dry leaves: slightly musty

2x 15s rinses

Wet leaves: slight earth/fermentation smell, Old books and autumn leaves. Light musty smell

Light steep: I taste smell; light -> earth/fermentation, old books.
Slight -> autumn leaves.

Medium steep: I taste/smell;
medium -> earth/fermentation, old books, autumn leaves. Light -> camphor.

Heavy steep: I taste/smell; medium to strong -> earth/fermentation, old books, autumn leaves. Medium -> camphor.

All in all this is an extremely tasty tea! The aroma, the flavour, the qi! I rate this a 100!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Camphor, Earth, Musty

200 °F / 93 °C 10 g 165 OZ / 4879 ML
R.F. Hill

That’s a dark tea!


yeah, but it was “oh so good”

R.F. Hill

I enjoy aged teas—the old wood/deep earth flavors are what I like the most about them!


I’ve only had sheng from 2009 iirc. I have a 2003 cake on the way.

I prefer young sheng’s honey, spices, smokey flavours

R.F. Hill

I love ALL sheng, but I too, like the younger kind. I like that “newness” to it—the smokey, spicy, honey, and slightly astringent notes that linger throughout the sessions. But there are days when I’m craving that woodsy/deep earth note(s). As my friend once described it—“This is what I imagine river water, with the river floor [mud, rocks, etc] would taste like.” Older/aged Sheng has that “rainy day in the woods” vibe to it; so, it’s more of the adventurer part of me, wanting to reminiscence about past hiking experiences. However, a young Sheng reminds me of Spring, where everything is new and delightful. So, now you know, when/why I like to have my tea—and at what age I like having, when I like having it!


wow! great way of describing it

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The ‘’Wu Liang Mountain’’ is strong but it has a hint of peach flavor in it in the first brew. the second brew was sweet but still strong and tasted like it you were eating a sauce. the last brew I did it was still sweet but it was thick at the same time .this is one of my favorite teas so far since I been drinking.

Flavors: Bitter, Peach, Sweet, Thick

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML

The young apprentice picked this one to try with no guidance.

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4:46 am Saturday Indianapolis, IN

I have been drinking this for about an hour and felt compelled to write a small review off the top of my head.

First thing I would like to note are the few simple flavors. Nutty smells and flavors, I tasted spice (cinnamon, peppercorn) a few times. Although simple, (and yes, obviously delicious) there were many variations to them, if you play with the steeping parameters: temp and water to leaf ratio. I wish I would’ve made notes during my session because the tea is now beginning to fade and I can’t remember what happened while I was drinking it.

I do remember that I used an easy gaiwan, didn’t measure the leaves, and used many different temps and amounts of water. Each steep was enjoyable. To me, that is a testament to the quality of the leaves. You can mess the entire brewing up and it will still come out fairly ok (or great).

I think this specific tea inspired this playful attitude of this session. So I feel that it deserves a fairly high rating. 85 may even be a low-ball rating.

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Nutty, Peppercorn

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Now this is one WEIRD tea.

First off, this is a wild purple tea, so I know to expect weird things. Second, its a Yue Guang Bai, so I know that this is a tea that matures over even short amounts of time (months). So this review is purely for this tea, as it stands, in late April 2016, about a month after this tea was harvested.

First off, the smell off the dry leaves is COMPLETELY unexpected: beef broth, seasoned prime rib, perhaps some Mediterranean herbs. Fucking weird! Not exactly a turn on, but no way am I turning back. This is at the very least intriguing! The leaves themselves are light, crispy, and range in color from light brown, green, to purple. They are sprawling, spindly leaves dangling off of stems, some 4-leaf and a bud combo, but definitely a big mix. Low density mixture overall.

Due to the low density nature of this tea, I crammed an overflowing amount of the spindly leaves into my gaiwan. A quick rinse with 90*C water converted the meaty aromas into straight up sauteed spinach. Again a big WTF! Where’s the white tea aromas? So far this tea smells like a nice dinner, not really a white tea.

OK, so what about the brew itself? Straight up yue guang bai white tea goodness. Seriously WTF!? All of that fragrance from the leaves and not a bit of it, except for a very faint allusion, ends up in the cup itself. I’m perplexed.

Anyway, this will be a very interesting to watch as it matures over the next months+

Flavors: Floral, Herbs, Meat, Spinach

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From Dark Matter, Labeled 2015 Go Ji Shan Ben Se Wu Yunnan Sourcing. I’m pretty sure that is this tea?
Notes to self:
- First steep fruity, a tiny bit of smoke. Some sourness, flash
- Smells smokier on the second steep, still only a little bit of smoke and earth, candy like fruitiness, like a Jolly Rancher 5sec
- Smoke is predominant flavor, also fresh wood. Fruit gone :-( 10 sec
- same as last 10 sec
- same as above but more earth 5 sec
- earth, slight sour, earth, old fruit with no sweetness, still tasty
- same as above
Flavor mostly gone after this
Worth buying and drinking again
Thick body throughout 2.5g 40ml? 110ml Giawan a little less than half full. Slightly more than just enough to cover the leaves 195F on average. try to do more flash steeps next time

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 40 ML

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a great tea! i am not doing a full review on this tea as its not good enough IMHO as i cannot taste the mao cha easily. i mostly taste the buds… although, it does taste great and smells great too, (leaves/buds and brewed tea.) i will share the other half with one of my close friends.

200 °F / 93 °C 12 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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A very smoky tea for it’s age (I thought). Quite enjoyable, although I tried it in the early spring and I think it would be more suitable for fall weather drinking.

Here are my notes from my first steeping. I did the session over two days at my desk and got 17 good steeps in:

Leaf: 6g
Brewing Vessel: 90ml Gaiwan

Rinse – 3s

1: 5s
Very smoky! Slightly astringent. Dry leaf has a ripe fruity smell. Something between apricot and pear.

2: 5s
Even more smoky… very interesting. I was not expecting this from a 5yr raw.

3: 7s
Less smoky, but still a big smoky aftertaste. A warm, vegetal mouth-feel. Still not fruity.

4: 8s
Much lighter now. Quite good, although not much sweetness. Has a very dry finish.

5: 10s
The smokiness is definitely in the background now. A warm flavor. This would be an excellent fall tea.

6: 11s
Very light flavor. Should have added more time. The vegetal flavors are really coming through more and there’s not much smokiness.

7: 15s
Very bitter. Not bad, though.

8: 15s
Much more of the sweetness. Tasting more like the raws I’m used to

9: 18s
(note from next day)Don’t remember, but it was probably good and I probably chugged it…


10: ~20s
Warm with sweet vegetal hints. Much lighter. Perhaps it will “wake up” after this and come back in strength for the next steeping.

11: 26s
Floral hints coming through. Vegetal taste and mouth feel. Wet leaf smell moving much towards apricot.

12: 39s
Very smooth. Still a light body. Not quite sweet yet, but there is definitely an idea or a hint of floral sweetness. Good viscosity. Dry finish. Overall, pretty flat steep.

13: 45s
Getting a very apricot / fruity sweetness now. Very good.

14: 70s
Wet leaf smelling a little flat now. Not nearly as much flavor remaining. Less viscous, but still decent body. A slight dustiness. A bit of dried fruit aftertaste.

15: 120s
Very smooth and sweet.

16: 180s
Delicious. Much sweeter and smooth.

17: 240s
Quite good still. Much more dry, but smooth and sweet. Hardly a hint (if any) of the smokiness remains, although there is somewhat of a pleasing earthiness hinted in the finish. I think I’ll call this the last steeping. I have to head out early today.

Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Vegetal, Wet Earth

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Flavors: Floral, Sweet, warm grass

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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From Dark Matter 2016

Brewed in a gaiwan. Just under boiling water.
This smelled amazing like tobacco and dark chocolate. And unfurls into whole crinkled leaves. But I let the first steep go too long (30 sec?) and ended up with just char and tobacco. This might date me but getting through that first steep made me keep thinking about that “kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray” ad (or was it a poster?). Later steeps continued with the tobacco, did no one else get this? I’ve never smoked as I’m super repelled by the taste and smell but I grew up around smokers and this taste very much reminds me of cigarettes. At some later steep this flavor fades to the background and becomes pleasant. It also starts becoming floral and has an inorganic earth finish. So a bit of a rough start for me but worth it for the later steeps. Not sure how many I got, I started to let it go 10-15 min infusions at the end while cooking dinner.

Next time I’m definitely using less tea or being stricter about keeping my initial steeping times short. Maybe even rinsing this?

Flavors: Floral, Tobacco, Wet Rocks

205 °F / 96 °C 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

yeah try just flash steeping right at the beginning – I do 1/3/5/7/10/13… or something like I would treat a dancong if i remember correctly, and this was my favourite when I did a smokey oolong test session. I liked the floral notes you can get

Gooseberry Spoon

Yep, didn’t mean to go that long at all. I think I need a dedicated tea room without distractions. It’s a good thing there is enough of the sample to try again!

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