Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

A light-colored liquor, the first sip of which has quite a sweetness. Definitely getting a good bit of pine, both from the scent of the leaves and from the flavor itself. A slightly sweet scent clings to the empty cup. I’m left with only a hint of a lingering flavor on the tongue with this particular steep, and I am still feeling the nice, smooth sensation that the liquor introduced. The second steep brings more of the same, and the following steep is flavorful, yet mellow, with a very refreshing, almost minty aftertaste. Still enjoying it four and five steeps in, we’ll see if anything changes!

Flavors: Pine, Smooth, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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It’s that time of year. I rarely drink Shu, but when it becomes freezing, raining, and snowy out; it’s time for dark ripe goodness. This is a solid tea for me. I’ve had it for awhile, and I enjoy sipping on a big pot full. The leaf is moderately condensed with a strong scent of damp wood, petrichor, sweet musk, and sharp earth. I warmed my zisha and placed a big chunk inside. The scent expands to toasted oats, wet moss, maple wood, and some slight brown sugar, I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The taste is odd but appealing. A strong flavor of petrichor and fresh forest air hits the tongue. This sensation is followed by a thick mouth feel of sweetness and a minor dry earth. This tea is not complex, but it is solid and pleasant. It continues with sweet warm earth and peat moss, and it progressively gains dry tones. The tea is crisp and clean; the way a ripe puerh should be.

^ sorry for blurry, it’s clearer on Instagram…

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Earth, Mineral, Oats, petrichor, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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Spring 2016 – I’ve tried this tea quite a few times already with a few different brewing parameters. I just can’t figure this out.

From the bag it smells fresh with a slight nuttiness to it. The leaf is a high grade. Full small leaves. This tea should be amazing….but it’s not. Unless it’s supposed to be like that. I’ve had other dragonwell teas and they didn’t taste like this one.

I can’t remember specifics on this. I know it was vegetal but was missing the chestnut, buttery, or green flavour I get from most greens. Most green teas I brew around 2 minutes or less. This one had very little flavour at 2 minutes. So I brewed it longer and it got stronger but not better. I’m not very good at describing exactly what it tasted like. It wasn’t bitter but just was not appealing to me. Perhaps someone else might really like this tea but it just didn’t suit me.

There is a couple of brewing methods I have not tried yet for this tea: grandpa style or iced. It’s getting pretty cold outside to have iced tea so I guess next on my list is to try this grandpa style.

Flavors: Vegetal


I couldn’t figure this one out either – never got any great flavors out of it. I ended up doing grandpa style most of the time. Good luck!

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I am having a pretty darn good day so far. Drank this bulletproof style (added coconut oil). My GI system is definitely not used that lol, but my brain loved it. Even if it’s the placebo effect, I’ll take the upgraded brain function any day.

I don’t particularly like the combo of tea and coconut oil, but I don’t dislike it either. I think tea is best on its own.

That being said, this tea is good. It’s not in my “favorites” category, but it’s nice with primary notes of sweet potato and bread and a faint chocolate note.

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I’ve had a hard time gauging the Wu Liang region. I’ve enjoyed several of YS’s Wu Liang green teas, but found Scott’s 2013 and 2014 Wu Liangs sheng pu’ercha to be too candy sweet for me to enjoy these teas’ other attributes. This year, I gave the region another chance, and I was pleasantly rewarded with something special.

This is one of the most elegant and unique sheng pu’ercha I’ve had yet. The dried leaves are of the primordial middle-small leaf varietal from that region and they have a sweet grass and orchid-like sent which is greatly amplified and accompanied by sweet butter after the first rinse.

To get a better sense of the tea I drink the rinse. The tea soup is so clear and pure tasting, my eyes get wider in anticipation for the awesomeness that is about to unfold. My initial thoughts were “pleasant old tree green tea”, but that changed once the tea revealed a thick viscosity, luxurious mouthfeel, powerful qi, and complex notes of chardonnay white grape skins, sandalwood, tobacco, dandelion greens, wild orchids, and sweet butter.

There’s great mouth activity and vibrations that extends to the throat. It’s a very pure, concentrated, and vibrant tea that should gain complexity with time—-and I think the best value per dollar among all of Scott’s 2016 line.

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Quite a unique tea. I’ve finished my sample bag a few months back, but realized I hadn’t shared my notes. The dried leaves are large, intact, and have a pleasant floral scent. After the rinse, the floral/grassy scent is stronger and accompanied by sweet hay and hint of dried tomatoes. The tea brews a very clear darker gold hue and has a clean, refreshing taste. This tea is dynamic in the mouth—flavors and tingly sensations dancing on all parts of the tongue. It’s medium bodied with a pleasurable mouthfeel and qi.

The first thing I noticed was it’s slightly mid-aged taste—more notes of sweet sandalwood, sweet hay, vine tomatoes, autumn flowers, brown sugar, and raw honey. I am not experienced enough to tell whether this more aged taste resulted from processing or terrior, but it does have a very interesting flavor profile I have yet to come across. I’ve let this tea sit for months after the first and second sessions. It’s much improved since then, which makes me wonder how it would taste at this juncture.

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Flavors: Dill, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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yesterday tea. all i can rememebr – smooth, sweet, only a little malt

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Not sure what i was expecting when i had this one today, but it wasn’t the smoke :) this isn’t a lapsang or anything like that, but there is a definite smokey note to this tea along with a little maltiness. I’ll have to have this again when i can focus more on my note. Prepping for a release = insanely busy today

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So I drank this tea the other day, and my note didn’t get saved. :( Figured I’d give it another go so I could record some information on it.

Lat time I believe I did about 3.5 grams/100 ml at 80C. Today I did 5 grams/100 ml at 85C. Definitely noticing a more impactful flavor. It’s vegetal as it was the first time I had it, just stronger. Not getting much of a scent from the liquor itself, but the leaves also have a very green, vegetal scent. The wet leaves are also a very nice color. I want to say vibrant, but that’s not quite right, as they’re obviously not bright green. Just a very nice mix of clear light and dark greens.

15 seconds. The leaves have really expanded a good bit more on the second steep and I’m still getting a good flavor, plus more of an aroma from the liquor itself. The more of this steep I drink, the more my mouth fills with this vegetal flavor, and it really has started to linger.

The flavor carries on into the third and fourth steeps, with some umami notes coming out. By the fifth steep the flavor has started to mellow out. The flavor has decreased more in the sixth steep and is finally starting to give way to some (not at all unpleasant) bitterness, which mingles nicely with what flavor is still lingering. I definitely think I prefer this temperature and these steep times compared to what I had the other day!

Seconds per steep
1st: 10
2nd: 15
3rd: 20
4th: 30
5th: 45
6th: 60+

Flavors: Green, Umami, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Dry leaf (HAY, SWEET): sweet hay, autumn leaves, old books. Despite “aged” notes of leaves and books, etc., there is a noticeable sweetness that comes out.

Smell (AGED, LEATHER, SWEET): old book, leather, some raisin sweetness

Taste (LEAF, HAY, HONEY, MINERAL, CITRUS): In the mouth – fall leaves, old book, fresh hay, light tobacco, light leather, hint of pepper/white pepper, very light astringency. Finish – mild honey and green stem, lemongrass. Aftertaste lingers with old book, lemongrass, and light but lasting minerality and saccharine sweetness.

This is a great daily drinker. It’s cheap and it’s good. It gives you those “aged” flavors without breaking the bank. Mainly has a “fusty” old book/leather/light tobacco sort of thing going on, but there are a few bright notes of lemongrass and saccharine sweetness to give energy to the whole experience. Couple that with some minerality and some astringency to add a little more depth and you have a great cup of tea on your hands.

This thing won’t be trading at hundreds of dollars on eBay anytime soon, but I have always enjoyed my sessions and have always looked forward to the next one. Well worth the price.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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This tea starts off with a nice, medium-thick mouthfeel and no bitterness. Flavor-wise it is sweet grass, with notes of stone fruits, sugarcane, honey and nuts. The grassy/nuttiness is somewhat similar to a Longjing green tea, which I like.

High-elevation and older tree material come together and make a tasty tea that is also very affordable. Above all, this tea tastes very “pure” to me, and the qi is quite perky and leaves me feeling really good afterwards. I think this would be an excellent candidate for a daily-drinker.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Nuts, Stonefruits, Sugarcane

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Brewed gongfu style at 95C.

Very, very light color for the first infusion. Smells of weak honey and has a lightly smoked flavor.

The second infusion also light in color. Some bitterness and astringency are starting to come out.

The astringency coats my mouth in the third infusion. The taste and mouth feel definitely linger for a long time with this tea, and the honey scent is strengthening, clinging to the empty cup.

With the fourth infusion I’m getting savory notes and a smoothness that precedes each wave of astringency. The aroma has transformed into something a bit more floral, and a bit of a buzz is starting to set in.

On the fifth infusion the scent is almost vegetal and the flavor is definitely more savory. The astringency seems to have mellowed out slightly, and upon emptying my cup I again found it full of a sweet scent.

The following infusion was pretty similar and I did one more before finishing up.

Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Tannic

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I like the Spring version of this one too.

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My 100th review! Yay I’ve made it :D

I drank this one western style last night while I was studying cause I had no time for gongfu and it was delicious so the very next time I had time to drink gongfu I went for this one (I’m gonna drink a lot of tea today, It’s been a stressful few days) It’s quite a different black from the usuals, I’ve only ever had one other purple black tea and I didn’t really get to be in depth with it because it’s my friend’s and I’m excited to get gongfuing,

I’m brewing at 95C in my 120ml gaiwan, the gaiwan is maybe half full of leaf

the dry leaf aroma is very floral with fruity notes of blueberry and blackberry, lots of woodyness and some earth.

The early steep aroma is pretty much the same as the dry leaf, just a bit less fruity

I get notes of potato, grape, blueberry, with a nice medium-thickness body that goes down with a long lingering fruitiness and a slight pleasant sweet sourness, it’s also slightly reminiscent of wine, it’s very very sweet, I don’t get any bitterness or astringency, there’s the tiniest bit of astringency actually, I’m getting a tiny bit of chocolate too, the blueberry notes actually sorta taste like chocolate covered blueberries, floral notes finally show up around steep 6 or 7 in the aftertaste. It’s not the most complex tea, but the flavours are really defined and delicious.

it fades off into like thick grape juice tasting tea, it’s awesome.

I enjoy this lots, it’s actually a really good deal too, it may be a bit boring tasting for people who know more about purple teas, I mean I don’t know anything.

I don’t think I’m going to rate teas anymore it feels.. wrong

205 °F / 96 °C

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It’s…sheng. I’m sorry. Not bad for sheng. It’s got a nice floral and green sort of flavor to it, but there’s still a slight amount of that underlying formaldehyde bitterness.


Interesting that you get formaldehyde from sheng…what temp do you brew it at? Not saying you’re wrong of course – you taste what you taste, just curious :)


Usually 175-195, since I let the kettle cool a bit before reheating it. It got up to 205 at the end when there wasn’t a lot of water left. Obviously I’ve never had formaldehyde, but the taste reminds me of the smell of dissection day in class.


Fair enough – just wondered as some have a better time with the bitterness at lower temps. Maybe not in your case :) I only did one dissection in school and the teacher told us the froggie wasn’t preserved in formaldehyde but something else…still smelled bad though lol

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Decided to start this session at about 1am last night – randomly grabbed the sample without really knowing what I was getting myself into. This is a pretty hardcore tea. I used my whole 8.7g sample I received many months ago from LiquidProust in a 120mL gaiwan with boiled water. The dry leaf smelled lightly grassy and fruity, while the rinsed leaf had a pretty intense tobacco aroma.

The first steep was rather light, as I had a pretty solid chunk in the gaiwan, but it carried very sweet apricot and sugary notes, like I was drinking a fruity hard candy. I was hit immediately with some heavy qi in my chest. It left my tongue tingling and a very sweet flavor in my mouth.

The next steep was similar, though a bit thicker with an almost juicy kind of character. I also started to notice a slight cooling sensation in my mouth with this steep – no menthol or camphor taste, just the cooling feeling.

In the next steep, my big chunk really opened up, and I finally got a bit of the smoky tobacco flavor I smelled on the leaf. It wasn’t overwhelming however, and the tea still had that sugary sweet apricot sweetness with mouth tingly goodness. At this point, I was feeling pretty energized and started to get all sweaty. The fourth steep started to get a slight bitterness in the front of the sip, which was quickly washed away by the intensely sweet huigan. I was feeling some tightness in my chest, and my head started to swim a little bit at this point.

For the next three steeps, the bitterness really reared its head – and it was just bitterness, not astringency. It was a bitter flavor that I’d describe as herbal or medicinal, and for these steeps the sweetness was not quite as intense, though it was still present. At this point I had to call it a night and get to bed, as this bitterness did not sit well with my stomach so late at night. I think I would have been able to soldier on if I had been drinking this tea at a more sane hour and hadn’t eaten a ton of crap at a halloween party earlier in the day, but the energy this tea had and the bitterness just mixed up in my belly and made it sad.

I picked the session back up this morning, and it had that familiar bitterness, by this point a bit subdued – it also retained that intense, candy apricot huigan. A couple steeps later, the bitterness started to recede and the tea started to taste almost buttery with an apricot finish. This continued for three steeps.

The last five or so steeps were much softer and thinner in texture. There was no bitterness remaining, just some soft and sweet flavor with a bit of mouth drying.

This tea is STRONG in almost every way a tea can be. The body was good but not particularly amazing, but other than that – strong flavor, strong bitterness, crazy strong qi. It was an intense tea – I wouldn’t recommend trying to drink it at night like I did. I’m glad I got to try this tea. I wish I could have had it all in one session, as I feel like I missed out on a little bit of the teadrunk face-melting qi I could have experienced in an uninterrupted session, but this was an awesome tea regardless.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Candy, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Dry leaf: (NUT, SWEET, SMOKE) wood smoke/campfire, roast pecans and chestnuts; secondary notes of bitter green/herbal (marjoram?), malt, and dark chocolate. In preheated vessel – roast nut much stronger, molasses; secondary notes of malt and cherry cordial.

Smell: (SWEET, SMOKE, NUT) brûlé, dark caramel, roasted pecans and walnuts; secondary notes of wood smoke; hint of green herbal like marjoram. Overall base of a solid, thick English breakfast tea.

Taste: (MALT, SMOKE, SWEET, NUT) malt, wood smoke, light molasses, roast pecan and chestnut; secondary dark chocolate, green leafiness, strong English breakfast tea, autumn leaves; hints of cherry cordial.

So, once again I got a tea largely due to its awesome name. I was rewarded. This tea has big flavors and great complexity. You can smell it ten feet away after you’ve brewed, and its aftertaste lingers in the mouth for quite a while. The power of the golden monkey is great!

Recommend this for someone looking for a black tea with lots of flavor and lots of personality.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This tea right here is the one the made me realize each season has so many different elements that can change its production versus the next few years or the past few. The 2015 was so deep in flavor for a young tea and the 2005 was so loud in its taste that this one seems to be some kind of punk who thinks he is ll that but isn’t.

$90+ for a cake… surely it says something if the 2015 cost more than its older cousin who has some hairs on its chest, or so you would think.

The mouth dryness is still quite strong and the lasting flavor in the mouth is nice, but its nowhere near as good as the other You Le productions that were featured and I hate saying it… but dang this one just isn’t worth it ; maybe that means yet as it could change.

Glad to have had the three to compare though because it really opened up my understanding that pu’erh is just like oolong in the sense that each year may have someone new processing it, or maybe the temperatures were different, possibly the climate was off, just so many things that can differ before storage, aged, water….tea has a lot to configure in what makes it what it is.

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I put this in my gaiwan today
A rather busy
No time for tea kind of day
And I drank it
Perhaps cruelly
(especially as it was a gift)
But at the end of the day
I looked back on the tea I had drank
And I smiled


My friends called Wocket
He has tea in his pocket


Hmmm… Why does this remind me of a famous poem?


I’m not sure, but if you figure it out let me know! It does me too, so I’m sure my subconscious is cribbing from somewhere, but I know not the source.

I thought it might be Neil Gaiman*, but I couldn’t find any similar verse he’d written. Of course, I loaned his latest to a friend, so I didn’t have it to reference.

  • - Not really known for his poems, but I’m a fan.

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This was probably the blandest tea I’ve ever received from YS. Even 1/3 cup of leaves did not produce anything with substantial taste on the first steep.

Not horrible, just horribly bland.

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This tea smells wonderful from the bag. Fresh jasmine flowers and the fresh green bi luo chun’s green mossy scent.

When brewed up however, the jasmine tends to dominate. I love jasmine so I can still enjoy this tea. I am a bit disappointed I can’t taste the sweet green mossy of the bi luo chun. I think it’s there but so faint. Perhaps I need to adjust the brew times on this tea. Or try this on the 2nd infusion (I rarely have more than one infusion on green tea).
I am picking up a bit of nutty flavour from the tea under the jasmine.

Still enjoying this tea and it’s a good buy. Can’t beat YS prices. This tea would be so much better if they’d used less jasmine flowers and had more notes from the tea come through.

Flavors: Floral, Nutty

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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