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Recent Tasting Notes
Dry leaf: ROAST, NUTTY, FLORAL (chocolately roast, roasted almonds and pecans, green leaves, floral, bittersweet)
Smell: NUTTY, FLORAL (is it fair to say that it smells like an oolong? Just that nice bittersweet green leaf meets nutty roast kind of smell. Some floral – orchid, I guess!)
Taste: NUTTY, VEGETAL, SWEET, FRUITY, FLORAL, EARTHY, and MORE! (roasted walnut and almond, roasted corn, brewed dark tea, wildflower honey, light chocolate, orchid, honeysuckle, autumn leaves, light roast and woodiness, mineral, hint of orange and grapefruit rind, tart raspberries). This is a dense tea – flavors are numerous and develop on the palate and throughout individual steepings.
You know what? I like this tea because it demands respect. Upon first tasting it, you are greeted with roasted nuttiness and some bittersweet notes – nothing to write home about, really. To be honest, it only starts to taste good – really good – when you sit down and give it the attention it deserves. Do that, and you’ll have yourself a rewarding experience.
This one took me a minute to wrap my head around . . . as a relatively new tea drinker, there were no obvious flavors that I could put a finger on. However, the complexity of the flavor is what made it enjoyable and intriguing. I found shorter steeps to be better . . . There is a hint of smokiness, it is very warming and almost feels filling due to the rich flavors. Brewed gong fu cha style, I don’t think I steeped it more than 20 seconds at any point. It evolves a lot over multiple infusions. There is quite a bit of savory-sweetness lurking in this tea!
Flavors: Round , Smoke, Spices, Thick
I got this tea cake about a year ago and drank it, enjoyed it alot and then set it aside and got distracted by literally tons of other teas. Pulled it out and drank it yesterday and today! Sweet, spicy, hay and umami in this 9 years old raw pu-erh. Nice cooling mouth feeling and very infusable. I decided to purchase 2 cases and now offer on my website. Truly a bargain tea and good tea from an under-represented area.
I really didn’t like this all that much. There were notes of leather and tobacco in the beginning with this tea. They did slowly evolve into something nicer, not sure how to describe them. More and more I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t like aged sheng. It’s not that this was terrible or anything but it had too much leather and tobacco for me. I can tolerate that in an aged sheng if it’s got strong qi. On this one I got no qi at all so it didn’t have that going for it.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.1g 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 miin.
Flavors: Leather, Tobacco
Smooth, nutty in taste and smell, with a slight sweetness following. Very easy to drink with a pretty light green color, silky texture, and pleasantly savory taste. Has a very nice “fresh” spring feeling to the after taste as well, although I feel it needs more body/flavors to round it out, unfortunately. Not bitter at all, does have some mild to moderate astringency if you push it too long steep wise.
I tried this western-ish style to start due to a rushed morning, 5 grams per 8 oz, two minute-ish steeps. Will report back after trying other methods if they vary result wise.
Flavors: Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Nuts
Totally agree with Rasseru. This is a generally over the top Dan Cong which I too have had darker roasted. The trend though has been to make lighter ones and with this tea its not an improvement IMOA. Yes all the things you love are here, but not with the pop and clarity of a darker roasted version. That being said its still a damn good tea, finicky if over-steeped and just the right temp. I played with the temp and found lower to be better than the requisite 195. The number two on my best Ba Xians
Flavors: Citrus, Malt, Orange Blossom, Orchid
this was for the Spring 2015
was impressed with its initial parfume. Floral, patchouli, cocoa, baked potato
first steep was approximately 80C. sweet milk chocolate, minerality, malt, dates. liquid velvet
increasing temperature gave a bit more body, though still quite light, and wine-like flavours and the dustiest of tannins. tingling minerality. this is elegant; everything in its right place. a long honeyed finish. The burgundy of black teas
This is an interesting tea. It does not seem to have notes of malt or chocolate. The main note is fruity in nature, not sure what fruit, maybe plums or peaches. I did add sugar to this so that note is intensified. There is no bitterness.
I steeped this one time in a Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 min.
The steeping recommendations suggested using 5g of tea but since I didn’t want to use up the entire sample, I took half and went for a bit of a longer steep time instead.
I rinsed the buds for 20 sec before steeping.
1st step at 1.5 min was rather weak and the flavour was a strange combination of mineral and mustiness and I almost gave up right there. But I decided to give it another go.
2nd steep at 3 min: The flavour was much more developed but still quite low-key. It’s sweeter and not as musty-tasting.
I’m only so-so about this tea. I’ve had other pu-erh buds that have been much nicer and more flavourful.
A super interesting tea!
The dry leaves are huge! 50 grams came in the larger sized bag that normally fits 100. They’re purple and green and black and red with a musty aroma of pine and ripe fruit.
Brewing it up you get a warm yellow liquid with a floral aroma. There’s a fruity taste like peaches and white grapes, and slightly medicinal like pine and mint. It’s a soft and mellow brew that reminds me of fresh clothes out of the dryer. The taste is similar to YS’s Sundried Purple Buds but overall more enjoyable for me. The wet leaves are olive green to light brown with lots of bud sets.
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Peach, Pine, White Grapes
This tea is lovely. Sweet, smooth and very fragrant. Floral, with some butteriness as well. The cinnamon spice aroma is there, but incredibly subtle. The leaves are gorgeous, and the little dragon balls are a joy to behold. I fared better with shorter infusions, I don’t think I went over 20 or 25 seconds even towards the end (Gong Fu Cha style). I shared this tea with my mother, who is quite picky, and she enjoyed it too! It was an added bonus.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Earth, Floral, Smooth
The dry leaves are small and wiry with lots of golden fur floating about, I think the furriest tea I’ve ever seen. It has a slight woodsmoke aroma. Malt, sweet potato, peat, lightly fruity and moderately smoky. Very mild with an excellent silky texture
Flavors: Cocoa, Peat, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes
Pulling lightly compressed chunks of Tian Jian out of a 5 kilogram hand woven basket is a pleasure that few will experience in their short time on earth! Incredible to imagine the skill involved in just making the basket, much less the tea itself.
There are wisps of pine smoke… barely there, but there. Sweet tobacco with notes of dried longan in a mushroom broth. There is a cannabis aroma and at moments I feel I am drinking a lightly roasted aged Da Hong Pao oolong. Very special experience!
Flavors: Mushrooms, Smoke
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This tea is rich and smokey. Sweet for a second then pleasantly bitter, with an astringency that coats the mouth without feeling to dry. It tasted earthy, damp and woody. Very smooth. It is a lovely autumn orange color when brewed. Brewed gong fu style, 5 grams in a 60ml gaiwan. Ten second wash, 1st infusion 20 seconds, 2nd infusion 35-30 seconds, etc. Lost track of how many infusions I did because the flavor continued to intrigue me after many steepings!
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Decayed wood, Moss, Mushrooms, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Earth
Drank the autumn all day at work today; lasted a solid 7 hours at four steeps an hour, I drink a TON at work.
This stuff is great. I tell new pu’ heads to try Bang Dong or Jingmai because they are light and easily understood while being tasty. Simple brew with some floral undertones. This leaf withstands those long spa treatments that we drink the bath water from quite well. Interested in seeing how the spring taste now, but this is solid… did someone say Bang Dong is coming to the 2017 Sheng Olympics?
Drinking this tea I couldn’t help but exclaim “Tastes like chicken!” Not as in it actually tastes like chicken, but as in it’s an excellent example of what a “very ok” sheng tastes like. It’s fairly bitter with a flavor thats slightly vegetal and green like parsley. Theres some honeyed sweetness, and the alcohol/gasoline scent that you get from a lot of fresh factory sheng. Theres a touch of apricot and tobacco, and just a hint of smoke. Brewing reveals chopped and shredded leaves. It’s a very ok tea.
Flavors: Grass, Honey, Parsley
Dark Matter 2016
I started on this tea last night, but after the third cup, I wasn’t feeling it. I’ve been drinking it on and off today, but for whatever reason, it’s nothing that I’ll write home about. It IS good, but nothing that I’ve wanted to drink. The mouthfeel is pretty sour; with a touch of something else that I can’t think of….That’s all I’ve got.
This is a high end daily drinker. Looking at this as it’s $9 for 50g… not what I expected. It’s really good. The sweetness is evident with each sip though it is complex because there is a roast profile in front of it all.
Easily brewed. Cheap. Tasty.
There’s nothing more I can ask from this tea honestly, it exceeds what I had expected. I would regard this as a daily drinker and good to put a little aside for the fun, but if I were to share a cup of YS oolong with friend it would still be the Iron Arhat which has true depth to it. Probably going to look at getting more of this for work.