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Recent Tasting Notes
Loose compression; the appearance reminds me of White2Tea New Amerykah 2.
Nothing exciting. Ok if you want something mellow and simple.
The dry leaf has a light aroma with some concentrated herbyness.
The wet leaf aroma is subdued concentrated herbyness beneath a plum/cinder toffee sweetness. No smoke. It is a mild aroma with some complexity,
5s – It is fruity, thick and syrupy. No concentrated herbyness here; just sweet, almost cough medicine with some smoke, a little bitterness and some astringency.
10s – Some spiciness. Plummy, sweet; it makes the mouth water.
15s – It is pleasant but nothing spectacular, at the moment.
20s – It is refreshing and juicy.
Flavors: Plums, Toffee
Okay I definitely oversteeped this one. It’s wayyy too strong 0_0 I think if I steeped this right it would have tasted sweet and bready. But I ruined it…on the first try. xD Oy. Well done. xD
Steeped it again, this time for like a minute. Now it’s too light. A little bready. A little Sweet. I really need to figure this tea out. Need to get it in the middle of these two steeps >>
no tasting notes yet and this one won’t be much better because i’m on proper tasting notes strike…or at least it feels that way haha. Trying to work through some of my newer teas to figure out if there’s anything i need to reorder early in the year before the dollar goes completely down the tubes. On the plus side, it’ll give me more incentive next year to try out a few more canadian companies that i’ve been meaning too (though it’s going to mean large orders because shipping is still the suck in canada).
i enjoyed this one :)
Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of leaf to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is my porcelain oolong pot with a pour of around 10 seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time.)
The dried leaves are predominantly a nice deep green, with a fair amount of lighter shades thrown in there. The smell of the leaf is roasted, It’s not smokey, but it smells like its been through the heat, which is what you’d want to look for in a light roast TieGuanYin.
1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the liquor is a very pale green, but the Smell coming off of it is divine! It’s roasty and has a vegetal sweetness on it. The Taste is quite light, but it is vegetal with some roast in the finish. The Aftertaste is a clean, simple, and lightly lingering toasty flavor.
2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color has gotten obviously deeper, with just a touch of yellow added to it. The Smell has also gotten a fair bit stronger; it’s now similar to how Genmaicha smells, a little like roasted popcorn with some vegetal green-ness underneath. The Taste is sweet; the roast, even if it is just a light one, is at the forefront, with just a light and refreshing mouthfeel as it’s backdrop. The Aftertaste is definitely roasty, mostly on the sides of the tongue, like popcorn that’s almost been roasted too long.
3rd Steep (20 seconds): The Color’s slightly greener than the last steep, but the Smell shows no hints of letting up on it’s roast (keep in mind that it’s not overbearing, simply strong and present) anytime soon. The Taste has taken on a slightly fruity not, not too much though, like fruit that’s been roasted and dried. The Aftertaste is slightly astringent, I can feel it pulling on the inside of my lips, but it’s not at all unpleasant and has that nice roasty flavor.
4th Steep (30 seconds): I’m not really sure, but the Color seems like it’s gotten richer, although it might have just gotten a bit more yellow, not too sure on that count :). The Smell, though, is still that sweet roast, strong, but not overpowering, yet somehow delicate. The Taste is roast, roast, roast. I don’t think I’d like anything much more roasted than this. This, however, is nice. There’s some astringency in there, more than in the last steep, but it’s not too bad at all. I like having that light pull in the mouth. It’s not bitter, just corn-roasty. The Aftertaste has more corn than the taste, and the roast flavor has migrated to the back of the cheeks.
5th Steep (35 seconds): The Color on this is holding up incredibly well, not a single drop in shade or tone. The Smell is still roasty, but it’s starting to lessen a bit, so that the smell of the leaves themselves can begin to come through. The Taste is vegetal on the front, but in the finish it hits you with a roast that’s just as strong as the others, with no signs of letting up. The Aftertaste is still quite roasty, and the taste has come back to the sides of the tongue.
Summary: This is a good tea. And for the price ($9 USD per 50 grams) it’s a fantastic introduction to roasted oolongs. I’m not the biggest fan of roasted teas, I’ve had a few and only really liked one. This, however, has a light enough roast that it’s almost endearing. I could see how this would be comforting as a daily drinker, it’s got a welcoming roast scent and taste. Beginners unfamiliar with roasted teas would find this to be a nice tea to start wit, since it’s not overpowering. Roast-lovers probably already have some stashed away. Again, a great tea at an affordable price with just the right amount of roast on it.
So got my first YS yesterday…I hear so much about their teas, And finally I decided to give in from their CM sale a few weeks ago. This is the first one I tried from my order!!
The dry leaf smell was insanely powerful when I opened the bag-very sweet, like honey. While it steeped, the overwhelming sweet aroma mellowed out a bit.
But the taste was similar to the smell-incredibly sweet. Reminded me most of honey and sweet potatoes. It has that creamy and thick texture in every sip.
Ladies and gents, we have a winner here!! :D :D Perfect tea to start the day out with! Can’t wait to try the others too! :D
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
Two things I noted about this tea: 1) it’s wicked tasty, and 2) it’s remarkably consistent. I put 5 gm into a gaiwan and used boiling water. I started at 15s and added 15s each time for 7 steeps. It was nearly the same flavor every single time: mostly honey, with some tones of something lighter, not floral, maybe melon? Hard to tell. Anyway, good stuff and I’ll look forward to more steady steeps.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Melon
2010 HAI LANG HAO “CHA WANG” YI WU ANCIENT ARBOR RAW PU-ERH TEA
Note#1: My notes from 25s on will need confirming in a further session, as I’m not convinced the sweetness came from the tea alone.
The dry leaf is loose leaf. I guess a 10g chunk was not possible. This tea is expensive at $12.50/£7.98 for a 10g sample.
The wet leaf: Wow. Lemon on top; concentrated fruit underneath. When I say ‘on top’ I mean the aroma is layered in a way I have not come across before. Very complex. Citrus fruits, plums. I was tentative about brewing this, as it is so expensive. I only ordered 10 grams, hence the small amount of leaf used. I was pleasantly surprised to find 11 grams in my sample; wow, an extra one gram . The aroma shares some notes with the 2008 XIAGUAN “DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER”, but this does not have the mushroom direction. As it cools it has strawberries, lemons, light concentrated herbyness and no smoke.
The rinse was a clear, pale orange; at this price, I was tempted to drink this.
5s – Here goes. Liquor is very light yellow and very clear. Amazing. Liquor is thick, syrupy, lemony – very similar to 2013 YUNNAN SOURCING “WU LIANG YE SHENG”. Notes of honey and lemon cough medicine.
10s – Liquor is pale yellow; the same as for a Dayuling high mountain Oolong. Soft, sweet, with a long ‘ringing’ finish.
15s – This tea is subtle. It requires focus and attention. The flavour is light. The empty cup smells of honey and lemon cough medicine.
20s – Subtle. Light fruits, not so strong on the lemon. This tea is one to drink in silence to appreciate.
25s – Spice – where did that come from? Punchy with a sugary sweet after taste that fades away. Interesting: this tea makes the mouth water, the sweetness then increases to a dry sugary sweetness, then it settles down, finally leaving a dry sugary sweetness. This sweetness remained for up to a minute afterwards – a dry sugary sweetness in the mouth and teeth. Intriguing.
30s – Not so subtle now. It has a bold sweetness that leaves a dry sugary sweetness on the swallow. It’s like I’m drinking tea with sugar in.
35s – Liquor is almost clear with faint yellow. Crystal sweetness; chlorine is appearing. This cannot be attributed to tap water, as I used bottle water.
You can get this tea from teavivre if you live in the US, since Yunnan sourcing will no longer ship it to the US. The tangerine flavor is very smooth and mellow, and the puer is not fishy, rather it is rich and dark with a mellow, lingering finish.
This is a very expensive ripe puerh that I bought a sample of with my last order from Yunnan Sourcing. It costs about $120 a bing. In my opinion, it is not worth the price. I am glad I bought a sample. I so wanted to love this tea but I don’t. The first thing I tasted in this tea surprised me, fermentation flavor and quite a lot of it. It has barely aged at all and has more fermentation flavor to it than some 2012 teas I have drank. The fermentation flavor lasted until the fourth steep at least. There was a distinct sour note throughout all the steepings I put it through. Even in the last steep I gave it, the sixth steep, there is some fermentation flavor left. There was a fair amount of bitterness in the early steepings too, at least through the first three steeps. It did eventually get sweeter. I think this is an overpriced tea in the least.
I brewed this six times in a 220ml gaiwan with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. It did have strength going for it in the early steeps but that did not last. I think I would have gotten another four steeps out of this tea.
This is a sweet puerh with notes of apricots and stonefruits. I bought a sample of this with my last order to see if it was worth spending nearly $300 on. While it is really good puerh, for me to spend that on a raw puerh the words tea drunk would have to be involved. I felt no effect from this tea at all, although it was relaxing. The fact that I drank it without sugar is proof that it was sweet, I always add sugar to raw puerh. I wanted to get the full effect from this tea without dulling the effect with sugar, there was no effect anyway. I would not say that I experienced any major qi with this tea. It was good though, sweet and smooth throughout. There was a slight sour note in the first two steeps that soon disappeared.
I brewed this 13 times in a 125ml gaiwan with 5.1g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, 3.5 min and 4 min.
Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits
2008 MENGHAI QI ZI ZHI GE RIPE PU-ERH
I’ve had quite a few ripe pu erhs before, but never tried one from Menghai, plus it was highly recommended on TeaDB, so I was looking forward to trying this.
Dry leaf is fishy, but I’m confident this will be good. Fried bacon too.
Wet leaf is interesting; it has a different aroma to what I usually get from ripe pu erh. It is creamy and slightly fishy, but it has a darker base, which is like bacon after it has been fried and gone crispy.
5s – Liquor is dark brown. Aroma is mildly creamy. Flavour is smooth, creamy with some milk chocolate. It has a slightly dry finish, which is unusual. It is not as creamy as 2002 CNNP (Zhong Cha) 7572 Green Label Tiepai Ripe, so far.
10s – Liquor is very dark brown. It is quite light on flavour, and not as smooth as it was in the first steep. It has some complexity.
15s – Liquor is darker brown. I expect the full flavour now. A very dark cherry-like sweetness sits on top of a darker base, which increases intensity on the swallow. Creamy and smooth again.
20s – It is creamy and chocolaty, but not as full bodied creamy as the White2Tea. The finish is odd; it stops short instead of lingering. There is some slight bitterness in the swallow. Not straightforward.
25 – Liquor is brown/black. Lightly creamy with some bitterness. Colour suggests full flavour, but it has lost it’s boldness.
35s – Liquor is brown/black. Better. It has a good bite; fruity; raisins.
Overall, it is a solid ripe pu erh, but nothing exceptional. There is very little fishiness left in it.
Finally, something not green! :D This tea also came from Dexter. I’ve really enjoyed the other pure bud teas I’ve tried from Yunnan Sourcing, so I’m excited for this one as well. The leaves look like beautiful little Goldilocks curls, they’re twisty and curly but in a more haphazard way than bi luo chun. Dry scent is soft and honeyed.
The steeped tea has that lovely savory Yunnan smell, along with sweet potato, brown sugar, and stonefruits. Yum, this has a very thick, mouth-filling texture and it’s quite smooth. I can taste sweet potato puree along with wheat bread with butter and a touch of honey. There’s a deep caramelized sugar richness in the background. I don’t taste the stonefruit until the end of the sip, and even then it’s rather faint.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Honey, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes
Note#1: The chlorine in later observed in later steeps may have been due to my tap water.
Note#2: This is a subtle tea; it does not have the concentrated herbyness. However; it has a good delivery and form, and I will score it highly for that. The cha qi also contributes to the score.
Dry leaf is colourful with medium compression.
Wet leaf is subdued fruit, complex herbyness and slightly mysterious with some cloudy smoke. This sounds promising.
5s – Interesting. Makes me feel a bit light headed. It’s mild, lightly plummy with no astringency. Super smooth.
10s – Liquor is dark yellow. It has raisins / apricot and they really stand out. Thick fruit with raisins, especially on the swallow. Contrasting bitterness on the swallow. The flavour arrives smoothly, lingers, then fades away; it does not drop off early. This tea is strangely commanding in a subtle way.
15s – Liquor is darkish orange. It is well balanced: the arrival to the finish and the flavour profile are very pleasing throughout. If it were music I’d say it was in the high range and sounding very good.
20s – Apricot, bright plums and raisins in one explosion, then after swallowing the flavour remains before fading away.
25s – Some chlorine, some astringency. I think this would taste better after it cools.
25s – I will have to let this one cool, as it tastes like water from a swimming pool… Still fruity, raisins, getting more astringent.
I got a sealed sample pack of this tea from a new IRL tea-friend! We met on Facebook through a mutual friend who knows us both and that we are both big into tea. She happens to teach yoga classes in the same business complex my office is in! So last week I decided to try out one of her yoga classes and she gave me this tea. I gave her some random green tea samples, too. She basically only drinks green tea and her husband only drinks shou, so when they got a sheng sample free with a recent YS order they were happy to pass it along. I can’t believe I met someone IRL who had never heard of steepster but orders from YS :-O
ANYWAY, the tea is very nice! Syrupy thick liquor, nice bold flavor which is not too sweet or too bitter but has plenty of flavor. Floral overtones round it out. Lingering taste on my tongue and real nice Monday morning boosting cha qi!
Very glad I got to try it! :D
This is an exceptionally smooth sheng in my opinion. Whereas it has a really nice balance of bitterness and sweetness it is lacking in that it doesn’t present many strong flavor notes beyond the bitter and sweet. There are light fruity and floral notes happening. I think this would be nice for someone looking for a lighter sheng.
Okay, I’m getting a little frustrated with the TTB teas, so I figured since I can’t mail it out until Monday anyway and I only have a few more to try, I’d go back to trying all my older untried teas. This sample came from boychik. I’ve tried similar teas before from Whispering Pines and Han Xiang via AliExpress, but I tend to love Yunnan Sourcing’s Yunnan teas the most, so I’m excited to sample their version. The leaves are rolled into cute and fat little curls which are covered with magical golden fuzz. There’s no dry scent left, but I have had the sample for a little while so no surprise there.
Once steeped, the tea smells like sweet potatoes and honey with a slight savory note. The mouthfeel is quite thick and silken. The flavor is surprisingly heavy considering this is a pure bud tea, the strongest note is definitely the rich sweet potato, which goes perfectly with the thick texture. For some reason, I’m getting a very slight bitterness, not sure why since I used a fairly conservative temperature and time. I’m also tasting that slight savory note, and it reminds me of a salty cheese or smoked meat. There’s a little bit of a mineral tone, and apricots, fuzzy exterior and all, appear in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Mineral, Smoked, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of tea to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(I’m using my porcelain oolong pot, so be sure to subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)
Be warned, I know next to nothing about Dancong teas, but I’ll give it my best shot! :)
Right from the bag, the leaves are long and voluminous, they take up much more room compared to the Taiwanese teas that I usually drink, and are nearly black in color, with twinges of lighter casts around the insides of the twisted leaves. The smell coming off the leaves is very thick, like a fleshy fruit, kind of like a peach.
1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the steep is a sort of roasted gold, definitely lighter than what you’d expect from the color of the leaves. The Smell is fruity, there’s not much else to say, it smells like creamed peaches. The Taste is a bit more interesting, the fruity flavor is there, but the mouthfeel is brisk and relatively short lived. The Aftertaste, though brings in a bit of honey to the mix, not too bad so far.
2nd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s only slightly darker, a tad more orange. The Scent is nicer, with a distinct honey presence entwined with the fruits. The Taste is fruity, but there’s a bitterness there, which is far more pronounced in the Aftertaste. I will, however, admit that this has a great silky mouthfeel on it.
3rd Steep (25 seconds): The Color is significantly more orange now. But the Smell has weakened a fair amount, which is odd. It sort of smells like pears, but in a weak sort of way. The Taste is fairly bitter, it’s still fruity underneath the bitterness, but the bitterness is the main taste, and the Aftertaste isn’t much better with it’s lingering bitter plum taste.
4th Steep (35 seconds): The Color’s dropping off, it’s not weak, but it’s a shade or two lighter, which is certainly noticable. The Smell is also weak, it’’s not bitter, it’s fruity, but only weakly so. The Taste, however, is not weak. It’s bitter to the core, with some light fruit thrown in there. It gives you an acrid bitter taste on the back of your tongue. The Aftertaste is just bitter as well, but there’s also some astringency for a kick.
Summary: I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like this for the same reasons that I don’t like Wuyi teas, they leave a gross taste on my mouth and their flavors turn my stomach. Now, it’s not a bad tea, in fact, the base material of the tea itself is of fair quality, definitely better than Yunnan Sourcing’s Wuyi teas, but that doesn’t make up for the (to me at least) disgusting taste. I’m sure there are Dancong lovers out there who would diagree, but it’s just not a flavor that I enjoy.
This is from the November YS TOMC. I’ve been sipping this all evening, & it is a delicious rich tasting tea, with a thick quality to it that I absolutely love. It reminds me of Mandala’s Special Dark, & I want to keep drinking it forever. It is sweet, & brings to mind a dense yeasty bread. It’s creamy like cocoa. It has a chocolate mouth, & a boldness as well. I don’t really know what else to say, except it’s awesome, LOL. I will have to buy some when my sample is gone…maybe sooner ;)