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Recent Tasting Notes
Breaking into this one a day after getting it? Yes indeed. I usually let these sit a few weeks in the pumidor to open up a bit. The dry aroma on this said “drink me now”. so I will. I rinsed this last night to prepare for this evening. The leaves are an olive color and look really nice in the Yixing. When hit with the hot water the aromatics of hay and flowers come to mind. I did 3 short steeps into one 10 oz. cup.There is a nice golden amber color to this one in the cup.
First sips say mang Fei for sure. Strong kick on this one. Very strong for an Autumn tea. It hits full on. Very thick active mouthfeel on this one. Fantastic tingle on the tongue with a bit of drying after sipping. The bitterness of this progresses from a sharp bite to a bit of drying a few seconds after to a semi-sweet floral grassy note. In terms of strength steep this one very quick. It is a very potent Autumn tea and has that kick butt attitude when you drink it. Very nice . They say the strongest teas age well, I think I am going to be really interested in this one in a few years. A truly wonderful Autumn tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Drying, Flowers, Hay, Thick
Marzipan sent me this tea. it was a total surprise along with our joint Tao Tea Leaf order.
I love smoky teas. And i love this tea. smells pretty strong but doesnt taste too smoky/ashy to me. in fact, its quite sweet. i didnt need any maple syrup which i usually add to LS.
I really enjoy this tea during our Juno Blizzard all morning. thank you so much Marzi for sending this tea to me. im sure this 50g wont last a long time ;)
Thank you for the sale, Ost! The spring harvest of this tea is my FAVORITE lighter black tea. I was hoping this one would be just as good with a little bit more flavor. It kind of is, but the last time I had the Spring harvest, I didn’t use two teaspoons, so it’s a little difficult to compare. But the flavor is perfect for a lighter black tea. The leaves are gorgeous amber orange and very twisty and fuzzy. The flavor is honey, caramel, sweet potato. The three steeps are pretty consistent. I’d always use two teaspoons in the future as less than that isn’t really the same. So so delicious. I’m surprised there isn’t more of a difference in flavor, because I’ve noticed I am kind of sensitive to different harvests. Maybe there really isn’t much of a difference in these harvests though.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // half mug // few minutes
This came as a sample in my last Yunnan Sourcing order. As usual, YS does not disappoint with the quality and the size of their samples.
Though Jin Jun Mei are usually not my favorite black teas, this one I must say hits the mark.
The scent is beautiful, and so is the color of the brew, stunning.
It has a nice body, feels thick in the mouth.
Sweet and somewhat savory, slightly salty, the main note I can detect is definitely yam or sweet potato.
It has a bit of smoke, but very subtle.
If I had one Jin Jun Mei to keep in stock, this would be the one for sure. I might purchase this.
I needed peace and focus tonight, and this tea gave me just that.
Relaxing session by the candlelight…
This is actually a “second” tasting of this one I forgot to put a note up on the first time.
I prepared this tea last night the same time I got an XiaGuan ready to drink today as well.
This cake has some nice features, not too tightly compressed and nice looking leaf on the cake.
I did the usual 10 grams and gave a rinse and let it sit in the yixing. The aroma when I opened the lid was very nice. Sweet , citrus,floral. and pine. I brewed it up with 3 steeps put in a 10 oz. cup. I love big cups of puerh.
Nice vibrant floral punch to this one. Good bitterness, fruity and definitely sweetness at the end. This is a thick mouth and tongue coating tea. Nice yellow color a bit darker than most puerh this age. I am really enjoying this one again.
I have the “ripe” version of this on the way and I am looking forward to trying it as well.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Floral, Pine, Sweet
Wow as soon as I threw the leaves into the warmed yixing I was slapped awake woth the smell of something toasty and sweet. I imagined a warmer graham cracker and immediately thought of s’ mores after. Unfortunately my paranoid was confirmed my yixing is still not season thoroughly and is sucking all the flavor out out out tea. Every steeping no matter how short or how hot/cool of water I tasted nothing but the assamica varietal.
Putting off reviewing this until I throw it in a gaiwan to see if this tea is all bark and no bite aroma/flavor wise or my pot is a flavor sucker.
Flavors: Graham Cracker, Toasty, Toffee
I took this one to work and brewed in my double glass walled travel mug. I thought I took a pu’erh and was surprised to find a white tea. And one I hadn’t reviewed yet either. I just used the hot water from the hot water dispenser (water cooler) as I think that one is around the 175. I know it’s definitely less than 185. It was the best I could do at work.
I love how these leaves looked. So big , furry & white. It brews up to a pretty bold white tea. The liquid was an amber colour.
What struck me first about this tea is I got a caramel note. It seemed to taste like caramel to me but was between a caramel/malt flavour. This is the element I believe CameronB picked up that was similar to a black tea. On the YS website , they note that as this tea ages it becomes more like a black.
It’s interesting how we all get different tastes and then our brains interpret it in different ways too. What can I say? Caramel just seemed to stick in my head .
I didn’t get any fruity notes but I noticed this tea was VERY sweet; and of course I picked up the typical hay notes I get from most whites. The second brew on this was a bit too weak for me but the colour was still quite dark. I would like to try brewing this one gongfu next time.
Overall, an exceptional white tea!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Sweet
Breaking out a sample of this I got a while back. I read over the site to give a bit of “feel” to this one.
I got out about 9 grams of this to be brewed in the small Yixing yellow pot I was gifted with.
Leaf on this seems to be medium sized with a good bit of green color to it. I had expected
much darker with the age. Read a bit more on the site and Kunming storage. lots drier
than Malaysia or Hong Kong. A good point as I seem to like dry aged better.
I gave a quick rinse and went to steeping.
This tea is punchy in the first sip. A nice tingle with a touch of astringency to it.
The body of this is nice. Not overpowering but it has a strong presence.
Bitterness, a bit of ashiness are players in this but the almost metallic creeps up and turns very nice into sweetness. Floral notes are also in this one as well.
I think this is a tea to wrap around and set back and relax with.
A nice and engaging cup.
Gongfu in the Clay Pot.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Metallic, Sweet
In the brewed tea aroma: molasses, cocoa
Tea has a strong white tea swampy taste to it. Molasses-honey sweetness in the background with a slight bitter cocoa edge.
Second infusion at boiling for 4 minutes. The cocoa flavour really comes out!
Third infusion at boiling for ~6 minutes. Cocoa-y, slightly creamy and delicious.
Thanks to Sil for sharing with me!
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Molasses, Sweet
These little nuggets are so creamy and sweet.
I so wish I had hoarded them. But they are sold out now sadly :-(
Simple tea, but so comforting and soothing.The taste is rich and deep, vanilla and raisins mostly.
Sweet caramel undertones, but I also get a nice fresh mouthfeel at the end of the sip.
For those who like me are very sad to see it gone, here’s what I think could replace it, though I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems to be the 2013 version.
Also, pics of tonight’s session :-)
4g in Gaiwan.
Dry leaf: Concentrated herbyness; loose compression: the chunks pry apart by hand. They are colourful.
Wet leaf: Immersed in tobacco smoke; concentrated herbyness; fruit.
Summary: Someone call the fire brigade. There is some apricot. Even a glass of water is not enough to put the fire out.
Advisory: I recommend drinking water along with this tea, as it is quite strong.
As the description says, this is one powerful tea. Also something about it being intended for longer term aging…
5s – I feel the weight of the soft apricot, amongst foreground smoke, push down into my abdomen. The smoke, which is considerably thick, and some of the fruit, remains in the mouth after the swallow. Dramatic.
10s – Apricots and stone fruits. The smoke swells in the mouth, at the back of the throat, after the swallow, that it seems sensible to open the mouth to let it escape.
15s – This tea is interesting in that it is in between a mild floral and a heavy/bold tea. Post note: The subtle fruit gets swamped by the smoke.
20s – The fruit and the smoke are inseparable and the thick smoke is relentless.
25s – Even a glass of water is not enough to put the fire out.
Flavors: Apricot, Campfire, Smoke, Stonefruits
Beautiful Eyebrows gotta love the name.
Just realized this is an all bud plucking….. whooops no wonder why it slaps you awake. In an effort to drink within freshness and find an excuse to open something new I once again jammed by yixing full of leaf, which being small tender buds is extra dangerous because one oz volume wise can easily weigh 10-15 g or about twice as dense as most rolled and 3x as dense as most twisted oolongs.
Flavors wise this time around everything got muddled and all I tasted was generic hong cha, tickle of spice like a diluted chai with a slight toffee bitter sweet finish. Not the highest quality as it did seem to bubble (tea scum on only the first 2/3 steepings) on every infusion but depending on much hong cha you drink I doubt it’s worth spending double the price for a slightly better quality just be sure to rinse your tea a tad longer than usual possibly.
A reliable, cheap, SUPER caffeinated but balanced calming energy due to its spring plucking, hong cha that will never brew bitter. I am noticing a trend of only appreciating teas as my stock runs out oh well given my current inventory Im sure I will live with the 65+ other teas crowded my cabinet. A sure staple, Win Win Win.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Toffee
Awesome daily drinker
The size of the leaves are telling of the spring nature of the tea so while lacking in much body they are extremity aromatic and sweet. Usual flavors coming of this typical hong cha, matly bitter sweet chocolate that lasts.
Will never buy overpriced/hyped hong cha again now that I have sampled what yunnan sourcing has to offer, only issue is shipping so most people will order in bulk.
Cheap, reliable, affordable
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt
A very easy sheng to drink. Not terribly complex but powerful, smooth, fruity (peach and pineapple) with a moderate sweetness. Beautiful whole leaves with very few bits and pieces mixed in. Fairly light colored tea liquor which is very clean. No smoky or fermentation undertones. The aroma is rather sweet and a bit like a field in the springtime. The aftertaste is long and very warm, with just a hint of astringency. Quiet, calming qi. Decent number of resteeps – I’ve done six so far. All in all, a solid sheng with decent age and IMHO worth owning. I picked this up at Yunnan Sourcing a few months ago but it is now out of stock. However, I have seen a few JinuoShan cakes at Cha Wang Shop but not this particular year. FollowUp note: good for 10 steeps.
4 g Gaiwan.
Dry leaf: Med/high compression; dark leaves.
Wet leaf: Complex. Dark and citrus fruits sit on top of a smouldering straw dark base.
Summary: Bitter sweet lemons, which is interesting in flavour and experience.
So this is high mountain pu erh, grown in the remotest gardens in Yunnan. I’ll remember that when I’m drinking it.
5s – It has a similar bright crisp sweetness that Taiwanese High Mountain Dayuling Oolong has. Slightly lemony; very faint smoke. It makes me feel refreshed, and it gives a droning light buzz as it lingers after the swallow. Dido singing Stan has come into my head.
10s – Pale yellow liquor. Thick syrupy mouthfeel. Edging towards honey and lemon cough medicine. It has a steady flavour profile, with good body and a lingering finish, which stimulates the top of my head and behind my ears.
I’m seeing similarities to Hai Lang Hao “Cha Wang” 2010 by Yunnan Sourcing, which is nearly 8 times the price; however, this tea does not have amongst other things the complex layering I observed in the Cha Wang.
15s – Spritely lemon, bitter lemon bitterness, oscillating between sweet and bitter on the finish, sometimes drying.
20s – It develops intensity, even though it is a delicately flavoured floral tea and at times the experience is stronger than the flavour of the tea.
25s – Enjoyable; smooth’ish.
40s – Bitter sweet lemony.
Note: This tea came free with my first order from Yunnan Sourcing – thanks!
A previous session with this tea failed; most likely due to the new kettle. It went like this: 2 rinses, then 30 minutes rest with the lid ajar. Tasted off; abandoned notes for this session.
Flavors: Bitter, Lemon
Ever looking for a cake makes you wonder “mmm sooo this is what meth feels like”(and probably tastes like for that matter) Then this is your cake!
Will this tea win any awards for flavor complexity, pleaseant anything….. NO !
Will this tea wake you up? Yes and Violently !
The first half hour after I had a cocktail of an GABA/Caffiene/theanine anxious stimulated trip which mellowed out into clean productive, happy energy.
Bottom-line: this tea tastes like battery acid and will make you uncomfortable anxious at first but if you can hold on for the ride the residual feeling is worth the abuse :) I cleaned my place, worked out and went out for a very social adventure filled night, all of this while originally waking up super tired with a terrible hangover and accompanying headache .
So am I upset I gambled with a whole cake before sampling?
Hell no although I had to fight every urge to chuck the cake into the trash bin for the first hr or so, It was good fun and cheap thrills a true definition of a utilitarian tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Wet Wood