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Backlog 16 June 2016
Well, quick thought before I dig into the review. It has been a LONG week. I’ve had forty students this week, and after spending a total amount of 120 hours with them between three weeks, I think we’ve all gone a bit daffy. I love them all, but after this week, I need tea—and a lot of it.
I wanted some tea that was stronger than Sencha, Chamomile, or an herbal/rooibos blend; therefore, I dug this tea out from the “Samples from Tea Friends” box. Yeah, I happened to start drinking it after 7:00 P.M., when I needed a full eight hours so that I could get up the following day at 5:45 A.M. to get ready for the day. However, I was so hyper/tea drunk, that I ended up saying, “The heck with it, I’ll keep drinking tea” until 12:30 A.M. And the result was a bit interesting.
A quick note on the flavor/color of the liquor before I decide to run away from the computer, to spend the day lost in the woods…..It was an enjoyable ripe pu-erh, and the chrysanthemum gave it a nice sweet floral bite. I jotted down, “malty floral flavors, with those wet wood, earthy, and sweet river nectar (?) notes.”
Overall, ‘twas a great session.
P.S. This sample was given to me by Kirkoneill1988 via tea swap. Thank you. It was quite fun.
P.P.S. This is a cheap tea that’ll blow your mind and get ya pretty tea drunk. Great for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet
This tea has a silky mouth-feel and a rich, earthy taste. The fermentation taste is a bit strong at first, but by the 3rd steeping it mellows considerably.
Not my favorite sort of tea taste, but definitely an enjoyable experience.
Flavors: Hay, Mushrooms, Wet Earth
this tea was recommended me by James fr Teadb. its not a first try, ive had it before. yesterday it was quite powerful, i dont remember experiencing such strong qi from this tea. it was very nice, sweet, menthol cool, with quick powerful huigan. But… i think it had so much effect on me that i acted like 3yrs old and hurt my friend’s feelings. Im sorry. it must be a weather too. i have to blame it on something. it wasnt me, its them
Well, I’ve never had bi luo chun before. Is it supposed to be salty? Because… it’s…. strangely salty? Not in a super overpowering way, but definitely a little salty. Huh.
The leaf itself is pretty—pale, and a little crunchy and moist, very cute in their little swirls. Smells nutty, like most of my Chinese green order. The broth is a light gold green tea liquor, deliciously sweet and creamy and nutty (quite a lot like cashews tastewise, actually), but with that saltiness to it that kind of reminds me of soy sauce a little bit. It starts off heavy on the nut and smooooth, becoming somewhat floral towards the end with an additional bit of bitter and astringency. It coats the back of your throat after sipping, leaving a strong aftertaste and lingering presence.
I liked this the best out of the three greens I ordered and it was definitely the most unique, I thought, but be sure to wash your teaware carefully after brewing this one as it gave everything else a salty tinge to it too that I poured in the same cups, ^^;
I tried this one both western-ish style and in a gaiwan. I think I preferred the western, although I probably also messed up the steep times on the gaiwan and did roughly gaiwan recommended steeps on the western so… heh.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nuts, Soy sauce
I’ve managed to come out of this with almost no notes. I can tell you what this tea is not: It is not bitter or astringent or smokey. It doesn’t brew up very dark. It doesn’t get super earthy or really anything for that matter.
It is however very pleasant to sip one while reading. It’s subtle and I can’t decide if it’s the sort of subtle that I shouldn’t bother with or the sort that I should keep around for peaceful mornings.
A nice a floral medium-light roasted oolong. The orchid note is predominant, but theres also a butteryness like shortbread cookies and a fruity note of peach. Sweetness is moderate but not overpowering.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Green Wood, Mineral, Orchid, Stonefruits
My favorite of a group of 5-6 samples of 2-5 year old shengs in the $30 to $60 range from Yunnan Sourcing. This cake had a very pleasant youngish sheng flavor with almost no bitterness. In fact I could hardly get any bitterness even when I tried with near boiling water in later steeps. Not to say that this is a boring tea at all, there’s plenty of good flavor packed in there, it’s just very mellow and relaxing. The loose compression also was a positive for short term drinking. All this considered, this is a cake I will likely purchase at some point as an excellent daily drinker.
Ok, letting the leaves air out for a little while definitely reduces the moss aroma revealing a really pronounced plum/sweet tobacco scent.
Giving it more leaf and more time in the teapot adds body and a very nice crisp finish (sort of a light tartness perhaps). The moss flavor is now more of a background note tasted more towards the back of the throat but it doesn’t last into the aftertaste. The taste of plum and stone fruit is front and center now and very good. No bitterness detected and if there is any astringency it is more of a tartness.
I don’t know if I’ll buy this one in quantity given the size of my current tea collection and the teas yet waiting in my wishlist, but if someone were brewing up a pot, I’d be the first one to the table.
Flavors: Plums, Stonefruits, Tart
I believe each one of these are different…
Anyways, this smelled good even before the brew which made me happy. The result came in as a nice semi sweet brew over and over. Not as delicate as CLT or even W2T Smooch (which surprised me), but it’s a solid material that has depth that comes through in the later steeps. These seems to be good as young as they are with those sweet notes and vibrancy of the raw pu’erh in there.
Another strong malty tea. This one benefited from me leaving it open for a couple days to breathe – initially it had a strong hay/dried-grass smell, but as that dissipated I was left with a very malty, somewhat chocolaty brew.
I use half as many leaves with this tea as I do normal blacks – a little goes a long way.
Strong malty tea. One in a mug is enough for a day brewed grandpa-style.
Basically just a cone-shaped version of a premium black pearl. Tea unfolds as you brew. It’s tied internally so the leaves hold together, which makes clean-up a breeze.
Looks more like a deranged spider than a flower, but your imagination may vary.
Moved this to my 300cc glass teapot just because the tou cha is so big (15g).
Same leaves from before and working in my second steeping. Still has reasonable thickness and a the lovely sweetness that has developed. May only get 2 more steeps at 300cc, but it’s a great shou pu’reh and given the number of steeps it’s given me I have no complaints
This Tou Cha REALLY should be broken in half, LOL! It’s pretty large after it expands nearly filling my 170cc teapot right up to the brim. I’m surprised that this one hasn’t been reviewed here yet.
The tea is thick and smooth and due to the amount of tea has to be steeped for very short times after the rinse and first steeping. After the rinse I did 20s, 10s, 10s, 45s (mistake, had to pour off to pitcher and cut with hot water, still damn good), 10s, 10s, 15s. I’m pretty sure I can get another 5 – 8 steeps out of this tea at the very least.
The tea is wonderfully thick and smooth. No noticeable fermentation taste or smell and no bitterness unless seriously over steeped – see above :P. The flavor is full and round tasting of damp old leaves, plums and a lingering sweetness. I usually prefer sheng over shou, but this one is really quite good!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Plums, Stonefruits
The Trails of LBZ, Case 11 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
First time I ever saw Yunnan Sourcing doing a 10g sample was when I bought this. I ended up only using 5 grams for this session which means I can do another with someone.
This is very smooth and clean tasting, but it knocked me out. I ended up becoming very restless and four hours just passed by. I’m not sure if it was the tea or if there is an invisible tick on me, but I can barley recall drinking this earlier this morning which is odd.
I guess I’ll try the other 5g another week and see if this happens again.
From the Beginner’s Pu’erh TTB.
Brewed semi-gongfu/semi-Western method with a glass test tube steeper. Amount of leaf leaf is actually 1.8g since that was all that was left. No rinse. Steeping times: 1 min, 1’ 30", 2’, 4’, 8’.
This Dian Hong has the most hot cocoa-like aroma I’ve encountered thus far. I smelled malt the first second I stuck my nose in the packet but it quickly paved the way for a powerful chocolate powder. I may be fooled if I were blindfolded. Having sat in the heated steeper, and being washed with water after the first infusion, the cocoa is magnified. Chocolate deluxe. Death by chocolate.
The liquor is beautifully golden orange, having a full body and creamy texture. The fannings and small bits were about a fourth of the amount of leaf I took from the packet, and I had thought they contributed the strong malty note one would in certain Assams. However, that seems to be a characteristic of this Dian Hong. The malt stays the entire session, but gradually lessons a little. Inverse proportion: there is hint of honey-molasses sweetness in the second infusion but the sweetness strengthens.
Overall, rich and strong. A good Dian Hong for every day, especially when one’s spirits need lifting and you’d want a nice hongcha.
I think I approached this a little too early into it’s life as the cake was pretty newly pressed still and the young sheng notes out powered anything else. Not overly astringent by any means, but I remember thinking at the time it was too similar to other non-purple young shengs to justify it over something else. I only purchased a small sample however and reading other tasting notes leads me to believe what I was getting may have been due to brewing the leaves a little hot. Looking to return to this one at some point in time.
So, this is my last tea from the box apart from the three or four things I took out to try at a later date. I had a great time with this box! Even though not everything was a success, I still got to try eighteen different teas. As it stands, I really look forward to swapping the box with Lala for the second one, and continuing the fun exploration!
FIVE SECOND RINSE
- Strong, sweet aroma
- Overwhelmingly fruity: apricots!
>5 SECOND INFUSION
- Smells very stonefruit-y w. smoky notes
- Light, soft sweet stonefruit notes (apricot)
- Fragrant and green
- A hint of mustyness on the finish
- Very smooth
FIVE SECOND INFUSION
- Has a sort of “dank” sweet/apricot aroma
- Liquor is a yellow-y green; darked than infusion one
- Little bit of a green/“under ripe” sourness?
- Still quite fruity and sweet
- Honeysuckle notes
SEVEN SECOND INFUSION
- Bit more of a vegetal/brothy flavour
- Some mineral like notes
- A mix of peachy and apricot notes
- Coats the mouth
SEVEN SECOND INFUSION:
- Leaf has a “fruit leather”/dried fruit aroma
- Definitely more “body”
- Coats my mouth, specifically the sides of my tongue
- Very strong stonefruit notes
- Peachy finish and strong vegetal aftertaste
- Still kind of vegetal/green
- Liquor has settled into a clear, golden yellow
TEN SECOND INFUSION:
- Rich, sweet stonefruit
- Like an apricot/peach puree
- Thicker mouthfeel
- LONG lasting aftertaste
TWELVE SECOND INFUSION:
- Definitely a strong stonefruit flavour
- Almost has a bit of a “from concentrate” vibe
- So sweet, it almost gives off a “sticky sweetness”
- Robust top notes
- A vegetal undertone
FIFTEEN SECOND INFUSION:
- Definitely flavour deterioration
- A more muted fruit (apricot) flavour
- And a shifted focus on vegetal notes
TWENTY SECOND INFUSION:
- Definitely a weaker/more watery flavour
- Still fruity/vegetal
- Sadly this ends the session because it’s four and I have plans…
I feel like it’s worth pointing out that this is a Sheng Pu’erh which is definitely NOT my typically preferred when it comes to Sheng and Shou. However, this session was really, REALLY delightful! I don’t actually own a full cake of anything currently because I’m definitely still in the “exploring my tastes” phase of Pu exploration but this is I think maybe the first Sheng I’ve tried where I’ve actually felt like I’d drink a full cake worth of it. It was a really phenomenal way to end of the tea box with as well!
From Dark Matter 2016. These heichas are very interesting. They seem to change flavors almost every steep. I used 5.1g in a 100mL gaiwan with boiled water – steeps of 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 60s, 90s.
The dry leaves had a kind of coconut sweetness aroma. The wet leaf smelled like a caramel or coconut latte to me, which was surprising.
First steep had an odd flavor, almost tasted chemically at first, but I also detected notes of coconut and vegetal notes, as well as a creamy texture and a light coffee-like bitterness. Next steep mostly vegetal and coconut flavors. Started to get some woody notes in the next steep. Steep number four was pretty different, some floral and caramel notes in there – decently sweet. Woodiness stayed throughout the rest of the session as well as some floral flavors. As with the other heicha I tasted from Dark Matter, it got a little odd tasting in the last couple steeps, tasted like oversteeped flowers or something. Glad that Dark Matter included these heichas, as I might not have ever tried this type of tea otherwise. Thanks LiquidProust!
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Coffee, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood