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Recent Tasting Notes
Taking a short break from TTB teas to settle my stomach a bit. So I figured I’d work on some sipdowns in the process! :P
This tea is quite different from what I would consider the “typical” Yunnan tea at this point. I wonder if it’s because this is apparently grown on a mountain? And it’s wilted/fermented longer according to Yunnan Sourcing’s website. Very interesting! This tea has an interesting herbaceous flavor that definitely reminds me of dill. It has some of the malt and breadiness that I would associate with other Yunnan teas as well. There’s also something there that I can’t quite place, maybe a floral? If so, it’s definitely a heady floral like rose or something similar.
This tea is quite tasty and I may consider getting some when I (finally) make a YS order!
Flavors: Dill, Rose
This is a very nice sheng. At $17/ for a 250g cake, it is fairly priced for wild arbor YiWu leaf. Quite young for a sheng but amazingly smooth and sweet.
The cake has light compression making it very easy to pick off the dark dry leaf. A fairly high number of stem pieces found. The tea soup is a very light gold color and appears very clear in the cup. Sweet fruit aroma from the wet leaf. The taste is smooth with only the slightest bite of astringency. There is definitely the sweetness of raisins and stone fruit. Smooth mouth feel and a nice Qi. In later steeps there are the beginning notes of tobacco.
Frankly, if I had tasted this one blind, I would assume that it was at least five years old (not two). I’ll drink this cake now and I picked up another one for aging because I am really curious to try it in 5-7 years. I’m a big fan!!
Today I tried the spring harvest of this tea using short steeps and boiling water, covering the bottom of my 150ml Gaiwan with leaves. My timings were 15,20,40,65,100,120s.
This is the spring harvest of this tea and I am not sure whether the differences I found in flavour are the result of using different techniques or a different season.
I found that this time the cocoa notes were intensified over my previous tasting. The fruit notes found were longan and blackcurrant. Cashew butter and cream notes were also present. The caramel notes were present but not as distinct and I did not find the grainy notes of the last steeping. I’ll have to try my longer steeps and lower temperatures to do a true comparison with the previous season, but I did really enjoy it this way.
This lovely tea came from Nicole. I’m almost all the way through her first package but I have since gotten a second. Lol… The dry leaves look quite “wild” to me, meaning they’re very spindly and rough. Almost like tiny tree roots! The color is mostly dark with a few golden buds mixed in. I’m not really getting a smell from the dry leaves, there’s a little bit of sweetness maybe?
The first thing I notice from the aroma is that there are very strong raisin notes. Yum! I also get other dark flavors, like malt, tobacco, and molasses. The flavor is definitely very deep and developed. I wouldn’t call it a super strong tea, but the flavors in here are all quite “dark” and intense. There’s dark, toasted bread with some honey over the top, but then there’s also a definite syrupy dried fruit note. I’m thinking raisins and dried cherries, maybe some fig in there too. Yum!
I continue to be impressed by Yunnan Sourcing, even their “lower-grade” Yunnan teas are delicious! Must order soon! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Toast, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Raisins
Today started off with quite a bad stomach ache and of course… I knew just where to turn: Sheng cha!
I have been waiting to try this special pu for a while now. Unfortunately, I was recently very, very spoiled by having the SMOOTHEST young sheng I have ever had in my entire life, thus my experience with this mellow sheng left a bit to be desired.
It is a very easy going tea. I would recommend it to those who do not have a lot of experience with sheng as during my infusions it has been very forgiving. It kind of reminds me of a young honest horse; the type that even if you didn’t line up a jump correctly, they will still give it their all and make the jump anyway. Those were always my favorite horses and always got the most treats. :) Funnily enough, that is not where the horse resemblance stops with this tea, either. It has some lovely notes of clean horse hair (in the throat of the tea), hay, and the dusty dirt of a pristine barn. To me, these are all very good things. Aside from that, it has notes of orchid, camphor, some nuttiness, and a nice caramel sweetness that is faint.
I have a feeling that this will age nicely, however, I am not sure if I want to invest in a full cake yet. We will see… Right now, I am just so grateful for a good cuppa and a quiet morning before work.
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #19
Oh this is the perfecttt Yunnan. Mostly golden twisty leaves here, but enough hints of darker leaves to give it some character. I know teas like Verdant’s Golden Fleece are all gold. And most Yunnan is mostly dark with hints of gold. The flavors: honeyed squash, sweet potatoes, yams with drizzles of dark chocolate… with some hints of tomato soup. The color of the cup is an orangeish amber. SO so so good. The second cup might have been steeped a little long (three min would be better), but no astringency just tangy for some reason, but it is deeper with more character. It seems all the flavors I previously mentioned have combined instead of being able to pick them out. The first cup is GOLD though… the second needed less steep time. I’d love three pounds of this in my cupboard!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Quite pleased with this tea. The leaf brews a smooth soup and returns a thick mouth-feel with a quick sweet, earthy aftertaste. Overall, this tea offers a tasty, sweet, dark brew with a little spiciness and is a solid choice for everyday enjoyment.
An excellent dian hong – chocolatey, deep and sweet. I’m still not 100% OK, so I was looking for a delicious “comfort tea”. I usually go for white teas as my “comfort teas”, but as I haven’t been getting enough sleep in the past two days, this golden bud was called for. The leaves are gorgeous and smell magnificently of dark chocolate and caramel goodness. Highly recommended, especially for the price.
Flavors: Caramel, Dark Chocolate
Steam rises fragrant
I sip a full cup of joy
Warm hug down my throat
(inspired by shreapops tea haikus! :)
Honestly I don’t have much to say about this tea. I actually thought it smelled really good, and I think it’s my favorite puerh so far. I wish I could elaborate on specific flavors and “notes” but my palate is not very sophisticated :P
Another lovely fuzzy tea from Nicole. I did the 1/2/4m method tonight, and all three steeps basically tasted the same to me, which is interesting. They all had that nice cucumber/honeydew in the beginning of every sip, and then turned into lovely light bread and pastry notes. There’s definitely a very light floral at the end somewhere, maybe a mild lilac? Overall, this is definitely a unique tea. I would absolutely consider stocking this just because it’s nice and light and refreshing. Lovely for afternoon or early evening. Thanks Nicole! :P
This tea is so delicous. :3 I used water within the recommended range this time around. I’m definitely getting a fruity note that I don’t remember from before, it’s kind of like a golden raisin (sweet and syrupy, but not as intense as a regular raisin). Very lovely. I will definitely be adding this to my list of teas I must repurchase! And I would like to try this with the 1/2/4 method or as a gong fu session. Thanks so much to Nicole for introducing me to this tea and to Yunnan Sourcing in general! :D
After my folks picked me up at the airport, we went to lunch at a place called TooJays.
Now I’m chillin’ out with my Parental Units, & having my first cup of tea here.
Halleluia! They got a new water purifier on the kitchen sink! Yay!!
No sulphur, no horrible water. I’ll enjoy drinking teas during my visit, Yay!
And it’s a good thing, because I brought a bunch of teas. I thought about bringing my fancy teas, but instead I brought teas that I need to polish off, so my visit with my folks might be a mini ship down extravaganza.
This one is not a sip down, at least not yet, but I’m getting close. It’s not one of my favorites from YS, but it’s not bad. The main flavor features, at least today, are leather & malt.
I woke up early & immediately started getting ready for my trip. Last night I stayed up & started 2 crocks of cultured cucumbers (think “awesome garlic dills, the old sour kind”), & a crock of cultured dilly beans (same recipe, using green beans instead of cucumbers).
Today I have a lot to do, & so far I’ve lined up my clothes for packing, watered all of the houseplants, & enjoyed 2 steepings of this tea! It’s time to get back to work, & to pick out another tea to drink :)
It’s rather hot here today, so sheng is called for and this was the sample that came first out of the tin. This is the last of the samples I bought from Yunnan Sourcing, so I can move on to my remaining Zhi Zheng and White2tea samples next.
This tea has not been heavily compressed and is easily pulled apart by hand. The leaves are large and have a lovely silvery furriness to them.
The dry leaf has a light hay and tropical garden aroma. It is heavy without being excessively floral. By way of contrast, the wet leaf smells more of grapes or something vegetal. The liquor surprises with its caramel and chocolate aroma.
The tea carries the chocolate notes through to the tasting and adds nuttiness and some grassy notes. There is a hint of bitterness that develops at the end of the tasting and into the aftertaste which adds a small amount of astringency that develops slowly while the tea pops on the tongue like space dust. The mouthfeel is rounded like a boiled sweet. There seems to be a lot going on with this tea and it becomes smoother with less bitterness developing as the steeps go on. I’m on my 8th steep now and am very happy with this one. I am glad that I have tried it, but I do have to query the price. I am not certain that it provides value for money, but perhaps the tea will age in interesting ways that justify that price tag.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Hay, Nutty
After a disappointing session earlier today I picked this one out of the sample tin. I bought it some time back and have been very remiss in sampling it. Fortunately my current sheng binge is really getting me through the samples.
The dry leaf on this is gorgeous. It smells of warm horse and hay. That’s a homely and comforting smell that suggests a great brew ahead. The wet leaf transitions to a smoke and hay aroma, and the soup is orange. The first few steeps were smoky and sweet with raw carrot notes and a citrus sharpness that became a lovely bitterness. There was some astringency and the tea sparkled on the tongue. As I continued to steep and drink, it became smoother with less smoke, no bitterness and more sweetness. The astringency remained with a change towards a grape note by the end of the session. I steeped this over a dozen times and will return to it tomorrow, so I guess you could say its endurance is pretty good. This is more like what I want from a sheng and I am glad I had this one after this morning’s disappointment. It’s a great note to end the day on.
Flavors: Astringent, Carrot, Smoke, Sweet
There is something comforting about this tea, & it felt good to relax with it this afternoon.
I’m in the middle of 2 things from my to do list:
1 – start a batch of cultured green beans, loaded with garlic & dill. This is slow food at it’s finest, as it will take a month or so before they are ready to eat
2 – start a batch of cultured cucumbers, with pretty much the same flavor profile
I also need to braid a ton of garlic & hang it up in the basement to cure!
AND weed my garden…
AND And and….
Another Nicole (and possibly boychik) tea! This looks quite similar to the Yi Mei Ren I had earlier today, but the leaves are thinner. Same jet black spindly texture though. Spider legs! Their dry scent is very mild, I think it’s probably because the tea has been in a clear resealable bag for a while, so most of the scent is gone. Smells lightly of honey, malt, and raisin. I brewed for 3 minutes.
The aroma is very chocolaty, which I was not expecting! There’s also quite a bit of malt along with honey, molasses, and raisin notes. As soon as I taste this, I notice that it has that fennel seed-like spice note, and quite a bit of it. It’s interesting because the other two teas I’ve had with a similar flavor are both Yunnan, while this is a Fujian tea. I wonder why that is… Anyway, the flavor is very malty and deep with molasses adding a background richness, but not sweetness. This tea is definitely quite savory. I don’t get as much cocoa as I would expect from the aroma, but it’s there a little bit. I would describe it as roasted cacao nibs.
Definitely an interesting and enjoyable tea. I find myself wanting to go eat some spices until I find out exactly what that herbaceous spice note is!
Also, no one else mentioned the spice in their notes… But I found it extremely obvious. Is that weird or what?
Flavors: Cocoa, Fennel Seed, Malt, Molasses, Roasted