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Recent Tasting Notes
Got this one out after forgetting to post a note about it a while back. Worthy of a re-do.
I got 10 grams out to start this one out with. I am brewing this up in a new Gawain I got at a good price from a friend, bounteaful from Instagram.
I brewed it up after a wash and a period for the tea to open up. The first brews were a bit thin so I let it rest a bit longer. I went went some longer steeps from it and it was a full on brew from there.
It actually brews darker than some of my older teas, a gold with that I’m turning the corner on the aging process.
This tea became very thick. Notes of veggies, some mintiness and a good hit of nit you biterness. It has a note of butter and tobacco as others have notated. This is not the subtle one that you drop on your new tea people to drink but the experienced ones will enjoy this I think. The huigan is really nice as you can taste it for a while after drinking it.
The aromas of mineral rocks and some wet hay in there as well.
Nice invigorating tea.
On a side note. A new friend has joined our site and looking for some people to follow and followers as well.
stock man. From Spain and hoping to share our experiences and notes on here.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Hay, Mineral, Mint, Tobacco, Wood
Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here. You know how it is, you drink the same teas, or you don’t feel like making a tea page for all the new teas you have, or life just gets busy. Anyhow, it was finally cool today, so I thought I’d have some Shou. Stephanie sent me this in a surprise package and it’s so fun! It’s my first whole tangerine Shou. I’ve had a sample before from another company, but it was just pieces of the peel and tea. This time, I got to break it up myself!
It has that smoked/char taste that I noticed in the other one, which is warming and cozy when it’s cold out. I also noticed a bit of citrus, and that seemed to come out more as I steeped and the Shou got sweeter. Very nice and smooth, no funk. Thanks so much Stephanie! :)
This tea is strong with the note people refer to as chocolate. I say it that way because it doesn’t taste like chocolate in the same sense as chocolate. It’s not like a cup of hot cocoa but it does have the note people look for in black tea. There is a slightly lesser note of malt too. This is a very good tea at an excellent price. I forget exactly what I paid but I got it on sale so I got it for even less.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I’ve had this one sitting in my pu-erh cupboard for awhile. I don’t know if I’ve ever had it before. So I chipped off 5 g and brewed it up.
At first this tea tasted great. A bit smokey, smooth, no bitterness & a light apricot taste to it. With further infusions , it lost the smokey flavor really quick. Bitterness started creeping in and a metallic taste that kept getting more pronounced each infusion. I just don’t like that metallic taste at all.
On the good side it does have a strong cha qi.
This is a tasty black tea with only a little in the way of bitterness or astringency. The first note I detect is malt, very strong, but somehow not overpowering. Behind the malt is a note of chocolate or cocoa, not sure which is a better description. I only brewed this western style and I’m getting a lot of flavor and a lot of complex notes, very tasty.
I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This isn’t like any tea I’ve ever tried. The brick is so dense it requires a chisel. For sure, this is not typical cultivated tea. The previous tasting note called this thing “Wild Child”. I don’t think I could’ve come up with a better name. I’m picking up deep forest flavors (something I love in sheng pu’er): pungent herbs, vegetal sweetness, pine, camphor, smoke, and pleasant tobacco notes (there is such a thing). I don’t detect any bitterness since I’m doing 5 second steeps. That said, DO NOT over brew this one. This one is full-bodied, interestingly textured, has a long aftertaste and strong cha qi, moving from the mouth down towards the gut and through the rest of the body after each sip. Given it’s potency and complexity, I’d say it would age nicely.
This tastes exactly like the Yunnan Sourcing’s Dehong Ye Sheng 2013 100 g brick. It has those typical robust, sharp notes of the northern wild purple tea tree variety: tannin, camphor, deep sweet forest greens, pine, raw brussle sprouts, medicinal, minerals, and a long sweet finish. I specify northern since I’m told that young purple pu’ers from the more southerly region of Yiwu and surrounding areas are more mellow.
It’s freshness and flavor profile when young makes northern purple raw pu’er somewhat akin to a rustic green tea with a lot of edge. Personally, I think these purple teas taste better with a few years on them, but they are quite different from their green leaved counterparts and very refreshing.
A solid shou, I like this one a lot! From what I understand, Yong De area leaves are not the highest quality or most sought after but I really like shou produced from Yong De area. The taste is great for a daily drinker. Smooth, dark but not too rich, some dark notes of dark chocolate and molasses but balanced with lighter notes of toasted straw and a smores / lightly spiced pumpkin pie taste (I’m tasting some toasted graham cracker in there). Tastes like a combination of a Dayi (say, a 7452) and Mandala’s Noble Mark. I’m just finishing my 25g sample today, but I have a cake in the mail. Delicious!
This is my current favourite of my limited collection. It is very smooth with subtle smoke and honey flavours. It is very long on the palate and thoroughly satisfying.
It is worth noting that the image of the wrapper on here is incorrect. Correct image can be found here: http://yunnansourcing.com/en/tailianchamasi/1367-2002-tai-lian-kunming-tea-market-opening-anniversary-raw-tea-cake.html
Flavors: Honey, Smoke, Spices
Another sample from Nicole – thanks! :)
The dry leaves are cute little black and gold snails – love it. I was in the mood for a rich, malty black tea to brew western-style, and this is pretty much hitting the spot. It’s smooth and malty, maybe a little bit smoky, but I’m not finding it overwhelming. I’m actually not getting a lot of other flavours here, and I think it could have gone for a bit of a longer first steep. Tasty, but not one I feel compelled to immediately go out and buy more of (thank goodness!).
From the EU TTB
I think I’ve got this in the right place – what I’m drinking is described as “Autumn 2014 Premium Jin Guan Yin AA Grade Anxi Oolong”. I think I’ve probably known it for a while, but this is the tea that finally made me realise that I prefer green oolong to roasted. That struck me as odd at first, considering that black tea is such a favourite of mine, but it appears to be the case. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 185 degrees. The leaves are rolled, but they unfurl easily and it’s kind of calming to stand and watch. Just what I need, this week. The resulting liquor is a pale, clear green.
This one is quite thickly floral, and tastes primarily of orchids to me. Underlying that it a mild, buttery vegetal flavour, a little like spinach, and underlying that is a touch of something mineral, like wet rock. It’s so smooth, and so full flavoured – even though typically I shy away from floral-tasting teas, I actually kind of like it here. Oolong will never be my absolute favourite, but I definitely have less against it than I used to. It’s teas like this one that have really shown me that there are things to like about it, and I’d happily drink this one again.
Backlog from a few days/weeks ago.
I’ve brought this to work, but I only got one steep out of it. Roasty, with some of that sweet TGY cream flavour, but I don’t know if this is a tea that really benefits from the nonchalant brewing style of a workplace. This tea needs more structured parameters, I think.
First tasting note!
I brewed this western-style: about 3.5 teaspoons to 3 cups water at 90°C for 2 minutes. The resulting brew was a deep, clear buttercup yellow.
What’s interesting is that I can taste the difference that the light roast has made between this month’s TGY and the unroasted TGY that came in the July 2015 box. This month’s tea liquid itself is darker, and I’m getting notes of hay and wood in addition to the flowery orchid/gardenia notes from last time. The cream flavour that I sensed in last month’s box has deepened and intensified into something more buttery — if I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was a milk oolong.
I tried making this tea twice before reviewing, using the same temperature and amounts of leaf to water, but using different steep times: 1.5 tsp of leaf and 12 oz of water at 80°C. I steeped it once for 2 minutes and once for 3 minutes. Both times the resulting liquor was a pale greenish orange colour. While the 3 minute steep was stronger, the taste for both steeps was otherwise quite similar: vegetal, somewhat smoky, somewhat mossy.
A perfectly serviceable green tea, but otherwise uninspiring.
First note for this tea!
The dry leaves smelled bready, malty, and molasses-like — this is a flavour profile I’m quickly learning to enjoy. The wet leaf smelled smoky and fruity, like tobacco and fresh plums. All of the steeps brewed up a deep clear yellow, though the initial steeps had a greenish overtone that faded over time to show a more true yellow.
In the beginning this tea was really mild, with a neutral flavour and a slight honeyed sweetness and a mild orchid note. It didn’t smell very strongly, either. It woke up a bit on the second steep, where it smelled both of minerals and licorice and tasted more strongly of orchids, bread, and green wood. The second steep also had a grassy note at the back of my mouth.
This tea tasted pretty consistent across 6 steeps, though I do wish it had tasted more like bread and molasses. The final steep resulted in dryness at the back of my throat, and I still got mineral/orchid/chemical notes.
This stuff is full of chocolatey awesomesauce. It goes the distance in my gaiwan too. I got it as a sample with my recent order. It’s rare that I find a tea I like this much that is so inexpensive.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Nutty, Sweet
This is a dynamic, complex and powerful young tea that starts out sweet and almost buttery with a pleasantly lubricious mouth feel. Make no mistake, this is a bitter tea, but it’s a productive bitterness that coaxes out the flavors of the tea (apricots, nuts and maybe a hint of anise) in the same way that the right amount of salt enhances good cooking. It’s tongue numbing in the middle steeps, and the flavor slowly morphs from fruit to vegetable as the session continues. Another delicious young sheng in the $50/cake range from Yunnan Sourcing. I shared this with some sheng-newbies at work and they loved the mix of drinkability and complexity.
Getting this one out a second time as I forgot to post the first time.
I got 10 grams out and gave a rinse and let it sit a while. I brewed this quick with short steeps. Color looks good on this one. Seems to be aging well.
The color is golden in the cup. For Bu Lang’s I do short steeps as the can get bitter.
This one has turned pretty thick with a good mouth buzz to it.
I get notes of bitter, some woodiness to it as well as a bit of saltiness. It is engaging and a bit energizing. The bitter will remain a bit that goes to a cooling with a deep breath after drinking will bring that effect on.
I am partial to these Bu Langs so I am liking this for the punchy bitterness it exhibits.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Salty, Wood
Thank you Nicole! I’m not sure if I steeped these mostly gold, fuzzy twisties properly. I’ve had similar teas from YS like this one that I adored, but this one seemed to turn out a little light to my tastes. First up was a hint of tomato soup, but then it’s very light and sweet honey. Not much else in the way of flavor, even though the color of the cup looked like a milk chocolate brew, so it should have been like a medium strength black tea. I wish I could say more, but this one was too light! Only one serving left anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
I’ve suddenly lost the ability to describe the flavour of black teas, weird. This is a lovely golden bud tea, of which I was lucky to get a sample from Nicole. I put the whole 3g sample in my 100ml gaiwan. So far I’ve done two steepings, of 30 and 40 seconds. The wet leaves have a spicy, baked-good scent that is amazing, but unfortunately not really coming out in the tea liquor, which I suspect is because I’m not yet brewing it correctly. Ok, I just tried a longer, 60sec steep. The liquor is an amber/gold colour, like whiskey. The flavour is a bit earthy and sweet, like I expect from a dian hong, but there’s an acidity that I’m not thrilled with. Just tried another 30sec steep, and the flavour is smoother, but not as aromatic. Hmm, I’ll try a few more steeps but this tea and I don’t seem to be connecting today. Oh well, can’t win ’em all. :) Happy to have had a chance to try it, though!