Yunnan SourcingEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m not sure why this one is so much cheaper this year… was expecting the material to be lesser quality, but it doesn’t seem to be. These dark olive-green leaves brew a creamy, bitter, musky soup with terrific energy. It’s pretty subtle, no particular flavors really strike me, maybe its somewhat floral and nutty, but I have to push even for that. Its more about the creamy mouth-coating soup and lingering texture than big bold flavors, which is just fine. Very pure tea, extremely drinkable and enjoyable.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nutty
I don’t drink much shu, but I’m happy with this purchase. The tea cake is attractive with specs of red and orange amidst deep purples and browns, and quite compact. The tea soup is a deep clear burgundy. Initial steeps are smooth and later ones reveal more nuances than most previous shus I’ve tried. I picked up subtle hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, sour grape/red wine notes. It also has an aftertaste that lingers for a while. I may add more leaf in future brews.
I don’t find it as sweet as others have, but subtle bitterness in the aftertaste indicate its aging potential.
Brewed this one today gong fu. I did 2 quick rinses and the first infusion was so good! Sooo creamy with a thick mouth feel. Just delicious.
2nd infusion – creaminess less and bitter notes came out. Did not like 2nd infusion.
3rd and onward- The bitterness mostly died down in the 3rd infusion and the ones after. The creaminess was no longer there but there was a faint floral note.
This tea is best in the first infusion. I am leaving a note on my little sample to just brew this western style with only 1 or 2 infusions since the best part is in the first infusion. I would even forgo the 2nd rinse.
Pu’erh TTB 2015 Tea #14
You could convince me that this was made in an ashtray. While the smell and aroma from the tea were both kind of nasty, I ended up drinking and liking this more than the 2003 Mengku I drank before it. Not really sure how the smell is different than the taste, but this ended up being an alright pu’erh. A light dry taste to it but not unbearable.
This tea is quite good. Despite the name bittermelon, there is little bitterness to this tea. It has a nice sweetness with a slightly medicinal flavor. There is not much roast flavor. I brewed the bittermelon with the TGY for this tea. I don’t really know how to describe the taste of the bittermelon in truth. It is good, it is more sweet than bitter but not a tangerine sweetness. This is a fairly long lasting tea. I brewed it eight times in a small gaiwan. It was not truly finished. Had I wanted to go past eight steeps I could have continued. I don’t in truth know how many steeps this would have gone but eight in itself is a lot for an oolong.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.3g leaf and bittermelon. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. This tea seems to have something of a relaxing qi to it, judging from how I now feel. This is good tea at an excellent price. 200g was only $19.
Flavors: Roasted, Sweet
I received my box of ripe pu erh goodies today from the recent YS sale. One thing I purchased was this mini cake. It was well sealed in its own little envelope, so I immediately tried it even though it did not get a chance to rest and air out. This ripe pu erh is made with jiangulan, an herb I had never heard of. I think it’s kind of like ginseng, at least that’s how it tastes (Yang-chu, help me out here!). This is a really good tea for what it is. The ripe tea is of solid quality, and the herb makes it minty fresh, like ginseng. It’s quite unusual, and worth a try if you are adventurous. And it has a great little wrapper…
hooho boy this is crazy good. All Scott’s Jingu-area teas I’ve tried this year are really pretty dynamic and different, going again to show us how much variety there can be in a relatively small area. This one reminds me a lot of a Mengku/Bingdao area profile. That is, it is very pure, sweet and thick, with an icy-cool bite. It is also extremely subtle, but I’d say there are notes of musky wildflowers and honeysuckles, with a vegetal sweetness that seems closest to sweet bell-peppers. The bitterness is solid and gives it this tea a good structure while not being overpowering, and it brews very even across many infusions. I’d almost say this tea seems underpriced…
Flavors: Bell Pepper, Floral, Honeysuckle
I decided to scoop up a bit of this tea because it sounded interesting, and I’m certainly happy about that decision! This is my first introduction to purple tea, and it’s a much lighter taste than black tea—almost flowery or fruity, and sweet. It’s not as creamy as a black tea might be, but is still smooth. It’s got a little bit of a bite to it there at the end that I think I like? Haha!
This is my first pheonix Dan Cong oolong. It’s a simple and pleasant daily drink. Strong roasted barley and subtle rock sugar notes linger on the tongue and have a mouth-watering effect. It’s quite refreshing. There is a prominent mineral element to it that reminds me of Wuyi oolongs, rather than Dan Cong. I’m on the 4th steep and I still don’t pick up any fruity or flowery notes.
I like the tea, but there is no “mi lan xiang” to speak of in this tea. This may be the first time I’ve been disappointed with an order from YS. Perhaps my package was mislabeled?
I ordered this tea as a sample. I’ve been saving it for an evening after a stretch of stressful days. The dried leaves were largely intact thanks to Scott for his thoughtfully breaking off the tea leaves from the bing into flattened layers instead of thick chunks.
This is a powerful tea. Definitely something to drink without distractions. The wet leaves are highly fragrant. The tea has a wonderful body and huigan with a fruity, flowery and nectar-like sweetness for many steeps. The huigan intensifies from the 3rd steep on wards, slowly expanding in the mouth and throat with a warm flowery sweetness.
Other notes I’ve picked up are wild honey, lavender, sandal wood, dried apricot, cane sugar, minerals, and camphor. It becomes more complex and savory in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th steeps. I’m going to leave the rest to finish tomorrow otherwise I won’t be able to sleep. The tea leaves a honey-like aroma in the empty cup. I would purchase a tong if I had the cash. Teas from southern Xishuangbanna are reputed for their aging potential, and this one is definitely worth adding to any collection for current consumption of future aging.
Tried this on LP’s recommendation, and yep, its a nice sweet tea. less of the malt and more of something a bit like raisins. reminded me of an alcoholic drink. I cant remember which, but one of them.
smooth, sweet, perhaps not as much like a warm blanket as, say, a yunnan gold, but clearer & more spritely, while also being relaxing. I tried overbrewing it and it took it well , where other golds would become bitter or over-malty. Goes down very easy. I could chug on it all day.
Amber goodness. Simple but effective!
Flavors: Malt, Raisins, Sweet
Backlog from last night.
I had 2 steeps of this western-style: 5 g leaf, 8 oz of 90C water, 25-35 second steeps. The smell of the leaf when I rinsed it was suuuper funky and fermented – I swear to god it smelled like yogurt.
The taste of this tea was quite mild, though. Very smooth, with a sort of creamy, thick mouthfeel, but otherwise not very obtrusive. I’ll have to see how this tastes when I brew it gong-fu.
Another first for me. I picked a bing of this up back when there was a discount on Mengku product and I am quite pleased that I did. The dry leaf has a strong honey and tobacco aroma. The liquor is strong even with a short steep and has a bitter edge to it that is not unpleasant, with an underlying caramel flavour. It has certainly woken me up now and that is no bad thing.
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Honey, Tobacco
Thanks kieblera5 for sending me a sample of this!
Gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. Fifteen second rinse.
Wow, so newb, very logic. I couldn’t tell how many grams I was sent (at least ten?), so I simply dumped everything into my 3-ounce gaiwan. There was a lot. The leaf nearly filled the bowl when it fully expanded. To not oversteep and make yucky cupd, I did a bunch of flash infusions in the beginning and then climbed up to 120 seconds in the end, with total of 15 infusion.
This session lasted for a day and half because I had a dentist appointment the first day and I am strict about my caffeine cut-off time.
The dry leaf, after staying in the heated bowl for a bit, smelled sweetly of stick rice. The wet leaf aroma is the same but much sweeter with an undertone of damp sand.
As one can imagine with so much leaf, the liquor was incredibly dark red at the very start. Also cloudy, but it cleared after a few more infusions. This is a simple shou. The texture and flavor notes did not change throughout the session. Basically creamy and tastes of sticky rice and mushrooms.
For $6 small cake, this is decent. OK tasting, very every day.
Yay! I’m first!! And I’m really enjoying it. :)
The dry leaf has a warm horse and mild tobacco aroma. The bing is loosely packed with a mix of olive green leaves and silvery, fuzzy tips. It produces a dark amber liquor with no great depth yet, but with a pleasant astringency, and lightly honeyed finish. There is a hint of camphor in there and something vegetal. The aftertaste is sweet and spicy. Where this tea really scores is in the fact that I cannot feel my legs now and my arms are a bit floppy too. After two steeps I could feel the tea drunk coming on, and at four I am almost ready to start telling everyone how they are my best mates. The force is strong in this tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Camphor, Honey, Spicy, Tobacco
First note for this tea!
Ubacat sent me some of this. I used about 5g in my brand new celadon gaiwan from Yunnan Sourcing (more on this below).
I did about a half dozen steeps and the tea was mild, but somewhat juicy and bitter. Notes of grass and apricots. However, during my final steep, I dropped the lid of the teapot I was using to pour the water into the gaiwan, and the gaiwan got chipped on the edge.
This is only the second time I’ve used the gaiwan! I’m sad. It was pretty. Will it still work, or will the chipped edge make the whole thing fragile?
Purple leaf tea is a weird one for me. This one has a similar thing going like the other purples I am sampling from YS, almost a sheng-type freshness. It has only just been harvested two months ago, and doesnt have any roasty, what you get is sweet & almost sour citrus notes going on. Grapefruit is a good description, as YS have on the website.
The steeped leaves have a OB-like spice smell, and also something else that I really dont like. I dont know what it is, but its there.
later brews reveal a slight astringency, with more of this sour plant/citrus taste appearing. This isnt a very complex tea, and later steeps the taste seemed to fall apart a bit, with the sour taste lingering in a not-so-nice manner. This is probably down to my inexperience with steeping young leaf such as this. I am doing it gongfu, maybe it is better a different way.
Really on the fence with this one! I will continue to try different methods and maybe a re-review soon.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Grapefruit, Plants, Sour
Om nom nom. Onto the permanent YS wishlist this goes. Sleek golden spires for my cup.
This was ever so tasty. Lots of malt, baked goods notes, not much in the way of tangy notes. Smooth? Like a baby’s behind.
Beautiful to look at, delicious to drink, and very forgiving on steeping parameters. This is a keeper. Thanks, Liquid Proust!
Having this at work, more lazy western steeping. This is a little smoky, a little sour, and I can definitely taste more of that mushroom note. Glad I had a chance to try this; this is a decent young sheng with a flavour profile that’s different, but not too different. I’ll see if I can steep this 3-4 times today.
I didn’t feel like doing a whole gong fu thing tonight, so I just did a few lazy western steeps – 5 grams, 8 oz of water, and 3 steeps ranging from 30-45 seconds each.
This tea smelled really interesting right after it was rinsed. I sensed a deep, earthy, sweet smell that reminded me – of all things – of toasted marshmallows. Thinking about it more closely, I suppose that was the nuttiness I was reacting to.
I didn’t get much mushroom flavour out of this, but it was nutty (walnut and almond skin, I think) and vaguely fruity. Smoky. A little astringent. I was sipping this while writing up the second draft of some website copy for a freelance client. Glad to have one smaller thing off my plate (and a small serving of tea in my cup!)
PS: Thanks, ubacat for sending this to me! Sharing a tea box with you has been so fun.
Starts off nutty & savoury. Medium thickness liquor from the first steep! chocolate notes from the leaves. The roast isnt strong at all, and the tea has a pleasant woody/natural classic oolong-ness to it.
I brewed 4g in my 60ml gaiwan and maybe that was a bit too little, but the flavour definitely says da hong pao, with hints of nuts, a bit of sweet, and a lovely oily oolong flavour that sits on the tongue. Theres a nice balance of flavours in there. it gets thicker too.
It tastes new, doesnt have any charred sharpness to it, round and soft. Still tastes ‘wise’ like an oolong should taste, but a bit more like the zen masters apprentice than the zen master. haha. Mellow without being weak. I really like it! – I really feel like im in the enviornment, misty mountains and dewy forests :)
Every steep went down one after another. fifth steep in, its the gift that keeps on giving. Started mellow (refined?) and is just keeping up with it.
Mental image was creamy water droplets infused with misty forests.
Flavors: Cream, Nuts, Wood