Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

84

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86

Evidently I am having a pu-erh day today. Sheng in the mid-morning and shu in the afternoon, works for me.

This is another selection from the Yunnan Sourcing dark tea of the month club. So far I am liking the club because I got to try a lot of things I would not otherwise have chosen for myself.

This brick comes in such a pretty box (see photo). I have heard that bricks are not as good as cakes but I like this one a lot. The wet leaves steeping are very aromatic and earthy. The tea itself I would describe as earthy, chocolate-y, slightly creamy with a faint whisper of woodsmoke. Normally I don’t find shus to be smoky but this seems to be a bit. Or perhaps it’s just my imagination, I don’t know.

In any case, $18 is a good deal for this 250g brick in my opinion. YS calls it “lovely” and I would agree. I also have another sample of this if anyone would like to try it (I seem to be a wash in puerh samples myself!)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
AllanK

They usually use cheaper leaves for bricks although they can be just as good as cakes, sometimes. Sometimes, “low quality” leaves produce good tea anyway. Sometimes today they use higher quality leaves in a brick.

TeaBrat

good to know. I have another brick that I like quite a lot :)

Kirkoneill1988

alas, i have enough swaps to fulfill or i would ask to try it

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80

2/10/2015 tea of the day while daying some tea/12oz mug/ boilingish water.

For my 100th tasting note, I have gone ultra informal. I threw about two decent pinches of this tea into the bottom of my favorite mug, and poured boiling or just boiled or about to boil water on it throughout the day while I did all my various things. Two nice strong brews, the third more mellow, not bitter but a nice astringency showing up in later steeps.

It was delicious. A very filling mouth feel and rich malty minerally toasted flavours were the perfect drink for a long cold winter day, and strong enough to stand up to salt cod cakes for dinner. I put most of my teas through this treatment, and very few stand up to it and show off their good side – this is one of them. Such teas almost invariable show beautifully in more careful brews.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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91

This is a very tasty, sweet puerh tea with a fair amount of fermentation flavor. It doesn’t have a huge amount of fermentation flavor but is earthy. There are sweet notes behind the earthy flavor but I am at a loss to properly describe them. Either I am out of it today or just not getting the specifics. Either way I have a lot of this tea. I bought a tong about a year and a half ago. So I am glad its good. I only steeped this six times because of watching my caffeine but this is no weak tea. It would have certainly gone 15 steeps.

I steeped this six times iin a 150ml gaiwan with 5.3g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min.
http://instagram.com/p/y7yEJ-zDRO/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/y7yHyyzDRX/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/y7y84vzDS4/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/y70hZ0TDVY/?modal=true

Flavors: Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

The 2011 was nice as well.

AllanK

I have the 2011 too. It is excellent. We will see if they produce a 2015 Hui Run.

mrmopar

Keep your fingers crossed!

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90

This sample was sent to me by a Steepster friend. It is a really nice sheng, I am enjoying it this morning. For such a young tea, it is pretty mellow. It has some really great flavors, it’s lemony, sweet, melon, floral and a tiny bit of smoke. There was a small bit of bitterness in the first two steeps that has mostly gone away now that I’ve reached steep #3 and #4. Mostly it’s sweet! It’s good to have some shengs that don’t knock you over with harshness. The price is still reasonable too (today it’s $39.00 for a 400g cake).

I am tempted to buy the cake, just not sure if it would fit in my mailbox and otherwise the post office will lose it… :( Anyway I am really glad I got to try this one!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

YS always gets me with the high shipping costs…I keep almost ordering and then not :(

JC

This was me two days ago :P

mrmopar

Not bad for a purple bud for sure.

TeaBrat

Are the purple buds supposed to be on the stronger side? I don’t know much about them.

DeliriumsFrogs

I keep doing the same exact thing Stephanie…. I make a cart up, see the shipping, and back away from my computer. lol (their teaware is SO REASONABLY priced, though! A few of the cup sets have me drooling…and those are definitely worth the shipping cost…)

JC

Purple varietals are not my thing, but I’ve come to respect them. I find them to be a lot more ‘throaty’ than your regular Puerh and with age usually delivers a ‘darker’ sweetness, to me like dates raisins with a lingering tart in the back of the throat. I like Puerh versions, but I have to admit I can’t stomach the black tea made out of them so far.

TeaBrat

Dragon Tea House has free shipping, I am just saying… they are one of my favorite vendors at the moment.

DeliriumsFrogs

I haven’t heard of them! Thanks, TeaBrat! Gonna’ go check them out right now. :)

JC

Don’t do this TeaBrat! I’m trying to save LOL!

TeaBrat

DeliriumFrogs – you are welcome :)
JC – you came to the wrong place mwa ha ha!

JC

Damn you!… It would be a mortal wound if you.. provided the link :D

mrmopar

Purple buds can be bitter on the palate but this one is amazing. So easy to drink and very sweet!

JC

I think I may have an unopened sample of this one, maybe I should give it a try soon. I’ve mostly had purple bud as black tea and well.. not for me, but I’ve had good Puerh so far. If you have other recommendations keep ’em coming!

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92

The quality of the tea can be seen by noticing the size and the quality of the leaves. They are huge, beautiful whole leaves; with about 5% having a slight discoloration to them.

The tea has a full body, smooth taste with a lasting finish. I could not detect any astringent quality in the first cup, and only slightly in the second. The aroma was slightly floral, but not overpowering. I tasted butternut squash and honey, with a slight peach taste to it.

I tasted this alongside the Autumn Tie Guan Yin from Whispering Pines. The price was somewhat similar, but you could taste the difference between the two. I would make this a staple, but it is expensive. I would also note, I am not a huge fan of Oolongs, so this one was unique enough to get a amazing rating.

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Got this from a tea pal a while back and figured I should get to it. I have drank more sheng here lately but time to get the shou on.
I pulled 10 grams of this and put it in the Yixing to brew.I gave 2 5 seconds washes to get it going. It brews a nice dark color from the cup. The brew is very clean without a bunch stuff caught in the strainer. The aroma has that shou scent but not overpowering. It gives hints of caramel, raisins, some chocolate/cocoa and a bit of woodiness. The mouthfeel is very nice and very smooth. Bulang tea makes some really good shou and this fits that category perfectly. No wou dei and a perfect tea for last night and I am on it again this morning.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
tperez

Just got a cake of that, really good shu :)

tea123

It makes you wonder what is lost in those two five second rinses. Just something I noticed today when I did two rinses instead of no rinses.

JC

You try the rinses. I would always rinse though, specially with Ripes and aged Sheng.

Kirkoneill1988

i rinse once for all puehr 10-15 seconds

mrmopar

@tea123 it is just a practice that I use. Sometimes just one rinse other times two. I usually look in the pot and when I see color coming I quit rinsing at that point. With sheng lots of times I will actually give them a rinse and let them sit an hour to overnight sometimes to let the leaf open up before brewing.

sansnipple

me too, even with clean sheng pu, i always rinse once, just to open up the leaves, it’s not always that the rinse will be undrinkable or gross or anything, just really weak and watery.

AllanK

This is a very good tea. I have what is left of a tong, about four bings.

JC

Yeah! Leaving the leaves to rest after washes is great. It really changed how steeps behave and even shorten the initial ones. When I first started drinking puerh I would use the ‘chunks’ or compressed layers and though it works for some teas.. some just won’t budge that way.

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85

I returnith! I’ve been (mostly) inactive for a while now due to turmoil and a general lack of motivation to post tasting notes. I’ve been trying to figure out my life, and have moved back in with my parents for the time being. Anyways, now that I’m settled in I’m looking to get a new start on things, including being more active here on steepster

I’d been curious about golden flower/fu brick tea, and when Yunnan Sourcing started offering this small sample pack I had to try it. The dry leaves are course and dark green-brown with lots of stems, dotted in golden specks of bacterium. The aroma is strong and very sweet, slightly earthy raisin and ginseng notes.

After three rinses (I admit I was more than a bit intimidated by the motley looking leaves) I gave it a sip and was greeted with a very smooth, mild honey-brown brew. Very sweet and mild with raisin, ginseng, and nut notes to match the dry aroma.
Later brews remained similar, but with a bit of bitterness and a touch of green kale-like flavor. Overall a nice, mellow tea that was far less intimidating than it looked.

This is certainly different than pu’erh, but bears some similarity. I expected it to be more shou-like, but the flavor reminded me more of a mild and slightly aged sheng

Flavors: Dates, Earth, Kale, Pecan, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML
Sil

welcome back!

ashmanra

Interesting!

mrmopar

Bout time padawan..

Kirkoneill1988

I’ve tried fu tea from hebe’s teahouse

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81

Sipdown, 176!

So I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I really can’t tell the difference between all the different Yunnan’s. Maybe it’ll be easier after I try a few more. It’s not a real complaint though – I love yunnans! And this one is nice and bright, with cinnamon, honey, and maybe a little squash.

Thank you Sil/Terri!

Fjellrev

I’ve only tried a couple myself so I am by no means an expert haha.

Sil

i feel that way about dian hong….most all taste the same to me

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This raw pu-erh continues to hit me, over and over again, in the gut right below the ribs. UGH. I am not sure why I continue to drink it, if I were an aging kinda guy I might speculate this “Shang Chun” would be good in a few years but alas I also might speculate I have immortality and I have no current interest aging pu erh.

Just speculations though.

What I know for sure: the mouth feeling is interesting, the darker yellow liquor coats my tongue and lips -a buttery texture. The leaf aroma is of moist earth and fresh worm compost. The favor is sweet, not like syrupy -more like rose-water, faint, almost in direct juxtaposition to the body-feeling (described above).

Purchased sample at Yunnan Sourcing.

Additional brewing parameters: 6g leaf, 100ml gaiwan. ~8 steepings lasting 10 seconds-30 seconds.

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90

This was a lovely gift from my lovely TheTeaFairy – thank you darling for sharing this! I really enjoyed this. It was sweet and dreamy with a nice relaxing, yet not too heavy qi. It seems to be steeping forever. It is sweet and smooth and with slight notes of caramel and dried fruit – the deep kind, raisins or prunes and I like this very very much. I’m very sad it has sold out.

http://instagram.com/p/y2A9hLwx25/?modal=true

Flavors: Caramel, Raisins

TheTeaFairy

You are welcome darling, so happy you like it as much as I do!

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A clean tasting ripe pu-erh devoid of the fermentation “wo dui” taste and aroma. A very interesting shou brick with nice age on it. Sweetness detected throughout the steepings. Quite smooth in the mouthfeel and throat
The large tea leaves yield a dark and clear burgundy-brown tea soup. The first steeping is sweet and spicy and my first taste is mellow and bold without any sign of rough edges. There is a full and smooth body, with nice depth and a lovely flavor palette going on with an appealing mix of wood and leather. The tea liquor has an enduring sweetness to it and a decent aftertaste
Overall: Very clean fermentation and excellent aged taste; flavors of wood, honey and spices. After a total of six or seven infusions, the flavor starts to weaken. I am a fan of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea123

I’m interested to know how creamy this tea is. Is there any milk chocolate in the flavour?

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Breaking this one out from a a swap with a tea-friend.
I got 10 grams of this in the Gaiwan and went to town with it.
The wet leaf gave an almost cinnamon aroma to it. Quite an alluring aroma for a puerh.
I started the steeps at about 3 seconds ,3 times for my big “western” cup.
This tea has a light orange color to it. Since it was stored in Kunming it hasn’t aged as much as a wetter stored one. This is very interesting, smoke is definitely present in this brew. It is a bit strong in the early steeps. I read some reviews on Yunnan Sourcings site and only 1 other person noted this. This tea has nice notes of cinnamon , nutmeg and camphor in its notes. It is a very engaging and active tea in the mouth. It lingers on a while after you finish the cup. The resteeps seem to be going well and the flavor profile has not diminished much at all. I will continue on with this tonight. This is campfire, nutmeg ,cinnamon and camphor fighting for their taste note.
Note to smoky notes, if you don’t like them I would not tell you to try this. If you don’t mind this may be an older sheng to relish as it progresses.

Flavors: Camphor, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
TeaBrat

I cannot drink sheng late in the day. it gets me so wired!

PuerhCollector

Hello Mr Mopar,

Very nicely described. I felt like I just drank the tea myself from reading your notes.

Teas that have been processed using dried wood as fuel will retain that smoky fragrance for a long, long time (decades long). Luckily I don’t mind the smoke and it helps me reflect on how things were done in the past.

Best, VP

cookies

Yum, that sounds so good. I’ll definitely be putting a cake in my next YS order.

tea123

Any bitterness or sweetness mrmopar?

mrmopar

tea123 more bitterness is what I noticed. It is a bit punchy at the early stages of brewing.

mrmopar

tea123 I pushed this a bit more and the camphor notes amp up and it does have some sweetness in there. Camphor is way more pronounced.

sansnipple

the one on the us site is a smaller cake than the one on the .com site, 100g vs 200g. I nearly bought one of these last year, really wish i had now, before the price went up, when i first saw them they were like half the current price.

mrmopar

Sansnipple you are correcy!! I didn’t pay attention to that .Thanks for seeing my error. I did go get one from the US site and now I am off tot the other site.

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86

This is another tea from Yunnan Sourcing Dark Tea of the Month… I am enjoying my club so far!

As the description says, the flavor of it is something between a black tea and an oolong. It is light bodied with a sweet and somewhat flowery base. Aroma of the tea is somewhere between floral and chocolate which is my best guess for how to describe it. The aftertaste is so sweet it seems like it’s sweetened with honey. If you’re a fan of Oriental Beauty tea you should look into it.

This is a good tea but I personally prefer black teas with a bit more heft in them… might be nice as an afternoon tea instead of a morning.

Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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92

I have been enjoying this tea a lot in the past two days. Somehow I never “got into” dan cong oolongs like some other people have. The good ones are really wonderful though. The leaf itself smells very roasted and flowery. True to the name, the tea liquor is sweet like honey with a flowery aroma. I am breaking in a new yixing just for dan cong oolongs so I will post some pics soon.

This is nice when the steeps are kept fairly short. Some dan congs will turn bitter very quickly. So I recommend doing some experimentation as to your optimal steeping time. This is nice around 30 – 60 seconds of steeping. It works well for me as an afternoon tea.

So far I am quite pleased with all of my Yunnan Sourcing selections from Dark Tea of the Month. I have only one other dan cong oolong, so I was happy to add it to my hoard… err… collection

Flavors: Honey, Orchids

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Kirkoneill1988

I’ve never tried dan cong before

TeaBrat

you need to try it some day. I would recommend this one, it’s good!

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88

Didn’t sleep too well last night for some reason, but I am up getting my caffeine injection for the day.

This is another of Yunnan Sourcing tea of the month club, I have the Autumn 2014 version. Beautiful, dark slender leaves that are stick like in shape. I haven’t been a huge fan of all dian hong black teas I’ve tried in the past, but I like this one. It smells like a cup of spicy hot chocolate and tastes malty & sweet. there are some interesting notes in here for sure. Something roasty and something kinds spicy like cinnamon.

A very smooth tea with no astringency or bitterness. I am sipping on it plain but it would also be ok with a splash of milk. Something tells me I will need a LOT of tea to get through this day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
94

This came as a selection in the last Yunnan Sourcing dark tea order. I’m surprised that I’m the first one to review it.

What a wonderful shu, I love it. I did a quick rinse but from the first steep it is really mellow with chocolate notes. I wonder if there is something about the mushroom name of the tea that lends itself to a mushroom flavor? Because this tastes a lot like Shiitake mushroom to me. It has a sweet flavor with a really creamy aftertaste. I am so glad I got to have this in my selection of the month. I would definitely recommend trying it! Summer yummy.

Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Mushrooms

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
jschergen

I like that one too. Pretty great value.

TeaBrat

thanks for confirming my tastebuds :)

TeaBrat

interesting, it sounds very similar

jschergen

Yeah, I agree Tman. Pretty certain it’s the same tea.

mrmopar

Yep, looks like that’s the same one.

Kirkoneill1988

I shall try this someday

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A consistent floral, thicker sweet taste throughout my entire session. Also noted a smell of ammonia. The liquor ranged from a light green to yellow-y urine color.

This tea reminds me of that coworker who always comes up to you and makes boring conversation… but for some reason this doesn’t stop you from listening. When your boss comes in and sees you talking, you feel bad, because it wasn’t really a worth while conversation.

Felt a bit of pep in my body midway through the session, maybe that was the caffeine?

Additional brewing parameters: 6g leaf, 100ml gaiwan, 5-10 seconds steepings #1-5, 30 sec.-1 min 30 sec steepings #6-10.

Purchased sample at Yunnan Souring.

Flavors: Floral

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81

2/3/2014 gaiwan all day tea 5g/small gaiwan/boiling or near water.

Lovely generous sample size – 25g! That gives me plenty of leeway to play with this tea in my wee gaiwan. Today was a straightforward ‘brew occasionally on and off through the day after rinsing once’. I’m on the sixth infusion, and I think I’ll still be drinking this tea tomorrow. I’m enjoying it tremendously.

The aroma of the dry leaf is non descript – the wet leaf is full of peach and dried fruit deepening to a peach schnapps and citrus aroma as the day goes on.

The liquor is a pellucid pale gold – a ‘summers first green is gold’ kind of color. In the mouth the first thing I taste is a kind of searing slightly smoky clear bitter, which captures the mouths full attention hard and fast and then does a neat kind of transformation into a dried peach leather tingly sweetness.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
AnnaEA

This tea did not like sitting overnight. Steep 9 this morning was a sad little shadow of yesterday’s brews.

mrmopar

8 steeps is pretty good though.

AnnaEA

True. I’m into this tea for a bing when my next YS order goes. Maybe two, one for current drinking, one for keeping awhile.

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Found this tea smooth and mellow, with what I can only describe as “chocolately-ness” . The liquor maintained a dark brown even after 8 steepings in my 100 ml gaiwan. Aroma found was leather, ripe fruit and smoke.

The initial smoothness carried on throughout my entire session. I over all I found the flavor rather one dimensional (no dramatic or interesting changes during my session (10+ steepings)). Though the taste was pleasant I think I will save up for the more illusive multidimensional ripe pu-erh or a a raw with just a bit of age.

No chi or body feeling was noticed after or during the session.

Additional brewing parameters: 7g leaf, 10-15 second steepings #1-5, 30 sec-1 min steepings #6-11.

Purchased sample from Yunnansourcing.com. Another tea drinker has commented about this tea here: http://teadb.org/ys-yong-de-blue/

Flavors: Chocolate

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86

Mmm a delicious Yunnan as my first cup of the lunar new year. This is a delicious tea – rich, almost boozy, with lots of malt and sweet potato notes. Somewhat broth-like and a bit meaty-savoury, with a hint of cocoa at the end of the sip. Super smooth. Absolutely wonderful.

Flavors: Alcohol, Broth, Malt, Meat, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

Thank you Sil, for this sample!

I am a sucker for golden Yunnan teas, and this one is delicious. Rich and malty, with notes of dates, plums and slightly alcoholic tasting. Faint astringency, no bitterness.

I think I measured out 2g of this, and steeped it for 4 minutes at 96C.

Flavors: Alcohol, Dates, Malt, Plums

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

love swaps for not having to buy 50g-100g before tasting things! terri turned me on to this one!

Anlina

Swaps are seriously the best.

Sil

yeah i hadn’t been swapping for a while…. yours was the first in a bit after i got burned by someone not swapping back :(

Anlina

Boo, that sucks. I’ve only had one swap go bad, and I think the package coming to me must have got lost in the mail, because the person sending it had several other successful swaps under their belt. Sadly, they stopped being active on Steepster and so I was never able to follow up with them.

I haven’t sent out your package yet – I’m waiting for sample sized bags to come in the mail, as I ran out without realizing it, and they’re non-permeable, so really nice for tea.

Sil

no worries on sending it out later. i can handle the wait haha

Dexter

Awww that’s so sad :(( I would be more than happy to send both of you a care package to makeup for the “lost” swap packages.

Anlina

Aww that is so sweet Dexter. Don’t worry about me though – while I was looking forward to trying the teas I was swapping for, I’m not overall too worried about it. I have more tea than I know what to do with. And once I get organized, we will be setting up a swap anyway :)

Sil

hahaha dexter… you’ll send me tea regardless lol

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96

When I first opened this cake two months ago, it was literally sweating oils, the wrapper was full of specks:

http://instagram.com/p/vY8N5MQh0q/

It just looked so luscious, I was really hoping to love it. I did.

It’s my favorite sheng of the moment.

It offers such a bright taste, with a minimum of astringency.

Fruity, (white grapes mostly) and a bit spicy, oaky with just a hint of smoke in the early steeps…that smoke disappears completely in the later steeps.

Very strong qi, it provides that warming feeling I like so much, without making my heart race. It’s just so soothing…

Now I’m just hoping there’s still some cakes left…cause I need a few cakes as backup.

I need more…and I’m very surprised there’s only one review here, it deserves more attention…

Pics of the session:

http://instagram.com/p/ygOnrZQh3o/

http://instagram.com/p/ygPjtswh4_/

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Oh man, this tea looks so good! Of course your pictures add to its appeal ;)

Kaylee

Those pics are gorgeous!

TheTeaFairy

Thank you Amanda & Kaylee :-)

mrmopar

I love that teapot.

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