Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

The third tea in my triple taste test from the GCTTB4.

I think this was my favourite of the three black teas today. It had this gorgeous dark fruit smell, like prunes or raisins or banana bread, and that translated into the taste. It had a nice thick tongue-coating gesture as well. I might consider buying some for myself in the future – the problem is there are so many teas from YS that it’s overwhelming to choose!

boychik

Love this one. I find it grape-y and somewhat related to Taiwanese reds

Christina

Boychik, I’m really curious about ordering from YS. What are some of your favourites? Also, does YS do sample sizes for non-puer teas?

boychik

I think the best option is to try their club. $30/ month, no ship charges. Are you asking me about red / black teas? I mostly drink reds and puerh. Now trying to explore Taiwanese oolongs. They just launched a new site Taiwan Sourcing. I will send you links for my faves ;)

Christina

I’m interested in red (black), green, and possibly puer. From what I’ve tried of oolongs, I think I prefer roasted over green/floral.

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The second tea in my simultaneous triple tea test from the GCTTB4.

This tea was a fairly typical yunnan/dian hong for me. It had that bready note, the sweet potato note. I’m not generally a huge fan of sweet potato in my tea, I’ve found. There was also a slight pepperiness to this, that sort of thinned and sharpened out the flavour. Not bad, but not something I’d want to keep in stock. But that’s the whole purpose of these trading boxes, isn’t it?

boychik

I’m having this Gongfu session all morning. Making it in Yixing is so satisfying. I don’t know what method you used but I find that Chinese reds are really good Gongfu ;)

Terri HarpLady

I have to agree with boychik!

Christina

I did it western style – 1 tsp, 100C, 3-4 minutes. I do have a gaiwan, but I don’t do many gong-fu sessions.

boychik

Once you start Gongfu there is no way back lol. It tastes different, refined , changing from steep to steep. I only do Indian / Darjeleeng / Ceylon western method. Please give it a try. I can suggest you my parameters if you want. I try to list them in my notes. It’s like they are tried and true for me. You can come up with yours and they work pretty much all the time

Ubacat

I’ve done this Western and love it but curious about what parameters you used boychik for the gongfu.

boychik

For 100ml I use 5g of tea, 150ml 7g. 200F. I always rinse any Chinese tea, just few secs to remove dust and help open up. In a min or two I start with short steeps of 3/5/7 sec etc. to your liking. I don’t time anymore. It’s approximately. See if you need longer or shorter steeps. But it’s always under 10sec in the beginning. The pot can last me half a day, maybe 15 steeps, maybe more.

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Simultaneous taste test along with 2 other teas from the GCTTB4

I steeped 1 tsp of this at 80C for 3 minutes and got a very deep yellow liquor. And when I sipped it… it tasted nutty and vegetal, but also like honey!

I kept on getting this wash of honey over the back of my mouth! This is delicious. Thank you so much to Ubacat for providing a sample of this in the GCTTB. I don’t order from YS, but this tea is seriously making me rethink that. Mmmm.

Ubacat

I like this one brewed for 1 min best. It’s a great green.

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Fast huigan. Mild astringency and vegtale flavors after fifth steeping of 5 grams in my 70ml yixing. When I would push this tea to the limits I got a corn like flavor that, when paired with the general buttery/ mouth coating nature that I get from many other Yunnan Sourcing teas from the same time period, reminds me of popcorn. When the buttery feeling was less felt (it varied some steepings it would come out, others it wouldn’t —can’t place why) I got more a roasted corn nuts flavor.

This tea presented light flavors that I know I could easily get in younger teas. With prices falling/remaining steady for younger raw (see Changwanpu for example) I know I could save a few bucks and probably get a very similar experience (have not had the 2015 Changwanpu though so this is speculation based off me reading and talking with bloggers, please utilize your ‘grains of salt’ and ‘two cents’ when considering my opinion).

Additionally, I am not satisfied that I can tell the difference between the spring version of this tea and the fall version; the fall version produced a strange mouth feeling/somatic responses for myself that in the spring version was non-existent. I think this was because the fall version came from a sample package whereas the spring version I got from a friend’s cake. I wonder about sample packages, and if that fall version of that was chilling for many years in that sealed plastic package. Check out this article from Teadb on the topic:

http://teadb.org/sampling-puerh-considerations/

Have you found a difference between sample packs acquired form vendors and samples taken from fresh cakes?

Flavors: Popcorn, Vegetal

jschergen

Interesting! Thanks for the notes and comparing with the autumnal version. I haven’t had that one. I had this again recently and found it to be different from my memory. I think it might be going through a transition phase, that makes me slightly nervous.

bellmont

Adolescence is a weird time.

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90

While packing up the GCTTB yesterday I found this among my black teas pretty much ignored since I’ve purchased it. The bag looked full and I haven’t left a review. Shame shame! How could I have ignored this tea? It’s so good!

Brewed it Western style . This is a delicious bready, maltly brew. It’s got chocolate notes too which I love in black teas. The chocolate is not as prominent as some Fujian blacks but it’s still good. There’s also a honey sweetness to it. What a fantastic tea. also love the golden colour of the leaves. So pretty.

I’d like to add some of this to the GCTTB but I had trouble getting it closed already.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

It don get much better then this

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Thanks for this wonderful sample, boychik!

This is one of very few aged raw puerhs I’ve had a chance to try. The liquor is a beautiful amber color. The flavor is smooth, with a hint of smoke. The grilled vegetable kind of smoke that I like! There are vegetal notes and fruity notes, like dried apricot, and it also reminds me of wine somehow. It is more complex than that, and I’m sorry I can’t do this tea justice by identifying all the notes, but I noticed multiple flavors dancing around in my mouth. Yum!

It just kept going, so I decided to keep the leaf for a second session. On the second day, it was super nice, fruity, and sweet!

This tea also packs quite the punch of energy, so I definitely recommend a good snack before and during your session to calm the stomach.

Overall, this is a great value for the price…I’m going to have to consider picking up a cake of this one!

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80

oh noes! i forgot to celebrate my 300th note :(

well now for this one. i did notice if you leave the tea in the water longer than recommended, it will taste like sheng puehr :D

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80

a decent tea.

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell fruity and musty.

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell fruity.

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and fruity.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and fruity.

many thanks to scott wilson and yunnan sourcing for this decent tea.

Flavors: Fruity, Musty, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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87

This is a delicious ripe from Yunnan Sourcing. It has a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. The early steeps were thick with it. I’d say it had fermentation flavor until around the fifth steep or so. It had a nice natural sweetness to it and little bitterness, only a little in the first couple of steeps. To be honest I didn’t notice much bitterness at all. I’m not sure if I should describe it as having a dates flavor but it had a nice sweetness.

I brewed this ten times in a 140ml teapot with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and let the leaves rest for ten minutes. Not sure if this is long enough for the leaves to open up but I didn’t feel like waiting. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. This was a fairly strong tea and it was not finished even though I was. I think the leaves would have gone anywhere from two to five more steeps.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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100

an awesome tea!

when i smell the tuo dry, it smells sweet and green.

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet, green and spicy.

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and spicy.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and slightly spicy

this tea did not need to rinse long and maybe not at all as i did not get the top quarter rinsed well with water but it still tasted awesome! :D

however i have one minor problem, i wish this tea tasted more spicy instead of slightly spicy. (this in no way affects the score) :)

many thanks to scott wilson and yunan sourcing for this amazing tea

Flavors: Green, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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97

stil an awesome tea! however the potential for bitterness causes me to reduce the score:

100 —> 97

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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97

i like to put bits of un-wetted tea of this kind in the cup after steeping so i can eat the leaves

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97

an amazing tea!

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like sweet grass and sweet

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet and like sweet grass

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and like sweet grass

many thanks to scott wilson and yunnan sourcing for this amazing tea

Flavors: Grass, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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15

this tea tasted ok but its not my cup of tea. when steeping it smelled like bedbug blood. however. when i smelt it dry it smelled spicy

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Kirkoneill1988

if anyone wants the rest let me know. my review is what “I” think, others might find it wonderful

Kristal

“Bedbug blood” – That’s a very interesting descriptor!

Kirkoneill1988

I’ve had to deal with bed bugs now and then the only way to kill em is to hold em down and slide. It’s gross and I hate the lil buggers. Back on topic. Would you like to have the rest ?

Kristal

Wow, sorry you had to deal with bedbugs! Sounds horrible :(

Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately Pu-erh tea is a little too harsh on my stomach :(

Kirkoneill1988

Ok :) what tea is good for your stomach?

Kristal

Generally I drink green tea and different types of herbal teas (I explain it further in my profile). I find those are much gentler on my stomach- maybe it has something to do with the tannins?

Kirkoneill1988

i wouldn’t know :( do you take medications?

Kristal

Nope, I just always have had a sensitive stomach. A few years ago I had an ulcer or what was the beginning of an ulcer and ever since then I’ve noticed certain foods and drinks can upset my stomach.

Kirkoneill1988

An ulcer would do it. At least you can still drink green tea :)

Kristal

Yes, I am thankful for that :)

Kirkoneill1988

im not much for herbals ;)

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85

a nice tea

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell kind of musty.

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell like earth and mellowness.

when i smell the brewed tea it smells mellow and earthy.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes smooth and earthy

many thanks to scott wilson and yunnan sourcing for selling me this tea

Flavors: Earth, Smooth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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I thought I’d written a review on this one, but apparently not, although I’m sure I’ve written something of the 2013 version. I’ve enjoyed it several different ways over the time it has been in my cupboard. The aroma is sweet honey to me, but the cup can be a tad bitter.
Some of my parameters:
1 T to standard cup (10 – 12 oz) for 3 minutes – that works for a lot of my favorite Yunnans, but for this one, it’s a little strong. Resteep at 5 minutes.
2 tsp to standard cup for 3 & 5 min works much better.
5G + 4oz X 15/30/45/60sec/2/3/4/5/min is the better way to go IMO
Given the choice, I think I prefer YS Black Gold Bi Luo, however, my taste buds are off due to allergies, so that could be temporary :)
sipdown – 314

Sil

have you picked up any of the 2015 versions yet?

Sil

(of any YS teas…)

Terri HarpLady

Nope…tea buying hiatus…however, I do have some money in my playpal account, & was thinking of it…I’m really trying to be good! I keep reminding myself that I still have over 300 teas in my collection!

Sil

yeah…i’m trying really hard not to buy but i want a couple teas from YS, i want to place my “treat” order from bellocq and i am out of things from teavivre (staples) but i’m trying to hold off until at least july. then i can justify it as a birthday order and hopefully be in a better cupboard position then. ie.under 90

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I’d like to pick up some Teavivre keemun…and…and….and… :)

boychik

Terri, which Keemun you’d like to pick ?

Sil

with you on the keemun terri…as well as the dragon pearls heh

Terri HarpLady

Boychik, I like all of their Keemuns, but I still haven’t tried the superfine keemun mao feng.

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100

an awesome tea!

little glass pitcher method (grandpa style)

when I smell the leaves dry, they smell kind of like grapes and veggies.

when I smell the leaves wet, I smell a veggie smell.

when I smell the brewed tea, it has a sweet and veggie smell.

when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and like veggies.

many thanks to scott Wilson and Yunnan sourcing for this amazing tea.

so this and other teas just arrived. more reviews on the way

Flavors: Grapes, Sweet, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g
Indigobloom

Sounds great. Is it sweet like honey? or more like sugar? or fruit?

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88

This was a tasty tea and one of the rare mornings that I had time to brew gongfu style. I gave this teat four steeps in a 220ml gaiwan. I think it would have gone six or more. There was a fair amount of bitterness in the first two steeps. It largely went away by the third steep. It was gone by the fourth. There were a fair number of complex notes to this tea that I am not sure how to describe. A bit muscatel like a Darjeeling if I am making the right comparison. I may be off the mark here. There was a certain sweetness to this tea also, not a sugar sweetness mind you but a more subtle one. In any case it was tasty and good. I highly recommend this tea.

I brewed this tea four times in a 220ml gaiwan with 9g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 5 second rinse and steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 7 OZ / 220 ML

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I drank one of these today, its not too bad, got a slight fishy scent but not bad.
Tastes not bad too kinda sweet much earthy, I enjoyed it.
Probably would be pretty good for morning sippings, I like drinking random little mini puers in the mornings sometimes because they are just easy to open and toss in a strainer lol
This was sent to me by Kirkoneill1988 I just asked for one to taste for the time being, he is going to send me some more soon :)
Thanks Kirk!!!

Flavors: Honey, Wet Earth

Kirkoneill1988

glad you liked it. :D hopefully in july i can send the rest

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Sheng/Shou TTB
Maybe it’s all the other shengs I’ve had recently, but I’m not a huge fan of this. For a young sheng, there’s very little bitterness or astringency. The problem is that there’s not really a pronounced flavor to this tea. It’s kind of watery and boring. Maybe it’ll grow with age, but I wouldn’t recommend having this cake for another few years.

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66

Sheng/Shou TTB
Strong levels of astringency with wet tobacco notes. I don’t particularly like this tea right now, but it shows a lot of promise – it just needs to age for a few years more.

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87

Cake is very compact and is filled with fuzzy buds that are more stout than those from other regions. The dried leaf smells very sweet and the brewed leaf has a refreshing scent that reminds me of high quality Japanese sencha. It brews a golden hue that is somewhat cloudy. The tea is gently sweet with notes of crisp spring greens, plums, flowers, rock candy, and sweet wine. It has a very pleasant, flowery, and uplifting huigan (aftertaste) that lasts for at least 5 mins.

I actually prefer this tea to its 2014 Wuliang counterpart, which I find overwhelmingly sweet without that uplifting sensation of this tea.

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