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Recent Tasting Notes
I like this! Thanks to Stephanie for the sample. I am trying to get through some samples today since another TTB is due to come tomorrow.
I under leafed the first cup. The big wiry ones are hard to measure, so I eyeballed it (despite having a scale right there). It was pretty light. So for the resteep I added the rest and it’s all yummy yammy goodness.
I am fond of the teas from Big Snow Mountain (Da Xue Shan in Lincang) and have picked up a few different cakes over the past six months. My interest actually developed through the Mengku side of the mountain but this particular cake is made using Yong De leaf – dark almost black leaf with just a few brown buds mixed in. Very light and clear tea soup with an enticing aroma – a light flowery aroma. The mouth-feel is strong and fills and stimulates the mouth long after it has been drunk. The taste is very welcoming – smooth, a little green tea like, only the lightest touch of bitterness, just on the edge of sweetness, a nice lingering aftertaste. Bottom line: the tea offers a very nice fragrance with a smooth sip and solid Qi. This one is a keeper for sure and I’ve just ordered a cake since YS has a 15% off sale today.
Today’s first GOD (green of the day) was Yunnan Sourcing Premium Mao Feng. The liquor was peachy green. I noticed that the infused leaves look a lot like yellow tea leaves—lighter greenish yellow in color. They smell more like Mao Feng, however, logically enough. The taste is classic Mao Feng—not over cooked but lightly steamed vegetables. Looking forward to the second infusion…
I’m in a better mood now, just like that. I would like to credit this tea, at least in part, for my mood elevation. I have known for awhile that Raw puerh teas seem to improve my outlook & clarify my thinking, & so there you have it!
Just for the record, I didn’t give this tea the usual gongfu treatment. Instead I put a TB in my Traveler Zita cup, added hot water, & carried it with me last night, getting refills wherever I could. Admittedly, the first cup or 2 was rather potent, but it revved me up nicely for the gig! So just now I gave to leaves a hot rinse to refresh them, & I’m drinking from them again. A little tart & tangy at first, but by now I’m drinking a light plum drink with a sweet taste & a very smooth body. I’m looking forward to a gongfu session, which I’m sure will yield a much better review as well.
This sample came from the lovely and generous Nicole (I’m actually over halfway through the box I think, huzzah!). The leaves are like beautiful Goldilocks curls! They’re large and ringlet-y with just a little bit of dark among the gold. Gorgeous! The dry scent is very mild, but lovely. It’s all sweet hay and honey. There’s a tad bit of malt but it’s very light. So excited for this one! I steeped (excitedly) for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
So the brewed aroma is much more powerful! There’s a lot of malt and breadiness. I kind of hovered over this one like a little bee while waiting for it to cool enough. So I noticed that when it was freshly brewed and still steaming, there was a lovely honey scent and a tart fruitiness reminiscent of dried cherries. As it cooled further, it transformed into a darker molasses and raisin aroma. Loved them both!
At first sip, I noticed an unusual autumn leaf flavor. It was definitely a lighter version of this taste than I have previously experienced, and it was quite lovely. Sort of a nice mellow roasty note! Then this gave way to lovely creamy and smooth malt, which made me picture biting into a nice fluffy, soft loaf of bread. Mmm! There was definitely also a touch of honey that just accented the bread flavor perfectly. I wouldn’t have complained if there had been more honey, but it’s amazing as-is. Would absolutely buy and drink this! :D
Just as an afterthought, I noticed after I had already brewed this that the recommended temperature is about 185-195 degrees. But I didn’t experience any negative effects from brewing it at a higher temperature. So my question is, is there any reason for me to lower the temperature? Will the flavor be drastically different? Thanks guys. :)
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Creamy, Honey, Malt, Smooth
This was the generous sample I received with my Yunnan Sourcing order.
I think this would appeal to those looking for a nice, robust malty tea.It has malt and tart fruit ( longan, currants) in abundance, but these are supported by dark honey, spice ( cinnamon and a sweet, citrusy, spicy floral), cocoa, salted butter, and alfalfa. It has a really nice balance between the tart, sweet, bitter, and creamy notes. It has a good dose of caffeine.
The tea itself has nice resilient ( they hold up to multiple steeps) leaves, that are a long deep black brown with around 25% gold tips. They have a fresh, floral, hay like tone when dry.
This tea would make a good every day tea for those who prefer a malty tart tea!
Also from Nicole (and I suspect originally from boychik). I figured since I tried the “regular” version of this, I might as well try the imperial grade next so I could compare! These leaves look like miniature versions of the others, but they have less golden color, which I found weird. The dry scent is very mild as well, maybe with a touch more honey? I used the same brewing parameters.
I get the same dark bread and molasses aroma, but with maybe a touch more earthiness and a more toasted scent. The taste is very roasty, which is amazing! Like a slice of dark wheat toast with a little bit of roasted unsweetened nut butter along with the molasses. And I love that so much about this tea! I also get a hint of raisiny goodness. The earth note is still there, but it seems more mellow and refined, I couldn’t compare it to smoke anymore. And I think I catch a hint of floral in the aftertaste? Couldn’t tell you what kind of flower it is, though.
There was a little bitterness in this brew, especially when taking multiple sips in quick succession. So next time I make this I might try a lower water temperature and/or a 2m30s steep. Very good though!
Flavors: Brown Toast, Earth, Floral, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Roasted nuts
This sample came from Nicole. :) I thought I would try this one since I haven’t tried many Fujian varieties and I would like more experience with them and knowing their “typical” flavors. This one’s leaves remind me of a smaller version of a tippy Yunnan. They’re kind of randomly twisty, half golden and half dark. Their smell is quite mild; I can detect malt and cocoa notes with some honey sweetness. I let it steep for 3 minutes, seems pretty standard for western style.
The aroma is all dark things: brown bread, molasses, raisins, and bitter cocoa. And the taste is quite similar. I definitely get some toasted dark wheat bread with molasses over the top. There’s also a little earthiness that could border on a mild smokiness. The overall texture is very thick and it coats the mouth, further forwarding the molasses note. Overall, a very rich and tasty tea. I see definite similarities to Yunnan with this one, which I didn’t experience as much with Whispering Pines’s Fujian Black. It’s fun to compare! :)
Flavors: Brown Toast, Earth, Malt, Molasses, Smoke
This is a great value tea for ripe pu erh lovers. Nothing terribly special, but a good tea for daily drinking. It has a sweet slightly nutty, mildly earthy flavor that is pleasing. You will not be blown away by this tea but for $15 (as of posting) for a 357g cake, I think you’ll be quite pleased.
This bi luo chun is tightly rolled with about 50% of the visible leaf being silver green downy buds and the other visible portions being a spruce grey green. Once exhausted and unrolled the leaves, the buds and the attached stem are visible and seem to be of good quality.
This is a nice tea with the brightness and sweetness of an early spring tea combined with the nuttiness and density you often get in this tea type.
I steeped 1 TSP of leaf in a 150 ml Gaiwan and using my regular progression of 45 s + 15… I made 6 steeps of this tea.
This tea like the Yunnan white bi luo chun I had ( also from boychik, thanks by the way!), had nice spicy gardenia like floral notes, which in this case were tempered by a lemony note. It also had deepening over time chestnut and plum notes, snap pea, spinach, alfalfa, cream and orange rind. It was slightly astringent while brewed in the low to mid 80’s but had a nice thick and creamy density.
Altogether a really nice tea and a good change from the lighter and very sweet greens I tend to drink most often!
My first tea from Yunnan Sourcing! Thanks go to Nicole for sending me samples of several of their teas. I chose this one to try first because the leaves are so beautiful, like soft golden pine needles. They’re fuzzy and completely gold in color. The smell is all honey, with just a little malt and sweet fruit. I did a 3 minute steep.
The aroma is full of honey as well, with that same malt and a sweet fruitiness that I would describe as golden raisin. But interestingly, the first thing I taste when sipping this is fresh, bright cucumber. Cucumber? In a black tea? But there it is. Alongside malt and a light honeyed fruitiness. I just kept sipping to make sure I wasn’t crazy, and then I asked my boyfriend who agreed that he tasted cucumber. Success! As I let it cool further, the cucumber transformed slightly into honeydew melon, similar but sweeter. The aftertaste is surprisingly floral with a touch of stonefruit.
This is definitely a different flavor profile than any other Yunnan teas I’ve tried so far, and I enjoyed it. Honeydew is one of my favorite flavors and even though it’s odd for a black tea, I thought it worked really well to lighten this tea and add freshness. Definitely recommended!
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Honey, Honeydew, Malt
When I place an order from YS, I’ve sort of fallen into the habit of picking out a few puerh to sample. There is a sidebar on the right hand side of their page that lists their new featured products, and this was on that list awhile back, so I got a sample.
I started drinking it yesterday, ran through several steepings & then today after breakfast I gave it a rinse to refresh it & have been drinking it ever since. The dry aroma has that well aged hayloft aroma, but also the promise of a meadow of sweet clover. It really smells good! It’s a very ‘clean’ tasting tea, with a decent energy to it, & although I enjoyed it, it sort of seems a little generic to me.
(Don’t shoot me, I know nothing, Jon Snow!)
Maybe it’s just that the greenness is aged out of it, so although it has a hint of citrus & doesn’t taste bad in any way (obviously, since I have been drinking it on an off for about 24 hours now), there is also nothing that stands out about it, for me. I didn’t find any changes in the flavor profile, for instance.
Of course, what do I know? :)
Bad Steepster, just ate my note :(((
Ok, this tea is a free sample with the purchase – thank you Scott
5g 100 ml 212F
This tea is very rich. Dark burgundy color and very thick, almost viscous.
Woody and sweet but not overly. Some plum and cherries detected. Very strong sweet aftertaste
I had a very nice gongfu session and will continue tomorrow .
This came to me from Terri Harplady.
Well ain’t that a beauty. Long downy bright golden strands. Pure buds indeed.
The taste did surprise me a little. I was expecting a candy sweet cup, but it’s got a little more character than that.
First, it’s provides a very interesting texture. It feels thick and powdery in the mouth.
I’m a little perplexed by it. It’s brisk and bright, the way fresh green bell peppers are. It’s also a bit earthy and woodsy. I also get plums and flowers. It’s not overly malty and I get no cocoa in this at all.
I can’t say this is my favourite type of black, but I like that it surprised me and gave me a good morning cup.
Thank you Terri for helping me narrowing down my favourite Yunnan Sourcing teas. I don’t think I would order this one, but I’m so happy I got try it but also see it cause it’s so beautiful.
I don’t know what has got into me lately. Tried to be a good girl and drink my peaceful and contemplative premium 2014 longjing. After all, it is delicious and so pure. Must be the alcoholic side of the family coming out, because this longjing is like lite beer and I just wanted a damn drink. Mind you, I don’t drink alcohol, I drink tea. It is this puerh collection of mine that has me hanging over the bar with my tongue hanging out. Ruining me for anything else. So bad that I more or less dissed a super fine gyokuro yesterday.
Somebody give me a drink. Right. Found this in my pile of samples from Scott. 8 grams into the Yixing with 90 ml of water, not messing or wussing around. First rinse cloudy, ditto second rinse. The third I drank, some yellow-white powdery sediment at the bottom which clouds when disturbed. By the fifth steep I didn’t care. Tongue hanging out.
Got the nectar and smoke, this is surprisingly cooling on the tongue, not just the throat. Green tea taste underneath, slight bitter but not much, just enough to get the saliva going. Dug around in the pot and the Baggie to find the source of the sediment. Seems like a few white tippies got their hairs a little crushed in the bag, is all. White tips and orange leaves mixed in.
I like it. I feel good. I could buy a tong. I really shouldn’t. Not when tea drunk. I feel so much better though. I can actually think about eating right about now, all salivated up.
Flavors: Green Wood, Nectar, Smoke
This tea is a super generous sample from Terri HarpLady – thank you .
OMG. This tea is something I experienced only in some sheng. Besides being sweet and fruity ( I pick plums mostly), some nuts, it’s rich with eucalyptus notes. What it did to me is I have cooling sensation in my stomach. This is nice feeling on a hot day. I feel very peaceful that even my kids don’t bug me. Prepared gongfu 4g 100 ml 205F
Wonderful tea, I think I want to buy it right now.
Thank you so much Terri for giving me a chance to try it.
Nice oak aroma with very nice young muscadine contrasting astringency and sweetness. There seems to be plenty of immediate numbing to the back of the tounge and warmness to the lower jaw and upper chest. This one has good strength and and the liquor is full in the mouth.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Muscatel, Oak wood
I am drinking the Autumn 2013 harvest of this tea, which I believe came to me courtesy of boychik :) :) :)
I slightly underleafed this but I can tell it is a winner. Nice and sweet and malty with cocoa notes. Heck yeah! Next time I will use a lot more leaf. Big leafed teas are hard to measure and I need to get in the habit of weighing them.
oh Terri…my lovely tea sister. thank you for sharing this one with me. I love this one quite a bit. I’m currently sipping on this while reading on the balcony. It looks like i finished up enough of work this morning that i get to visit our friend on his birthday. This means at least one game + baby time AND i’ll get fed :) tomorrow we’re also going out for Summerlicious here in toronto and we’re going to try out a brazilian restaurant so that will be something to look forward to after what i imagine is going to be a crappy day of work lol
Not enough sipdowns today but at least i’m now under where i started after the drop off from variatea and cavocorax last night haha
Ooh, I’m first to write a note, but it’s a bit of a Goldilocks tale: the first cup was too weak, the second cup was too strong, but the third cup was just right.
I like Yunnansourcing’s sample packs. They are large enough to give you a chance to experiment a little. There is enough in the sample pack for another two pots this time around. In this case, I have not really needed to experiment that much, because the tea endures enough for me to eventually get it right. The dry leaf smells of tobacco and hay. It seems quite tightly compressed with chopped leaf and the overall look of the chunks is a brownish green with lighter leaves interspersed between the darker ones.
So, on with the tale. I rinsed the tea once and then steeped the first cup for 15 seconds. It was ok but a bit too weak. The liquor was well pale, and the taste was lightly smoky with a hint of tobacco and something floral. The second cup was going to be steeped for 15 seconds but then I got distracted by the kittens, and now have no idea how long it was really steeped for. The liquor was dark amber and had a seriously heavy bite to it. The third cup was again 15 seconds and was the colour of champagne. The tobacco and smoke notes dominated with a pleasing kuwei and a slight mouth-puckering astringency that shaded into sweetness in the aftertaste. The floral notes were still there but muted. As I have gone on with the tea, the floral notes have moved more to the fore and the smokiness has receded. This tea has a lot of energy and has perked me up more than relaxed me. It is robust and lively with little subtlety to it (unless the subtlety is too subtle for my palate!) but there are days when that is what you want. It’s a shame I cannot find it in the Yunnansourcing store now, because I would happily have a beeng to keep and sample every so often. Right, better run now. There’s some bears at the door complaining that someone has drunk their tea …
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Smoke, Tobacco
So, I used this beautiful tea in my tea photo project but I’ve never written a note on it? WTF? https://www.etsy.com/listing/192822968/beautiful-tea-poster-photography-collage
This tea came to me from boychik. THANKS! I love exploring these gorgeous yunnans. This one is not as sugary sweet as I expected based on its appearance. There are haylike flavors that remind me of a white tea, with malty and mushroomy notes asserting that this is indeed a black. It is also pretty mellow like a silver needle white. Thick and creamy too. Really interesting beast this one. And of course the dry leaf is just gorgeous.