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Recent Tasting Notes
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!)
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.
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.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
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!
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
Flavors: Caramel, Raisins
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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/
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
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
When I first opened this cake two months ago, it was literally sweating oils, the wrapper was full of specks:
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: