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Recent Tasting Notes
Terri sent me this a long while back and though i’d had it a few times now, i haven’t yet written about it because i hadn’t really figured out how i felt about it. Often with puerhs i generally either really like them right off the get go, or i dislike them. This falls into that random not sure how i feel about this sort of puerh. it’s sort of malty..but mostly just kinda of middle of the road, not really committing to anything solid. I feel like this wouldn’t be a bad intro to puerh for someone who didn’t like really bold black teas or something. Would i ever purchase this myself? nope. I’ve enjoyed others more..but it’s not a bad tea.. thanks terri!
I received this as a sample with my first order from Yunnan Sourcing. In the past, I have tried darker versions of favorite teas and have been put off of them because my expectations were different in my head. THIS time, I’m clearing my head of all expectations…just because a tea package says “Yunnan”, shouldn’t mean I expect yams and raisins and apricots, right? Well, it’s a good thing I cleared my head!This tea is a wonderful Yunnan in it’s OWN way ~ and I’m saying that in a “OOOOOOOH!” way! In the cup, the tea smells of raisins and a touch of yam…. but there is something else…..a lovely yeasty-grainy-toasty smell! It’s the first time I’ve gotten a toast note from a tea, but there it is! Black Gold has a medium mouthfeel with a wonderful depth to the flavor. The bottom notes of yam and raisin are not heavy, but when paired with the toasty grain middle note and the stone fruit top note, the tea becomes more complex…more wholesome feeling than the average Yunnan….similar to having oatmeal for breakfast compared to cereal…is it possible for a tea to have a “stick to your ribs” quality? If so, this is it! This tea is very much a hearty breakfast tea alternative, expecially for those that love teas from this region. And that would be me!
Flavors: Grain, Malt, Raisins, Stonefruits, Toasty, Yams
I was excepting something different and exotic with the Yak Butter but it wasn’t much different from the milk teas I was having earlier.
I’m not sure what yak butter tea suppose to taste like, I’ve only had cow and goat butter teas, it don’t really taste much like a butter tea to me, but it does have a buttery smooth kinda mouthfeel.
It has that same little twang that all these instant milky teas have and it’s super creamy and smooth and not too sweet, not quite as sweet as the milk teas.
I didn’t get the salty one, I want to try it now tho :)
This is a nice slightly aged sheng, and pretty economical. It brews a deep fall orange and has a mixture of dry and juicy flavors. It can be pretty bitter if brewed with lots of leaf, and must have been a real bruiser when it was young. Light camphor flavor, peach, sandalwood, tobacco, walnut, and fall leaves are the flavors/scents that come to mind.
This is the first tasting note I’ve posted for quite a while now, and it feels good to be back on Steepster. I like the new interface, and it’s great to see that the pu’erh loving community here has expanded.
Flavors: Camphor, Peach, Tobacco
Needed a shou hit this morning. Searched for something I had tasted before since I did not feel like any surprises -2007 Gu Ming Nan Nuo mountain tea. The tea is comfortably woody and robust with an undertone of honey. All in all a very easy ripe tea to enjoy. I picked this cake up at Angelina’s Teas for a mere $21 and I think it is still available. If you are looking for real Nan Nuo mountain leaf at a very reasonable price, I would highly recommend it.
This is a nice little gem from the Boyou factory. The cake has a nice feel to it – a pretty wrapper and all. It is very tightly compressed. First infusions are sweet and flowery, with notes of Lucky Charms. Later infusions taste a bit deeper and darker, with some age showing through. But it still tastes young overall, probably because of the compression. A little huigan, sourness, and just a touch of astringency and smoke here and there. Overall a nice drink.
a nice little tuo-cha :) tastes good to me :P although not as good as the other Pu-ehr i got from Yunnan sourcing
reminds me of those glue sticks in grade school with the rice sent lol :P
also i never heard of the herb they use in this tea before :)
thank you to Scott Wilson and Yunnan sourcing :)
Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Herbs, Rice
Today I sat down with the last of my second brick of the 2010 version of Menghai’s Lao Cha Tou ripe pu erh brick. I’ve now gone through 500g of this stuff. My remaining chunk was around 9g so I just used the whole thing in a 185ml yixing instead of having 2 smaller weaker sessions. Also, it’s nice to finish with a tea in my daily rotation box as it makes room to take a new one out of storage and add it to the rotation! :)
I like this tea because it is deep, dark, rich, and creamy. Perfect when I’m in the mood for a creamy rich decadent puerh that gives and gives. I’m on my 7th steeping at 15s and the liquor is black, and I mean BLACK! I can hardly see through it when I’m pouring the tea into the pitcher or cup! And that’s after SEVEN steepings!!! The flavor profile is not very complex… notes of dark chocolate syrup, leather, and perhaps a hint of dark cherry wood. Very dark and rich. Not much in the way of cha qi, and some mild hui gan in the early steepings.
This tea becomes interesting in the later steepings as the leaf portions start to open up and change while the nuggets are still giving strength to the tea. In typing this I moved on to my 8th steeping at 20s… still black, but now I can see through it when I hold it up to the light. I love it! I’ll probably approach 20 steepings of this tea today. While it’s nothing too spectacular this is a great tea for a dark, rich shou pu erh experience. Another solid shou from Menghai.
EDIT: On my 17th steeping now, the tea is still giving a golden – amber colored liquor and has really opened up with a deep soft lingering sweetness after an early punch of mushroom with light floral essence. Still tasty!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Leather
a yummy tea! :) tastes like strong roses too :) though when brewed it smells a tad bit fishy but for some reason has no fishy taste :) maybe it should be aged more thus why the fishy smell. still a yummy tea. thank you to the staff at Yunnan sourcing and to Scott Wilson
Flavors: Earth, Rose
Another blend from YS. I liked this one quite a lot. It’s quite easy to drink young, but still feels like it has the potential to age. Kind of that cereal sweetness, with some astringency but not too much. It’s thick, with a medium high kick factor, and has got a little huigan. Going to pick up a cake of this for sure.
what an awesome pu-ehr! I can taste a tad bit of camphor and a lot of mushroom :) although its hard to pry from the brick (as it is dry) there’s like no fishy taste :) (even though I don’t mind the fishy taste) it tastes best when I let it steep for quite a while. many thanks to Yunnan sourcing and scot Wilson for this wonderful tea! :D
Flavors: Camphor, Earth, Forest Floor, Mushrooms
Wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I have several black teas around, including a black tea puerh cake. Usually black tea is about controlling the bitterness, or dumping in milk if all else fails. Wild Purple puerh can be really astringent and this is pretty much the same leaf. So I debated whether to grandpa a bit of this or gongfu, went with the gongfu in xisha clay. The leaves are long and very lightweight, so 3 grams of this is actually a lot of leaf. The usual 100-115 ml of water on the boil, one rinse. Braced myself for bitter.
The results? A floral smelling soup that actually transfers into the cup! Tastes like roses and the wild sweet pea blossoms I liked to nibble on when I was a kid. I am not a chaser after florals in tea, but this flavor is naturally present! Completely smooth with a touch of leather and wood, like a train trunk. Steeping cup after cup, the sweet smell and taste brings tears to my eyes. A harsh day at work melting away.
I don’t give high scores lightly, not that the scoring system is all that meaningful for me, but I really doubt I will ever taste a finer black tea than this.
Flavors: Leather, Peas, Rose, Wood
This tea is quite likeable. It has a nice flavor, some sweetness, a nice bit of astringency and even some huigan. It could be just a little stronger, but it’s not too bad at all. It held up fairly well to a number of infusions. It’s a nice blend, I think it might age like a good Dayi. I am going to order a cake.
Sample from the Terri ‘s box – awesome never ending .
4g 100ml gaiwan 205F
Leaves are long twisted black and some gold. Smells heavenly. This tea is not as heavy sweet as others from YS. Nevertheless I like it. It’s different. Malty, nutty, not sweet, but there is sweetness in aftertaste. Some slight astringency but not unpleasant.
Thank you so much Terri for such a great variety of teas you supplied me with.
When I feel like having something new, I just fetch a pouch from my Terri Box.
She generously sent me what she had left of this precious tea. Delicious little tiny golden snails, so pretty to look at.
Of course, I was curious to compare them to Whispering Pines’s “wee snaily yums” Golden Snail Yunnan Black, already a favourite.
They do look identical, but are completely different in taste. Though I much prefer WP version, this is still yummy, no doubt.
What surprised me the most was to find some smoke in there. Don’t know if my taste buds are playing tricks on me but it’s very noticeable. In a Keemun kind of way.
It’s sweet, but it’s missing that silky barley sugar feel I get from WP.
It’s fuller bodied and maltier, not as delicate and complex. I’m missing the floral and spicy notes I find in WP.
To me, it feels like a good robust black tea, which is something I would seek early in the morning. Just not what I was expecting from what is supposed to be a more mellow and smooth kind of tea.
Maybe I over leafed? Luckily, I still have plenty to try it again.
So yes, compared to WP’s Bi Luo Chun, it looses the battle.
But as a nice breakfast tea, it’s a winner, loved it!
Thank you so much Terri Harlady for giving the chance to try so many teas from Yunnan Sourcing :-)
This tea has the cutest little teeny leaves… They’re not broken, they’re just overall super tiny and thin. It’s like they’re miniature! Cute. Unfortunately, this came out a little bitter for me, I think because I overleafed so I wouldn’t have half a cup’s worth left over. So that’s my bad! I’m drinking it anyway, because I do love the flavor underneath that bitterness. This tea is all about dark toasted rye bread with a touch of honey and raisin. So so good, thanks Nicole! Definitely a contender for my order!
Taking a short break from TTB teas to settle my stomach a bit. So I figured I’d work on some sipdowns in the process! :P
This tea is quite different from what I would consider the “typical” Yunnan tea at this point. I wonder if it’s because this is apparently grown on a mountain? And it’s wilted/fermented longer according to Yunnan Sourcing’s website. Very interesting! This tea has an interesting herbaceous flavor that definitely reminds me of dill. It has some of the malt and breadiness that I would associate with other Yunnan teas as well. There’s also something there that I can’t quite place, maybe a floral? If so, it’s definitely a heady floral like rose or something similar.
This tea is quite tasty and I may consider getting some when I (finally) make a YS order!
Flavors: Dill, Rose
This is a very nice sheng. At $17/ for a 250g cake, it is fairly priced for wild arbor YiWu leaf. Quite young for a sheng but amazingly smooth and sweet.
The cake has light compression making it very easy to pick off the dark dry leaf. A fairly high number of stem pieces found. The tea soup is a very light gold color and appears very clear in the cup. Sweet fruit aroma from the wet leaf. The taste is smooth with only the slightest bite of astringency. There is definitely the sweetness of raisins and stone fruit. Smooth mouth feel and a nice Qi. In later steeps there are the beginning notes of tobacco.
Frankly, if I had tasted this one blind, I would assume that it was at least five years old (not two). I’ll drink this cake now and I picked up another one for aging because I am really curious to try it in 5-7 years. I’m a big fan!!
Today I tried the spring harvest of this tea using short steeps and boiling water, covering the bottom of my 150ml Gaiwan with leaves. My timings were 15,20,40,65,100,120s.
This is the spring harvest of this tea and I am not sure whether the differences I found in flavour are the result of using different techniques or a different season.
I found that this time the cocoa notes were intensified over my previous tasting. The fruit notes found were longan and blackcurrant. Cashew butter and cream notes were also present. The caramel notes were present but not as distinct and I did not find the grainy notes of the last steeping. I’ll have to try my longer steeps and lower temperatures to do a true comparison with the previous season, but I did really enjoy it this way.
This lovely tea came from Nicole. I’m almost all the way through her first package but I have since gotten a second. Lol… The dry leaves look quite “wild” to me, meaning they’re very spindly and rough. Almost like tiny tree roots! The color is mostly dark with a few golden buds mixed in. I’m not really getting a smell from the dry leaves, there’s a little bit of sweetness maybe?
The first thing I notice from the aroma is that there are very strong raisin notes. Yum! I also get other dark flavors, like malt, tobacco, and molasses. The flavor is definitely very deep and developed. I wouldn’t call it a super strong tea, but the flavors in here are all quite “dark” and intense. There’s dark, toasted bread with some honey over the top, but then there’s also a definite syrupy dried fruit note. I’m thinking raisins and dried cherries, maybe some fig in there too. Yum!
I continue to be impressed by Yunnan Sourcing, even their “lower-grade” Yunnan teas are delicious! Must order soon! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Toast, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Raisins