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Recent Tasting Notes
I have the 2014 version that i received as a sample in one of my YS orders. I don’t have a lot to say on this one besides the fast that it was light, refreshing and sweet. Initial impressions for this one are really positive. Later steepings it became a bit woody but still really nice. I enjoy the random samples i get with my YS orders – they’re almost always something i wouldn’t have necessarily picked for myself but still enjoy!
Sample included in one of my past YS orders. I enjoyed this one, though it doesn’t call out to me like others. This is a good puerh for folks who don’t want something overly intense but still offers some varying notes in it. There was almost the hint of smoke in this one…but i would never call this a smoky tea, if that makes sense. another smooth tasting tea and enjoyable earlier this morning.
Another sample from Dexter today. I have a large number of samples from her and companies to get through. This one is more towards the green side than dark side, as i’ve come to expect with raw puerhs. However, this isn’t overly green and vegetal . There’s a slightly smoky scent to this one, though over the course of a few steeps, it’s really only a slight smoke taste – nothing too strong. There is no bitterness to this one that i noticed, just a generally smooth brew,heavier than some but sort of middle of the road in terms of strength.
Thanks for letting me try this one dexter!
This review is of the 2012 spring harvest, which as of this writing (12 March 2015) is still available on the Yunnan sourcing US site.
I’ve had this tea for over a year, and it seems to be getting better with some age on it. I use a little Yixing which I’ve dedicated to Yunnan black teas. With this much leaf in the pot, short steeps are in order (3/6/9/12/etc. seconds). I normally take it through 15 steeps, with the first 10 being the best but the last 5 are still quite tasty.
The tea starts off with lots of malt and sweetness, morphing into a honey note and finally into a bee pollen and honey sweetness that is just outstanding. Hints of Yunnan spice, sweet citrus and faint tartness appear at times, along with strong floral notes.
This is my benchmark Yunnan black tea for sweetness. I break it out at least once a week, and just placed an order for more. A truly magnificent harvest. Recommended.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Malt, Spices, Sugarcane
Got back from a special treat which was dinner at the Thai restaurant tonight. I had lemongrass tofu and mango sticky rice for dessert. The mango sticky rice was full of coconut milk and it was sooo good. I was very happy with the meal!
I thought I would have this shu puerh as my after dinner drink. On the whole, I am not terribly impressed with this one. Even when the color is quite dark it is lacking a bit in flavor and just seems to be a bit muddy with camphor. Nothing special in my opinion.
Not 100% sure that this is the one Dexter sent me, but since this is the one in her cupboard, I’m going to log it here. (Sorry if I’m incorrect!)
Anyway, I couldn’t look up the steeping parameters, since my kids were using the computer at the time, so I just winged it. 2tsp leaf/8oz water/boiling/5 min
This was chocolatey and comforting and just plain delicious. It was exactly what I was looking for at the moment… Really, really delicious. :D
I steeped for a second time (8min) and got the same chocolate notes with a little bit of a fruity quality going on… just lovely!
Ok… I guess I’ll go clean my kitchen now. blarg.
Oh this is really really tasty! Thanks so much for sharing, Dexter.
It’s super grainy. Reminds me a little of the roasted buckwheat teas. Nice and thick. A little sweet – maybe like roasted sweet potatoes? It’s that caramelized delightfulness that isn’t really sugary.
I don’t get chocolate, at all. Some of the flavours remind me of “dirt tea” but thankfully the dirt is rather mild. Most of the flavours are thick grains.
Received sample from a friend. The dry storage on this is excellent, the tea has lost none of its original scent and flavor. Highly floral, still rather green. Brewed up about 7 grams.
Very sweet honey aftertaste, bitter edge but not terribly astringent.
I’m drinking this 10 years into the life of the leaf and it is in the process of changing from a young tea to a teenage tea. The tea is a dark yellow. In fact the tea is slightly cloudy and I smell and taste a malty ferment. The smoky char is also changing. This tea is in flux, which a good sign. I’d be pulling out this cake come summer and let it get full-on humidity.
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Malt
After everything I read about New Zealand Customs, and how they throw away every edible item which has already been opened, I came dangerously close to tossing this beautiful envelope of organic jasmine pearls before even passing through the gate! Fortunately, they were more bark than bite. No one even inspected the contents of my bags!
Happily, I now get to enjoy these jasmine pearls while watching the waves crash against the shore under a slate-colored sky.
This is pretty good tea and just what I needed after a bad night where I ended up in the ER for my asthma yet again. I was supposed to have a sleep study done tonight but instead had an asthma attack. This tea is slightly floral, slightly vegetal, and just a touch sour, not noticeably so however. It is fairly tasty and it is not even Yunnan Sourcing’s most expensive Dragon Well Tea.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 175 degree water for 2 min.
Flavors: Floral, Vegetal
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like peppers and flowers.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell like strong flowers
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells like honey and green tea.
when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes like pepper, honey and green tea
many thanks to scott wilson and yunnan sourcing for this nice tea
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Honey, Pepper
A camphor-ous ripe with a light up front flavor profile of grass and straw. Earlier sessions with this tea I detected a ‘bamboo sweetness’. The grassy straw moved into a woodiness as my session progressed. I found the camphor flavor hung around, a welcome companion as I sipped away.
Liquor is a dark caramel-red color, moving to a light orange later. Wet leaf is aroma is that characteristic ‘roasted’ ripe smell with a hint of hazelnuts. I enjoyed my last session with this ripe, I found it to be pleasant. If you are into wood or woody flavors I would check this shou out, as it definitely has the “camphor” profile on lock and key.
Value-wise, this tea is okay. I will not be getting a full cake, as I have already exceeded my “ripe pu-erh” quota for at least the next few months (gotta drink more first!). This was a light ripe. I prefer the thicker ripes…the ones where I am actually down in the trenches trudging through the wet earth and wood, while coming upon little packets of fresh roasted nuts and chocolate, maybe the errant can of sardines or garam masala ( I know hardknock life… the life a shou pu-erh drinker…but someones got do it).
Additional brewing parameters: 6g leaf, 100ml gaiwan, steepings #1-5: 10-30 seconds, 6-9: 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Acquired sample at Yunnansourcing.com.
Flavors: Bamboo, Camphor, Straw
Away for a few days without any enjoyable tea so I am delighted to be back home and digging into an interesting box of samples from a good tea friend. The samples included this HLH shou which has been on my shopping list for some time. Trying it today so that I can make the final decision to order a cake while the 12% sale is active at YS.
This is an easy drinking, rather enjoyable ripe puerh. A smooth blend of three different harvests (2003, 2008, 2009) which helps to balance the flavor profile and give it a little more depth. One is hit with the sweetness and then a slight oiliness appears later which is quite complimentary rather than offensive. This is a lighter fermentation cake which helps it to be clean with no off flavors of any type. Therefore, this tea is made of quality material and comes across as rather tasty, solid, and enjoyable. I plan to purchase and set aside for 2-3 years for I think it has the potential to mature with a bit of age.
1st steep 20s: tastes floral and chalky (in a good way)
2nd steep (Best/final) 40s: it tastes even stronger of the above tastes.
then I got hungry for matcha pancakes so I cut this one short for today
when I smell the leaves dry, I smell nothing.
when I smell the leaves wet. it smells flowery and chalky (in a good way)
many thanks to scott Wilson and Yunnan sourcing for this lovely tea
Flavors: Floral, Flowers
little glass pitchure method:
when I smell the leaves dry, they smell peppery and green.
when I smell the leaves wet, they smell peppery, fresh and green.
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells green and fresh.
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes like all of the above and a lot like dragonwell
many thanks to scott Wilson and Yunnan sourcing for this lovely tea
Flavors: Green, Pepper
This is a very tasty tea. Gettting some nice sweet notes to it. I would say apple or plum notes but I think more like apple. There is a slight floral taste but no discernible vegetal taste. I would definitely buy this again.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 185 degree water for 2 min.
Flavors: Apple, Floral
Another Dexter sample. THANK YOU! :D
Oh, was this tea fun… how it changed with each steep! It started out real malty and caramelized sugar like, and then a hint of stone fruit showed up in the scent of the liquor. It really smelled like an opened jar of apricot jam. I didn’t begin to actually taste that stone fruit element until the 5th steep, which was so interesting to me. The caramelized sweetness transitioned into rock sugar, while the malty bread note was present from beginning to end (although, I’m not done drinking yet….8 cups in…).
I really enjoy this tea! I love a tea that takes you for a ride, and this one surely does.
Short steeps were my thing here, along with the 85-90 C temp recommendation.
I found an old imitation thermos in my basement yesterday, and that has made keeping my water warm for gongfu so much easier. It’s not the best quality thermos type thing…but it does the job if I don’t need the water boiling hot (with this tea, it was perfect!).
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell sweet like sweet grass.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell sweet like sweet grass with hints of chestnut.
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells lightly of sweet grass and more of a chest nut smell
when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet like sweet grass with heavy chestnut flavor.
many thanks to scott wilson and yunnan sourcing for this lovely tea!
Flavors: Chestnut, Grass, Nuts, Nutty, Sweet
I’m only on my second infusion of this…but it’s SO delicious already.
Hints of cocoa, nuts, dark chocolate, wheat, baked bread…. So very good.
Dexter sent this my way, and I am most definitely adding this to the ‘yes…you love this tea’ list. Thanks, Dexter!
I’m plum tuckered out this morning, after having a late night shoveling workout… chipping away at the driveway that my car keeps getting stuck in… There are layers and layers of snow that just don’t want to come up.. But, they must, I say!
I know I should go out and work on it some more…but I’d rather just sit inside and drink this tea. :D
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Raisins, Wheat