Yunnan Sourcing

Recent Tasting Notes

91

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 10 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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67

Queued post, written September 19th 2014

This tea was the one that made me place an order with Yunnan Sourcing in the first place. I’ve never ordered from them before, but then someone in the chat room (which you should all visit now and then, you know!) asked if we had ever had it and it was also mentioned that YS were having a good offer up at the time. So, having already fulfilled my requirement for being allowed to order tea (emptying the yet to try box) I decided to just be spontaneous and try it.

The thing about this one is that during preparation it has been roasted with a kind of sugar similar to muscovado. This made me think it must have been sort of caramelised and it’s not really a secret that I am generally attracted to caramel-flavoured things and I love food that has been cooked with sugar and butter. In Denmark we do this with small cooked potatoes as part of the traditional Christmas spread. On the other hand, I don’t like having sugar in my tea. I find it unnecessary and in some cases actually unpleasant, so that was a bit of a gamble.

Quite sweet. A bti too sweet really. underlaying notes of hay, wood (oaky) and a bit of earth. It’s having pu-erh-y thoughts, this tea. Perhaps that’s what it actually wanted to be when it grew up. As it cools it just tastes more and more like a cup of ordinary Yunnan black which has had a spoonful of sugar added to it, and we’ve already established previously that I don’t like sweetenener in my tea.

Re-steep is a bit thin, in spite of having steeped for rather a long time, due to receiving a telephone call from a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in a couple of years. He’s just become a father for the first time. The re-steep is very much a pale imitation of the first steep. It’s the same as the first, only… less. Much less.

I feel a little disappointed by this. It wasn’t what I imagined it would be, although now in the harsh clarity of hindsight I don’t know how I could make this mistake. Sugar is sugar and caramel is not made of only sugar. I love caramel flavour in my tea, be it naturally occuring, manipulated out in processing or added flavour. I hoped this would be more caramel-y.

I’ll give it some points for being interesting though, and drinking an interesting tea is always a good experience regardless of how it tastes, because I’ve never heard of tea being roasted in sugar before.

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84

mmmmmm dexter sent this one my way and maaaaan i am enjoying this. It’s different from the other buckwheat teas that i’ve had….there’s something here that reminds me of something that i can’t quite place lol. But it’s tasty…and delicious and i am loving it tonight! Thanks dex!

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I actually bought this cake after reading Rich’s description of it.
I brewed it in the Gaiwan , 10 grams , 10 oz and a 5 second rinse. This is spot on. Fruity , floral and stonefruit. The taste of apricot as noted before is right there in the forefront. A little bit of bitter but definitely apricot. I love apricots and always will so I see this as one I don’t intend to run out of.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Floral, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

ooooohhhh

boychik

That was lovely. very apricoty, i like it more than floral shengs. why didnt i post a note? Steepster was down probably…

mrmopar

Yeah I drank it 3 times before I posted. Had to make sure I had another one first. Greedy me…..

boychik

Im thinking too….

DigniTea

This is a good one!!

boychik

@mrmopar, you are right. That’s the reason I didn’t post the note, haha.

Rich

So glad you enjoyed it!

mrmopar

Rich you were spot on. Its a great one.

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I ordered a sample of this one last week during the sale, & this is an interesting tea!
The dry aroma is a little ‘well aged barn’- like, & when I warmed the leaf up & breathed in its essence, I picked up soft notes of tobacco, purple plum, & smoke….well, not really smoke…maybe charcoal?

I steeped in matching rounds of 2, pouring from my yixing into a mug.
The first mug featured a very mild cup with hints of charcoal & slight bitterness, & instant 3rd eye opening vibes. While I was steeping the next 2 rounds, all of my chakras started to open, from root to crown, like the blooming of flowers, in a psychadelic kind of way.
The 2nd cup sent qi rushing throughout my body, making my extremeties giddy, almost as if every cell in my body was laughing. My injured hand was especially lit up, really buzzing with unsummoned reiki, so I went with it, opening to the healing that I feel was being offered. I’ve been doing a lot of Reiki on myself lately, & this evening especially I feel like the nerves in my finger are waking up.

I often wonder if these experiences are as outlandish to others as they seem while I’m experiencing them, or maybe I’m just having flashbacks to my old hallucinogen days, LOL.
Either way, this was a very dynamic session, possibly my most potent tea experience to date.

Flavorwise, this was hard for me to nail down. The best word I can think of is smooth. I used 5 G in a 125ml yixing, & although there was a very slight initial bitterness, the rest of the cups were mellow, with kind of an old fashion white bread & creamy nut butter taste…or maybe sunflower seed butter. Later steepings started getting a sweet aftertaste, but I can’t really identify it with anything, at least not at this moment. I have enough to sample this a few more times, & it will be interesting to see if this experience repeats itself.
Nice clear energy & headspace in the afterglow.

boychik

I didn’t detect any bitterness or charcoal. Should I send you my sample? I got it fr Mandala, could be diff storage.

Terri HarpLady

it might just be my tastebuds tonight. It wasn’t objectionable, in any way. Maybe we should each send to each other, for comparison?

boychik

Deal. But I need some time. Some family matters. In a few days I will let you know. I tried 2010 version, similar but something missing. not there yet. Btw I got me a brick ;)

Terri HarpLady

let me know how much you used, & we’ll swap an equal amount.
No prob on waiting, & congrats on your baby…, I mean tea brick ;)

boychik

Terri, lets not worry abt amount. I got 500g lol

mrmopar

Well 500 grams won’t last but a day or two…………..:)

TeaBrat

Oh my.. u made me go look at the sale :)

boychik

@teabrat, they sold out, i got it fr Mandala.
@mrmopar, always happy to share ;-)

TeaBrat

@boychik – thanks for the info but I need to resist ;)

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77

Sipdown (107)!

Thank you 221Tea and Brian for the sample; sorry it took so long to get to!

Steeped this one up Western style; I thought it produced a very nice, smooth malty cup with some sweeter cocoa notes and some light handed earth notes. It was pleasant to sip on while I was getting ready to go out!

I ended up going out to work, on my day off, since we just hired four new people. I wanted to meet them on their “first day” when I was off the clock – and they wouldn’t yet know who I was or that I’m in a position of authority over them. That’s sorta the best way to form an impression of them. You can tell a lot about how someone is going to be based on the way they treat total strangers going through their checkout.

Do they smile? Make conversation? Do they seem confidant counting back change?

So it was a good afternoon out of the house. And they all seemed ok based on that one snap impression (which I have since expanded on working alongside and training them).

Michelle is my age and very fun and friendly; great people skills. She lacks a lot of work experience, but is trying very hard to learn and is catching on to things at a consistent pace. Ka Yan is the only one of the four who isn’t a cashier; she’s a fulltime stocker/aisle owner. She’s pretty quiet/shy but very kind and soft spoken when she does talk to you. She works very independently and doesn’t need much direction. Laura is absolutely the strongest worker/cashier of them all and catches on to new things the quickest of all of ‘em – but she’s not good with people at all and has a very brash/harsh demeanor. So we’re gonna have to work on that.

And then there’s Noah. Noah is also my age and they’re probably the one I’d most likely be friends with outside of work. We’re both pretty damn nerdy, Tumblr/fandom type people. This is their first job – so they have lots to learn but Noah’s definitely making an effort. I know they’re having the hardest time, out of all the new hires, connecting with other coworkers though – there’s NO ONE else “nerdy” or like them at work other than me – it’s the same thing I kinda had difficulties with (my at work BFF Bobbi has admitted to really disliking me at first because I was “weird”) but I kinda had an advantage since I was in more of a position of authority – and Bobbi had to spend time with me for our position and got to know me that way. I also had more confidence because I had previous work experience very similar to what I do now. And then, there’ the fact that Noah’s “real” name is Maryam, but they don’t identify that way and they’ve asked people to please refer to them as Noah. No one we work with other than myself has even the slightest clue how to broach that request and people feel a little unsure about what that even means. So currently I’m the only person doing it, even though I’ve tried to advocate on their behalf and explain why it’s important and respectful.

I’m hoping they’re stop being so ignorant the longer they work with Noah. But all in all, I’m rooting for them! I like Noah as a person, we get along great! They have some room for improvement as an employee – but they’re learning! Like Bobbi did with me, they’ll just have to first connect with other things to grow close as coworkers…

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79

Sampled this tea after work this afternoon
Rinsed/pause/10/20/40/60/90/120

The dried leaves were beautiful an amber golden color. Looked to be all tea bud.
The tea itself smelt deep and dark (my two favorite ripe aromas)
It infused a deep red color.

I found there was a distinct bread/wheat taste with almost a raisin aftertaste.
The later infusions were very enjoyable failed to take very good notes but lots of complexity to this tea.

Noticed fair amount of qi which was warming me up after the 3rd back to back infusion.

Flavors: Raisins, Rice, Sawdust, Wheat, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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86

Sampled this tea with about 5 grams out of my 6 ounce giawan.
Rinsed/paused/10/30/50/60

First sip was mellow to start but worked up to deep/bold mouthfeel.
Super smooth to go down with no astringent properties. I noticed very little sweet taste to this tea.
Was a complex sample with plenty of qi to keep me going.
Didn’t provide the most robust lingering flavor but lingered for quite a bit.

Flavors: Earth, Musty

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 5 g 15 OZ / 443 ML

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I had this tea early this morning and a few days ago. I’ve been brewing with boiling water, 8oz water , for 2 min. It’s been good with caramel notes but I think the higher temperatures are just not doing this tea any justice so I’m not rating it yet. The smell of the tea in the bag is heavenly , very similar to green Bi Luo Chun. However, when I brew it, it’s just not living up to the way it smells dry. I plan on trying this with lower temperatures but was wondering how others out there have brewed this tea successfully? BTW, love the colour of the dry leaves! So pretty!

Cameron B.

I generally use 200 degree water for blacks, but I’ll sometimes go down to 190 if it’s a pure bud tea. They just seem more delicate to me. :P

Ubacat

Thanks! I’ll try that. I haven’t had a lot of black teas in the last few years. I never would have thought to try them at temperatures as low as oolong.

Cameron B.

I have a weird paranoia about boiling water, I’m always afraid it will ruin everything! I generally only use it for herbals and rooibos. :P

Dexter

I agree with Cameron – I don’t normally use boiling water on blacks. I general uses 90 or 95C depending on the tea. (Red rooibos is less woody if steeped at a lower temp too….)

Ubacat

I always thought most black teas can take boiling water but will definitely try it at the lower temperatures.

Terri HarpLady

with this one I usually go gongfu, 5G x 4oz 15/30/45sec/1/2/3/4/min

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88

I tried this one based on Allan’s very positive review. I was not disappointed. It is quite rich and hearty, a fine example of a solid Dayi ripe. It is fairly smooth and deep, with just a touch of bitterness and fishiness in early steepings. Overall a very nice tea for the price.

AllanK

I’m glad you liked it. I bought a tong about a year ago. The 2008 is even better.

Rich

I’ll try that one tomorrow. YS just upped the price of that 2008 to $38! That’s like a 33% increase since last month.

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83

I enjoyed this tea. I think it deserves a higher rating than it gets. I noticed some smoke flavor in the early infusions and some sweet flavor later, even the sheng apricot notes. I drank some of the infusions straight and put sweetener in others. Even in the infusions I drank straight I noticed the pronounced natural sweetness, or apricots notes. I used sugar in some of the ones I sweetened and even tried maple flavored agave nectar in another. It was a little too sweet this way. Even in the early infusions this was not bitter. This was s smooth tea throughout the session.This was a tea with a noticeable effect on me. I didn’t get tea drunk but was quite relaxed. I took this one out of the pumidor and I think my cakes are beginning to age. I hadn’t drank this one before so I really can’t make a comparison but that is my feeling. It was quite good in the end.

I steeped the hell out of this tea. I brewed it ten times in a 140ml Yixing teapot with 5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 5 min, 10 min and 20 min. There was more to the leaf when I was done but I will want to move on top something else tomorrow so I didn’t save the leaves. There was a noticeable fall off in strength and flavor by the 10th steep but I think the tea had at least two more steeps to it.

Flavors: Apricot, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 140 OZ / 4140 ML
mrmopar

Good one for the price.

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90

Having this tea this morning. Was checking out my review I wrote on it before and I don’t think I quite described exactly how unusual this green tea is.

When I open the bag I get this smell that’s almost like the Chinese blacks. Sweet & rich. The leaves are not even green. They look black. Did someone at YS get the green mixed up with black tea? Hmmm

So brewed it has that heavy sweetness (like sweet potatoes) more common in blacks than in greens. The colour falls between a green and black. Darker than most greens I’ve had. There’s also this background smokiness. I described it as roasted but it’s more smoke but very light. It has a rich full nutty flavour in there too. Just want to add that my tea does not look like the picture on YS website. The leaves are the same shape but those leaves are green and mine look black.

Could this be a first flush black labelled green??? I don’t know. Anyway, I love it.

Maybe YS will see this review and comment on the mystery of this green tea.

Flavors: Nutty, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes

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90

It’s strange but Yunnan Sourcing has this tea up as Autumn 2014 but in the detailed description it has Spring 2014 at the top. My package has Spring 2014 on it so I’m assuming it’s spring but couldn’t find the spring one on their website so using the picture and details for Autumn 2014.

This is a lovely mild sweet green tea with nutty notes. I pick up a very mild roasted taste in it too which I really like.

Flavors: Nutty

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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another tea from boychik

I wanted something easy drinking to get me past the last tea I tried. I picked this one.

Just the right about of everything to this tea. It’s easy to drink, a good, smooth flavor, barely floral. Smells delicious. It’s nice. Just right.

Nothing super special, but nothing bad at all.

boychik

Very convinient if you have no time or lazy to fuss. Glad you liked it.

Cheri

Very convenient.

It was funny, I kept getting all these little pieces of rose in my cup. My gaiwan lid wasn’t holding them back. I should have used the filter, but I was feeling lazy. It just made it pretty.

Cheri

I have a strainer that came with my gaiwan. I didn’t think about using it. I probably should have. I didn’t mind. Like I said, it made it pretty.

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This sample came from boychik

It’s sad when a tea comes so highly recommended and just isn’t doing it for me.

I found this one bitter. In a not good way. I did really short infusions with it, and it was still just tasting bitter to me. The leaf in the bag looked pretty broken, so maybe that was it? I dunno.

It is a good smoky, but the bitter just didn’t go right and did awful things for me.

I’m sad to say that I didn’t like this one.

boychik

I will send you another sample. You are right probably because its broken leaves. At that time I didn’t have a cake. So it was leftover. Now I do have one ;). Will send you soon

Cheri

You don’t have to! I’ve still got so much tea to get through.

boychik

I need to redeem this tea. I thought its quite good and not expensive;)

Cheri

Sure. No rush.

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70

Huh, kind of surprised by this one. The reviews speak of it so highly, but I found it kind of middle-of-the-road as far as Yunnans go. Of course I have yet to meet a Yunnan I don’t enjoy, but this one is just kind of ‘meh’. There’s a bit of malt, and some spicy orange notes. But overall it’s weak and forgettable. I’ll happily drink the rest of what I have, but certainly won’t pick up more whenever I get around to placing another YS order.

Flavors: Malt, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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Brewing this in the Gaiwan, 10 grams with a short rinse and about a minute rest period for the tea to open up. This is nice thick and pungent tea. It starts slightly sweet very full in the mouth with a hint of tobacco and bitter melon with a good bit of bitter at the end. Mang Fei teas of good quality always seem to carry this well into the brew. Very nice for now for those with the strong upfront qualities. I will look forward to see how this progresses in the years to come. A very upfront tea for sure.

Flavors: Bitter, Bitter Melon, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88

Brilliantly clean and brisk, this young sheng displays a light golden color and notes of apricot and citrus. Bold flavors of dried apricot and fresh tobacco dominate the palate with hints of tangerine and a brisk astringency that seems to bounce flavors around your mouth playfully creatings an uncommonly long finish that highlights the “raisin” aspect of the tobacco notes. Multiple steepings are possible and the astringency tapers off along with this. I was most pleased with this sample from Yunnan Sourcing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I’m starting to think that I need to start using two numbers to rate pu-erh tea. The first would be the flavor rating that I use for all other teas, and the second would be the psycho-active rating, or cha qi.

This tea is a great example. I don’t really like the taste, which is still pretty bitter at the 6th steep. However, halfway through this 6th cup (first cup this morning) I have this relaxing “buzz” going on that is probably what people talk about as “tea drunk”. I’m not going to provide a rating on steepster (or seriously propose a two-point system) but my internal rating system for pu-erh become based upon a combination of flavor with qi, but it would be better to use two numbers. This is not the only tea that I enjoyed for qi but didn’t care for in flavor. Of course, a few special teas have both.

So, on to this tea: It starts with a grassy flavor, which is my preference in a green-style tea, but with a little more veggie than I like to see. Very soon into a sip, a very powerful bitterness starts to build and it dominates the taste to the point where very little else is noticeable. I steeped at 185, which I would think would produce less bitterness than at boiling, or my ususal black tea temperature of 200. I’ll try at 175 degrees next time just to see if that makes a difference.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
Cheri

I like a tea with good qi.

Dr Jim

It was just what I needed this morning.

boychik

I prefer to do flush steeps at 200F. It will be less bitter. Also have you noticed any sweetness after bitterness ?

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First tea of the day, a lovely session while I was fixing breakfast.
Now, to try to get a few things done around here!

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