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Recent Tasting Notes
Monday is maintainance day at my house. I just finished breakfast & watered ALL the houseplants, accompanied by this tea. It is not particularly special, but it is tasty, with notes of malt, fruit, & a touch floral.
Next maintainance activity: a shower (don’t worry, I do that more than once a week, LOL).
The main maintainance activity of the day is….you guessed it…
“Quit screwing around & finish those damn TAXES!”
yes…that was Ms Theresa…
Finally came around to trying out this cake. Been sitting i my cupboard for over a year ^^
But my tradition of sipping sheng whenver i watch the big bang theory is going strong!
I used 5.5grams in a 90ml celadon gaiwan.
Mild smoth start. This is a young sheng, still the flavour is very clean and has some complexity to it. Yet i found i have to steep it for 25-30s to get that small bite of bitter i enjoy with shengs. I might have to purchase an older sheng in the near future. I do love the insanely powerful shengs that just explodes with flavour! The ones where you can do multiple 10s steepings and no longer unless you want it very bitter.
Got my eyes on the 2002 Yong Pin Hao yiwu sheng. Tried a sample a while back and was impressed!
Another thought just struck me. Why dont i drink more sheng and good mao-cha. Everytime i do i think “wow this is good tea” I think the world of sheng will be my next project since i feel just about done exploring yunnan tea.
More assams, taiwan black tea, korean green and Sheng will be this years main attractions. Perhaps i will manage to get a hold of some japanese white as well!
I hope 2014 will be a good year for tea!
In spite of my lack of posting over the last few days, I’ve drank my usual amount of teas:
Golden Monkey Black
…just to name a few…
So, now I’m having this, & I really need it!
5G + 4oz blue lotus porcelain beautiful tiny teapot X (rinse) 15sec/30/45/ etc
I warmed the leaf in the preheated pot, & it smells like some kind of heaven.
…sigh…just letting go & breathing for a few minutes, that’s all I need.
The Breatharians are a sect of people who claim to live on oxygen & water alone. They tend to become very thin & frail, meditate a lot, & there are stories about the famous leader of that belief, who appeared much more robust than the others, & was seen secretly eating a hamburger somewhere, LOL.
I have no desire to give up food, of course, & I have no doubt that my body needs it. But sometimes it’s nice to just sit & breath. To sit & breath in the aroma of something wonderful, like this the lime flowers in my sunroom (the meyer lemon & kumquats are also getting ready to start blooming…oh heaven!). And of course, like this tea. The aroma is cream of wheat cereal, with a big blob of butter melted on it, drizzled with a really good honey. Once I rinsed the leaves, the honey aroma became even more real & prominent.
I could get by just on the aroma of this…I could almost just breath it, but no, I drank the rinse water, I wouldn’t want to waste a precious drop. I’m drinking multiple cups, & with each cup, like magic, I’m becoming happier. This tea has excellent qi, & in spite of it’s lighter golden appearance, brews up into a rich & dark cup of tongue tingling sweetness. I’m sure I could go on & on, but I think I’m gonna do a little Taichi, to further enhance my mood, & then work on my taxes, for a little while anyway. Namaste.
I’ve decided to revisit the beautiful Bulang mountain range this morning with a 2010 Gu Ming Xiang Ban Pen sheng. The wet leaves, which are of an impressive size and produce a delightful amber liquor, radiate an aroma that I can only describe as smoky vegetal (I believe this aroma is similar to the aroma found in the Lao Man E sheng I described not too long ago). Frankly, the aroma isn’t as impressive as say a Jingmai ,but I suppose this is expected from a Bulang. What is impressive is this teas profile and kou gan. The tea exhibits a pleasant transformation from a light bitterness to a subtle sweetness. It only takes a few sips of this tea to bring out a well balanced astringency and Hui Gan in the mouth. IMO, this tea is a fine tea. It has a lot of character. I look foward to drinking it a few months down the road! Perhaps an 84/100 is fair assessment.
Parameters : 4.5 g / 100 mL of water @ ~200 F
Yup, I love this tea!
It’s amazing how so many different teas can taste like chocolate, but not taste like each other, right? To be honest, I believe I’ve decided this tea is going to be the official replacement for Anxi Fo Shou, of which I only have enough to drink 2 more times. I think one of those 2 times will have to be a side by side comparison, maybe. The other one will be some special occasion, like maybe ground breaking day in my garden, or a celebration of the sprouting of the first seeds that I plant. Or maybe a day when I just need to pamper myself. Meanwhile, I’m feeling a little better about running out of THAT tea, because I have THIS tea, & I think I will have to add it to the list of Hoard-worthy teas, because it really is THAT good. It really is like German Chocolate Cake. And don’t let the name fool you, because although it is roasty, it is NOT smokey, at all.
Now I have to get ready to go play that gig.
I received my first Lao Man E beeng (2009 Hai Lang Hao “Lao Man’E Wild Arbor”). I’ve read several articles describing the regions intense bitterness, but have never experienced it. I began by breaking off 4.5 grams of dry leaf. The dry leaves seem medium in size with a fair share of buds. I suppose its fair to say it looks like your typical arbor beeng. The wet leaves have a brownish green colour to them and are indeed intact. Very nice to look at. This tea produces a nose that I have yet to come across. Its aroma hints at the forthcoming bitterness, an aroma which I can best describe as a vegetal smokiness (I want to say that the wet leaves have an intense bitter aroma, so intense that it seems smoky. However, I dont feel comfortable using the term bitter to describe a scent. Perhaps someone trying this tea can comment on this?). A brief 10 second steep yields an amber coloured liquor with intense bitterness, much more so than any LBZ I’ve had. In fact, I think this is the most bitter tea I’ve had (not including accidental oversteeps). Accompanied with the bitterness is a pleasant floral sweetness, albeit, it is rather subtle. The body is thick and coats the inner mouth with a subtle sweetness. The most impressive aspect of this tea, as Scott mentions in the YS description, is its qi. Its cha qi is incredibly strong and I’d echo his comments on it. There is also a pleasing hui gan and hui tian. I am happy with this purchase and I will definitely be picking up another beeng as I can see this material aging very well. 85/100
A pleasant cup of earthy warmth. I enjoyed its very smooth deep oak flavor with a rich dark brown clear liquor and I detected a touch of dark chocolate and honey. Double 3 second rinse and then I combined (4) six second gaiwan infusions into one sixteen ounce travel mug and hit the road. This was part of a very generous sample which accompanied the 357g cake I recently purchased. The cake is for aging a year or two but I look forward to continuing with the sample very soon.
I have quite a few teas here that I’ve never tried, and this is one of them. It was included as a free sample in my most recent Yunnan Sourcing order, which was back around black friday, I think.
Sometimes I get caught up in just going with easy teas, you know, steep 1 tsp for 3 min, or whatever. I forget how much better these full leaf teas are in a gongfu session. So today I went with 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15sec/30/45/1min…etc
OH, the Chaqi, oh the lovely mellow feeling, oh the delicious tea.
Herbaceous & sweet, love in a cup.
Looking over this tea when breaking it. The cake seems to have some “white” tips in it. the first brew was very pale considering the age of the maocha the tea was made with. It brews clean and bright with a pale yellow color. The notes I get right away are musky and floral with a touch of smoke and bitter. it causes a slight numbing on the tongue that stimulates the saliva glands. A little “piney” note also shows up. it is deep and complex with the darker “aged” color coming after the second steep. This is a really nice tea with a mix of heavy hitting and soft notes rolled into one. The dryer and fruity notes seem to come after the first infusion. I would suggest a “double” rinse to allow this one to show its true nature. a real deal for what I paid and i can’t wait to see how it matures down the road. Very hot gongfu method short steeps on this one.
One of the things I love about Chinese teas is the fact that I can drink most them on an empty stomach, & this one is no exception. I love qimens, I love Yunnans, but there is something about the aroma & taste of Fujians that always causes a voice in my head to whisper, “yes”.
There’s something primordial about them, for me at least, a nurturing nourishing quality.
An invitation: “Savor me”.
I bow to the cup, breath in her fragrance, & sip.
Definitely wanted to try this one! Thanks so much CharlotteZero! I went with two teaspoons (I tried to follow Teavivre’s Dian Hong instructions!)
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 2 min
The fragrance is lovely! The flavor seems to be between Teavivre’s Golden & Full Leaf Dian Hong’s. It’s neither sweet potato or chocolate… somewhere in the middle! This is very nice, but I feel like both of Teavivre’s are better because they aren’t in the middle. One is super chocolate, one is a ton of sweet potato. This blend also has some fuzzies that are usually on white tea that likes to bother my throat.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 mins
I might have let this one steep too long, but the flavor isn’t bad. This cup is very similar to the last cup. Very nice, just not as nice as Teavivre! They don’t have tiny fuzzies. The flavor isn’t as full as I’d love it to be. I will gladly drink the rest of my sample though!
This is a nice loose compressed cake that broke apart easily. It has a slight mineral taste with a touch of bitterness on the tongue. It has a very thick mouthfeel to it that is followed by tongue tingling after drinking it. I have done 9 infusions so far and it is carrying on well. A pretty nice young sheng with a nice floral aroma.
A full flavored sheng pu-erh this sample features robust leaves with a light orange soup, pronounced, long lasting flavors (my wife says “spicy”) which I think are a bit intense at the moment, but will be interesting to follow over time. A good, interesting treat.
sad to see this one go. I started my morning out with this one as there are still a few things to be doing around the house as we have friends coming over for dinner and board games…and i’m still working as some things came to light from last night’s testing that i need to sort out. I love this tea and i can’t even explain why. there’s something about it that just makes me want to drink it. Plus the leaves always make me smile :)