112 Tasting Notes
This Sheng Puerh certainly brews up to a beautiful golden color and one tasty cup of tea. But I get ahead of myself… you really should take a good inhalation of the dry leaves and smell the aromas of heaven and earth. Redwood forest, eucalyptus trees, and the smell of a distant campfire all come to mind. The first infusion brings out such a brilliant color, and definitely is assertive in it’s flavor. Smooth, bold, robust without being overwhelming.
Subsequent infusions are lighter in color and flavor but bring a new sweetness and aroma. A fascinating tea that leaves me wanting more to brew up. Too bad I only had a small sample bag to try!
This morning I forgo my beloved green teas, and ventured back to Yunnan for another round with one of my favorite teas from Rishi. Having brewed this up both western style, and in a gaiwan, I wanted to try this in my new little Chinese clay pot—gong fu style. Another success. This is proving to be one of the most adaptable (and forgiving) black teas that I can turn to when sitting quietly by myself, or sharing with friends. Nice bold amber color, heady aroma, and a lingering caramel aftertaste that complements the earthiness.
I followed Den’s Tea’s instructions for brewing, even though a 30 second steep seemed short for this type of green, and they were absolutely on the nose. This is a wonderful Sencha, with a gorgeous light emerald color and nicely complex vegetal taste. There is a light taste of the ocean, and taste of the fields that makes for a very satisfying infusion. The second steep was just as nice, with a bit more taste of spinach. A really savory tea!
I also have to echo some of the comments from my fellow Steepsters (Steepsterites?) that Den’s service is really spectacular. My sincha teapot and teas were delivered extremely quickly, accompanied by a variety of reading materials about their teas, and a full catalog/price list of their offerings. Their packaging is top notch, assuring that your tea arrives in the best condition. I am looking forward to working my way through some of the samples they sent, as well as the Gyokuro Kin I purchased for a special occasion.
This is a really nice oolong from Taiwan, that creates a nice coppery infusion from the nicely aromatic leaves. Sweet, subtle and warming. The wet leaves have an amazing aroma, and can be steeped at least three times. A very good introduction to Taiwanese oolongs, that is very nice on it’s own or pairs up nicely with a variety of foods. I think I’ll go and make myself another cup!
This tea is amazing! I received this sample from Verdant Teas in with the rest of my order, and I have to say it is going on my shopping list. A beautiful roasted Tieguanyin that has a wonderful light aroma and nice lingering taste. It is highly addictive, and makes you keep coming back for more steepings. Truly one that you must try.
This is one of those teas that has me mystified. I have read all the positive reviews, and I am a big fan of Yunnan Yabao tea, and yet this version tastes nothing like I had hoped. I have made three valiant efforts over the past week, doing multiple steepings at different temperatures, and all I get is tea water that tastes of old hay. :(
I’m not putting a numerical rating for now, since my experience was so different from everyone else — I thought I had a pretty good palate, but this leaves me with a big question mark…
This is one of those puerh teas that generally age well, if they are stored properly. When I first purchased my beeng (disc) of 2006 CNNP Yellow Label, I was surprised at the quality of the leaves (good mix of leaves and buds) and the pleasant, lightly smoky aroma. Be careful if purchasing through a local Asian market, as it does tend to absorb odors from around it, and you must give it a good sniff before purchasing. Better yet, purchase it from a tea vendor that has taken care to preserve and store it carefully.
As with most puerh’s of this type, the first infusion should only be for washing and awakening the leaves — trust me you will be sorry if you start out by sipping before the second infusion! I like the creamy earthiness that prevails, and multiple steepings can take amazing journeys through subtle woodiness, sometimes conjuring memories of a stroll through the forest, or of fresh sawed lumber.
This is not a terribly complex puerh, but if you value a good simple and interesting tea, often at a true bargain price, it may be one for you to try.
Rainy day in Miami. Hot and steamy outside, cool and comfortable inside. Time to brew up my sample of 2006 Artisan Revival Stone-Pressed Shang…
Beautiful leaves with a lovely aroma. First leaves I pull out are a bud and two leaves—open and full; a good sign. Gaiwan gets loaded up, leaves rinsed, then a three minute steep at about 200 degrees.
Clear golden amber liquor. Smooth, sweet, woodsy and a lingering earthiness. Hmm, and an extra aroma of what… flowers in a forest? This tea is good… seriously good. In fact, I turned off the TV to really focus on my second steep.
There is that aroma again. Alluring and sensual. Taste? Even better! Same smooth woodsy earthiness, with just a hint of dryness, like fresh hay. It looks as if I am going to write one of those over the top reviews… for a tea I just met. I would write more, but I think it is time to go back for a third steep. :)