178 Tasting Notes
Dry – Nice semi-aged Raw scent with bittersweet and sweet woody and fairly medicinal notes, dried fruit (like tamarind shell), dried wood.
Wet – Woody bittersweet notes, slight medicinal with some camphor, good aged puerh notes and richness.
Liquor – light copper to amber.
1st 3secs – Woody bittersweet yet gently and thick upfront that coats and slightly numbs the tongue. As it goes down, it has a slight floral, combined with medicinal character that is sort of muted/gentle. The huigan is gentle and lingering.
2nd 3secs – bittersweet and somewhat bitter (pleasant) aged woody note with slight fruity note that to me resembles tamarind shell up front. As it washes down a thicker medicinal and slightly floral note appears that again coats/numbs the tongue but still feels muted/gentle/subtle (just not fully opened note). The huigan is very good with some of that floral-medicinal that lingers.
3rd 4secs – Bittersweet to bitter medicinal-wood front that develops a thick/numbing body. As it goes down, it feels briefly bitter (pleasant) and transitions to a sweeter, mineral, floral note. The huigan is still lingering with medicinal-floral.
4th 6secs – Non punchy Bitter and bittersweet woody front that coats the tongue and quickly mellows to woody (pencil shavings like?) note. As it washes down, tamarind shell notes with some camphor that refreshes the the throat. Nice huigan.
5th 7secs – Non punchy bitter and bittersweet, very woody-medicinal note that develops thickness and a tongue coating sensation. As it goes down, it is smooth with some camphor, pencil shaving (woody) and a musky sweetness (like musk melon or another musky fruit) and developing more floral/fruit notes in the huigan.
6th 8secs – Non punchy bitter wood and bittersweet medicinal notes that become smoother (before thicker). As it goes down the woody/tamarind shell note appears and becomes sweeter with some camphor that refreshes.
7th 10secs – Non punchy bitter woody and medicinal notes transition to smoother and refreshing (some camphor) and not so thick tamarind shell notes. As it goes down, it becomes sweeter and wears more dried fruit note (still tamarind, just not so shell/woody like). The huigan continues to have that floral and medicinal note that lingers.
8th 12secs – Bittersweet woody and slightly thicker again with some of the numbing sensation, nice muted and musky sweetness and a dried fruit finish.
9th 16secs – Bitttersweet woody and thick/numbing front. There is a ‘pencil shaving’ woody note in the middle with tamarind shell notes that linger until the more floral/medicinal huigan appears.
10th 24secs – Matching the previous notes but slightly weaker. This is the first decline which made me adjust steep times.
Additional notes I was able to get 13 steeps after adjusting the steep times. I feel like I could have gotten 14 and just MAYBE 15 if I had be more patient (I wasn’t).
I liked this one quite a bit, It has complexity and changes along the way or at least it is playful with which characteristics shine. I’m not sure if it is more related to the blend having the opportunity to open up at different times but it offers different notes and I’m sure my next session will have different results. Thanks to the friend who shared this with me so I wouldn’t miss out on the YQH wave. :D
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Medicinal, Wood
Quick note on this one I bought this in May 2014 from Yunnan Sourcing drank it and never log it. I was moving my teas around today to rotate and found it so I decided to dive in.
Dry – Leaf has a darker hue than it used to, which makes me happy to see some aging going on. The scent is mellow tobacco, faint wood and bittersweet to sweet notes, nothing special.
Wet – The leaf are sort of choppy but not bad. The scent is very apparent (but not unpleasant) tobacco (maybe, just maybe some smoke), combined with very medicinal bitter/ bittersweet and even sweet notes.
Liquor – Amber and at times sort of cloudy.
The tea is very straight forward with bitter to bitter sweet tobacco and medicinal notes that linger in the middle and turn sweeter as it goes down. Something note worthy is that the body is very smooth and even has thickness to it, specially when considering usually teas like these tend to have a more astringent and lighter body; with that being said, some astringency is still here, but is not unpleasant. The huigan is sweet and lingers that develops a nice camphor. This tea is making me hungry to the point that I stopped drinking to cook something.
Hind sight is 20/20, for $14 back then (and now sold out) this was a tea to buy and store, it won’t become AMAZING, but it will sure turn nice if you like a more ‘traditional’ tobacco-like Bulang Puerh.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco
Dry – Mushroom, faint tobacco (very faint hint of smoke), savory, soupy/broth like, bittersweet (still drying wood).
Wet – Tobacco with some smoke that dissipates in later infussions, that beefy mushroom scent, bitter and bittersweet drying wood, some bittersweet floral and a bitterswitch and rich dried fruit like tamarinds.
Liquor – Amber to a light caramel.
1st+2nd (10secs+6secs) – Brothy/soupy front with savory notes of mushrooms followed by a bittersweet and woody tobacco note. The liquor then becomes thick on the tongue and the sensation remains when it washes down maintaining that mushroom soup note. Once it goes down it becomes richer and sweeter with that tamarind hint and a refreshing camphor. The huigan is bittersweet and sweet that lingers.
3rd + 4th (6secs + 7secs) – Bitter to bittersweet woody tobacco notes combined with a floral bittersweet note (you can tell this used to be very pungent but time has mellowed it out), there some smoke to it, but it is mostly tobacco notes followed by the beefiness of the mushroom notes; brothy/soupy and filling. The middle is thick and warms my belly and when it starts washing down, it becomes sweeter again with refreshing camphor. Once it has left the mouth, some floral notes appear with a bittersweet huigan that lingers and becomes sweeter with time.
5th + 6th (8secs + 12secs) – Smoother up front, bitter and bittersweet notes, wood and tobacco followed by a more prominent floral bittersweet character that is somewhat medicinal too, almost chemical (believe it or not, a good way). The thickness is there, but not as noticeable, there’s a slight astringency and numbing sensation present. The brothy notes are faint, not so much beefy mushrooms, rather medicinal this time, but still pleasant. The huigan is nice and lingers. The broth is filling and warms my belly and yet refreshing in my mouth.
7th + 8th (20secs + 20secs) – Smoother and cleaner (a bit flat) up front and followed by a stronger floral bitterness than before, not thick, just lightly bodied that still satisfies. I’m still drinking this steep combination but I can see it is heading to the more floral+medicinal+woody and astringent side of things.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Mushrooms, Thick, Tobacco, Umami
Dry – Bittersweet richness but mostly juicy bittersweet and tart fruit notes and a dried fruit sweetness.
Wet – Bitter, bittersweet greener notes, sweet fruity notes (crips), thickness, honey and floral notes with some bitter sweet richness.
Liquor – Golden to amber
First steeps are Bitter, fruity-floral and sort of woody up front that develop a slightly drying sensation combined with good thick/olive oil sensation. The liquor becomes smoother going down transitioning to a sweeter dried fruit and floral note that lingers.
Initial mid steeps are initially bitter tobbacco(green) into a bittersweet fruity and floral that transitions to the thicker/oily and sweeter notes. The drying sensation is more astringent now, but it is still smooth as it goes down. The huigan is fast, sweet, fruity and floral that lingers.
Later mid steeps are initially bitter tobacco(green) but it takes a more medicinal side of the spectrum. The notes then transition to a bittersweet medicinal, fruity and floral notes with some of that oily sensation. The huigan is sweet with plenty of fruity and floral notes.
Final steeps are very similar than before but you can detect the medicinal and floral notes starting to fade first. Even when more notes have faded in later steeps you still get a good huigan, but by the 10-11th steep it might be too weak to say is still there.
Very good! I was surprised because even though I’ve had other thick bulangs, this one is more of a YiWu type thickness that olive oil note and sensation to it; I’m more used to a creamy sensation or that thick sensations that borderlines numbing. The tea holds good but balanced bitterness and the huigan lingers in the mouth and slightly on the throat.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Green Wood, Honey, Medicinal, Olive Oil, Tobacco
2015 Teaclub Gourd 100g “Pound Cake” It is the same material so I decided to put it here. I also have a sample of the Pound Cake, I’ll sample that one and if it is different I’ll update with another note.
Dry – Assertive sweetness, thick/creamy, bittersweet notes, fruits.
Wet – Fruity, Honey, creamy, sweet-corn, tart-fruits, bitterness, floral, apricot.
Liquor – Pale yellow with a green tone >> gold
Initial Steeps Fruity front with notes of honey. Smooth liquor that wears sweet-corn notes followed a pleasant (but still young-edgy) bitterness, floral notes with hints of apricot and similar fruits moving to a vegetal and grassy notes and some astringency at the end. Within this first few steeps the bitterness wakes up and move in to the front with the sweetness taking a back seat to it.
Mid Steeps Bitter to bittersweet notes in the front that move to vegetal and slightly medicinal notes (reminds me faintly of Gua Feng Zhai medicinal-richness), rich and bitter middle with a good medium body with a huigan that lodges in the throat. The finish is sweeter but still maintains its apparent bitter notes. Slurping this one enhances all notes.
Final Steeps Rich bitterness that has greener notes of vegetables-grass, faint medicinal sweetness, honey, fruits and floral bitterness. The bitterness becomes the main note in later steeps with more astringency developing and going strong although it has grown a bit puckery and drying. Allowing it to rest is a very recommended must for a smoother steep. It also benefits from a good Yixing or Jian Shui pot.
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Honey, Medicinal
Dry – Sweet, thick, creamy, red dried fruits, faint bitterness.
Wet – Thick, fruity, bittersweet, rich, burn-sugar sweet.
Liquor – Red-ish brown to a coffee-brown.
Initial Steeps 1-5 Are thick, creamy, bitter to bittersweet notes with apparent richness and full body. The liquor is thick and becomes smooth going down while turning sweeter, but retaining some of that rich bitter-sweetness. Hints of dried dark and red fruits in the sweetness that stays behind.
Mid Steeps 5-7 Still thick, though not as thick as the first few, it holds its ground pretty well with the similar notes of a Bitter to bittersweet front that has rich and tart notes, coating the tongue with a thick layer before transitioning into a sweeter and smoother note. The sweetness lingers in the tongue and throat if you allow time between steeps. Some minor astringency shows up at the end.
Final steeps 8-11 The first steep here still has some body to it, but this declines with each steep, thi is the collapsing portion of this tea (which is REALLY damn good for a shou). The steeps begin to get ‘cleaner’ with less body and even barely retaining any bitterness, just holds on to enought to not make it just sweet, this steeps are still pleasant and satisfying, but in a more juicy way than filling.
A very satisfying every day shou. I would recommend drinking this one next to W2Ts 2005 Bulang Maocha. Its not fair to do a 1:1 comparison due to age and possibly storage factors, but you can get an idea of how loose leaf/maocha vs compressed Puerh behaves in terms of taste. Both great shous to have in your collection.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Thick
Dry – Bittersweet, slightly earthy, vanilla, cocoa beans rich bitter notes.
Wet – Bittersweet and sweet, dates, starch, cocoa bean bitterness, thick and dark fruits. Some fruity notes develops with some steeps.
Liquor – Red amber to very deep burgundy.
Initial steeps start sweet, quickly transitioning to bittersweet notes with good complex middle that wears vanilla, cocoa bean and dark fruit notes with a thick body and a pleasant smoothness as it washes down, it feels like it goes from a creamy thickness to a more silky (maybe lightly oily) mouth-feel. It has a good sweetness at the end with fruit notes and a slight camphor. Steeps 2-3 got more camphor at the end, not overwhelming just present and refreshing at the end.
Mid steeps (4-6 maybe 7) Are Bittersweet on the front that transitions to sweeter notes that resemble vanilla, molasses and warm sugar before giving hints of the cocoa bean notes, dried dark and red fruits with a thick middle body and maintaining that transition to a smoother, almost slippery sensation when going down. A refreshing sensation of camphor lingers with fruity sweetness.
Final steeps (7-9, some instances up to 10) The tea starts collapsing by the 6th steeps and sometimes by the 7th, requiring bigger time adjustments and giving you a watery steep in the middle of this transition. Once you adjust the tea recovers many of its characteristics including the bittersweet to sweet transition and a vague thickness sensation, but remains mostly smooth with sweeter notes of vanilla and dried dark and red fruits. At this point there’s a starchy note and sensation that can come from the small buds starting to fall apart a bit.
VERY good tea, it does have as much ‘chocolate’ or ‘cocoa’ as I initially expected, but it does have more complexity that most ripes, even some well outside its price range. I would drink as it is, but I can see this being really good if you store it in a container to ‘harvest’ some of those complex notes.
Flavors: Camphor, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Sweet, Vanilla
Dry – Sweet and bittersweet earthy notes, no real ‘off’ notes, some persimmon/other fruit.
Wet – Sweet and very thick with earthy notes followed by bitter/bittersweet ‘shou’ notes, molasses and dark fruits, somewhat starchy.
Liquor – Burgundy to a Red-ish coffee-brown.
The tea starts bitter/bittersweet with earth notes that wear some musk, but as a very apparent molasses note to it. It has some darker notes of raw cocoa/coffee in the middle that is a pleasant bitterness, medium body and hints of persimmon at the end.
The steeps evolve into a sweeter and less complex liquor that is still pleasant, and some of the after taste reminds me of drinking a strong sweet coffee such as Turkish coffee or something in those lines.
Very pleasant for the age, but it is very young still. I’d say for the age it has it is a strong 80/100, specially considering for the age there is not fermentation scent at all.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Sweet, Thick
Dry – Dark bittter and bittersweet notes, tart fruit and molasses.
Wet – Cocoa bittersweet notes, persimom, other dried tropical fruits, dates, raisins. (A slight floral hint/complexity devolops as you steep).
Liquor – Burgundy to a reddish-coffee.
Initial Steeps Are seet with a thick body and bittersweet chocolate note that turns cremier as it moves to the back of the tongue finishing in a fruity date note with molasses. These notes become more robust with each steep, from chocolate it is more of a cocoa note and even getting to the aromatic coffee side. Even though the front and middle seem thick and creamy the finish has a ‘juiciness’ to it.
Mid Steeps (3-5) The thick body takes the lead with apparent sweetness followed by bitter-to-bittersweet molasses and the cocoa notes seem to resemble cocoa dusting. It is hard to summarize the notes of several steeps because the bittersweet and sweet notes seem to switch around for the lead, the finish continues to be a juicier dates and molasses version of itself.
Final Steeps (6-9.. 10ish) Later steeps seem to maintain the playful notes with even more fruits becoming apparent, persimon, dates, raisins come to mind. The Liquor is still holding some thickness, but you can tell it is starting to give in. By the 8th steep it is mostly a juicy ripe with some hints of cocoa. The lack of thickness is filled by the camphor that before only was a ghost, possibly drowned by the initial thickness.
A very good ripe, specially for the price. The material is a little on the ‘ok’ side, with is not bad but it can be a bit different session to session. Some can have more of that cocoa, while some will be mostly fruity.
If you have a free minute, check my blog
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Dried Fruit, Molasses, Raisins, Thick
Dry – Honey, bittersweet notes of green stems or unripe tomato, hay, faint peach.
Wet – Thick, Honey, the fruity spectrum of cocoa, reduced orchard fruits (apples/pears… kinda), bitter green notes.
Liquor – Dull gold to Orange Gold.
Initial steeps Are bittersweet and have a somewhat savory base with apparent thickness. There are some warmed up white fruits/orchard fruit notes (poached pear?) and a darker-richer note that slightly resembles cocoa notes, there’s a pungency to it, but it feels hidden.
Mid steeps Steeps 3+ The leaves open up and the previous notes are still there, but feels more robust body that also has astringency developing. The initial notes are still bittersweet with a hint of something savory and moving on to sweeter and more complex notes, it sort of reminds me of some ManZhuan notes, that weird but very pleasant ’green’+ cocoa note. It is a mix of a green bitter note and the thicker richer bittersweet from cocoa.
Final Steeps It balances a bit more after a few more steeps, the body is still very good by the 6th steep, but you can tell it is thinning and developing a bit more astringency. Then at steeps 7-8th there’s a ‘collapse’ where the tea seems to only offer mostly bitterness and astringency.
Very good tea, this is definitely age well, it has good taste now, but it has that something that holds a bit of a promise, is not the astringency or the bitterness is a good balance between the two. I’ll rest it a bit more and re-try it in a few months to see in anything changes. No score now, but will update it as soon as I retry it.
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Fruity, Green