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135 Tasting Notes

92

Dry – cooking herbal blend, Chinese medicine blend.
Wet – Woody, Chinese medicinal herbs blend(dry), books, slightly sweet and camphor.
Liquor – Orange to red Bronze.

1st 5secs – Slightly sweet, Chinese herbal medicine hints with faint woody notes up front. As it goes down, it slightly resembles a Shou woodiness but not quite like Shou, rather it is herbaceous woody instead of the earthy woody of a shou (licorice root?). The aftertaste is cleaner with a slight sweetness with faint woody notes and some camphor.

2nd 5secs – More Woody/Chinese medicinal/Licorice root and slight brothiness up front. As it washes down, it has a woody-herbal medicinal taste with a slight peppery hint that also wears the slightest hint of sweetness. The aftertaste is cleaner, slightly sweeter with woody notes that resemble Licorice and has camphor (slight spiciness as well), gets a bit sweeter with time.

3rd 7secs – Woody, medicinal herbs blend, herbaceous earthiness and hint of sweet up front. As is washes down, it slightly feels brothy/savory then resembles Licorice root and has a spiciness hint. The taste is more apparent in the throat at this point. The after taste is slightly sweeter with stronger herbaceous-earthy notes and some camphor. There’s more sweetness after a while passes but the medicine taste remains and is stronger.

4th 12secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness up front. As it washes down, it has a slight camphor spiciness before the brothy woody character sets in again. The woodiness turns slightly sweeter and has some spiciness. The aftertaste is woody, herbaceous-earthy and slightly sweet; there’s some spiciness in the camphor.

5th 15secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, slight herbal-earthiness and licorice notes up front. As it washes down, it is herbal-earthy with medicinal herbs taste and strong Licorice and slight sweetness. the aftertaste is slightly sweet, herbal-earthiness and camphor.

6th 35secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness slightly savory up front. As it washes down, it has a stronger presence in the throat and lingers there; in the mouth the herbal-earthiness and woody medicinal taste lingers through the aftertaste. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and medicinal tasting and very strong and present in the throat.

Final Notes
This tea has very strong cumulative camphor and throat presence. The taste becomes more apparent in the initial sipping of the second steep but the throat presence becomes more obvious at the end of the second steep and grows more apparent from then on. It is very important to allow time between steeps, the taste is great but the real reward becomes after the tea has gone down.

I’m glad I bought this. I’m also glad I bought the sample. I think it’s a really enjoyable experience and learning experience, but I don’t see myself drinking this over and over. It’s great, it just isn’t what I pursue in a Puerh.

EDIT
I was doing a blend at home with herbs and roots(people coughing around are starting to gain on me). And I stumbled across Licorice root and then Ginseng root (both dry of course). So if you’d like to have a better idea of what I mean when I say ‘Chinese Medicinal herb scent/taste’, think Licorice and Ginseng somehow fused.

Preparation
Boiling

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96

Not a taste note; see previous notes
I usually try to avoid black tea at night, but today I felt like I could stay up a bit longer as long as enjoyed it. I love this one, as I mentioned in the tasting note it has some differences with the standard version, some are subtle but not unnoticeable. And those that are apparent make it that much more worth while (lasting flavor and aftertaste, I’ve come to love this trait in teas).

I’ll enjoy this while I blow some steam playing video games!

Preparation
Boiling

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95
drank Laoshan White by Verdant Tea
135 tasting notes

Quick Notes Thanks to Bonnie for sharing with me :)

Dry – lighty vegetal, sweet, somewhat nutty/buttery.
Wet – Vegetal, snow peas/sweet peas, nutty, buttery.
Liquor – light/pale green.

1st 20secs – lightly sweet and refreshing with buttery and creaminess up front. As it washes down the vegetal notes become more apparent but the creaminess. The after is clean and slowly turns sweet and vegetal.

2nd 15secs – Creamy, buttery, sweet and vegetal notes up front. As it washes down, it is smooth and sweeter with snow pea notes and sugary sweetness that lightly lingers in the aftertaste.

3rd 20secs – Creamy, buttery and vegetal with some sweetness up front. As it washes down, it is more vegetal and slightly savory that wears a slight, pleasant astringency. The aftertaste is vegetal, nutty and sweet.

4th 40secs – Lightly creamy, smooth, sweet with vegetal hints up front. As it washes down, it is more vegetal and slightly savory that turns sweet again; there some astringency present.

5th 1min – Cleaner, sweeter with light creamy and vegetal notes up front. As it washes down, it is slightly creamier with faint vegetal notes that turn sweeter.

Final Notes
Amazing white tea, I like how it is creamy and smooth. Once again I love whites/greens to reset the taste buds, I feel like ‘back to basics’ and you can’t EVER have too much ‘basic’(training, learning and tea).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Bonnie

This is one of the few teas that almost instantly gives me a nice buzz. Good taste and good feeling!

JC

I liked that it was creamy, it had some depth to it. It isn’t completely unusual in white tea but not very common.

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97
drank Yu Lu Yan Cha Black by Verdant Tea
135 tasting notes

Quick Notes Thanks to Bonnie for sharing this one with me.

Dry – Chocolate, cream, vanilla, lightly malty.
Wet – Chocolate/cacao, creamy, vanilla, thick sweetness.
Liquor – Golden Bronze.

Gong fu in Porcelain Gaiwan 4-5g/4.5oz

1st 6secs – Deep chocolate taste with some tart notes and creaminess up front. As it washes down, it is creamier sweet with deeper chocolate notes, that turns slightly tasting and sweet. The aftertaste is cleaner but still has a creamy chocolate taste.

2nd 5secs – Thicker and deeper chocolate notes with tart notes and some creaminess up front. As it washes down, it is creamy, thick with strong chocolate notes, with sweet vanilla notes. The aftertaste is creamy, thick and chocolaty.

3rd 8secs – Thick, deep chocolate notes with some tartness and creaminess up front. As it washes down, it becomes creamy deep and thicker chocolate with sweet vanilla notes. The aftertaste is chocolaty and creamy.

4th 12secs – Deep chocolate notes with more tart-tangy notes up front. As it washes down, it isn’t as creamy but is smooth and turns vanilla sweet. The aftertaste is thick and creamy chocolate notes.

5th 17secs – Chocolate notes with some tart notes and some sweetness up front. As it washes down, it is smooth with prescent but weaker chocolate notes and vanilla sweetness. The aftertaste is sweet with chocolate notes and slight thickness.

Final Notes
This is a great black tea, is is a deeper and more complex Laoshan Black. Laoshan is mostly sweet while this one has deeper complexity with tart (slightly bitter but not astringent) notes. I feel like it balances itself very well and makes it a very pleasant experience. Thanks Bonnie!

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

Welcome!

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87

Quick Notes Thanks and apologies to AmyOh . I though I had logged this one, nope. LOL

This is another beautiful mini ‘tuo’/brick. THe leaf look amazing and tender, I almost feel bad about steeping it. The dry scent is sweet and mellow honey and somewhat faint fruits. When wet, it has a stronger and sweeter presence and yet a bittersweet to bitter tone with fruity notes.

The liquor is light yellow/light golden color. The taste is mellow and sweet with slight fruit notes on the first two steeps. As the leaf opens the later steeps get more complex with the bitter notes (desirable) that seem fruity, yet somehow floral. The tea is slightly refreshing but mostly sweet in the aftertaste.

Final Notes
Thanks again Amy, really good one. The ‘spent’ leaf is beautiful when fully opened, looks young and lively. I bought the ripe menghai square. When we do the next swap I’ll send it to you to try.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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84

Dry – Sweet, earthy.
Wet – Sweet, creamy, bitter/tart notes(chocolate?)
Liquor – Dark Brown/Deep Bronze.

1st 20secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy, a slight bitterness up front. As it washes down, it is slightly more bitter and has a bit of astringency (particles “Chen Dian?”). The aftertaste is sweet, earthy and slightly refreshing.

2nd 10secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy and slight bitterness. As it washes down, it is bitter but smooth creaminess. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and slightly refreshing.

3rd 15secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy and slight bitterness. As it washes down, it is bitter, smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and refreshing.

4th 15secs – Sweet, vanilla, smooth and faded bitter notes. As it washes down it is bittersweet and smooth. The aftertaste is sweet and smooth that becomes refreshing.

5th 25secs – Sweet, vanilla, smooth, slightly creamy up front. As it washes down, it becomes bittersweet and slowly turns sweeter. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and refreshing.

Final Notes
Honestly, This mini brick is a good one AND beautiful looking; it has to be one of the most beautifully pressed mini tuo I’ve ever seen. If you buy the 4oz for $24 (20 mini cakes) it is worth it. I had a sample 3 for $5 dollars… that seems a bit too much. That aside, the cake is well made, and you can tell is hand picked, the buds are beautiful and almost completely intact. The pressing is very light so keep that in mind when steeping (so you don’t oversteep past your preferences).

Preparation
Boiling

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88

Quick Notes – This is a ‘Standard’ or ‘Traditional’ version of the material used. I have logged the ‘High Grade’ and bought this for comparison for myself, learn more about differences material used make.

Dry – Sweet, woody/earthy
Wet – Sweet, creamy, malty, earthy/woody.
Liquor – Clear Burgundy-Red.

Gong fu in Yixing Gaiwan 6-7g/5oz

1st 45secs – Sweet, earthy and woody up front. As it washes down, it has a spiciness together with woody notes that resemble black pepper corn. The aftertaste is sweet and woody, slightly refreshing.

2nd 22secs – Sweet, smooth, earthy/woody with leather hints and spicy up front. As it goes down, it is more spicy resembling pepper corn with woody notes that become sweeter. The aftertaste is sweet, leathery and refreshing.

3rd 22secs – Sweet, smooth, woody/leathery and spicy up front. As it washes down it is slightly creamy but is mostly smooth with wood and leather notes. The aftertaste is sweet, woody/leathery, smooth and refreshing.

4th 30secs – Sweet, smooth, woody/leathery and faded spicy notes up front. As it washes down, it is cleaner and resembles pepper win woodiness and slight spicy notes. The aftertaste is sweet, woody and refreshing.

5th 42secs – Sweet, woody/leathery and spicy up front. As it washes down, it becomes sweeter and woody with spicy notes. The aftertaste is sweet, woody and refreshing.

6th 1min – Sweet, woody/leathery and cleaner up front. As it washes down, it is cleaner but still has woody and spicy hints. The aftertaste is sweet and slightly woody and more refreshing.

Final Notes
This is a more ‘standard’ or ‘traditiona’ Heicha grade brick. The material is coarser, and somewhat uneven in distribution. The high grade is a small leaf, buds and smaller leaf piece distribution, while this one is a more twiggy, stems, larger leaf and smaller leaf and leaf pieces (maybe a few buds). The difference, thickness. This one is a lot cleaner, it has some thickness but I’d say is a medium bodied while the high grade is a Full bodied creamy one. Doesn’t mean bad, its great aged puerh, same process just different materials = different results. I love the high grade over this one but I’d still stock up on this one.

Preparation
Boiling

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96

Dry – Sweet, Chocolaty, nutty, faint fruity-complexity
Wet – Chocolaty, creamy, honey, thick and a hidden fruitiness.
Liquor – Bright Golden/Mustard

Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan 5-6g/5oz

1st 1sec – Smooth, creamy and sweet up front. As it washes down, it has a more apparent creaminess with a deep chocolate note and honey sweetness with a woody/nutty background. The aftertaste is sweet, thick and chocolaty.

2nd 1sec – Smooth, creamy, sweet and tart with chocolaty notes up front. As it washes down, it is smooth and creamy with apparent chocolate notes and fruity complexity in the background. The aftertaste is sweet and tarty with chocolate notes.

3rd 2secs – Sweet, smooth, slightly tarty with chocolate notes up front. As it washes down it becomes creamy, chocolaty, with tarty fruit notes. The aftertaste is thick, sweet and chocolaty.

4th 4secs – Sweet, smooth, creamy and chocolaty with tart notes. As it washes down, it is creamy, chocolaty with tart fruity notes. The aftertaste is thick, creamy, chocolaty.

5th 7secs – Sweet, tarty and smooth up front. As it washes down, it is slightly cleaner but turns creamy and chocolaty with fruity tart notes. The aftertaste is sweet, tart-fruitiness and thickness.

6th 12secs – Sweet, smooth and tarty up front. As it washes down, it is smooth and creamy with mostly tarty fruitiness that feels almost wine-like. The aftertaste is thick but cleaner than previously with faint chocolate notes.

Final Notes – I loved this one, there are subtly and no so subtle differences between the standard grade and this Special Grade. This one has a deeper and more lasting chocolate note, while the standard version is a sweeter chocolate that fades faster. This one offers a higher complexity that is better balanced; the fruity-tarty notes are present the entire time becoming more apparent during the last steeps but never having a pungency or overpowering presence.

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Quick Note Thanks to Bonnie, again for sharing with me :)
Dry – Sweet, fruity.
Wet – Honey, fruity, apricot, citrusy/tart and just a hint of smoke.
Liquor – Bright Golden

Gong fu with Yixing Gaiwan 5g/6oz

1st – 15secs – Sweet, a muted honey taste and clean up front. As it washes down, it has more ‘fruity’ notes that feel smooth and pleasant but slowly gives a hint of bitterness. The aftertaste is sweet and clean.

2nd 30secs – Sweet honey but not muted, floral-fruity notes and hints of smoke up front. As it washes down, it has an apparent fruity taste with a raising bitterness that lingers for a bit before turning sweet in the aftertaste.

3rd 45secs – Floral-bitterness with slight honey sweetness up front. As it washes down, it is slightly vegetal but quickly turns bitter-sweet that lingers. The aftertaste is sweet with some lingering bittersweet floral notes.

4th 50secs – Floral bitterness, slight smokiness and some sweetness up front. As it washes down, it has fruity sweet note that turns bitter to bitter-sweet and lingers in the mouth. The aftertaste is sweet with bittersweet floral hints.

Final Notes I did six successful steeps with this one and I found it is really good. It sort of reminded me of Menghai Factory raws but with subtler nature. Made me wonder how an aged version of this tea would taste like. Really nice, specially for the age.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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90

Quick Notes Thanks to Bonnie for sharing with me!
Dry – Hickory smoked salt rub, hints of orange and sweet.
Wet – Smoky and more citrusy, sweet and somewhat spicy.
Liquor – Light brown/caramel.

1st 3mins – Smoky, sweet with orange citrus hints up front. It goes down smoothly while retaining the citrus notes, it has a savory ‘back bone’ with the smoke that allows the rest of the other flavors to come up.

2nd 3 1/2mins – Smoky, sweet and tart orange up front. It is smooth and smoky with a full body, yet the citrus notes gives it a ‘juicy’ feel. At this point I can taste vanilla hints which I think most come from the jasmine since dried jasmine is subtly sweet but not perfumy at all.

3rd 4mins – Sweet, tart citrus with some smoke up front. The tea continues to be smooth while going down and has a more subtle smoke note, the orange is more present now and lingers a bit more in the mouth.

Final Notes
I loved this one! I usually avoid blends with tea, but this one is well done. (In case you are wondering why I usually avoid blends: it is because Herbals have completely different infusion times and sometimes temperatures from that of tea. Basically you end up having tea the first try, the second faded tea with some herbs and then over steeped tea with herbal tea.)

I liked this one. Thanks Bonnie!

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

I don’t think I’ve run into another mostly lapsang souchong mix like this one. glad you liked it.

JC

Feels well balance, no overpowering from any element. It was nice. I though I would like it, and be once of those that you can drink every few weeks, but its more than attractive as an everyday one specially today! The windchill dropped the temps to 6-8f!!!

Bonnie

Yikes! It’s a good cold weather tea!

JC

Yes it is! Thanks again. The weather is finally showing Winter traits. But at this point it was almost unexpected.

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Profile

Bio

Discovered tea a few years ago and I’ve been exploring ever since. I’m looking forward to keep learning and enjoy tea as I do. Keep learning, those who “know” stop learning and become irrelevant to the world.

I’m adding the scale because I noted that we all use the same system but it doesn’t mean the same to all.(I rate the tea not by how much I ‘like it’ only; there are flavors/scents I don’t like but they are quality and are how they are supposed to be and I rate them as such).

90 – 100: AMAZING. This the tea I feel you should drop whatever you are doing and just enjoy.

80-89: Great tea that I would recommend because they are above ‘average’ tea, they usually posses that ‘something’ extra that separates them from the rest.

70-79: An OK tea, still good quality, taste and smell. For me usually the tea that I have at work for everyday use but I can still appreciate and get me going through my day.

60-69: Average nothing special and quality is not high. The tea you make and don’t worry about the EXACT time of steep because you just want tea.

30-59: The tea you should probably avoid, the tea that you can mostly use for iced tea and ‘hide’ what you don’t like.

1-29: Caveat emptor! I feel sorry for my enemies when they drink this tea. :P

Location

DC

Website

http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

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