160 Tasting Notes
Quick Note This is another tea I picked up while at Spain in ‘Tea Shop’ / Teashop.es I’m not sure if they are the Teavana of Spain but they were in a LOT of places.
Dry – Sweet, woody, clove like scent.
Wet – Somewhat malty, tart, warm-wine, spice-woodiness.
Liquor – Red-Bronze
1st 15secs Woody notes with apparent sweetness up front. As it goes down it has some faint astringency before the thicker coat covers the tongue, at this point it develops a tart and sweet caramel like taste that rich and lasting.
2nd 12secs Woody notes with sweetness and smoother body than the previous steep up front. It still wears some astringency but is merely a faint sensation. As it goes down it is full bodied, covering the tongue and once again has the tart-sweet character that lingers.
3rd 20secs Woody notes with sweetness and balanced smoothness with some faint astringency up front. As it goes down, it has a lighter body than before but still has some fullness to it. The tart and sweet character is leaning towards a woody tartness with a very light sweet finish. The tart woody notes linger reminiscent of clove.
4th 30secs A tart woody front that has some of the sweetness present but shadowed by the tartness. The broth is somewhat smooth at first but develops some more astringency as you drink. As it goes down, it resembles the tart (slight bitterness) of cloves that have been over-steeped. The sweetness is still present but faint.
I like this tea, but I have to admit I’m still not that used to the woodiness/spice taste that many Indian blacks give. They are the more robust version of other teas I’ve tried. I can see people who favor Indian tea, loving this one, for me is a good tea go revisit and even to make good blends at home.
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Flavors: Caramel, Cloves, Tannin, Wood
Dry- Sweet, grassy, umami, nutty(sweet-pea).
Wet- Grassy, nutty, umami, brothy, vegetal notes, corn sweet scent.
Liquor- light yellow-green.
5oz gaiwan with bottom covered in leaf. I followed the traditional fist steep to open and following steeps shorter
1st – 1 1/2 min with no lid until it unfurls/opens – Grassy (pleasant), vegetal, umami and sort of nori tasting broth up front that lingers in leafy greens and kale notes with some astringency and light bitterness that is not unpleasant or uncommon in Japan greens. As the broth taste slowly fades, the more leafy/grassy taste remains with a growing sweetness that lasts in the tongue.
2nd – 20secs – Grassy with notes of Kale and other green/brothy notes up front. The initial taste wears a pleasant astringency and some bitterness that wakes the tongue. As it goes down, the aftertaste is grassy with kale notes but the aftertaste develops a very smooth and sweet vegetal notes.
3rd – 30secs – Grassy, Kale notes, some astringency with some bitter notes that still resemble a broth upfront. As it goes down, it is develops a deeper grassy and kale taste with some faint sweetness. The aftertaste is grassy with somewhat sweeter notes that linger.
4th – 40secs – Grassy, with leafy green/kale notes, some astringency and now some faint sweetness up front that better balances the remaining bitter notes. As it goes down, it is smoother and becomes sweeter on the tongue. The aftertaste is sweeter and has more a sweet-pea and faint honey resemblance.
5th – 50secs – Grassy, Kale notes that are a little more ‘hay like’, that resemble eating the stem of the Kale, some astringency and some sweetness up front. As it goes down, it sweet with some hints of bitterness. The aftertaste is more grassy and hay like with a more sweeter finish.
I like this tea, I would buy it to ‘scratch the itch’ for Japanese greens. Compared to Chinese greens, Japan greens are way more astringent and wear some bitter notes, but in a positive way. They are certainly not for everyone, but the astringency and bitter notes is what makes them so suitable for the dinner table.
This is another tea I picked up in Spain. Actually, it was a gift of the store manager after several long conversations about tea. This is their top green tea offering and I’m glad I got to try it. Honestly the 90 Euro per 100gr tag would put me off completely with an 1E = $1.60 exchange. So I’m grateful and happy I got to sample via a new friendship.
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Dry – Honey, citrus, sweet floral, fresh.
Wet – Floral citrus, tangy, sweet, crisp.
Liquor – Pale Yellow/slightly golden.
steeps were following the instructions given to me 2 1/2 minutes and the second 3 1/2minutes
1st – Sweet, citrus tangy and mellow. The steep is juicy and refreshing, it contrasts well with more crisp and lively floral-citrus notes from the flowers. The finish is smooth and sweet with lasting citrus notes that slowly faint giving a lasting sensation.
2nd – The notes remained the same on this steep except the floral notes seemed to overtake the very subtle Oolong used in this blend. Still fairly sweet and gently.
I tried a third steep with this, it didn’t go well. The Oolong was depleted already and the flowers were giving a bitterness that wasn’t pleasant, the depleted Oolong taste didn’t help either. I’m not a fan of blend but I feel like this one was nice and not overly strong like I expected.
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Dry – Slightly fruity sweet with a slightly stronger fruity/floral tartness.
Wet – Fruity sweetness with a tart background and some citrus notes.
Liquor – Pale green/yellow color.
1st 20secs Slightly sweet and mellow with fruity notes up front. As it goes down it is somewhat tart and smooth that slowly builds a hint of bitterness and ‘green’ characteristics. The aftertaste is sweet gentle with some fruity and floral hints that last with some ‘green’ taste.
2nd 20secs Tart and sweet initial taste with fruity notes. Once it starts to go down it is ‘greener’ tasting with some faint astringency and some underlying bitterness. The aftertaste is still sweet, fruity and floral with a less ‘green’ and more Puerh like taste.
3rd 30secs Sweet and fruity initially that turns bitter-sweet with fruity and floral notes. As it goes down, it becomes more floral with just hints of fruit notes and some astringency is present but it is still pleasant. The stronger tartness of this steeps rewards you later with a sweeter aftertaste that lingers in the tongue and throat.
I did several steeps of this sample. I liked the fact that it held really well around the #6-9 which is unusual for the price range. I’m glad I was able to tell right away it was a Lincang material with out reading the description on the web site, but I have to admit really young Puerh is not my choice.
The first two steeps felt like a Puerh spiked green tea (in a good way), but at the same time it had too much green herbaceous initially. The brick is REALLY tightly compressed and it took 3-4 steeps to open properly. Once it did the tea showed more Sheng traits that were very well welcomed together with some harsher young Puerh notes. Overall, Lincang is an amazing area for young tea because is not as harsh as others. I’d recommend this for people who like young Puerh or if you are just starting with Puerh. Later steeps get slightly bitter and somewhat astringent so be aware of that.
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Dry – Sweet, fruity, refreshing reminiscent of a white peony.
Wet – Sweet, tart-floral notes, sweet corn, fruit and smells more like an Oolong when wet.
1st 10secs Sweet, green (like a fresh white peony/high mountain green) and slightly nutty up front. As it goes down, it has a more apparent floral note with very light bitter/tartness that gives a good mouth feel. The aftertaste is sweet nutty with an Anxi Oolong taste at the end.
2nd 15secs Sweet, Anxi oolong floral notes with a buttery-creamy hint and some of the green from before up front. As it goes down, it is nutty with the bitter-tartness of the floral notes and a more apparent mouth feel. The aftertaste is bittersweet floral that resembles an Anxi oolong with more sweetness.
3rd 20secs Sweet, green Anxi floral-notes with a slightly buttery-creamy and nutty taste up front. As it washes down it is more floral with slight tart-bitterness. The notes are a bit more apparent in this steep. The aftertaste is sweet, nutty and resembles an Anxi Oolong.
This is an OK tea. I liked that it had traits that reminded me of teas other than Oolongs, like the freshness of smelling a white peony and some ‘greener’ notes in between the more obvious Oolong traits. It is sweeter than most Anxi Oolongs, but with the same bittersweet finish. It is a good tea but is not something I would revisit unless I happened to have it already. It held up well until the 5th steep when it started showing some astringency, possibly because it isn’t very uniform but still a good tea.
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Dry – Sweet, sort of juicy/fruity hints, mellow earthiness.
Wet – Sweet, woody(close to what damp white pepper smells like).
Liquor – Dark Burgundy.
1st 40secs – Slightly sweet with hints of wood that mellows into some medium bodied thickness. It becomes, bread/yeasty(good) with wood notes that lingers with a mellow sweetness.
2nd 35secs – Sweeter and thicker up front with a more present earthiness that is reminiscent of yeasty bread. It feels cleaner as it goes down and becomes sweeter but retains some of the wood notes in the aftertaste.
3rd 35secs – Sweet and thick with some bread yet earthy-woody notes that are slightly more complex up front. As it goes down, it has a slightly more juicy persimmon like tartness that lingers in the aftertaste.
4th 45secs – Sweet, woody and earthy with strong woody notes up front. As it goes down, it wears some of the complexity from before but seems faded and woody taste is more apparent and lingers with some sweetness.
I bought a cake so I drank this one and set it aside to keep trying before I decided on the final notes. This Cake CAN deliver some sweetness and complexity, however it does it when brewed shorter times only. Even then, I felt like four steeps was the maximum you can get out of the tea before it looses its power.
I’m not a fan of this cake, I read the previous notes here and I have to agree that it does seem to be a LOT like cheaper bricks of Shou. In fact, I feel like this tea walks and steps over the line to be more of a Heicha tasting tea rather than a Shou. It has too much woodiness and slightly dries your mouth. If you go for stronger steeps you are going to get an overly woody and slightly bitter tea. Its an OK tea, but not for the price.
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Dry – Pine wood, Malt, sweetness, refreshing.
Wet – Strong Malt notes, warm, faint cocoa bitterness, brown sugar/molasses, woody/piney and thick.
Liquor – Mustard/Golden-Bronze
Gong fu Style in 6oz Porcelain Gaiwan||7gm of tea
1st – 15secs – It has a thickness, full bodied woody notes with apparent sweetness and strong malt notes up front. As it goes down it is sweet with a refreshing Pine-wood notes, a good Yunnan character that becomes more apparent as you zip. The aftertaste is pine-wood, malty and thick.
2nd – 15secs – Starts with a very malty thickness and more present bitter-cocoa notes that become sweet and refreshing up front. As it goes down, it seems thicker and fuller bodied with more apparent maltiness coating the tongue; the bitter-cocoa note reappears but is overshadowed by the stronger pine and malt notes. Thick, malty and refreshing finish with playful bitter-cocoa hints.
3rd – 20secs – Thicker, Sweeter and more apparent malty notes up front with an incredibly pleasant full body and hints of pine wood. As it goes down, it keeps its full body qualities and the Pine and malt notes become more apparent in the mouth and even throat. Bitter cocoa, malt notes and sweetness in the aftertaste.
4th – 25secs – Sweet with very pleasant malty thickness that wears hints of bitter-cocoa. As it goes down, it is sweet and malty, but wears a more apparent pine taste and some more citrusy notes appear together with he cocoa notes. The after taste keeps its malty, pine and bitter-cocoa notes with refreshing finish.
I literally ran out of hot water for this tea in the 9th steep. I continued the next day and it was still capable of producing really good tea. I was surprised on how well it held it’s ground along all the steeps and even with the later steeps being longer it never gave me any astringency at all. It is teas like this that remind me why I keep coming back for Yunnan Blacks.
If I feel like anyone who enjoy Yunnan Blacks with strong malt and pine notes, should try this one. It has sweetness and some more complex ‘hidden’ notes but those are its more apparent traits. It is very well balanced and seems to hold forever. If you enjoy Sweeter but less malty and pine like Yunnan Blacks, I’d recommend Yunnan Sourcing’s Imperial Mojiang Golden Bud. I feel like Scott really hit something good with that one. It is really sweet and pleasant and still manages to deliver malty thickness.
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Dry – Smoky, fruity, peach/apricot fruity-floral hints and honey
Wet – Tobacco, Sweet, fruity tartness, Honey Sweetness and thickness
Liquor – Golden to Bronze
1st 35secs – Sweet, floral tart notes with playful fruity notes that coats the tongue in thickness while showing a strong smoky background that is very pleasant. As it goes down it it is slightly vegetal in the mouth while retaining strong floral and smoky notes. As it goes down, the floral and fruity notes linger in the mouth and back of the tongue.
2nd 30secs – Sweet with strong Tobacco notes and tart-bitter floral note that is pleasant as it opens up for the fruity sweet notes that coat the tongue with a thick body. As it goes down, the floral taste is very apparent and slowly turns fruity and sweet one again, lingering in the aftertaste. The floral and fruity notes linger in the mouth and throat with some freshness.
3rd 30secs – The tobacco notes resemble wild wood camp fire but retains its sweetness and floral complexity that coats the tongue and becomes fruity. As it washes down, it is strong in the tongue but thick and slowly moves to the back of the throat. The floral notes become sweet once again, and the fruity hints are more apparent in the lingering aftertaste.
I made several (7-8) steeps of this tea. I really love this one, inexpensive and delivers in all aspects. It is perfect for anyone who enjoys a tobbaco/smoky Puerh with a thick floral body and sweet lasting finish. The tea maintains a lot of its traits all the way to the end, you may notice some astringency apprearing in the later steeps but it is still pleasant.
However, it is a fickle Puerh when it comes to steeping time; I would advice to keep steeps on the shorter side . Doesn’t need a ‘wash’ a quick rinse or two works just fine, it is a good young tea and it doesn’t need much to wake up.
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Dry - Sweet, refreshing, fruity-floral, nutty, baked greens.
Wet - Roasted oats, sweet, refreshing, vegetal yet floral-fruity and somewhat creamy.
Liquor - Pale Green – very fragrant nutty, floral and sweet.
Quick Notes Before the review
– I drank this tea twice before writing these notes. I initially made notes but found that even though there were minor differences; on ‘paper’ it resembled the Shi Fen Long Jing’s notes. I knew there were differences. But I couldn’t properly describe them from memory. I did a side by side tasting between the two and made the notes. I used smell to determine the times for each steep but I’ll give a rounding of the time for each steep.
1st – 25 secs Delicate fruity-floral with some tartness and slightly creamy thickness that was also delicate and smooth. As it washed down nutty vegetal notes dominate its body. Once is left the mouth, The floral-fruity notes become more apparent and enjoyable with refreshing finish.
2nd – 20 secs Still a delicate initial taste but this time the tea give more apparent nuttiness with stronger floral-fruity tartness that slowly smooths and becomes thicker and smoother, almost buttery. As it washes down, the tea becomes vegetal-nutty and even though it is smooth is not full bodied, medium would be a better description giving its more refreshing and juicy finish.
3rd – 20 secs A more floral-fruity start with evident juicy tartness and a nutty finish up front. As it covers the tongue, it is more floral without parting its vegetal and nutty traits. As it washes down, it is somewhat sweeter and crisp that leaves a pleasant floral and refreshing sensation.
4th – 35 secs Taking a bit of a turn it starts up sweeter and floral-fruity that becomes slightly cleaner bu wear some faint floral tartness. As it washes down, it still has hints of vegetal nuttiness but seem to fade, overpowered by a sweeter and juicier freshness at the end.
I was able to get 5-7 (sometimes 8) good steeps out of this one, anything past that point had astringency that I avoid in all greens. Since I tried this one side by side with the Pre-QingMing Shi Feng Long Jing I was able to spot side by side differences and of course when you have a direct comparison everything is more evident.
The main differences between the two are: Shi Feng is on the ‘savory’ side I would go with Umami for a better description a bit more broth like; while Da Fo, is vegetal but has more dominant sweetness. Also, Shi Feng seems to have a more filling broth/soup sensation to it, even when it has very refreshing features; Da Fo, has a very similar first steep apart from the sweetness but rapidly becomes more refreshing and even cleaner in taste (not tasteless, rather juicy). Finally, esthetics. Shi Feng has a coarser look to it, which I believe gives it its more apparent taste; Da Fo is a lot more consistent and ‘pretty’ looking but its flavor is not as apparent but it is more lasting through the steeps. I prefer Da Fo, not because of its looks but for the price you get a really amazing tea.
Dry - Nutty, sweet, roasty and cool/refreshing.
Wet - Very nutty vegetal, toasted nut hints, fruity tartness, some floral notes.
Liquor - Very light, yellow with a green hue.
Quick notes I did several Steeps and I didn’t really time the steeps. I mostly used the smell as a guide to determine when I wanted to try it. The times I specified are round ups to what I thought I did, but I did follow Ginko’s recommendations about time but also did some on my own to get that trial and error sweet spot.
1st – 20 secs Roasted nut hints reminiscent of rice scented tea, vegetal, like yellow squash with a full body that stays in the tongue. The nutty and vegetal notes stay in the mouth and becomes refreshing and very pleasant.
2nd – 25 secs Sweeter with a more apparent fruity/floral tanginess and even more refreshing somewhat minty. The taste is nutty vegetal again resembles yellow squash and still wears the nutty rice taste. It is very refreshing yet filling.
3rd – 35 secs Sweeter and ‘juicier’ rather than full bodied with the tart fruity/floral notes being more evident that previously. The taste is more floral and complex but maintains some vegetal and nutty notes in the background. Still somewhat filling but mostly refreshing.
- A very good tea indeed. I’m glad I pre-ordered this one from Gingko, the price was a bit better in the pre-order offer. I really loved it but want to make sure I clarify that even though the tea has pleasant sweetness, I find it to be more in the umami side of teas. Not necessarily savory, when I think about savory green tea, the taste of vegetal broth comes to mind.
This tea was very delicate and very well balanced the whole time. I can make around 4-6 good steeps with the tea, after that I start getting some astringency in the mouth, the taste is still pleasant but I avoid astringency in most greens; Japanese tea being the exception to the rule for me.