141 Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Quick Notes From what I’ve gathered, ‘Golden Sail’ USED to be a great Puerh Brand. As the Guangdong Tea Import and Export Co. went to the what I call ‘the dark side’ of quantity over Quality production, this is no longer a ‘good’ Puerh Brand(opinions, you choose what you like). Apparently, 2006 and earlier are the last ‘good’ batch, sad to see Puerh go bad. To the tea.
Dry – Sweet, fruity, floral.
Wet – Honey, fruity,tobaccoy,smoky,bitter-floral.
Liquor – Deep Golden.
Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan – 6-7gm/4.5oz
1st 12secs – Smoky, savory floral notes with hints of tobacco and smoke up front. As it washes down the smoky and floral bitter notes turn sweeter but retain some of the tobacco notes. The aftertaste is sweet with tobacco hints.
2nd 12 secs – Tobacco, smoky, floral-bitterness that turn sweeter as it goes down; but once again, retaining the the tobacco notes while the smokiness subsides. The aftertaste is slightly sweet, tobbacoy and bitter that slowly becomes sweeter and refreshing over time.
3rd 10secs – Tobacco, smoke, floral-bitterness up front. As it washes down, it retains its tobacco and floral-bitter notes but slowly becomes sweeter (hinting honey) with floral notes and refreshing. The aftertaste is tobaccoy and bittersweet that slowly turns sweeter.
4th 10secs – Strong tobacco notes, smoky, floral-bitterness up front. As it goes down, it retains the tobacco notes but slowly becomes sweet and floral. The after taste is bitter-sweet floral with tobaccoy notes, it slowly becomes sweeter and refreshing, as well as lasting in the mouth and throat.
5th 12secs – Strong Tobacco notes, smoky, floral-bitterness up front. As it washes down, it is tobaccoy, floral-bittersweet that turns sweeter while maintaining its tobacco notes. The aftertaste is bittersweet, slightly floral with tobacco notes; as time goes by it becomes sweeter and refreshing, very lasting in the mouth.
I was able to do nine good steeps this way with very similar notes, the ninth being a bit ‘cleaner’ but still had some bitter-to-sweet changes. I did another session (a while ago) with shorter steeps and less leaf 3-4gm, it works amazingly if you like to have some hints of tobacco/bitterness with out it being in the front and body (mostly sweet).
I liked it this way better, It has a strong mouth feel that is not unpleasant and it slowly and somehow ‘cumulatively’ gets sweeter in the aftertaste.
Extra Notes – I’ve been trying to log this one for a while. Steepster wouldn’t let me add it for some reason and the picture (using the website’s) doesn’t seem to load either, I had to change the name in order to get it here in the site is ‘2009 Feng Qing…’
About the Tea
I won’t make extensive notes about this one. I’ll just say this is my extremely cheap to-go Puerh. Scott described it as having stronger chocolate notes, but the sample Amy Oh sent me from Mandala is way more chocolaty than this one. However, this tea is amazing, especially for the price. It has some roasty note to it that gives it the (chocolate hint). But to me, this tastes a lot like dates/raisins. Its fruitier and aromatic, like a dried fruit. I have it in a ceramic pot that with lid designed to let it ‘breath’ the scent is more concentrated there but in a good way.
This tea does NOT compare to more expensive Ripes but deserves a really high rating because for the price you are getting something nicer that you’d expect. I drink it at work at every chance.
Dry – Honey, Chocolate, Walnuts, Orchid/Plum
Wet – Chocolate, Honey, Orchid, slightly nutty.
Liquor – Reddish Gold / Bronze
Gong Fu Style in Yixing Gaiwan — 5g/4.5oz
1st 2secs – Thick and creamy up front with plum/orchid taste that is immediately overtaken by chocolate taste with honey sweetness and walnut notes. There’s a refreshing ‘juicy’ hint of plum and honey that turns chocolaty at the end.
2nd 2secs – Strong chocolate taste, honey with very present plum/orchid notes. As it washes down, the creamy chocolate notes become more apparent with nutty hits that resemble walnut and lasts in the mouth. The aftertaste is joint of slight chocolaty notes and apparent plum/orchid notes.
3rd 3secs – Chocolate, creamy, honey and plum/orchid notes up front. As it washes down, it is creamy with nuttiness but then turns juicier with plum/orchid notes. The aftertaste is sweet, creamy but has orchid/plum notes that linger.
4th 6secs – Chocolate, plummy/orchid notes and honey up front. As it washes down, it is slightly creamy with chocolaty-nutty notes, but slightly juicier with the plum/orchid notes. The aftertaste is creamy, but has strong/dominant plum/orchid notes that linger.
5th 10secs – Chocolate, creamy, honey and plum/orchid up front. As it washes down, it is slightly creamy with honey and chocolate notes that turn juicy again. The aftertaste is sweet, chocolaty and plummy.
6th 20secs -Honey, slight chocolate notes and plum/orchid notes up front. As it washes down, it is smooth chocolaty and then juicy with the plummy/orchid notes. The aftertaste is sweet, faded chocolate and plummy/orchid.
I did eight good steeps this way. When preparing it western cup style I prefer to do three steeps: 45secs, 1min 20secs and 2mins. I loved this tea, the Walnut/nuttiness of the dry leaf is amazing. I love chocolate and walnuts together so I love the smell.
It isn’t as chocolaty as expected but still very good. I went with ‘walnut’ because it reminds me of scent when I crack the shell and the the ‘prize’ out. I wanted to try it as a base for a blend, :/ didn’t work out as expected. Great tea on its own anyway!
Dry Leaf – Creamy, sweet, earthy.
Wet Leaf – Thick, creamy, bitter-chocolate, dates/raisins.
Liquor – Dark Bronze to coffee bronze (looks black).
Gong Fu in 4oz Yixing Gaiwan / 6-7g * 8 seconds wash
1st 20secs – Creamy, slightly sweet, earthy, bitter-chocolate and slightly leathery up front. As it washes down it is thick, earthy and creamy with stronger bitter-chocolate and leather notes. The aftertaste is creamy, sweet and refreshing.
2nd 8secs – (cake piece opened) Creamy, bitter-chocolate, earthy (slight leathery notes) and light sweetness. As it washes down it is thick, earthy with stronger leather notes and bitter-chocolate notes. The aftertaste is, earthy creamy and sweet.
3rd 7secs – Thick, earthy/leathery, bitter-chocolate and smooth up front. As it washes down the bitter-chocolate notes become more apparent as do the leathery ones. The aftertaste is thick, slightly earthy with bitter-chocolate notes and sweetness.
4th 7secs – Thick, earthy/leathery, bitter-chocolate notes, creamy and slightly sweet up front. As it washes down the bitterness is more apparent and last through the aftertaste. The aftertaste is is thick, leathery and sweet.
INTERMISSION All the steeps from the second to the seventh are incredibly strong and dark even though the times were kept under 11 seconds. The liquor resembled dark coffee until this point. Later steeps where a dark brown hue.
8th 20secs – Creamy, slightly leathery, chocolate notes and sweet up front. Washing down it is a bit ‘cleaner’ by comparison, the bitter-notes are bit ‘fruitier’ but still slightly resemble chocolate and have a slight leathery hint. The aftertaste starts slightly earthy and thick and turns sweet.
This is not my favorite brick. I like ‘cleaner’ tasting ripes, this still have some earthy that I usually find in some slightly younger ripes. If you love THICK, almost smoky tasting ripes this is for you. After the cake opens up the liquor resembles coffee and it has a strong mouth feel. What I did like about it is the aftertaste. Even though the steep is mostly bitter-sweet the aftertaste slowly becomes sweeter but once it turns sweet it is really apparent.