178 Tasting Notes
This is a revisit note/update
I’ve had two or three of these cakes for a while now, probably close to two years, but not yet in the two year mark. I have to say that I still love the overall scent of the cake and the scent of the liquor when I brew it.
I have two cakes for storage purposes and one that I drink from. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the compression and keeping the leaves in good shape for steeping but the closer I get to the middle of the cake the worse it gets. This is its biggest flaw, the grade of the material seems to be the same in the middle which is good (larger leaves, cut large leaves, occasional buds and stems with leaves), but what is the point if the only way of getting a piece to steep is to break them? The compression is beyond Xiaguan Iron cakes. I had this one in high regards (even with the compression and how choosy it can be with steeping time), but I have to downgrade it. It went from only at home Puerh, to ’what’s-the-point?-let’s-take-it-to-work-Puerh’.
Still a good drink, the compression has allow it to keep younger notes of flowers and honey, but aged thickness…. then you have a rock that you’ll have to break barehanded so you don’t stab yourself with your Puerh knife (guilty).
Dry – Fairly sweet and aromatic for a autumn cake, some floral notes.
Wet – Thick Honey and a more apparent floral scent.
Liquor – Mid amber color.
I got this tea as a sample from my order from TeaUrchin.
This tea started as a fairly surprising pleasure since it started with a very pleasant honeyed sweetness and some thickness although it was very limited compared to Spring offerings I’ve had. The broth had a fairly good hold and the Huigan lingered in the tongue for a while.
After the third steep the broth started going very thin and astringency started to become more apparent. The overall experience was OK, if you want a Puerh for work or to drink on the go this is a good choice, otherwise I’d recommend keeping with Spring offerings to fully enjoy the mouth-feel and apparent deep honey notes that Xi Kong can offer.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
Dry – Sweet floral with bittersweet/tart notes that resemble fruits.
Wet – Honey, very apparent apricot, floral notes, ‘wild’ oomph, plum, orchid, vanilla?, cream?, spices.
Liquor – Golden to a Red Gold hue.
Gong Fu Style in thick porcelain Gaiwan 6-7gm 5oz *
1st 2secs – Honey, apricot, floral-fruity notes with a thick body up front. As it washes down, it has a thicker texture/fuller body with apparent tart-fruity notes and very faint but pleasant bitterness that lingers through the very nice Huigan.
2nd 3secs – Tart-Fruity notes that resemble passion fruit, apricot and other floral fruits up front. As it goes does down, it develops a very apparent thickness and active mouth feel (wild oomph?), that lingers through the sweeter and bittersweet playful notes that precede the fast and pleasant Huigan.
3rd 4secs – Tart fruity notes with very apparent floral, bittersweet apricot and passion fruit notes up front. As it goes down, it becomes thicker and has a very energetic mouth-feel that lingers through the bittersweet and tart fruity notes and through the honey notes that become very apparent in the Huigan. At this point it started developing very pleasant and complex notes that resembled spices.
4th 6secs – Honey sweetness that quickly turns bittersweet/tart with floral-fruity notes that resemble passion fruit and apricot. The broth becomes thicker once again as it goes down and covers the tongue with very pleasant and complex tart/bittersweet notes which in turn become very sweet and lingering in the Huigan.
5th 7secs – Honey sweetness with a gentler take over by the the tart/bittersweet floral notes that once again resemble floral fruits like apricot, plum and passion fruit. As it washes down it still wears a thick and active mouth-feel that accentuates the tart/bittersweet notes and wild character of the tea. A very fast huigan and gentle ku. Very pleasant and playful finish with notes that resemble spices.
This one was VERY pleasant. Honestly, my best experience with Wild Puerh by far. To me it started as a very aromatic experience that needs to be acknowledged as soon as you start pouring water and even when you are pouring out the rinse. This is the type of tea that will temp you to drink that rinse. As I started to drink the first notes I noted were the tart/bittersweet notes that resembled several fruits and later I noticed the thicker Honey notes that balances the broth very well.
As I kept drinking, I started to note the hints of spices in the tongue and later on it became more apparent (cumulative sensation). I stopped taking notes after steep #5 because I just wanted to enjoy it. Thanks Sammerz314 for the opportunity to try this beauty.
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Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Honey
EDIT because I found I typo
Dry – Wood and earth notes, some thin sweetness.
Wet – Wet wood notes, some faint sweetness, faded floral.
Liquor – Dark Amber
1st 7secs – Woody, damp floor, musky and some savory notes up front. As it goes down, it has some hints of sweetness but doesn’t quite delivers much, it feels thin and somewhat flat.
2nd 7secs – Cleaner woody, damp floor and some savory ‘mushroom’ notes up front; it feels cleaner but still not that pleasant. As it goes down, it has some more sweetness, but again it is flat although over some time there’s a faint floral note.
3rd 10secs – Same body up front and going down, the finish is slightly better, but still nothing I’d look for in a Nannuo cake.
This cake had to be stored in wetter conditions, it has lost much of the Nannuo character for its age and it feels rather flat, while I expected something sweeter, floral and thick with some age taste. It is a good tea if you like those wetter notes with out overly aggressive notes of really humid storage.
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This is a sample Bonnie sent me a while ago from Mandala Tea. I already had notes written down but decided to try what I had left in the sample.
Dry – Faint earthy notes and some sweetness.
Wet – Thick, earthy and sweet with some faint forest floor scent.
Liquor – Bronze to Brown (depending on steep time).
3 second rinse, followed by 5 second rest
1st 15secs – Sweet, thick and bread-like? texture, mellow earthy notes up front. As it goes down, it is slightly thicker and the bread like texture is more apparent but feels one dimensional.
2nd 10secs – Sweet, thick with more bread like texture and mellow earthiness up front. As it goes down, it is thicker while maintaining its bread-like texture, but wears more sweetness that lingers in the finish with some freshness.
3rd 10secs – Sweet, thick and bread-like texture with mellow earth notes up front. As it goes down, if feels thicker and wears more complexity in the body that linger with faint woody-spice notes. Refreshing and sweet finish.
4th 15secs – Sweet, thick, mellow earthy notes with bread-like texture on the tongue. As it goes down, it feels thicker with a more pleasant base of woody spices that hint a very faint fruity?floral? sweetness, the bread-like texture still coats the tongue. The finish is sweeter and refreshing that lingers.
5th 20secs – Sweet, less thick than previously but still has mellow earthy notes and the bread-like texture. As it goes down, it wears a more complex woody note that faintly resembles spices in taste, but does give a spice like sensation in the tongue. Sweet and refreshing finish.
6th 35 – Sweet, somewhat thin, still mellow with faint earthy notes and bread-like texture up front. As it goes down, it is barely noticeably thicker, but wears more apparent spice like taste and sensation on the tongue that lingers through the finish, which is sweet and refreshing.
Not my favorite, It is a nice Puerh for those who enjoy spice notes in your ripe, but only if you don’t mind the first 2-3 steeps being sort of dull (still very nice sweetness). The following steeps wear more complex notes that are enjoyable and a nice plus, but I feel like the tea collapses in the 6-7 steep so you have to jump full minutes of steep time.
I’ll give a 79/100 because it has nice complex notes in later steeps, it would be higher if I didn’t feel like it was missing some Menghai ‘creamy’ thickness.
Dry – Faint mellow sweetness, aged woodiness, mint?
Wet – Sweet, somewhat fruity and floral bitterness, camphor, citrus-lemons
Liquor – Golden to Bright-Bronze.
5gm in 150ml Porcelain Gaiwan
1st 20secs – Strong citrus notes with sweetness that is very apparent in the mouth. As it goes down, it is still critrusy but wears a slight vegetal taste that hides behind the lemon like notes and slight tobacco hints. Strong citrus and camphor at the end.
2nd 20secs – Strong citrus notes along some floral bitterness up front. As it goes down, it becomes mellow and coats the tongue with medium body thickness that also opens to the vegetal/tobacco notes. The finish is citrusy and minty.
3rd 18secs – Strong cirtusy notes, very apparent tobacco notes with floral tart/bittersweet notes up front. As it goes down, it mellows down and has a somewhat vegetal body and some sweeter hints that seem more natural for the age. The finish is now more pleasant but still has a very strong citrusy-lemon like taste and strong camphor.
As I continued to steep the citrus and minty essence started to fade and the tobacco-vegetal taste was more apparent but pleasant with a faint floral sweetness. I’d like to say that the initial citrus and ‘camphor’ was pleasant but the truth is that it tasted somewhat like leaving a lemon-lyptus balm in the vicinity of the cake, it was minty rather than having a strong camphor. The tea was sweet at first but again it didn’t taste like what a 2003 sweetness should taste (to me, this is an opinion). The later steeps do have a sweetness that to me match what a Yiwu should taste like.
I retried this cake a week later after leaving to air a bit in a glazed clay container with out the lid. It was like having a completely different cake. sigh
I ordered this one such a long time ago, that I thought I had already posted my notes on it. I had written down notes twice and twice forgot to put them up! I tried this one in a porcelain coated Yixing Gaiwan and in a 150ml Yixing Pot. I’d recommend using a Yixing Pot for this one since it mellows down some of the stronger wood notes(If you have a pot for wetter stored cakes).
Dry – Woody, faint sweetness with some floral bitterness.
Wet- Wood, Dried roots, tart fruity notes and some honey sweetness.
Liquor – Bronze
1st 15secs – It has a robust, somewhat pungent woody/dried roots taste with some hints of bitter floral hints. As it goes down it is a bit smoother with some faint sweetness appearing, but maintains its woody bitterness and later develops camphor that linger a bit.
2nd 10secs – Robust woody and dried root taste with now bittersweet floral notes up front. As it goes down it is smoother but again maintains its stronger wood notes that to me somewhat resemble dried Shiitake mushrooms in a clear soup. The aftertaste develops with some camphor and much later a weak floral sweetness.
3rd 12secs – Robust woody and dried root taste with bittersweet floral notes up front. As it goes down it is smoother but maintains its woody and dried root notes. The broth is slowly cleaning with each steep but it still feels somewhat harsh. The after taste has some camphor and very slowly develops a weak sweet floral taste.
4th 14secs – Slightly cleaner than before but still robust wood and dried roots taste with bittersweet floral notes. As is goes down it feels smoother and the wood notes are not as harsh but still very apparent. The aftertaste has some camphor and slowly develops a sweet floral finish but again is somewhat weak.
I was able to get around 8-9 steeps from this one. The wood/dried root notes seem to come from the wetter storage but are not unpleasant, in fact to me the initial taste resembles older dried stored Puerh, but I feel like the wetter storage takes a toll on its Hui Gan. The aftertaste gives good camphor but lacks in the sweetness. It almost teases me into thinking it will continue to develop but stays weak.
It is a great wetter stored Puerh (I’d give it 90/100 in terms of Puerh in wetter storage), but compared to most Puerh its and OK one.
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This is a short note – see previous notes for detailed notes
I’ve stayed away from Wuyi Oolongs for a while because I like them better during warmer seasons, but I missed them so much that I caved in. WOW I even had to bump up the score. I stand behind my original notes, the only thing I would add is that it has a light warmed honey taste which helps bring up up the other flavors/notes.
I just love how it is both subtle and satisfying that it feel like a perfect harmony of flavors. I’ll be ordering some more of this one!
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plums, Sweet Potatoes, Taro Root, Vanilla
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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