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135 Tasting Notes

90

Quick Notes Thank you Mark for another sample from Zhi Zheng Tea.

Dry Leaf – Honey sweetness, slight fruitiness.
Wet Leaf – Strong honey sweetness, floral, fruity.

Gong fu in glass thermos 6-7oz/6g

1st 15secs – Very apparent honey sweetness that is somewhat floral and thick in the mouth. As it washes down it retains its sweetness and the taste is slightly fruity. The aftertaste is sweet with hints of vegetal notes, slightly refreshing.

2nd 15secs – Sweet honey thick taste up front. As it washes down it keeps its sweetness but the vegetal note is more apparent/present as well as some floral notes and slight bitterness. The aftertaste is sweeter, reminiscent of cantaloupe melon and lingers with freshness. The freshness is very faint in the mouth, present in the throat and very present (to me) in my chest as I breathe.

3rd 20secs – Honey sweet and smooth with slight vegetal notes up front. As it washes down it becomes floral and vegetal while keeping its sweetness, at this point smoky/tobacco like notes seem to appear in the back. The aftertaste is sweet, fruity/floral and refreshing.

4th 35secs – Floral, fruity and sweet up front. As it washes down it is briefly ‘cleaner’ before turning sweet, fruity, slightly vegetal and floral with slight astringency. The aftertaste is sweet and refreshing that wears a slight smoky/tobacco hint.

5th 1min – Cleaner steep that quickly becomes sweet like honey again. As it washes down there’s apparent fruity and vegetal notes with some astringency. The aftertaste is sweet, but not so much like honey but rather fruity, like ripe melon. Still very refreshing.

Final Notes
I did six steeps of this tea and it help up pretty well. Mind that I’m at work using a double walled glass tumbler, The steeps are longer that I usually make them and the amount of water is also higher than usual. But based on these steeps I can tell that using a Gaiwan you would easily get 8-14(maybe more) steeps depending on water/tea ratio and using short steeps.

Overall, I like this tea, both samples are sweet and fragrant this one is on the sweeter side, the Bulang is more ‘balanced’ between sweet and bitter with floral. This one is a really easy Sheng to drink, specially for a younger Sheng. I’m honestly surprised and pleased at how accurate the tea description on the web page is. Mostly honey sweet, it has floral and fruit notes and smokiness if you push the steeps. There was some astringency at the end but it wasn’t unpleasant at all. Thanks again Mark.

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

A keeper!

JC

Indeed!

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82
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
135 tasting notes

Wow I can’t believe I still had this and that I had not logged it in. I found a stash so I’m sharing with a friend at work. Even though this is a white tea this tea seems to cross the line between green and white tea, I’m sure it will be enjoyed.

I’m having this today because I felt like its been a while since I’ve just had some white/green and this one is easy to drink, sweetness that is not overwhelming with strong vegetal notes that always remind me of parsley for some reason.

First steep is sweet and slowly turns smooth, buttery and vegetal. What I like the most is how pale it is, tricks you into thinking it will be extremely subtle, it certainly isn’t bold but the flavors don’t hide either.

The second steep was still sweet and buttery but not as the first one. This one does wear taste that resemble Edamame when steamed. It turns sweeter and refreshing one it has gone down.

I feel like sometimes white/green teas are like a ‘cleanser’ of the mind. A purity about them that just relaxes you.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C
Bonnie

Great comment about the mind purity. I think the flavor lingers too which is like a reminder to slow down and rest or at least relax.

JC

Its true. I love my Puerh and I can relax with it. But every once in a while having a green tea or a white tea (at least to me), is like resetting my head. And in the aspect of tea, is like the pickle ginger to my sushi, restarts the palate. lol

Bonnie

I love puerh too, but I have to take a break. I’m a big fan of strong black tea’s, roasty oolongs and autumn darjeeling for kicking me in the head. Then, those delicate greens are like a defrag!

JC

Completely agree. It feels like you can run smoothly again. I have a stash or Silver Needle and Drum Mountain White and Green teas for this. I just happened to stumble into this tea today.

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90

Quick Notes Finally logging this one. I’ve been drinking it none end and now that I’m almost out of it I finally decided to log it.

Dry Leaf – Raw Sugar, vanilla, malty-bitterness, citrusy and plummy.
Wet Leaf – Sweet and malty, warm sugar some citrus notes.

Gong fu Style – Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5-6g

1st – 1sec – Very clean and citrusy at the front that has a slightly ‘savory’ maltiness that lingers before it becomes clean and sweet again.

2nd – 1sec – The lid smells like vanilla infused sugar. The liquor is clean, sweet(like warm water with sugar) and refreshing on front. As it washes down it has a savory malitiness that linger a bit. The citrus notes is a bit more apparent and it feel refreshing.

3rd – 2secs – The lid smells like raw sugar, vanilla and maybe (almond?). Citrusy up front and immediately sweet. The body seems savory while maintaining its sweetness(good balance) as it washes down. It has a light body not ‘heavy’/‘creamy’, it feels refreshing, smooth and clean.

4th – 2secs – The lid smells like vanilla, almond and sugar. Citrusy up front and turns sweet, slightly ‘cleaner’ than previously. The malty notes are not as strong although it is still present as it washes down.

5th – 4secs – The lid smells sugary, vanilla and some faint almond. Sweet with citrus notes. It turns slightly savory and malty as it washes down. It has a cleaner aftertaste, very refreshing.

6th – 5secs – The lid smells slightly malty, sugary, vanilla and faintly like almonds. Cleaner start, not as citrusy, but very sweet. The body maintains its malty and almost savory characteristics. The aftertaste is malty and sweet with freshness.

Final Notes
Using a small Gaiwan, I’m able to get past 11 steeps with this one. I love it western cup as well with 10, 15, 20, 30, 45 seconds and 1min steeps. I feel like this tea doesn’t change as much as most black teas do with a ‘flavor peak’ although the 2nd and 3rd steeps can be the most easily noticeable in taste.

The tea is very forgiving in the sense that if you do over-steep(bitter) you can still get a good steep on the next one, it doesn’t seem to retain the bitterness in the leaf. I would compare it to Imperial Golden Buds(Yunnan), Golden Bi Luo, and even nicked named it ‘Golden fleece’s dirty sister’ (Golden fleece from verdant). I call it ‘dirty’ because verdant’s version was very complex BUT very subtle, this one seems bolder.
EDIT
Bolder vs Subtle doesn’t mean good vs better it is just what it is. Bolder vs Subtle, depends on your preference which one is ‘better’.

Preparation
Boiling

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90

Quick Notes A nice sample thanks to Mark from the Zhi Zhen Tea Shop
Dry Leaf – Sweet, fruity, floral.
Wet Leaf – Apricot, honey, strong orchid scent with bitterness.
Liquor – slightly pale Golden/Yellow

Gong Fu – Porcelain gaiwan 5oz/8g

1st – 15secs Sweet, subtle floral notes at the front that become more apparent and fruity as it washes down. The aftertaste is very sweet and lasting.

2nd – 30secs Sweet with slight floral bitterness that is more apparent that previously. The body is smooth with enough astringency/roughness to wake up the tongue and let you enjoy the fruity sweetness that overtakes it. It has a very sweet honey/apricot aftertaste.

3rd – 45secs Floral bitterness with some astringency that makes once again seems to wake up the tongue for the coming notes. As it washes down the liquid becomes smooth, mellow and very sweet maintaining some bitterness. The aftertaste is very sweet and fruity and long lasting.

4th – 1min Sweet with strong floral bitterness and slightly pungency that can be ‘tobacco’ like or slightly perfumy in the mouth. As it washes down it maintains its floral notes and some astringency but slowly smooths out and becomes sweeter and fruity. The after taste is stronger fruitier and sweeter.

Final Notes
I did around 9-11 steeps (lowered the steep times to 45 seconds for a few and then added 15 seconds per steep). I love Bulang Puerh (when is the real deal) because it seems to let you ‘choose’. It can be extremely floral, bitter, pungent and astringent (while still being pleasant) or it can be all the other way around subtle, sweet, fruity and smooth (with shorter steeps).

It is very forgiving, you may be able to make any tea bitter and overly floral by steeping for a long time but you will not be able to cut back time and avoid the bitterness if you choose. Bulang usually lets you play and explore. And the sweetness, just wow. This is to me like a Younger version of the “Ming Qian Chun Jian” I have. Very good, worthy of drinking now or storage.

Preparation
Boiling

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89

I started my morning with this one today. I was up early and decided to have a cup or two before heading off to work. I ended up having four cups.

I decided to go for short infusions with more leaf to make stronger cups. I didn’t made it to work as early as I hoped but it was well worth it, there’s nothing like being able to relax your way to work in the morning. I need to restock this tea!

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Quick Notes Thanks again to Amy Oh for sharing with me :)
Dry Leaf- slightly sweet and grassy (hard to smell sample sizes)
Wet Leaf- Bittersweet, floral, fruity(apricot?)

Gong Fu Done at work using a Fuguang (which makes it harder to smell the wet leaf, but makes a great out of the house gong fu method).

1st 30 seconds – Sweet and delicate in the front with floral, vegetal, green/grass notes as it washes down. The taste becomes slightly savory before turning sweet and fruity again. Slightly refreshing.

2nd 40 seconds – Floral bitterness in the front with more apparent grassiness and slightly vegetal taste that slowly becomes sweeter and mellow with somewhat fruity hints while still maintaining its grassy notes.

Final Notes
At first I thought there was not aftertaste to it but I was wrong. The after taste linger quite a bit, but it starts very subtle (mostly sweet), but as the sweetness subsides you can appreciate a more floral and grassy taste.

Preparation
Boiling

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81

I had a Puerh heavy day yesterday including a really late session. Even got to ‘meet’ very nice people (Garret from Mandala Tea) and others. Today I started with some puerh but felt like having some Oolong.

I’ve already made tasting notes on this one so I just want to add something. I usually make this tea making 2-3(maybe 4) steeps. Then I use the remaining leaves to cold brew them over night. I love the taste of a roasty Oolong when cold, it is somehow refreshing and slightly filling at the same time.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Azzrian

Ohhhh I am so jealous of you meeting Garret!

JC

Nice guy. Passionate about tea. Bet that if you are around him the passion would stick.

Invader Zim

I’ve seen some of the conversations people have had with him, and he does seem like a really nice guy. I will have buy from him at some point.

Claire

Garret is so nice. I’m definitely ordering more from mandala when funds allow for it.

Invader Zim

The one conversation where Garret and JC hijacked the comments in your one tasting note Claire comes to mind!

Claire

That was pretty fun to come back to the PC and read! I turned off the computer to go make dinner, and afterwards Rayn and I watched a couple of Merlin episodes. When I came back my inbox was full of “_____ from Steepster commented on your review”.

JC

LOL, yep. That was fun.

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50

To me this one was more than a let down. It isn’t a ‘meh’ is more of a ‘AGGGHHHHHhhhh’ experience in my opinion. I’ve had great experiences with Yunnan Sourcing’s mini tuos… this is not one of them.

If I were to describe the taste of an not yet ‘aged’ ripe would normally be ‘like clean earth’. This one however (in my opinion, try and judge yourself), taste like unclean earthy. Like when you are eating mushrooms that were not properly cleaned… that ‘extra’ and unwanted earthy taste.

Final Notes
I’m REALLY glad I didn’t buy this one, my friend Roberto gave me around 5 to try more than a few months ago and I haven’t and probably won’t get myself through them. As always try things yourself, also remember that Puerh ages and the earthiness MAY… just MAY, get pleasant, I wont risk it.

Preparation
Boiling
Azzrian

I know it may sound odd but I sort of enjoy that flavor.

JC

LOL well, it does sound a bit weird to me, because I don’t enjoy that but that’s why I said to try it. I know different people different taste, I love earthy puerh but this one feels like it has more dusting than I would allow. If we ever make an exchange I’ll be sure to put the mini tuos, maybe they will be enjoyed!

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96

Not really a tasting note. Rather a comment and clarification.

I have to bump this one up a bit. I love it, I got the 250g cake and in less than a month I’m half way through it. I drink it at home and in the office. The part that made me realize how good it is… is finding myself at home contemplating the idea of having tea and browsing my ‘stash’ and ending up having this Puerh. Honestly, once I wasn’t sure what to drink and I literally told myself ‘Let me think about over some Tibetan Puerh’. If that is not an excuse to drink it, I don’t know what is. :P

Anyway UPgraded its score, more than well deserved.

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

Good tea test!

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84
drank Purple Tip by Bana Tea Company
135 tasting notes

Quick Note Thanks again to Amy Oh for sharing with me. I’m slowly but surely going through the samples :)

Dry Leaf Slight Sweet and bitter scent
Wet Leaf Sweet, fruity, bitter, floral.

1st 3secs Sweet and slightly bitter that turns savory and tangy. The sweetness is fruity and subtle, the aftertaste reminds me of a flavorful green tea.

2nd 5secs Sweet, fruity, bitter, slightly floral. The taste becomes savory and really tangy in the mouth but it retains the floral notes.

3rd 10secs Sweet and fruity, some bitterness/tangy that fills the mouth. There are floral notes and slight vegetal/savory notes that linger. The aftertaste becomes sweet in the mouth after a while.

Final Notes
I made about 7 steeps. It held up its taste through the steeps. I was incredibly happy when I finished drinking and decided to look up the tea here. While I was drinking I was thinking “Hmmm I know where this is from… This tastes like Lincang Sheng.” When I saw the description I felt like I aced a Pop Quiz!

I’m not a big fan of Lincang Sheng, for some reason I prefer it as a ripe, it retains some of it’s juicy/tangy properties with the ‘heavy’ properties of a ripe, but still this might be a good one to age at home (even when it says ‘vintage’ it is a REALLY young Sheng).

Preparation
Boiling

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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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