512 Tasting Notes
This was a sample size that the extremely nice lady at the shop gave me when I purchased the Grand Cru Yunnan. She said “So you can compare!” And so I did. :)
I may prefer this one. I still have enough left for one more cup of this, so I should try them side by side. Maybe this weekend. It would be nice to prefer this one since it is the less expensive one, that’s for sure! :)
I had 2 steeps of this today. One at work with filtered water and one at home with tap water. Cameron B. has been commenting in some of her recent reviews that she is having problems nailing down her water. This is a perfect example for me of how water does matter and bottled or filtered is not always the best for my tastes. The cups I had at work with filtered water were unremarkable. Very plain. Not even really sure I could have said it was a Yunnan – just a black tea. Or as gmathis says, “brown leaf juice.”
At home, the cups I had have been malty with some honey and wood. I’m not sure what they mean in the description by “acid.” I don’t get anything I would say is acid. That conjures up bad thoughts, not nice tea thoughts. :) I do get the “animal notes” though. I’m not even really sure how describe it. Like burying your face in a warm cat or puppy. I had never thought about it in those terms but a lot of Yunnans give me the same impression. No wonder I like them! Nothing better than face fuzzies!
Not sure I’d buy either of the Palais Yunnans I’ve had especially in the 3.5 ounce sizes (the only sizes available online). I know I’d get this one over the Grand Cru Yunnan Buds, though.
After some really ill-advised anniversary dining that my tummy is apparently too old to handle well anymore… I’m still paying for it 3 days later (habanero ranch bacon cheeseburger, fries with buffalo sauce, half a pound of Skittles and 2 chocolate Drumstick ice cream cones. Doesn’t help that dinner the night before was a burger with hot sauce and Cajun fries…). I’ve been mostly avoiding tannic things, hot things, spicy things, carbonation, grease, sugars… basically everything I eat or drink! :) Hoping this calms things down again. It’s been getting better but I want to drink tea all day tomorrow again! :) 2 reviews I posted tonight were jotted down much earlier, and I just found the notes again today, so I actually only had 2 cups of tea all day long before this one. :(
I was originally looking for more of a straight mint tea but I think I have too much tea in not a very good order because I know I have some but I couldn’t find it… Tonight I’m getting much more chocolate from this, both in scent and in taste and not as much mint as previously. Wonder if my tastebuds are off because of tummy has an unhappy? This is still very good and it’s a nice take-the-place-of-dessert tea.
I’m glad I waited to try this at work before rating it. When I had it here at home, even with spring water, it wasn’t really standing out. I was looking at the price for a pound and thinking “Wow, really? I would never pay that much for this. Glad I only got 2 ounces.” After having it at work today, it turned into a nice, mellow, smooth blend. Honey and cocoa and medium maltiness. I wouldn’t pick it over Golden Monkey alone but for being the best of both worlds, it’s really very good. I guess when I do it at home I need to err on the low side of water temperature. Can’t really get above about 185-190 at work I think.
The leaves smell soooo vanilla with sweet bergamot… reminds me a lot of Paris from Harney. But when steeped, there isn’t much vanilla or bergamot. It is however, massively Darjeeling. Deeply muscatel with stone fruits and some grassyness. I got zero astringency as well. I quite like this one, even if it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
This has darker leaves than the Yunnan Black Buds from Upton. It also has more of the flavor I expect. Hay, dust, minor hint of smoke (or maybe it’s just my super paranoid smoke detector tastebuds), some sharpness. I normally would expect sweetness rather than sharpness though. While this is better than the Black Buds, it is still a wholly unremarkable Yunnan. Still, better than no Yunnan, but nothing I’ll get more of.
This was a fairly plain Yunnan to me. I steeped for 1 minute and then for 3. Not much change and the flavor didn’t really deepen or expand at all. At 5 minutes there was more classic Yunnan flavor. It’s better than no Yunnan, but aside from the dry leaves being very pretty with a goldeny mix, this is not a standout for me.
I’ve now had this 5 times. I’ve tried varying temperature, steep time and prepared it like chai with milk and sugar. I just find it unimpressive. I don’t get any caramel at all. Just a nondescript sweetness, possibly a sweetness that wants to be chocolate but isn’t. Oh, well. It was really, really inexpensive so I can’t complain too much. If anyone wants to try this, it’s going in the rehoming box so just let me know! :)
This is my last black Yunnan from boychik’s generosity. :)
This smells fruity and dark. Initial steep at 1:30 was fruity and golden tasting with a bit of sharpness. At 3 min it was sharper and the scent reminds me sooo much of Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black from Butiki. The flavor is raisiny like so many have mentioned with TWMB but this is not quite as sweet and the sharpness on the tongue is more noticeable.
It’s an excellent tea. Not sure I’d keep it over TWMB but that may be sentimentality speaking as that was the tea that really supercharged my interest in all of these malty, bready, deep blacks, even though it is not a Yunnan. :)
Om nom nom. This is buttery, thick and yummy. Everything I want in a Yunnan. The dry leaves didn’t hold a hint of what was to come. It wasn’t until I caught a whiff as I carried my cup back to my desk today that I got really interested. :) This one certainly goes on the wishlist for a future order! Thanks, boychik!