The first time I cupped this one I stopped after one potato-ey, disappointing steep. My impatience has proven to be folly because this one gets nicer as you go along. It’s not the most delicately imperceptible Silver Needle, but nuanced enough and very durable. Pleasant florals come out with each steep (short, gongfu style) that add complexity to a grassy, relatively straightforward, though sturdy, tea.
144 Tasting Notes
It’s fun when the seller’s tasting notes are sufficient enough. I can just be quiet and enjoy the tea.
Unfortunately, though, I’m becoming spoiled by these high quality, relatively expensive aged teas. Like anything else; if you’re going to do something, do it right.
Meaty, metallic sheng with a nice buttery mouthfeel and smokey-sweet, citrus hui gan. There is a slightly wild bite at the end and an underlying asparagus flavor that gives depth. Subsequent steepages bring the bite to the forefront and develop a nice, mild sweetness all the way through. A perfect progression from the Dan Cong appetizer I started with today.
Very light, nectar-like flavor. Soft florals and an ever so subtle roast. The aroma from the gaiwan lid on the first short steep almost made me fall down. It was so pretty.
There is a very silky mouthfeel and delicate aftertaste. Honeysuckle flower hui gan. All in all, a very elegant and special tea.
This one comes camping with me so needless to say I trust it. It’s hearty enough to stand up to a nearby campfire and easy enough to contribute to the mood without being conspicuous in any way. Nice hints of wild Dan Con sweetness and spice on the back end and in the hui gan. A great introductory sheng beeng.
This one went fast. Woody, nutty, and sweet with a little bit of a wild, smoky edge. Mostly sweet on the back end. Nice.
Exquisite . . .
It’s tea like this that makes me want to drop the ratings of almost everything else but I do use the little smileys bar as an indicator. A smile is a smile.
However, there is definitely an echelon above the rest that exists and this belongs in it. I’m left wordless. Serious, serious tea.
Much depth, structure and a profound calming quality. The flavor just goes on for miles and the mouthfeel is rich and soft.
Earthy, austere. Mild tobacco, oak, and cinnamon bark. Not too sweet, not ashy. I like this one a lot. It’s rigid and structured yet pleasantly buoyant. Stiff walls embrace a jovial core.
Tastes like a good mood to me. Grave serenity that is not to be trifled with.
A calm, knowing smile.
Smells fantastic . . . bright, sweet and beautiful! Tastes like those strawberry n’ cream candies and not much else as I’m left with a combination of ho-hum grassy and candy flavor in my mouth. It’s just . . . shallow.
Unfortunately, that seems to be a trend with teas from this company; teas with amazing aroma and zero substance. Very in-your-face and one-dimensional.
I guess I would use this to wean somebody off of full blown flavored teas?
I find myself getting excited about puerh more so than any other tea now. It’s that same inner excitement I used to get as a kid when I would unwrap some new video game (the ones that rule your life) or like now when I get some new machine to make sounds with. Yay. The excitement is easier to hide with age but the inner working is still the same.
I have been particularly looking forward to trying this type of tea for a while and finally grabbed some while ordering a new gaiwan. I opened the package and smelled it when it came in but I didn’t cup it right away. The inner excitement built without me really noticing and proves further that good tea is a very simple, healthy pleasure. Simpler and much, much healthier than video games. Cheaper than music equipment. Amen to that.
The initial wet leaf smells like apricot fruit-leather and piss; bright, sweet and yeasty. Bear with me now. The color of the liquor is a deep, translucent goldenrod. An aroma of collard greens comes up in subsequent infusions and also provides depth to the taste of the liquor. This is by no means a bottom heavy tea, however, as there is much more going on in the mid to high range of flavor. Dandelion, butterscotch, canned green beans. Turkish kebab. Bergamot, cocktail bitters. What’s funny is that I am not doing this tea justice right now. I absolutely love it and just said it smells like piss. Cupped eccentricity. Do not let my descriptive deficiency fool you, this tea is delicious, easy to drink and more than the sum of the parts that I have given you to work with.
Let me also say that it is very energetically invigorating. Qi or no qi, call it what you will, there is a tangible effect that’s nice and admittedly a little off-putting. Electric floatyheadedness, tingling hands and slight perspiration go along with a vigorous heart-rate.
So, to recap: it smells like pee and gets you high. Book it.
I really don’t like giving bad reviews or low scores. It’s not something I enjoy. Unfortunately neither is this tea. It’s just not good. It wants to be but its not.
Please don’t consider this tea for everyday drinking. There is so much affordable TGY out there that is so much better. Again, I don’t enjoy slighting a company for any reason (and am completely unbiased) but please consider Life In Teacup’s Grade II over this stuff. It’s friggin $2.70 an oz. and way more suitable for everyday drinking. That is unless you would prefer mediocre tea every day.
I just had a pretty good mild cigar and this tea stands up to the taste that was very recently in my mouth while providing a seemingly perfect contrast. Instead of prolonging the experience with a roasted oolong, puerh or red tea I opted for a more cooling tea. The real cool part, however, is not the contrast but the compliment this tea adds with a savory bottom end and enough body to satisfy the palate. The bright grassy finish is exactly in order and adds the cooling element that really makes this feel like the next course in a well thought out meal.
Extra points tacked on because I can still taste the cigar.
Light and fresh with an easy going marshmallow sweetness and cool minty, floral aftertaste. I’m feeling perfectly lazy right now and this tea is doing me right.
Smells like Medjool dates, freshly cut wood and molasses. Tastes savory-sweet like ginseng and licorice root, but the best part is the unmistakably brisk, malty taste of . . . red (aka black) tea. A very clean tea taste constitutes the base of the flavor profile and remains in the aftertaste along with notes of marinated steak and dried roses. Yup.
With faint notes of nothingness and a slight empty feeling inside it’s great paired with McNuggets and an upset stomach.
The best shu puerh I’ve had yet. All of the good flavors are here without any of the gross ones! Very clean and straightforward yet not at all shallow. No unpleasant oily fishdirt aroma or taste yet still very thick and substantial. Well all right, then. Definitely a go to from now on.
Smells like Yunnan, tastes like Yunnan.
Wet leaves smell like aguapanela (with lime) and a walk in the woods after rain. There is a soft mouthfeel and really nice caramelized sweetness like a grade “A” Fancy maple syrup (the very light one) in the body that balances the light astringency that takes over on the back end. What makes this one unique is the slightly wild, wooded element and the specter of smoked herbs amidst the softer, sweeter aspects. The immediate aftertaste is somewhat cidery and a little medicinal, but the lingering taste is akin to artificial sweetener or splenda. Unfortunate.
Subsequent steepages bring out aromas of cooked stone fruit and fresh wild mushrooms (the ones that you really want to eat). Starts to taste more like that puerh funk I’ve been waiting for. Roasted seaweed and sour prune paste. Still very sweet but still very splenda. I forgot the term for the flavor of the air that comes up from the throat. Sticky and awesome.
Very accessible though maybe a bit too easy for me. When I reach for puerh I want more of a challenge and if not for the faint smokiness, which is actually really nice, this would possibly be a fairly shallow experience. Use it to convert someone who swears they hate puerh. Say it’s a semi-fermented Yunnan green and they’ll love it ; )
Dayum this one smells good. Not the deepest or most mystifying Dan Cong in the land, it is VERY fruit forward with a pleasant dryness reminiscent of cheap white wine (Franzia Chablis?). Not much bottom end and the aftertaste is somewhat medicinal though still very nectarine.
Spend a lot of time just taking in the dry and wet leaf aromas and the deficiencies in taste will seem minor. I kind of like box wine anyway.
The sharp, brothy green element dominates this tea over warm and subtly honeyed flavors underlying the body. The extra fermentation adds wonderful depth, softness and a marvelous aftertaste to what would have been a potentially bracing experience kind of like adding dried fruit to a salad of bitter greens and walnuts.
I have had good Chinese green teas recently and yellow tea has always been at the top of my list so this one really hits the mark in that it immediately presents characteristics of both. There is an intriguing interplay between the brothy, green aspect and an underlying succulent fruitiness. One takes a fleeting prevalence over the other as the flavor moves but in the end any vegetal notes are enveloped and eventually vanquished by a syrupy muscatel.
Dry leaf aroma is of typical warm citrus and the wet leaf smells like a baked plum tart. The liquor strikes immediately with bright, fruity notes that are very forward though not sharp in the least and is somewhat complex without being very deep. The mouthfeel is ultra smooth and lingers with an aftertaste of peach candy and delicate butterscotch. It’s a very interesting tea that has the fruity characteristics of yellow tea and a the soft malt and slightly metallic immediacy of red tea all the while carrying the typical exotic and amiable flamboyance of its namesake.
Considering the story behind this tea (read Ginko’s blog) and the pains taken by the grower to salvage an otherwise devastated crop, we are now privy to what I consider to be a unique gem, albeit cloudy and roughly cut. Enjoy in this cup not only the tea itself but also the deftness and earnest attitude of its producer. Much thanks to Gingko for sharing this with us. For the price I suggest everyone try some as I feel it will be hard not to love and appreciate.
Full and briny with a celery stock wetness and long, toasty aftertaste.
Medjool dates and, yes, baked sweet potato skins round out the stiff, woody body of this tea.