25 Tasting Notes
I received this as a sample from Scott in my last YS order. After reading the description, I’m definitely excited about sampling this tea. I begin by breaking apart 5 grams from the sample chunk. I immediately note the number of white silvery buds – very nice. The wet leaves are of a green/yellow colour with some tints of red. There is a smoky, fruity aroma emanating from the beautiful leaves. The resulting soup is of a golden amber colour which turns out to be very clean. I find the prominent feature of this tea is its mouthfeel. It leaves a pleasant dry mouthfeel in the mouth with a subtle sweet hui gan rising up from the throat. For those who enjoy some astringency, this te ais definitely drinkable. However, some may find this tea requires some aging – which, of course, the tea will definitely benefit from. 81/100
If you’re looking for something special and VERY different, here you have it. Upon first impression, the chunk of tea, thanks to JC, looked like a chunk of dusty dirt with small plant roots embedded within. As the tea seemed very dusty, I decided to give it two washes instead of one. There is one way I can describe the aroma of the wet leaves… an intense wet forest moss… much more so than most shou puerhs I’ve had. I mean, it literally smells like dirt/forest moss! I would say the taste of the tea itself is somewhat consistent with the aroma… very interesting and pleasant. I recommend this tea to anyone who enjoys that earthy taste. Very unique tea. 80/100
For anyone who enjoys fruity shengs, this is definitely one. The cake itself is 200 grams. This small bing has a rather tight compression. Upon a wash, one can immediately see that this tea is comprised primarily of chopped up material. Despite its poor appearance, the wet leaves do produces a heavenly fruity aroma… a “smoother” fruitiness than found in, say, a Jingmai. Very nice aroma. The liquor is smooth (to a unique degree) with a suble sweetness… notes of berry and citrus intertwined, again, something I find unique to this tea. The soup is thick with a fair share of astringency in the mouth. The hui gan is there but a little light. Overall, I do enjoy this tea despite the leaf appearance and cloudiness. An 80/100 is a fair assessment.
This is my fourth sit down (by sit down, I mean formal sit down) with this tea and I find myself gravitating more and more towards it as my everyday tea. I begin with 5.0 grams of leaf. The wet leaves have a pleasant subtle fruity (berry-like or apricots?) aroma accompanied by a slight vegetal aroma… a pleasant nose. At 5 grams/100 mL, the soup is wonderfully balanced. There is nice pure sweetness with a little citrus note that sneaks upon your taste buds. The hui gan is a little light but I do sense an abundance of cha qi. I have begun sweating within the first 3 steeps. I’ve become fond of this tea… an 81/100.
This morning I’ve decided to sample a 2009 Lao Ban Zhang Premium. I received this tea from a friend the other day and am very pleased to be able to sample it. I begin with approximately 4.2 grams in my gaiwan. I cannot say much as to the dry leaf appearance as it looks like your typical arbor leaf. What I can say is that it is mostly intact – very nice. A brief wash (my washes tend to be about 5 seconds) of the leaves bring out a unique nose. .. perhaps a slight smoky (not the smokiness found in Xiaguans) hayness? The nose isn’t very impressive – typical of the region. However, where the nose lacks, the soup makes up for! The soup is a beautiful light amber colour with a wonderful profile. Upon sipping, there is a kind bitterness which greets all the taste buds. In a fraction of a second, this bitterness transforms into a subtle sweetness. One can easily detect this transformation in the mouth… very dynamic. The tea is thick in the mouth and leaves a nice coating. The hui gan is a little light, but perhaps I under leafed? Perhaps the sender could comment on this. I do detect some cha qi, which, naturally, is very nice. In my opinion, this is an excellent tea. It’s dynamic, complex and tastes nice! I will give this tea an 84/100 =).
This tea brings about a wonderful experience. I began with 4.2 grams of leaf and arrive at a beautiful orange-red liquor. At first glance, this liquor seems to display wonderful solidity. The wet leaves produce a pleasant aged-like aroma. Again, I often find it difficult to relate familiar scents/tastes with characters found in tea. I will say that there is some spiciness in the immediate aroma…perhaps accompanied with buttery-like, woody notes. The buttery -like note within the aroma is definitely new to me. Upon a sip, I find the liquor isn’t as thick as the first glance suggested. However, I still consider this a very nice tea. There are some spicy notes accompanied by an aged woody character… within seconds a cool mintiness joins dance. This tea has, what I sense as, a strong qi and very pleasant hui gan. Excellent tea which seems to display excellent storage conditions. Easily an 85/100 in my books.
This sampling session is accompanied by Joao Choras O homem do Ribatejo. I enjoy Fado music. Anywho, I begin this sampling with 4.8 grams of dry leaf. Leaf appearence isn’t very impressive.. however, this may be due to the fact that the leaves I received are from the interior of the bing. The wet leaves produce an aroma that I can only describe as floral.. perhaps a grassy floral? The liquor is a light-medium amber colour… typical I suppose. The tea is well balanced with a clean, pure sweetness and pleasant mouthfeel. There is an immediate qi that flows into your body from the tea – something I detected immediately from my first sip. The hui gian and hui tian is apparent. In conclusion, I enjoyed this tea. I think an 80/100 is a fair grade.
Edit : In later steepings, a slight bitterness opens up.