318 Tasting Notes
Hello Steepster! It’s been a very long time.
I wanted to post a note on this tea because it’s bombdigity! It’s the best or one of the best classic “dian hong” style blacks I’ve had. As you open up the bag it smells like opening a box of cocoa or brownie mix. Like the aroma it tastes of cocoa but also malt and a bit of brown sugar/raisin. It’s not necessarily the most complex, just very very pleasing. Good for gongfu or larger pot brewing.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Malt, Raisins, Toast
A black tea cake made by Xiaguan? I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
Comes in a nice box, cool wrapper, good looking leaves.
In the cup it’s a good quality, strong, pretty “standard” example of a Yunnan black tea with malt, cocoa, and sweet potato notes with a hint of Xiaguan smokiness. Nothing super special, but it’s a solid, affordable daily drinker black, especially for those who like a bold brew in the morning.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes
“I’m not dead yet!” -me, not having posted on Steepster in the past three months
I find myself drinking a lot of Yunnan blacks lately, lots of pu and other things as well, but I think i’m probably drinking more black than anything else at the moment. I ordered a sample of this one from W2T, kind of secretly hoping that I wouldn’t like it too much since it’s a kind of pricey for Yunnan black. Unfortunately it’s excellent! Had to order a cake of this one as well as Censers.
It’s moderately bold and malty, has a fairly thick body, and tastes and aromas of good tobacco, dry herbs, leather, and sandalwood incense. A lot of complexity, holds up to a lot of infusions, and doesn’t get bitter easily. If I could “customize” or describe my “ideal” Yunnan black, this would pretty much be it!
My high view of this tea may in part because I’m partial to of the kind of flavor notes found in this tea, and it might not be for everyone, but I would say that it’s objectively a very high quality black. I’d strongly recommend it to those who like black teas, but also to fans of aged sheng and cigar/tobacco aficionados.
Flavors: Herbs, Leather, Malt, Tobacco
Very tasty high quality ripe! Snooth and full bodied with flavors of dark wood and earth with a slight dried fruit sweetness. Very infusible and fairly clean tasting.
Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Clay, Dates, Earth, Wood
I’ve been exploring big factory teas a bit, especially the premium productions, and this one sounded interesting and reasonable priced so I added a sample to my last YS order. Opening the sample there is a pretty big intact chunk, and compression is on the lighter side for a factory cake. There’s a good bit of smoke in the dry leaf aroma, and it carries over into the taste. The taste is moderately bitter, but also on the lower side for a factory cake. Tastes of green wood, smoke, mineral water, and slightly vegetal, I’d say artichoke. Mouthfeel is clean, but not thick or lingering. On the first two steeps I though “do I really want to waste my time drinking the rest of this?” but I kept going and it became smoother and more enjoyable. It’s an ok young sheng, but definitely doesn’t stand out to me.
Flavors: Artichoke, Green Wood, Mineral, Smoke
I was excited to find a sample of this out of the Sheng TTB. I’ve only tried one YQH tea before, and I greatly enjoyed it. This one is quite tasty too! It’s yeasty/funky in a Belgian ale kind of way, pleasantly tart, reminding me of red apples and cranberries. It’s just lightly earthy with a bit of leather and old book smells.
Flavors: Apple, Leather, Red Fruits, Tangy, Yeasty
Very clean shou, I even took a sip of the rinse and it was perfectly drinkable. Tastes of petrichor, mineral, decaying wood, and leather with a little bit of cocoa. Not super complex, but tasty and super clean. Also it got me feeling tea drunk which is unusual for a shou.
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Mineral, petrichor, Wet wood
I bought this tea last spring and was very unimpressed with it. It was relatively flavorless, just slightly sweet, slightly astringent red water. It’s improved quite a lot over the last year, it now tastes like a fairly standard Yunnan black, but still fairly unremarkable. Tastes of malt and yam with maybe a touch of maple or cocoa.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Maple, Sweet Potatoes