137 Tasting Notes
Wow, this is a wonderful shu. I wasn’t completely sure about it based on its slightly muddy appearance and not having heard of Yong De, but seeing it described as a favorite by both Garret at Mandala and (different year’s pressing) by Scott at Yunnan Sourcing, I figured a 1oz sample was certainly worth a try. And it was.
Dry leaves: The leaves are slightly larger than the Menghai pu’s I’ve tried, and are a warm, chocolaty brown in color. The smell is deep and rich, but I have trouble identifying any one note.
Early infusions: The first thing that strikes me in tasting is a sort of marshmallow “puffiness” to the liquer. Even in the first steeping there is no noticeable “off” taste. The tea is remarkably smooth and has a deep woodiness with a pleasant zuchini-like flavor.
Middle Infusions: Around the fifth infusion, the tea starts to open up in flavor with notes of saffron, sea breeze, and cantaloupe. The flavor is woodsy like dry fall leaves.
Later infusions: Around the tenth infusion, when the tea begins to be weaker, the flavors become more sweet and subtle. It has a slight vanilla sweetness, and flavors like a dense sourdough bread. The flavor is very clean, almost like a Yunnan black tea.
This is my new favorite pu’erh, very smooth, clean, and deep. A full cake of it has jumped to the top of my shopping list :)
This is a nice shu! This afternoon I was faced with a tough choice; which tea to try first. :D I was in the mood for pu’erh, and decided to try the phatty cake.
The leaves are attractive and fairly large in size. The compression on this cake is really tight around the center, I could hardly pry a piece out!
Early infusions: The first couple of infusions were a bit disappointing for me. It was a bit too mulchy and mushroomy, but I could taste the good, strong flavors underneath.
Middle infusions: All of a sudden, this tea was delicious! A bold, chocolaty flavor with a slight saltiness, and an unexpected hint of fruit; apricot and, blueberry maybe? Blueberry is definitely a new one for me. There is still a bit of “compost pit” hanging around, but its mostly gone. Around this time I also start to get some “qi” feel with some tingly feelings along the top of my head. Definitely the strongest feeling I’ve gotten from a ripe pu’erh.
Later infusions: Tea! Waht r u doing!! Stahp!!! I have some homework to get on, but these leaves just keep making more tea! These little leaves made at least twelve (I wasn’t really counting) nice, bold infusions.
This is a good, potent pu’erh, but my(not so) expert opinion says it could use a year or two to let the fermentation flavors fade.
I was more than a bit apprehensive to try these powdery, grey-green nuggets. Some people think pu’erh looks scary, but I find these to be far more intimidating.
The taste, however, is quite nice! The first few steeps tasted mostly of the sweet, grassy ginseng, while the later ones showed more of the flavor of lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. The sweetness of the tea reminds me a bit of stevia, I wonder if there is any sweetener in the ginseng powder, or if that’s from the ginseng itself? The ginseng is quite energizing, and if I didn’t know any better I’d think someone had slipped some Red Bull in my tea. :P
I’m not sure I appreciate the simultaneously peaceful and hyperactive feeling I’m getting from the tea/ginseng mix. Overall this was pretty nice and I’d judge it to be of good quality, but I think I prefer my oolongs plain.
This is my first Da Hong Pao. It brews a nice warm brown-gold color. The taste is bold and dry and reminds me of a dry sack wine. Its mildly sweet and mineral, and the main flavors that I pick up on are apricot, clove, and slightly cooling spearmint-like note.
I don’t think I used quite enough leaf, as only the first infusion really seemed strong enough. I think I’ll be making it again with a bit more tea.
Received a sample of this with my last YS order.
The leaves are a dark olive brown with plenty of furry white buds. I wasn’t too impressed with the first two steepings, as they were mostly tobacco-ey and bitter. After that, however, the flavor became quite mellow and sweet. The flavors that come to mind here a ginger, almond, and wheat flour. This tea is fairly similar to my 2012 Wuliang Mountain cake, but gives a stronger ‘qi’ feeling which shines on the crown of the head. Very infusible, made about twelve times.
My initial impression was “meh”, but the later steepings were delightful; this is a nice tea.
Eek! I got this free from Nature’s Tea Leaf for reviewing like a month ago, and just realized that I hadn’t posted a tasting note. Sorry!
The dry leaves are slim and tender with a cool green-gray color and are covered in a downy white fur. This is the second silver needle I’ve tried, and it seems to be much fresher than the first.
The tea brews a nice daisy yellow-gray, and the wet leaves gain a soft, grey, leathery appearance that reminds me of baby lizards.
The taste is sweet and smooth with notes of fresh linen, green peppercorn, and melon. The tea is very slightly floral and reminds me of freshly trimmed gardenia bushes.
This tea was wonderfully soothing and brought me back to center after a long, stressful day.
Soo many teas I need to try and write notes for! And I think I have some more waiting for me when I get back to school. :P
Dry leaves: The dry leaves have a thick, chocolaty aroma that reminds me of brownie batter. Its mostly chocolaty, but with some nutty/bready smells as well.
Brewing: The wet leaves have a strong, juicy aroma of red apples. Not like “a little bit apple-ish”, like “if I was blindfolded I would think there was a red apple in front of my face” haha This tea brews lighter than I expected, with the red-gold color of oriental beauty.
Tasting: The tea has a heavy charcoal flavor that sort of reminds me of the coffees grown in Sumatra. I wonder if this is coincidence, or a flavor imparted by the land like the Wuyi “rock” flavor? There are notes of honey, walnut, fresh red apple, and I might be crazy, but anchovy? Not in a bad way, just interesting and I don’t have a better word for it. The tea has a soupy quality that reminds me of some Chinese greens like long jing and bi lo chun.
Overall this is a fairly nice tea. Not a favorite, but definitely unique and worth trying, especially with Mountain Tea’s low prices.