136 Tasting Notes
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.
Yay, no more cold/flu/whatever I had! On another note, my parents officially think I’ve gone crazy with my tea drinking habit. :P This is the first time that I’ve been home for more than a few days since my tea obsession started.
Ming Ming’s: I got this tea from a (semi) local shop about 45 minutes from my parents house, which I’d been meaning to visit but never had gone through with. The stars had aligned, as I needed to pick up my final paycheck and turn in my uniform from a seasonal UPS job (the UPS headquarters was about 30 minutes in the right direction) and I had dropped and broken my gaiwan (and I saw online that Ming Ming’s sells some) a few days before. For more info, check out my place review, but to keep it short it was a great experience and I was impressed by their teas.
Dry Leaves: The dry leaves have a strong aroma of apricots and fresh hay with a stimulating, menthol-like quality. Most are either single leaf or one bud and a leaf sets. The leaves look pretty fresh despite being harvested last spring
Brewing: After a quick wash the leaves give off a dense, marine smell with vegetal qualities. Asparagus maybe? The tea brews a mellow green-yellow color that reminds me of a light Taiwanese oolong.
1st steep: The first steep has a smooth nectarine flavor with touches of asparagus, white grape, and allspice. A thick, heavy feeling rests on the back of my throat and tonsils.
2nd + 3rd steeps: The flavors of the second steep are rounder and the fruit and spice notes are balanced out by salty-savory ones.
4th steep: This steep brings the tingling, spicy notes to the front. The main player here is allspice, but there are also hints of clove and white peppercorn.
5th steep: The fifth steep brings back the white/green grape (whichever you call it) flavor. The sweet flavors definitely topple the savory here, but its a battle that continually tips back and forth.
Later: The flavors continues to ebb and flow in the later steepings (I got about nine) A delicate dance of peach, ocean, and spice. This tea definitely gives me an energizing cha-qi type feeling. I’ve got to say this is one of my favorite green teas that I’ve had, though I often don’t even like dragonwell.