104 Tasting Notes

98

Man this is good! Taking a break before getting back to the finals grind.

This tea is warm and hearty like a Taiwanese black, but clean and refreshing like young sheng. There’s also some pretty interesting flavors here that I haven’t tasted elsewhere, and I really like it.

One of my favorite things about tea is the endless variety. I love trying new things, and I sort of hate to buy the same thing twice (even if I love it), and so far I haven’t bought a second batch of any tea, but I think this is one I’ll need to keep stocked in my cupboard.

But then again there IS the light roast version of this tea… :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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82

Seems like I got this FOREVER ago from Rachel Sincere! Thanks very much!

This is a nice, bold Yunnan black with lots of black peppercorn flavor, and a bit of yam and sugarcane. The leaves are sort of medium sized for a Yunnan black, and mostly chocolate brown/black in color with some golden buds mixed in.

I’ve been blending it with Fengqing dian hong, which is milder and yamier, and it makes a for a nice balance of flavor.

Brewing this in my new(ish) yixing, and I’ve had to use about double the amount of tea that I normally would. So far its still sucking up a LOT of the flavor, more than my other two did. The side effect of using so much tea is a major caffeine high, which, admittedly is pretty nice when studying for exams :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89

Another cup of delicious from Mountain Tea Co. Floral narcissus aroma with a nice moderate level of roasting. Honey, peach, and, amaryllis notes with a a long lasting fruity aftertaste. Good balance of juicy and dry.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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93
  • This product is rated “E” for extraneous objects

This is manly tea; earthy, brown leaves wadded up into nuggets and smashed into a tightly compressed brick, not to mention a few bits of things that weren’t actually tea at all. From the outside I can see a little wood chip on the nei fei and a thumbnail sized black pebble that looks like flint or graphite peeking out from one of the corners.

Early steeps: Mild and sweet with sage and cedar notes with just a bit of mushroom flavor. It has a really clean taste for shu. Not as clean as the Verdant Peacock Village that I got to sample, but definitely the next most “sheng-like” that I’ve tasted. The taste is earthy, but still clear and crisp. The third steep starts to show flavors of pine and grilled corn? I know that’s a weird one, and its not smokey, but that’s the flavor I get. :P

Later steeps: Around the fourth steep the tea starts to gets even cleaner with linen, spice cabinet, and raw corn flavors, and a mouthfeel like warm milk. Around the seventh steep it starts to show an almost sparkling quality, a cappuccino creaminess, and a fresh, clean taste like a light rain. The tea started to fade in the ninth steep, but held out for a tenth.

Bottom Line: This is a delicious and very re-steepable shu, but not for you if you’re grossed out by the idea of finding “bonus content” in you tea. Personally I’m not really bothered by finding things in my pu’erh, so long as it’s relatively sanitary. “If I were a rich man” (cue pit music) I think I’d buy a few more of these bricks to stash away.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

Well said! Love these lao cha!

tperez

Thanks! This is the first one I’ve tried, I’ll have to check out some more :)

mrmopar

The menghai are excellent from 2011 back.

Kashyap

odd and wow

JC

That is very common in factory production unfortunately. I recently received a SAMPLE size from a Sheng I got from Yunnan Sourcing. It had two granite pebbles and a piece of cloth (Possibly from the mantle things they use to cover they piles while they ferment). Mrmopar is right, older version seem cleaner I guess they weren’t doing so much mass production yet back then.

Tea can still taste ok. But it sometimes it is very off putting to find things in the cakes other than tea.

Kashyap

working in the coffee industry, you find all kinds of rocks, metal, odds’n’ends in the green coffee…most gets discovered when scooping to roast, some on the roasting table, and very rarely in the bucket…but I guess I’m used to that and find only the ‘human’ matter that shows up in some ‘hand-picked/rolled’ teas to be a bit off putting..but I feel 200 degree water should solve for this :)

tperez

It’s funny to think how these things get into the tea. Most of the teas that I’ve gotten have had little to no foreign objects, but this brick and a Fengqing sheng tou that I have seem to be loaded with little goodies :P

Luckily they all seem to be natural things, finding something like a bug would really gross me out

JC

Hahahaha, Same here. Feng Qing has a high probability of foreign material in my experience. I swear one had several broom hairs.

Kashyap, I agree with you, sometimes finding human matter is disturbing but I think most of it is usually during packing, at least with most other tea (aka, black, white, green and oolong), I think what ‘grosses’ me out is that in Puerh is during the process of making it, but it is also to be expected. If you look at the making process of most Puerh (mostly factory made) several people work with the tea, which increases the chances of hair (I hope you exclusively meant hair by ‘human matter’ lol).

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79

Brewing up some hojicha and catching up on Doctor Who. Nice and roasty brew with some apricot and celery notes. When I got this sample I didn’t put in my steepster cupboard, and ended up forgetting I had it. Glad it reappeared :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Woke up with a sore throat this morning, lets see if this tea will work it’s magic :)

Kashyap

mince fresh ginger into it and a pinch of turmeric and that should further help the throat

tperez

Ooh, that sounds good. I’ll try that :)

mrmopar

Hope you feel better soon!

tperez

Thanks! I thought I was getting a cold, but it might just be allergies, its been dry and breezy out the past few days.

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85

Its a beautiful day! Its dry and slightly breezy, with a temperature latching on to the mid seventies. Its the sort of intoxicatingly bright, pastel weather that makes everything seem to shine, and it feels great just to be out in it.

This is a tasty, affordable Wuyi tea. Fresh, clean flavor with notes of peach, pumpkin, and red clay with slightly roasty, mineral edge. Very mild and difficult to over-brew. Kicks the butt of any cheapish Wuyi oolong I’ve had.

To me this tea tastes like waking up on a crisp Fall morning, hiking somewhere in the Appalachians; but I suppose a lot of people would say it just tastes like tea. :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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98
drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
104 tasting notes

Received this as a free sample a while back, and wrote out a lengthy review on paper. However, said paper went MIA. I waited a while for it to turn back up, but well… it didn’t. (Nothing escapes the gaping maw known as my desk! MWAHAHAHAHAAH!!!) So, here’s what I remember:

It was delicious! Very sweet and creamy with fruit and pastry flavors. what it reminded me of most were the “pasteles de guayaba” that I used to get with my grandparents in downtown Tampa. It’s hard to believe that this tea is unflavored! I love milk oolongs, and this one was very unique. :)

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Profile

Bio

My name is Thomas,

Long-time tea and coffee driker, but I only started getting into the world of good quality teas about three years ago.

My favorites right now are pu’erhs, Yunnan blacks, and Taiwanese oolongs. I’m not much into flavored teas, and jasmine almost always puts me off, but I love a good cup of chai or adding a spice or two to my teas sometimes.

I’m 21 and currently working in Orlando Florida, taking a some time off from school to try and figure out my place in the world.

I’m a music lover and have played guitar and violin for quite a while in classical styles, rock, jazz, etc., and have also learned to love the sounds of the sitar and hindustani music in all its forms. I’ve become a bit of a guitar “grease monkey” and find building, modification, repair, and dissection to be even better than playing sometimes.

I also love hiking/camping and downhill longboarding when I have the time to make it out to somewhere hilly.

My Rating Scale:
95-100 Wowza!
90-94 Pretty darn good
80-89 Nice
70-79 Decent
50-69 Potable
0-50: Blech.

Location

Orlando, FL

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