112 Tasting Notes

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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80

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
112 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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77

Hmm, this is ok I guess. It was cheap, but the other black teas I’ve had from Yunnan Sourcing were WAY better.

It has a nice black peppercorn quality, and a sweetness a bit like maple syrup, but it also tastes a bit like wet dog… Its a smooth tea, but it’s fairly one dimensional and overall not much improvement over decent quality teabag blacks.

I wonder if this wasn’t stored very well? It may have gotten slightly damp at some point or had too much humidity.

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

LOL @ wet dog.

That is a really good analogy. Recently, I received a Yunnan 2004 ripe and aged puerh that smelled and tasted like rotten roots. The taste was brutal.

Come to think of it…it did smell a bit like wet dog too!

Kirkoneill1988

did any of you find out what caused the taste?

tperez

I’m not sure really. I gave it a another chance a few months later, and the musty smell/taste had gone away. It was actually really nice! I’d seriously
considering buying another the next time I make a Yunnan Sourcing order

mrmopar

Where have you been at?

Terri HarpLady

Perez, I thought of you the other day, as I’m getting ready to head down to visit my folks in Apopka this week. Any tea places open up in the area that you know of? :)

Kirkoneill1988

As long as the wet dog taste does not come back it should be fine

tperez

Hey Mr. M! I guess I sort of went through a quarter-life crisis last winter, followed by a full time job, a girlfriend, no spare cash to spend on tea, and I slowly disappeared from most of my internet hangouts. I suppose I’m back now :P It’s good to hear from you!

Sorry Terri, I don’t really know of any. Orlando is pretty depraved when it comes to tea. Infusion Tea on the West side of Orlando is decent, but not particularly noteworthy, and you can get some decent tea and tea wares from some of the larger asian markets in the Colonial/Mills area.
If you stop by the West coast at all there’s Kaleisia Tea Lounge in Tampa which is pretty good and has a nice atmosphere, and Ming Ming’s Tea in St. Pete which has some very good tea and even a decent selection of pu’erh.

Kirkoneill, the wet dog ran away, and despite all of the “lost smell” posters that I didn’t put up around town, he’s yet to come home. Haha

Kirkoneill1988

still, i may try this tea someday :)

mrmopar

I am glad to hear you are ok! Good to see you posting again! P.S. need a girlfriend who likes tea……:P

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the report, Perez, I kind of figured so. We’ll be sticking pretty much to the Orlando suburbs most likely, no visits to the coast on either side.

Kirkoneill1988

Could fishy taste be another way of saying it other than wet dog ?

tperez

Hmm, no it wasn’t quite the same as the fishy taste you get with bad/very young shou. Wet dog was the best descriptor I could think of for it. Not moldy, but I guess old mulch would be pretty close.

Reading reviews on the YS site it doesn’t look like others had that experience with it. I’d guess that there something weird happened with the one I got. If you’re worried about it maybe go for a newer pressing

Kirkoneill1988

newer pressing?

tperez

There’s a 2012 and 2013 version. I was thinking maybe they wouldn’t have the smell

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98

The dry leaves are long and twisted, sort of like a Taiwanese black or Dancong. They have a deep, full aroma of chocolate, eucalyptus, and yam.

The infusions are a slightly unexpected walnut brown, maybe this has something to do with the purple leaf varietal? Despite the deep color the flavors are surprisingly smooth and mild.

Early infusions have flavors of chocolate, eucalyptus, pumpernickel, sweet potato with a rich, malty body. The mouthfeel starts out soft like marshmallow and ends slightly ashy like Wuyi oolongs/blacks.

Later infusions become cleaner and show flavors of lemon and clover leaf. The tea is very creamy and leaves a great, fruity aftertaste of guava and lychee nuts.

This is good stuff! Pretty resteepable for black tea, and has some unique characteristics that I assume come from ye sheng varietal leaves. Seems like the love-child of Yunnan and Laoshan black, with a touch of… purple? :)

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec

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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 are pu’erhs, Yunnan blacks, and Taiwanese oolongs. I’m not much into flavored teas or jasmine/florals, but I love a good cup of chai or adding a spice or two to my teas sometimes.

Currently taking a break from school, working in Orlando Florida and trying to find my place in the world.

I’m a music lover and have played guitar and violin for quite a while 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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