109 Tasting Notes

97

I REALLY enjoyed this tea. Very refreshing yet mildly vegetal flavor.

Dry leaves: The dry leaves are a deep green with lots of budsets. They’re rolled into loosely needle-like fashion.

Brewing: Strong vegetable aroma with a slight minty coolness. The tea liquer is extremely clear and green-gold in color. The brewed leaves look healthy and plump, and are largely unbroken.

Tasting: The early infusions are mild and sweet with flavors of cantaloupe and pomelo. The mouthfeel is extremely clean with a slight sparkling quality. As the tea cools it shows a more vegetal side with flavors of green bean and chestnut. Around the third steep, the tea gains a creamier quality with flavors of olive oil, hazelnut, and fig. After the fifth, the tea becomes very light and sweet with crisp flavors of edame and barley.

Thanks Teavivre for this sample!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Sounds cleansing and fresh.

tperez

It definitely was! :)

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95

Mmm, I tend to favor more subtle black teas, and this one fits the bill nicely.

Dry leaves: The leaves are small, black, and wirey with lots of gold/orange fur. They have a sweet citrus and sweet potato aroma.

Brewing: This tea definitely brews best (IMO) at a lower temperature than most blacks. The wet leaves have a rich aroma of chocolate and fall leaves. In early infusions lots of golden hairs piled up on my filter, almost clogging it.

Tasting: The flavor of the tea has a nice balance of sweet and salty characteristics. The early infusions are mild but brisk with notes of chocolate, sweet potato, peach, and charcoal. Surprisingly cool feeling for a black tea. Later infusions mellow out with fresh flavors of lemon juice, edame, clover leaf, and jaggery. The taste is sweet and slightly nutty throughout.

Thanks Teavivre for a great sample!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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88
drank Sawa Organic White Tea by MAJANI
109 tasting notes

Dry leaves: The needles are slender and slightly green with very fine hairs. They have a very nice apricot-like aroma

Tasting: This tea is very crisp, mellow, and sweet! The taste is mildly fruity with flavors of apricot, honey, and a slight marine sea breeze salinity. While its definitely silver needle, its noticeably different from its Chinese counterparts.

Thanks Kasumi!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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30
drank Pu'erh Leaf by Zenjala Tea Company
109 tasting notes

So its been a few months since I bought this, my first pu’erh purchase, done on a whim with no research. When I bought it, it smelled, and tasted like, a moldy sack of mulch with just a tiny bit of mellow sweetness. I resisted the urge to throw it out, and let it air out for a while to see if there’s any improvement.

The bag still has a bit of mold smell, but now it also has a nice pu’erh sweetness. I decided to brew it in my gaiwan, because honestly I don’t trust it enough to let it near my yixing.

I did two quick rinses, brewed it up, and hey, not half bad! Not especially good, but much better than it was a few months ago (its actually drinkable) It brews a nice red color with flavors of raisin and cedar, but still has a bit of young shu flavor, as well as a touch of penicillin, but its enjoyable, and it was cheap at half price. It made seven steeps, which I guess isn’t too bad.

Honestly, its not a very good value when you can get an awesome Menghai Red Rhyme or Yunnan Sourcing mini-cake for a similar price. If you do buy this, prepare to let it air out in your closet for a few months.

It IS an acceptable, drinkable tea now, which is much better than it was when I first tried it :P I would give it a better rating if it had come tasting like this, but a much lower one had I reviewed it when I bought it, so I feel like 60 is a reasonable midpoint.

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

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88

Tiguanyinathon Pt. III

Early steeps: The first steep is very creamy has a nice balance of sweet and savory qualities with notes of cinnamon, collard, and Brazil nut.

Middle steeps: Savory, salty flavors are dominant here. There is a strong but pleasant parsley flavor and a very slight floral note.

Later steeps: Around the sixth steep, this tea starts to shine. It has a nice, creamy texture with a more prominent floral flavor that reminds me of thick leaved, bulb growing flowers. The saltiness is still there, but it is smooth and sweet with a soothing almond milk flavor.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Loved the lovely description…love love..bulb growing flowers and collards.

tperez

Haha, thanks Bonnie :)

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82

Tiguanyinathon Pt. II

I actually wrote this earlier today, but the weather outside was too gorgeous to pass up! A cold front came through the other day and it really feels great. I Spent a few hours skating and few just sitting on a bench reading a book. :)

Early steeps: The early steepings have a tropical notes of pineapple and coconut, and a floral wisteria flavor that is very light for a Tiguanyin. Blindfolded I would have a hard time guessing if this is a tiguanyin, a Taiwanese oolong, or some combination of the two. It has a velvety smoothness that I’ve only ever tasted in sliver needle.

Later steeps: The changes in this oolong were less defined than some. A clean grassiness, and hints of honey and paprika appeared. The silver needle mouthfeel was replaced by a more milk-like creaminess. While I LOVED the early steeps on this tea, the later ones were good, but not particularly special.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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90

Tieguanyinathon Pt.I
Sort of in the spirit of the “Saturday Sipdown” I’m going to be tasting the Verdant spring, summer, and autumn Ti Guan Yins sent to me by Autumn Hearth and maybe even some other TGY’s I have sitting around. :)

Early steeps: The early steeps are sweet and smooth with a nice, milky texture. The flavor is slightly floral and reminiscent of honeysuckle, and I also get notes of pumpkin and hazelnut. The leaves opened up really fast! By the 3rd steep they were almost completely unfolded.

Middle steeps: In the middle steeps, the floral sweetness was largely repaced by savory chestnut flavors, and something that reminded me slightly of turmeric (though that might have just been my cooking) :)

Later steeps: Around the sixth steep, the floral notes return to balance out the savory. These later steepings are well balanced, and have the flavors of the earlier steeps, but I also begin to notice new flavors like parsley and vanilla, a slight cooling effect like mint, and a cake-like fluffiness.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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85

Wow, this is delicious! Tastes like a mix between an oriental beauty oolong and an Indian black tea, which I suppose is exactly what it is! Sweet, peachy, creamy, and a pastry feel with touch of cinnamon and vanilla.

If peach cobbler were a tea, it would be this one :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Autumn Hearth

Ooo, sounds delicious, sadly I haven’t gotten to this one yet. Must make time for it tomorrow or Monday.

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89

A nice, slightly different Yunnan black! It has a deeper, charcoal/cocoa flavor than other Dian Hongs that reminds me a bit of Fuijan blacks and the Sumatra Black Pearl from Mountain Tea Co. Instead of the sugarcane/rum type taste of some Yunnan’s I’ve had, this reminds me more of Israeli date honey or a malty Belgian ale. Its also very infusable, first black I’ve had to last an entire kettle of water.

More in depth review to come, I’ve got a headache and feeling a bit woozy today for some reason :(

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

Sounds good…in the mood for some black tea after oolong in the morning.

JC

That sounds nice. I bough a ‘Golden Needle’ (it was black except one golden needle per every 16 black) for similar reasons. I rarely drink it, I feel it pairs well while eating sweets because it feels heavy.

Terri HarpLady

Sorry to hear you’re feeling bad, I hope you feel better soon!

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94

Thanks for the sample, Garret!

My first thought when taking a sip of this tea was “Wait, is this the right tea?” I had a few shu pu’erh samples airing out in small cups, but this one looked distinctly different, being the only loose leaf. Yep, this is the right one, but how can a 2011 pu’erh taste so clean?!? Despite its young age, there is little fermentation flavor left in this tea. :)

Early steeps: Being this was a young shu, I was fully prepared to set aside the first steep or so for pouring over my yixing, but I decided to take a sip, and it was remarkably clean and smooth. The main flavors that I picked up on were milk chocolate, cream, and white peppercorn. Sure there was a bit of off flavor, but for a tea less than two years old? This is amazing!

Middle and later steeps: The warm, creamy flavor continues, and I start to notice some bready flavors as well as a sugarcane note that reminds me of a Yunnan black. It is malty and delicious. I didn’t find the flavor to be especially complex, just sweet, smooth, and enjoyable. Perhaps more will come with age.

This is a very soothing pu’erh and would make a great “happy place” tea :)

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

Yay!! I thought you would appreciate this!!! I am so pumped about my connection with this producer! I just secured this year production of the same leaves from them and will have 440 lbs of this tea for loose leaf and also our cake pressings!! They know what I want and I want to keep it coming!!! Thank you for the review!

tperez

That’s a lot of tea! haha, I’m always happy to review a good product. How soon til the cakes come? I might just have to get one

Garret

Hello, my friend! I have 5 kg’s of the cakes arriving in 3 weeks (or so) and the remaining 300 cakes in around 8 weeks!! I’ll hold one for you :)

Terri HarpLady

I can’t wait for my sample to come!!! This sounds awesome!
You might have to hold one of those cakes for me too…just saying!

tperez

Well, I decided to give in and place order to make sure I get a cake of the Yong De. Maybe sometime I’ll get a Noble Mark cake, but I think I’ve reached my tea buying limit for now :P

Garret

Mr Perez, my friend, your order has been received and will ship out to you tomorrow!! Thank you… can’t wait to see what you think of the new stuff. Wishing you all kinds of joy!

tperez

Thanks so much Garret!

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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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