96 Tasting Notes
Received my Yunnan Sourcing order today!
The teas smell great, but sadly the lid of the gaiwan I ordered was cracked despite some really intense bubble-wraping :(
Dry Leaves: Really lovely shiny golden buds with some black mixed in. They have a velvety feel, and are very soft and fresh feeling compared to other blacks I’ve had.
Brewing: They produce a gold-brown colored tea with a honey-like aroma. The leaves are almost all whole, and unfold to look like small needles of milk chocolate or fine leather.
Tasting: The first thing in noticed when drinking this tea was the powerful throat sensation. Definitely the strongest I’ve experienced. A typical Yunnan gold flavor with hints of sugar cane, spice, and I wouldn’t have thought of it, but as the description mentions, whiskey :)
It held out well for two steeps in my 12oz pot, and made a slightly weaker but still quite nice third steeping.
Reminds me of: Fancy hotels? Not sure why, its just the image this tea brings up for me :)
Got this as a sample from Mandala with a teapot I ordered
This is pretty darn good! Similar to dragonwell, which usually isn’t my favorite, but I really enjoyed this tea. It has a nice nutty taste, more like macadamia than chestnut, which lingers for quite a while and gives a strong, pleasant tingling at the back of the throat. Its smoother than a dragonwell, kind of like a light oxidation oolong.
The leaves are nicely pressed and unbroken, and open up fully when brewing. This is a very light colored green tea, almost looks like a white or yellow.
The pot I ordered is very cute and has a nice pour, however the lid doesn’t seem to fit quite right, which is a little disappointing. It looks like the body of the pot was slightly warped during production, leaving the hole that the lid sits on slightly oval shaped, so it wont quite fit. Its a nice small pot though, and the lid trouble wont keep me from using it.
Thank you, Nuvola teas, for this amazing sample!
Dry leaves: Opening the package I was hit with a very fresh, grassy smell, a lot like a good sencha, but with hints of fir. The rolled leaves have a lustrous, dark jade color and vary in size from gunpowder to larger than your pinky tip.
Brewing: The brew first turned to a mellow, light jade-green color and began to develop a slight golden hue as it approached readiness.
Wet leaves: While brewing, the leaves underwent the largest expansion I’ve seen! Each tight pellet turned to a large leaf or set of leaves on a broad, golden stem.
Tasting: The first steeping tasted very fresh; full and grassy but still remarkably smooth. Hints of fur, morning dew, and a slight whiff of wildflowers. It also had a subtly milky flavor and texture reminiscent of a milk oolong, and a very slight but pleasant resin-like astringency.
The second steep took on a more golden color and developed a natural honeysuckle sweetness. It was not as “fresh” of a taste as the first steeping, but more of a milky smoothness and was equally, if not more, enjoyable. It held out well for third and forth steepings, which developed subtle fruit noted of grapefruit and lychee.
Summary: A very relaxing oolong with a very smooth and fresh palate, similar in many ways to a milk oolong, but with high mountain tastes. I don’t think I could have possibly enjoyed it more. :)
Reminds me of: An early spring morning in the mountains of North Carolina (or perhaps the mountains of Taiwan, had I ever been there) :)
This pu’erh had very deep, chocolaty flavors with hints of mushroom and a rich, velvety mouthfeel. Reminiscent of a deep, mellow red wine.
Overall I think this was my favorite :)
This pu’erh was bolder in flavor and darker in color than the other samples. It also had considerably more of that pu’erh sweetness to it, and despite being bold it was still mellow. It had strong wood notes of cedar and oak, and also had a distinct “wild mushroom” flavor to it.
Overall I think seemed to be the finest and highest quality of the pu’erhs Mr. Mopar sent me
Deep burgundy color. The flavor is smooth and earthy with a medium body and has slight cedar, cocoa, and coffee flavors upfront, and ends with lighter citrus and hay notes, followed by a run-on sentence. :)
So begins the first of my backlogged mini-tasting notes on the great pu’erh samples sent to me by mrmopar. Thanks SO MUCH! I now know that the loose-leaf pu’erh I had bought really tasted like moldy mulch and just had a slight hint of good pu-erh flavor. These samples have got me hooked! :)
One thing I noticed when drinking a lot of pu’erhs this week is that it seemed to put a huge boost on my metabolism, which really took me by surprise, as its the most noticeable change I’ve experienced from drinking tea. Got that fiery feeling in my gut like after a long jog or yoga class.
Anyway, here’s my tasting notes:
This pu’erh had a slightly milder flavor than the others. The main flavor hints that I picked up in this one were walnut and oak. The earthy flavors dissipated slightly to reveal more black tea-like flavors in the later steepings. Overall I think this was the smoothest/mildest of the pu’erhs I tried. Reminded me slightly of a light-medium roast coffee.
Wow! This is good. Real good.
Dry leaves: Smells of fresh cut hay and slightly floral. The leaves are small, dark green, and curled tightly. They have a bit of the white “peach fuzz” of young bud teas.
Brewing: Brews to a mellow grey-gold color typical of whites and young-leaf greens. The leaves expand quite a bit, almost tripling in volume, but maintain a slight curl.
Taste: Very mellow flavor with no bitterness at all. This is a very multifaceted tea, and in addition to the “green” flavors it has the dried fruit and mineral qualities of Ti Guan Yin, and the lightness and natural sweetness of a white monkey. There is also just a slight bit of smokiness reminiscent of gunpowder.
Reminds me of: K-Pop! Wait, no… Maybe that’s just my roommate blasting “Gangnam Style” on repeat…
Reminds me of: Well, all I can seem to think of for this one is that it reminds me of really good green tea! I guess that will have to do. :)
Cons: Gets pretty weak by the third steeping
Thank you, Zen Teas, for the wonderful samples :)