171 Tasting Notes

This is emerging as one of my favorites from my recent sample haul—deserving of a cake purchase. It has some sweetness but it’s definitely a bass rather than a treble tea, most notably in the smokey, pine forest taste that really stood out to me this time. This tea deserves attention: one can parse out a panoply of interesting textures and flavors. And as someone that can handle pretty strong shengs, I can tell you that this one provides a pretty potent high.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
Charles Thomas Draper

I agree with you

jschergen

I like this one too. One of the better values and a standout + good value tea.

Stephanie

Nice, nice

mrmopar

Fantastic tea and excellent dollar value.

Doug F

@jschergen Would you consider eot’s Yuanwei a good value at $90 for a 200 gram cake?

jschergen

I’d say it’s a fair value and a good tea. Not a deal IMO.

According to my tastes, the best value in the $0.35/g+ range YQH teas Emmett is coordinating.

jschergen

To be clear. Above comment is talking about the YuanWei, and not the Kuzhu.

Doug F

Thanks James! Sorry, what does YQH stand for?

DigniTea

Yang Qing Hao (also translated as Yan Qing Hao). A few of us have taken part in group orders placed by Emmett through a TeaChat posting.

DigniTea

High quality YiWu productions. James mentioned one (mid-way down the page) in a YiWu report.
http://teadb.org/slightly-aged-yiwu-puerh-june-2015-report/

Doug F

Thanks DigniTea!

jschergen

Yep, thanks Dignitea. Feel free to shoot me a PM/email if you want more details.

curlygc

I nearly got in on one of those YQH buys, but I didn’t pull the trigger b/c there was no way to sample the tea before plunking down a couple hundred bucks for cake. I don’t mind spending money on tea I know I like. I wish YQH tea was more available here. I’ll probably end up regretting my decision!

jschergen

Maybe buy the cheapest and ask Emmett to send you samples :)? Pretty sure you wouldn’t regret it. I understand the concerns though. Some really good teas.

curlygc

@jschergen: I did ask him, but he didn’t get back to me and I didn’t pester him about it. I was considering the 05 TsangLiu. Grill said he’d put samples in the TTB, so I will eventually get to try it. I just don’t know if the opportunity to purchase it will happen again!

jschergen

Been messaging Emmett just today. Should be happening next month :).

TsangLiu is a very solid tea. There’s also a 2007 tuo that’s something like $130/300g that’s also quite good if you want to try the bare minimum.

curlygc

Ohhh! Maybe I can get in on the next buy then. Thanks for letting me know :-)

jschergen

No prob. Hope you get to enjoy these teas!

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98

I enjoyed another session with this delicious tea that starts out light and sweet and emerges in the middle steeps with a strong honey/rock candy sweetness, excellent throat feel and powerful chi. Lemon and apple linger throughout and there’s just the tiniest hint of orchid woven through the profile. Alas, my sample of this benchmark tea is kaput.

On a side note, I find it odd that I have a high tolerance for chi but a low tolerance for caffeine, so my capacity for drinking sheng is much higher than black tea, for example. Are there any other caffeine-sensitive folks that experience this?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 130 OZ / 3844 ML
boychik

Chinese black or Indian/Ceylon? chinese black or pu dont bother me at all. i can drink them at midnight no prob. Assam is a different story.

Doug F

I have to limit all types of black tea to one or two cups a day, but Indian teas definitely affect me more.

boychik

You need to try Old Arbor Mu Shu Hongcha spr15. I’m falling asleep after two chahai

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87

This is a nicely balanced black tea akin to a medium-bodied Assam. It has just the right amount of sweetness and could serve as a perfect morning cup, especially on this wind-whipped New England fall day. A little bit of smoke and leather to keep you interested.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Oh my God, my mouth is still salivating three hours later and it won’t stop. I’ve been hoarding this for a few years, parsimoniously steeping some here and there. It’s so delicious, with a mix of butter rum, cherry pipe tobacco and eucalyptus. This tea vibrates from the throat down to the chest, with a cooling, mellowing essence.

It’s nearly 10 years old now and it’s fascinating to experience the metamorphosis to deeper tones.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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90

I’m quickly becoming a fan of these Glendale teas. Others’ descriptions are spot on: the muscatel (and light body) of a first flush darjeeling with a unique papaya/coconut/mango element that reminds me of tropical lifesavers. Yes there is some astringency but I’m willing to live with it given the uncommon and intriguing blend of flavors.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Another session with this delicious tea. A little more bitterness this time but probably because I used a prodigious amount of leaf. I continue to enjoy the creamy caramel notes in this one.

On a different note, I’m glad to see that the change in seasons has resulted in an uptick in the steepster activity, or is it just me?

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

I’ve noticed too.

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First of all, I want to thank Big Daddy for suggesting we split the Nilgiri sampler from Teabox. I’ve had a few basic Nilgiri teas over the years but nothing like the offerings from Teabox, which delves deeply into the Nilgiri terroir and unearths some true gems.

I hesitate to call this autumn tea “black” because the liquor is so light-a pale orange akin to some slightly aged raw pu-erhs. The flavor is reminiscent of a Taiwanese black, herbal with a strong fresh tomato essence, but also fruity and sparkly like a Ceylon. The tea is slightly bitter, but it’s offset by an equal amount of sweetness.

A very singular experience! Gorgeous dry and infused leaf. If you think you’ve tasted everything under the sun, give these Adderley Twirl teas a try.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Ineffable rock-candy sweetness with notes of corn and hay, the broth generously lubricates the mouth and is quite persistent in the throat. I’m really amazed at the consistency of this tea that steep to steep pumps out consistently sweet, clean, full-bodied mouth-watering liquor with no ebb in flavor and no bitterness. People talk about price per gram of tea, but maybe there should be a price-per-excellent-infusion category in which the Guang Feng Zhai would challenge for supremacy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
jschergen

Nice review. Sounds pretty tasty! Do you think the strength is pretty comparable to the 2012?

Doug F

I don’t think it has as much oomph or all-round complexity as the 2012 but there are no “waste steeps.” It gets up to speed quickly and remains there.

jschergen

Got it. Thanks for the note :).

boychik

i feel i dont need tons of cheap average pu. i still have my price limitations but i raised them

jschergen

@boychik. Definitely agree! I think my limit is around the $0.50/g mark or so. Have a hard time rationalizing anything beyond that even if it’s pretty awesome (i.e. Last Thoughts)

Doug F

Yes this cake sits comfortably around the .50/gram mark as does the 2014 Wan Gong, which I didn’t think was quite as good.

jschergen

Yeah. I like that Wangong a good deal, but it didn’t quite have the oomph of their GFZ (at least their 2012).

On a semi-related sidenote, I’m very curious about the Dark Forest that they just added.

mrmopar

jschergen I just put an order in today with some of the Dark Forest in it.

jschergen

@mrmopar . Cool! Looking forward to hearing about it.

Doug F

The description is very alluring.

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This is a dynamic, complex and powerful young tea that starts out sweet and almost buttery with a pleasantly lubricious mouth feel. Make no mistake, this is a bitter tea, but it’s a productive bitterness that coaxes out the flavors of the tea (apricots, nuts and maybe a hint of anise) in the same way that the right amount of salt enhances good cooking. It’s tongue numbing in the middle steeps, and the flavor slowly morphs from fruit to vegetable as the session continues. Another delicious young sheng in the $50/cake range from Yunnan Sourcing. I shared this with some sheng-newbies at work and they loved the mix of drinkability and complexity.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
boychik

Sounds delicious. Next Sheng sale and I’m in big trouble.

looseTman

At least you have enough restraint to wait for a sale!

Doug F

There are a lot of good 2014 cakes in that $50 range; it will be tough to decide which one(s) to choose.

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Bio

I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

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