428 Tasting Notes
Finally got myself a bit of this tea to try – almost every time I order from YS a sample of it ends up in my cart only to be purged before I hit checkout. Thanks to whoever put some in the TTB! I’ve heard this one is pretty dank, but I didn’t really find it to be so. Dry leaf was a little sour and woody smelling. After a rinse, I got some bigger wood notes, a bit musty, some dry leaves.
The tea started off quite thick and only got thicker as I steeped it. It was smooth and slick; mouth-coating and sweet. I didn’t get any unpleasant off-tastes like I have sometimes experienced with aged sheng. Just sweet woodiness with a little bit of a mossy flavor going on as well. Again, not particularly dank or anything. The texture became almost like melted butter by the middle of the session – very nice. Probably the highlight of this one.
This seems like it was stored very well – it’s aged without being super dank, but certainly could age further – there was still a little bit of a dryness in the corners of my cheeks and mild astringency in long steeps. I remember seeing (or hearing about) this tea being about $79 or something – at that price I think it would be very hard to resist picking up a cake. At the current price of $119, a little bit easier to resist…but I’m still considering it.
Flavors: Moss, Sweet, Thick, Wood
Picked up a brick of this from YS in my recent shou-stocking order. It is a good shou imo – I haven’t ever had any sort of Cha Tou tea before, so I’m not sure what/how much those are contributing to the blend here. The brick breaks apart easily compared to a lot of factory brick’s I’ve attempted to break up.
There is definitely still some fermentation flavor in the early steeps, though it is not fishy. Flavor is sweet and easily drinkable. This shou does have a nice floral note that I don’t find a lot in ripes – some have described it as rose. I can’t really pick apart different floral notes well enough to be able to say that. Longevity isn’t that great, but material seems mostly small with a few lil nuggets in there, so that’s not unexpected. Good tea for a pretty nice price too.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sweet, Wet Wood, Wood
This is probably my favorite from Chawang’s Puerh line so far. Thick and creamy texture to the liquid. The flavors start off rather soft and sweet in the early steeps, but as the session goes, it picks up some astringency and bitterness – never overwhelming, but certainly noticeable. Fruity flavors and aromas are present in most steeps – sometimes tropical in nature. The tea also showed a good amount of energy, mostly in the early steeps.
This one is quite good – I might actually end up picking up a cake or two of it. Based on how it tastes now combined with the few aged Manzhuans I’ve tasted, I think this would do pretty well with some age.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Thick, Tropical
I got a sample of this from a TU order a while back. It is a bit of a mean one. The dry leaves have an innocent enough sweet/floral aroma, but after a rinse, the scent is more savory with a touch of smoke.
My session with this one did not go so well. I don’t think I brewed it the best way I could’ve, as it was a bitter and slightly astringent bomb that wreaked havoc on my gut. Flavor was bitter with some honey and slight fruitiness – light smoke in the first few infusions. The mouth feel from this was quite tingly. I’m going to have to give this another try with a full stomach and more respect. It is definitely one that needs some more age, and I can’t imagine drinking it fresh.
I very rarely have any problems with tea making me feel unwell, but this one just kicked me in the gut and then bludgeoned me over the head while I was bent over. Qi was intense in the head and upper torso – had to take a couple breaks along the way. Perhaps one to drink more slowly.
Flavors: Honey, Smoke, Stonefruits, Thick
I have had a sample of this one laying around since perhaps my first YS order. I just got around to trying it somehow. After rinsing, the leaves had quite a sweet aroma, like woody marshmallows. The flavor was also rather sweet, but I didn’t find it to be particularly strong. Good body and thickness to the liquor. Woody earthiness and a bit of chocolate on the finish.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Thick
Pulled a session’s worth of this maocha out of the Puerh TTB when it came through last. I was not part of the W2T Teaclub when this one came. The dry leaf had a soft and green sweetness to the aroma – after a rinse, it smelled more like wet corn and alfalfa, with a sour undercurrent.
The flavor of this one was beany and vegetal – very sweet. There is a relatively small amount of bitterness, mostly in the front of the palate. As the session went on, the flavor turned extremely floral, and some astringency built up as well. When I spilled some of the liquid on my tea tray, I was surprised by how sticky it was – almost more like juice. Very sugary young tea.
Flavors: Beany, Floral, Sugar, Sweet, Vegetal
Between teas like this one and White2Tea’s Brown Sugar, I don’t know why anybody makes Huangpian into sheng. Of course, that’s just my personal taste talking, but I really think it does better as shou than sheng.
Iron Forge is very much a woody shou, with some other “foresty” or petrichor notes going on as well. Longevity was middle of the road for shou, I’d say.
Good tea, but I likely won’t pick up a brick. I seem to slightly prefer w2t’s Brown Sugar in terms of my huangpian shou – though I would by no means be sad if I somehow did end up with a brick of Iron Forge too…
Flavors: Mushrooms, petrichor, Wet Wood, Wood
I bought a sample of this tea, though I came very close to blindly caking it for the awesome wrapper. I haven’t taken detailed notes on it, but I think I’m probably going to buy a cake of it today (Black Friday). It’s got some nice spinachy vegetal notes, a bit of bitterness. Good body and a relaxing qi. One of the most notable characteristics of it is a unique huigan that reminds me more of what I’m used to from gaoshan oolongs than from sheng puerh. It is a pretty high and floral creamy finish. I’m very interested in seeing how the cake will age, so I might hang onto it for a long time if I can avoid drinking it all quickly.
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Floral, Thick, Vegetal
Being a fan of Bulang puerh, I figured this would be a good black tea for me to try out; I was right. This one seemed to have a bit more body and depth of flavor than most hong that I drink. Slight bitterness if pushed, but mostly malty and sweet flavors – a bit of caramel and some kind of dried fruit, maybe raisins. I wonder how much my impression was colored by the word “Bulang” in the name, as I equate that with a more bold and burly style of puerh.
This was definitely a good black tea, but I likely won’t buy more of it – just because black tea isn’t something I drink much of generally.
Flavors: Caramel, Dried Fruit, Malt, Sweet
Picked up a cake of this from YS in a recent order as I’m rediscovering an appreciation for shou lately and had very little on hand. This one seems very good for the price, though really not anything special otherwise. There’s still some fermentation flavor left to it, but it’s not gross or fishy, and I suspect it’s less intense than people were mentioning in earlier reviews.
This one was simple and straightforward to me. Woody sweetness with a bit of a vanilla character to it. Decent body. It doesn’t brew up quite as jet black as most shou at my normal parameters. I’ll have to try super-leafing it sometime and see what I get. It’s definitely one which will fulfill my needs – just something simple and tasty when I want to have puerh without having a really focused session or anything like that.
Flavors: Sweet, Vanilla, Wet Wood, Wood