375 Tasting Notes

I’ve done a couple sessions with this one, both with boiling water, and would say that it is a good tea. Not interesting or dynamic or anything, but solid and drinkable. The leaves smelled like a white tea mixed with a sheng. Mostly floral and straw, with a bit of that strong shengy aroma that often comes off of young leaves.

The flavor starts out light, with mostly floral notes, but moves quickly into a sort of sugary sweet, lightly green hay (not straw) flavor. The texture is a little bit milky, but not super thick or creamy. This is one that I enjoyed guzzling while I was playing video games – it didn’t require too much in the way of thought on my end.

I’ll probably try it at lower temps as well to see what sort of different flavors I might get out of it, or if it will be more complex or anything like that.

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Milan Dancong by White 2 Tea
375 tasting notes

I got this as part of the teaclub whatever month it was included in. The dry leaves have a nice and crisp floral aroma, with a bit of vegetal and/or autumnal undertones. The wet leaves had a sweeter aroma, with mineral, peachy candy notes, along with a bit of a buttery or saltiness.

The tea tasted much like it smelled, with a bright floral front, especially in the early sips. The flavor moved into more of a peachy fruitiness, and the tea finished with a buttery smoothness. As the session progressed, I noticed a bit more of a mineral flavor early in the sip, followed by more of the peachy, buttery finish. Like a peach cobbler! Except not that sweet…It was good though! I still don’t really have enough experience with Dancongs to know what level this one is at. I enjoyed it, but was not wowed by it or anything.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Mineral, Peach, Salt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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I would say this sheng is good, but not great. The dry leaf had a floral and lightly vegetal aroma. After the rinse, there was a bit of apricot fruitiness, with some slightly deeper floral notes. I found this one to be pretty easy drinking, with a lot of fruitiness that you can often find in young sheng, but also a pretty good helping of flowery flavors as well. I think I may have perceived a bit more of that than there really was, with it being called Secret Garden and all. The huigan was nice, but I didn’t feel too much of anything in terms of qi. If pushed, it can get a touch bitter, but not too bad.

Again…a nice one, but not too memorable for me.

Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
375 tasting notes

The other day I drank a tea out of the 2016 Pubertea Group Buy, labeled as 2004 Yang Pin Hao Kong Que Zhi Xiang (ripe). I don’t see this one on Steepster anywhere, and it looks like a struggle to add with that long name. I don’t generally gravitate to ripes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good one every now and then. This is one of the better ones I’ve brewed up to date. The dry leaf had a very lightly damp woody scent to it – almost chocolatey as well. After a rinse (I double rinsed this one), it had a more dank aroma, kind of like a wet basement with some also wet logs stacked in a corner. It did not smell unpleasant or mildew-y though.

The first few steeps were pretty smooth, with a bit of that dampness coming through – this seemed more like storage dampness than fermentation funk to me. It had a little bit of a bite to the finish for the first 2-3 steeps, kind of bitter vegetal maybe, and it left my mouth just a bit dry.

After those first few steeps, this became one of the smoothest teas I’ve had. Tasted like damp wood and earth, very thick, calming qi. A pleasure to drink. For most ripes, I stop steeping them out once they stop producing really dark black-ish liquor, but I took this one a little further and it continued to give me a few tasty, albeit lighter, cups.

A treat which I certainly wouldn’t mind drinking again, but I’m not in the business of hoarding shou, so I likely won’t be seeking a cake out. Thanks for including this one, LP!

Flavors: Earth, Smooth, Thick, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is a really nice aged oolong. I only picked up a sample of it, and if it weren’t sold out (noooo) I probably would snag a bit more. I’ll have to try their 2008 and see if it compares. The dry leaves had a complex aroma, with fruity raisin/plum notes and a bit of a caramel, roasty sweetness. After a rinse, the roasty aroma came through, strong but pleasant. It smelled a little more dark and earthy, but there was still that dark fruity note, even sweeter this time.

The first few steeps possess a kind of musty sweetness, with a little bit of vanilla in the finish. The roast is noticeable, but I enjoy it – it doesn’t come across as charred or smoky to me. These first few steeps taste like how I would imagine some old books which long ago narrowly escaped a housefire might smell.

The sweetness dropped off to some degree, and the tea took on a more wuyi-ish characteristic, with some roasty sweetness accompanied by mineral notes. It provides a bit of a mouth-cooling feel most steeps and has a decently thick and creamy texture.

Towards the end, the roast starts to die down a little bit. The tea tastes bready and creamy sweet, though this doesn’t last long before the tea dies. It doesn’t have great longevity, but respectable enough for a roasted oolong. This tea was a real treat at a pretty darn affordable price. I’m going to have to hop on some of their 2008 to see if it compares and maybe pick up a larger amount if it does.

Flavors: Fruity, Mineral, Plums, Raisins, Roasted, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
375 tasting notes

A couple days ago, I put together a Franken-pu with a couple small samples I had laying around. I combined 5g of 2015 YS Ye Zhu Tang with 3g of 2008 Bana Limited Edition, both shengs. The dry leaf smelled earthy and floral, with some straw and a touch of leather. After a rinse, it took on a bit more of a twiggy barnyard note, with just a hint of fruitiness as well.

The first couple steeps were slightly astringent, but with a sweet finish that came across my palate as slightly juicy. Reminded me of cucumber or some light fruit. As I continued to brew it out, I believe the more aged 2008 Bana tea started to contribute a bit more to the flavor profile with some leathery notes and a more bass-y sweetness coming through in the finish. The front of the sip was still a slightly astringent straw note.

Near the midpoint of the session, the flavor started to meld together a little bit, becoming more woody, less astringent, and smoothening up in the finish. The huigan lingered nicely in my mouth for a couple minutes after each sip. There was some detectable qi to this tea, but I felt it almost similarly to a mild caffeine high.

This session was good, and I’m glad to report I didn’t end up “wasting” either of the little samples. The brew started off a bit astringent and strong, likely because I leafed a touch heavily. In the end though, it became a nice and smooth session. It was slightly interesting, but more just pleasant. Gives a good appreciation for those who blend different teas together to make interesting puerhs for all of us to drink up.

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Got a small sample of this tea courtesy of James. It definitely looks funky – I’ve heard it called “dead moth tea” before. It didn’t seem any less weird when I sniffed the leaves and got a dry woody aroma, reminiscent of pencil shavings. I figured I might be smelling something weird from the bag it was in or whatever, but no, after a rinse they smelled of wet pencil shavings, with notes of bread and a bit of sourness – maybe light malt as well.

True to the aroma, the tea had a dry woodiness to the taste, though it was more floral-forward for the first few steeps, with the woodiness taking a back seat. There was a little bit of sourness to it, but very little. Three or four steeps in, it started to switch to more of a dry woodiness with floral backnotes, so a reversal of sorts. It sounds really weird drinking a tea that basically tastes like pencil shavings (I remember Denny of TeaDB describing something like this in one of their early episodes – I just assumed he was choosing a weird descriptor for some kind of woody note, but if they were drinking Ya Bao or something like this, I can totally see it now), but I actually did enjoy it. It’s a different flavor, but once you get past the fact that it’s a little odd, it’s interesting and enjoyable to drink. Near steep 7 or so, I also noticed a bit of an increase in sourness, an inkling of citrus creeping into the finish. It wasn’t prominent or anything, but it did serve to make the tea a little bit more interesting when it was otherwise beginning to fade.

I don’t know that this is a tea I enjoyed enough to buy myself, but it was tasty and fun to drink, even if it looks like dead fluffybugs.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grain, Pleasantly Sour, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Long Jing by White2Tea
375 tasting notes

This one came out of the White2Tea club box a few months ago, so for one thing, it certainly isn’t fresh green tea. That said, I can confidently call it the best Dragonwell I’ve tasted, though that isn’t out of a large sample size. The leaves are vibrantly green. Dry, they have a very light nutty aroma, but after the first steep, they pick up much stronger nutty, brothy, and slightly green notes.

The flavor is a decently green and vegetal one, along with nutty notes characteristic of this style. At times during the session, I also got a bit of a floral aftertaste. I was really surprised by how nice this one was, especially given that it wasn’t fresh. I plan to try my other packet grandpa style at some point. The price this is up for on white2tea’s website is more than a little bit steep for me considering how little I reach for green tea, but I would be interested to try a sample of this tea fresh. I imagine it would be succulent and delicious, even more so than it was this time.

Flavors: Beany, Broth, Floral, Green, Nutty, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This tea was pretty decent – I have already tried a couple of Hello Teatime’s greener Shui Xian pillows. I’m normally partial to roasted teas, so I was pretty excited to give this one a go. The dry leaf had a bit of a chocolatey aroma. After the pillow met with water, it smelled a little bit roasty with a nice floral sweetness.

The flavor was a little bit delicate, unless I oversteeped it by accident, which is a bit surprising considering I put the whole ~8g pillow in my 100mL gaiwan. It started out with a bit of roasty, burnt sugar notes, followed by a lingering sweet floral aftertaste. As the session progressed, the sweetness got a little bit more earthy and thick, while still retaining its floral character. It even moved a little bit into the resinous category for a couple steeps. The texture is decently thick, but I wasn’t wowed by it. If pushed, this tea can develop a bit of a sour note, as many roasted oolongs can in my experience.

I think I might have one more of these to try, and I will need to try it before I can pass judgement on this one. I enjoyed it, but it left me wanting more.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Resin, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Oh man, been a little bit since I’ve posted a tasting note. I’ve been hella busy traveling for work and stuff. I’m actually finishing off this sample in a hotel room in Northern Minnesota – super pretty up here. Glad I got to come back again this field season. I would characterize this one as a lighter puerh. I get a lot of light floral notes, along with some nice nuttiness, starting around the mid-point of the session. Very slight astringency if oversteeped, but really a more friendly one. It has a pleasantly thick, but not oily, texture, and I don’t really pick up much of any qi from this tea. I’d say it’s good, but certainly not a standout.

Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Bio

A bit about myself: 21 years old, college grad (Double major in Anthropology and History). I plan to make a career of archaeology and hopefully travel (much of) the world in my days.

I enjoy many things aside from tea, including gaming, mixing cocktails, reading, watching anime, and painting miniatures.

My favorite type of tea is sheng puerh. Particularly younger stuff, if only because I haven’t gotten the chance to taste much of anything aged. I also really like oolong (Taiwanese, Wuyi, Dancong, etc.) and Japanese Green Teas. I do also enjoy most other kinds of tea, but they aren’t what I normally buy. I’m not a huge fan of shou puerh, black tea, or flavored blends, with few exceptions.

I really like interacting with the tea community, so if you ever want to talk or swap teas or anything, feel free to shoot me a message or something. Follow me and I’ll follow you back. Probably ;)

You might also see me on reddit as /u/Matuhg

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Michigan

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