400 Tasting Notes
“2015 Raw from Beautiful Taiwan”
This sample may have come from the Puerh TTB?
Backlog Feb 13, 2017
While drinking this I had noted that there were notes of sesame and seaweed. I thought that this was unusual for a raw puerh, but I really couldn’t think of anything else other than the Japanese rice crackers with seaweed that a friend from Japan would send for Christmas long ago.
While trying to get through my sample stash, I had came upon this one from the old sample box that LP had sent a few months ago. I apparently hadn’t finished the samples from the box (there are four more remaining which must’ve been more than a session’s worth at the time).
I must say that this reminded me a lot of pipe tobacco. It mostly reminded me of the pipe itself after it hasn’t been smoked from in months and months. The pipe has that slight subtle note of tobacco, but has lost that once dominant odor/smell/flavor. I’m guessing that this must’ve been a smoky sheng once upon a time, but has ceased to be the smoky tea like it had been. Now, you only get the reminder that it once was something smoky, but currently remains as the reminder of something that once was….
Sheng Olympiad 2017
A few of these notes will intermesh with notes taken from my friends who had sampled this with me.
I had shared this tea with a couple of friends yesterday. I was planning on drinking an oolong for our second “party”, but they insisted on trying more sheng instead (and who am I to deny them the chance to taste good puerh?) while playing a game of Settlers of Catan.
I gave this tea two rinses prior to starting the session mainly due to the reason that there wasn’t much of an aroma from the leaf. However, on the third rinse/steep, there were subtle notes of “fruit or flowers of some type, with a touch of sweetness.” The flavor was subtle and unnoted for myself, but my friend had pointed out that there was a “sweetness, maybe honey,” subtly lingering on the tongue.
After a few steeps through, there were stronger notes of hay (?) and honeysuckle (?). However, these are the last notes taken as we continued with the tea, Catan, and fellowship. I thought that this had been a pretty good weekend with friends—who actually wanted tea! :)
I hosted a party with friends last evening who wanted to try tea. My one friend who I’ve spoken with on many occasions with about this particular Naka from LP’s Pubertea Group Buy wanted me to bring this out for the party. Fortunately for them, I had about 8g left in the bag, so I threw it into the 120ml yixing pot (for sheng) and we had a good time. Everyone was captivated by the amount of “head high” that came from the few cups we each had. I was previously feeling tea drunk due to the large amount of tea I had consumed previous to the party, but this only extended that feeling well into the morning. I feel rejuvenated and relaxed today; with the expectations of having the energy to possibly sit and read and/or have a nice long typing session on the typewriter.
Notes: Honey, floral, bitter (with an eventual sweet), & zero astringency after the first two steeps. 195-200 F. 12x infused.
This tea has so much depth; so many characteristics. I could briefly give you a list or give you an account that’d fill a lot of space. If you like shou, try this. If not, try it. I think this could be the shou that could allow one to really reconsider the journey (if they’re not a shou fan) or bring another type of shou to the picture (if you like shou). I mean, this is probably the best shou in my book. I’m so very happy that I bought more than a sample of this one……
Notes: Bourbon, butterscotch, thick, creamy, woody, etc.
Side Note: Water temp 195-boiling. Increased temp as the session continued. The higher the temp, the longer the time. At boiling, I steeped the shou for 9 minutes in my gaiwan before pouring. The butterscotch was strong in this steep. Although the body wasn’t as thick or creamy, it was an excellent cup.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Creamy, Earth, Thick, Wood
I had taken a majority of the “unwanted” teas to work a couple of weeks back to help me rid the cupboard of their presence. It allows me to make room at home, but also force me to drink down the tea at work. I usually don’t have the time to sit back and enjoy a cup anyway, so I decided that the best option of drinking these down was to drink them at work.
I will admit that this particular Earl Grey had allowed me to turn away from Teavana’s products. I remember a coworker introduced me to his “outside tea” while working one day, and I clung to this tea. At the time, I would buy this, brew it, add cream, and sip. However, I no longer take my tea with anything but the tea itself. And I must say this much: It’s bittersweet that I had finished this at work tonight.
It’s quite nostalgic.
To think that Earl Grey ultimately brought me out of the Teavana realm and into the vast world of tea that I’ve come to love today. I may not like this as I once had, but it still carries the memory of knowing that there was more than Teavana—there was a larger picture than I’ve ever began to imagine.
This tea may have not been the first cup of tea to welcome me into the world; however, it was the one to allow me to change my perspective, and reach for a different kind of cup….
2017 Sheng Olympiad
This is a very unusual tea which is complex and difficult to name every flavor throughout the session. It smells like it’ll be smoky—similar to a cigarette—however, I’m getting a lot of floral & sweet (honey?) notes within the first few steeps. It changes after a few more steeps, though, with a touch of ash; yet, the sweetness still lingers. My palate isn’t as defined as it once was, or perhaps \, my mind wanders too often during these sessions; either way, I’m unable to pick up the other notes (leafy? Mineral? Maybe smoke?). All-in-all, I like this tea. The depth to it is appetizing to my taste and I’ll review this again when I get around to it.
Flavors: Ash, Sweet
A perfect cup of tea is held within my palm,
When you drink a cup or two,
the tea will sing a song….
Alishan is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. I’ve heard about it several times; however, I was too into puerh at the time to give it any thought. I must say this would’ve been the tea that’d’ve turned me into the oolong-head moreso than the pu-head that I am…..And it has done almost that.
I’ve decided that 2017 is to increase my palate on oolong. I want to discover the right or wrong types of oolong and really know what’s out there. Alishan is highly rated thus far on the spectrum. I’ve always had good oolong in the past; although I’ve also had really bad oolong as well…..So now it’s time to allow myself to see the better half of the oolong world.
Notes: A sweet floral honeydew combo is dancing around on the tongue. It’s fresh, refreshing, sweet, smooth, etc. I want to keep drinking it. I can’t stop drinking it. I want more….
Flavors: Floral, Honeydew
I’ve had this tea for a couple of weeks now and finally had the chance to try the sample that I received the last time I stopped into the shop. I must first note that there are plenty of teas that I don’t like from the shop; however, there are also the select few that I truly devote to purchasing every time I’m there…
Notes: Smells like paint & tastes like sticks on the the ground in Autumn after a few days of rain. I will say that there is a lot of potential of this being enjoyable, but it’s gone stale and has a weird funk to it (aside from the wet sticks). I cannot identify the taste, but it’s something which lingers in the aftertaste…
Flavors: Wet wood