197 Tasting Notes

84

Okay I keep coming back to this tea and brewed at around 88˚C and it’s still fantastic (with no milk or sugar). It’s a little bland when you add milk, so best drunk plain.

Increasing rating to 84 and I might purchase a full size of this!

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84

This time I brewed it at 85˚C and it was beautiful. Mellow but still flavourful. Classic Assam maltiness and a hint of vanilla.

Rating: 75. Only reason it’s not higher is because it’s quite fussy to brew (see previous review)

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Vanilla

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81

Wet leaves smell minerally, woody, and musty. A bit of sweetness like raisins.

Rinsed once.

First infusion: Liquor tastes woody and comforting, fairly astringent (probably because I steeped for like 15 seconds instead of 10s).

Second infusion: Cleaner, lighter, still musty and still a hint of dryness and slight astringency but not bitter. More enjoyable than the first.

Third infusion: The best one yet. Light, good body, no astringency.

I have to confess it tastes similar to the other raw pu er I’ve tried, but more astringent in the first couple steeps. It’s fine but nothing really stands out about it.

Rating: 81

Flavors: Astringent, Mineral, Musty, Raisins, Wood

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84

Well, I feel silly now. Decided to try this gongfu-style because I’m considering purchasing the full cake during the Black Friday sale.

Unfortunately I am really rusty at brewing Pu ers gong fu style and over-brewed 10 grams of my sample (first infusion after rinse steeped for 20s or so). It tasted bitter, astringent, and much less complex than the Western-style. Next few steeps were pretty horrible too.

Had to start over with the last 4-5g of my sample. Let it steep for 5 seconds the first time.
First infusion very light, but with that mineral, slightly bitter-Chinese-herb scent that is so invigorating.

Second infusion light but great body, wonderful.
Third infusion again unobjectionable, paired well with my breakfast.

Fifth infusion I noticed a delightful herbal / medicinal flavour like Chinese dates or jujubes. Wow this is new. This tea is surprising.
Sixth: Hot mineral water

I guess I could buy this to brew Western-style as a daily drinker since it’s $56 for 500g, but truth is I don’t need a daily drinker since I don’t drink tea daily anymore. Also I’m not sure the “light refreshing mineral taste” is worth committing to a full cake. Would like to sample more complex shengs.

Rating: Back down to 84

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82

Dry leaves seem very wet, packed loosely and easy to pry apart. Leaves smell smokey but tea liquor does not.

Rinsed once. First infusion: Tastes like mellow coffee, roasted, reminiscent of silky dark chocolate. Exceedingly smooth.

Second and third infusions nice, but nothing special. I wouldn’t buy the whole cake.

Rating: 82

Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, Whiskey

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84

Brewed Western-style because I was lazy.

Smells smokey like whiskey, and a bit musty, but with a bright and fruity element too, like raisins.

Tastes really refreshing, light, and has a mineral note like the illusion of drinking fresh authentic mineral water (haha). Another nice feature is that this tea is lighter coloured and doesn’t stain my teeth. This tea has really grown on me and I might buy the full cake.

Increased rating to 86.

Flavors: Musty, Raisins, Whiskey

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82

Smokey and musty aroma. Deep and rich flavour, but I can’t tell because my tastebuds are a bit shot from alcohol and vinegar this morning (don’t ask). Will have to try this again.

Flavors: Musty, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling

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86

Brewed pretty free and loose, not sure what temperature. This tea is really good, not bitter at all. It is refreshing, citrusy and light like a white tea.

Increasing rating to 86. Possible purchase, but it’s sold out on Teabox.

Flavors: Lemon, Vegetal

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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85

Brewed at about 176˚F for 5:00. Again, a wonderful experience and this time I got very strong notes of spicy ginger in addition to the typical white tea notes of floral and vegetal. Increasing rating.

Rating: 85

Flavors: Ginger

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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84

Aroma only came out after wetting the leaves. Smells like whisky: Tobacco, diesel fumes. Similar to the smokiness of Lapsang. But the flavour is very different, tastes clean, cleansing and refreshing with just a hint of whisky.

Second infusion most of the tobacco is gone, now it’s more of a funky savoury, vegetal, sawdust, slightly bitter-astringent flavour that is quite pleasant and drinkable. This mild tea would go well with all kinds of foods and sweets. This is the first raw pu er I’ve actually enjoyed drinking.

Rating: 84

Flavors: Sawdust, Tobacco, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling

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