drank Big Leaf Puer by far leaves
93 tasting notes

4.5g with 115ml water in a seasoned squat shi piao ZiNi yixing teapot. Single rinse went a little longer than intended – 20 seconds.

Not many “big leaves” left in this little tin since I’ve gotten to the bottom. These seem to be graded for size and what I’m reviewing here are mostly broken pieces of the leaves (no bits as small as a BOP grade, but only a few the size of OP or longer). Originally the tin was populated with leaves about on par with average WuYi oolong leaf length… Having had puerh with leaves nearly as long as my hand’s width or longer it’s hard to consider this “big leaf” but it is certainly longer than most loose shou puerh and longer than the standard loose leaf puerh offered by this company. Dry fragrance kind of dusty-earthy like old unswept wood floor with some water damage. Wet aroma much sweeter and woodier. I sort of laughed when I read the note the company claims of citrus, but it actually is there in a dried orange peal kind of aroma. Color is deep amber-brown with good clarity.

Body is comparable to sugarwater. Pretty full and tacky but not heavy enough for me to consider chewy or really rich when comparing to other dark teas. Smooth with a bit of a blood orange crispness. Juicy mouthfeel. I agree on the citrus quality, but it is citrus oil not citrus juice. Really, if there is a fruit in the taste it is grape but that is under the base flavor of dried vines and wet wood. The woody notes here are like standing dead wood – an old tree or vines that have finally bitten the dust after many years and are left standing in a woodland. There is a clay slurry effect in swallowing, like the body thickens as it goes down to the back of the mouth. As it cools more sweet and vegetal qualities come out… I’m picking up a bit of green apple peel snappy faint acidity and astringency in the fourth infusion. Sort of a copper metal sweetness throughout but most obvious in aftertaste. Afteraroma and nose remain true to the flavor but carries a faint bit of wet ash, producing a light rubbertree sap note in the nose.

Drinking exclusively the larger leaves carry pretty much the same flavors and aromas I’ve written here, but body is reduced. I’m surprised I’m getting the same number of infusions (11) out of the broken leaves as the more intact ones before the flavor starts going.

Calming and soothing tea. Not too exciting, but unoffensive. Pretty darn approachable for an inexpensive loose puerh, but it isn’t hard to find better ones for slightly cheaper. Good for drinking after a meal.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.

Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.


Santa Rosa, California, United States

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