19 Tasting Notes
Today I had the day off from school, It was a virtual day, where the class meets online and school ends at 12:00. So, since I had so much time on my hands, I went to friday prayers, and had a whole day free!
So it was around sunset, and I haven’t had any tea all week, so I thought that I should have a quick session.
This tea is wonderful while it lasts. I was checking over again to see if this was really raw puer, as it had characteristics of oolongs, and black teas, but not of aged raw puer! But it was true, this was a raw, and it’s absolutely amazing.
It has a slight black tea like bitterness, and tastes like a toned down darker oolong (as you can tell I’m not too experienced with oolong so I really can’t get into the specifics). It is light, and flavorful and a bit of some spice coming through, very warm and inviting. If I had to pin it down to something (I know this isn’t a spice), but I’d say gingerbread, or something along those lines.
I wrote down in my tea log that this tea would be one that would be paired perfectly with a lonely snow covered cabin, and it’s true, this would just be the perfect tea for it!
The aroma on this is wonderful, like a nice perfume, and when I was washing out my gaiwan it smelled as though I was washing a cup that had some sort of fruit juice in it, it’s aroma is really wonderful!
However, I would have definitely rated this tea at 100, if it were for taste at it’s peak, but it fell really fast. I got around 6 steepings out of it, and all the flavor was gone by that point.
A great tea if you want a quick session though. I might have been complaining about how little it lasted, but for me this tea was absolutely perfect, I was drinking it around sunset, so I didn’t want too much caffeine, and this tea did just that, it gave me a great small little session.
So sorry for my absence, this semester has taken a lot of work and I barely have time to do anything but study. So, that being said, I haven’t drank much tea at all recently, but I’m starting to drink tea once more.
This tea has a smokey like bitterness at first, but a very nice aftertaste of blackberries. It’s smooth, yet light enough that it won’t be too much and very flavorful.
Really really enjoyable tea.
Flavors: Berries, Blackberry, Smoke
Well, I am sure plenty of people would really enjoy this tea, but it’s not really my type. I’ll admit, it’s very nice to have a mushroom taste in a puer, and to have an amazingly smooth tea. But what I really love most of all is some amount of flavor, which a majority of ripe provide. Might be because I’m a bit sick, but this tea really didn’t provide on that account. It is almost as if I am drinking a thick water, diluted with tea. I drank it for 5 steepings, but after the 5th I really wasn’t enjoying myself so I called it quits.
Although I am sure most of you out there would really enjoy this, and this is totally your thing, but for me, I really enjoy a good flavor more than I do a good texture.
Haha, sorry for the bad review, I will be posting another tommorow.
I think I will take a bit of a break from the puer, as this time of year I really want a good oolong. Expect lots of puer reviews when it gets cold though!
So sorry for the lack of tea reviews, my classes have gotten MUCH harder. It’s only two weeks in and I’ve already had 5 tests. I can tell that this semester is going to have a lot of tea involved if i’m ever going to get through it, haha.
This is such a beautiful tea. I can’t afford to go into much detail, as I am currently procrastinating on some readings, but this tea was wonderful. At It’s “peak” if you will at around the 2-3 steeping this tea was exactly like milk. This might seem weird, but you know how when you drink a glass of milk, it doesn’t really taste like anything, but it has that smooth texture. That is exactly how this tea was. In it’s peak you could not taste very much, but the smooth mushroom pueriness. As well, I noticed that it did not take much of this tea to seem like a whole lot, when I took a sip it felt like a mouthful.
In the 2-3 steeping was when the texture was at it’s best, but the flavor of this tea really came out in the 4-5 steeping. This tea had the classic ripe taste, but was fruity aswell. It was like a very dark peach that didn’t have the bitterness that a peach presents. It just had that addicting fruitiness. I drank this tea on the weekend in the grass watching the sun rise. It was a perfect compliment to the beautiful scenes of nature around me. Very Very delicious tea!
I’ve noticed that my reviews aren’t really that good for people just starting out in puer. I often identify with the classic ripe taste. My next Ripe tasting, however, I will taste it with a pen and paper to really point out what the “classic” tastes are, so that I can really observe fluctuations in this taste for teas in the future. I hope that in the future I can also make my tastings as precise as possible, as to benefit whoever reads it. So much to improve! If you have any comments please do feel free to leave them in the comments section, I would love to hear how you guys go about your tastings. Have a nice day everyone!
Flavors: Milk, Peach
This is one of the first “Teahead” quality black teas I have ever had. My word, it is a world of difference. You see, from my Arab roots, we drink extremely strong and bitter black tea whenever we are with guests and family, and I have always wondered what it would taste like if it weren’t so bitter. So, I guess I have always had a connection with the nice tastes of black tea. Man, A good quality black tea is like bliss, this was wonderful, and I enjoyed it so much.
This tea just tastes tasty, like I am next to the fire surrounded by my family. There is a little subtle gram cracker spiciness, and those dark warming flavors that come with a black tea. There is also this extremely smooth honey sweetness that goes with it.
So far I have restricted my taste preferences only to Puer, and though I am still an extremely big fan of Puer, it is nice to step outside of the box once and a while, and explore everything that tea has to offer. Haha, this tea makes me so excited for black teas, I enjoyed this one so much!
Today was absolutely amazing. The astronomers in Saudi Arabia confirmed last night that the crescent moon was seen, meaning that ramadan is over, and it’s time to stop fasting. In other words, Eid Mubarak! In Celebration I picked out a tea that I have been saving for a while for a special occasion, this tea! It is the first ever aged sheng I have ever drank, and this one did not disappoint.
But first more of my day [Please skip this part if you only want to hear about the tea] I woke up today at 4:00 am for the Eid prayer, the prayer is at 6:30, but I was planning to do it at sultanahmed mosque, an extremely big mosque packed with history (but also packed with tourists). However I took too long getting ready and I left the house at 5:00. This spelled disaster, as the mosque fills up extremely quickly when the call for the first prayer is sounded. I forgot this, and came to the mosque when it was calling for prayer. On a normal day this would have been fine, but this mosque is a very popular one for salat al eid, there was even TV crews at the door filming it live. However, this meant that I could not be in the first row like I was hoping to do, but rather I was about 5 rows back. This was absolutely fine, but the thing is that if you are behind the 3rd row then there are people who come very late but still feel as though they can squish themselves in your already full row, it’s kind of annoying for those at the front rows as those people probably had to wake up extremely early to get that spot, and you just woke up 20 mins ago yet feel as though you fit there. This is exactly what happened to me, a group of 6 syrian men came and fit themselves right in the middle of their row (don’t worry I could tell by their arabic dialect, not being racist or anything haha) sat right in front of me and started to talk during the speech of the sheikh. This was extremely annoying as I could not hear the speech itself, and could barely sit down because it was so squished. But everything was well when Eid prayer was finished, as the whole mosque emptied out. I swear there were only like 3 people inside the whole huge mosque (look up a picture of sultanahmed mosque and you will see why this was so amazing), so I took a corner and watched the sun rise while reading quran. It was so amazing, the mosque was so quiet that all you could hear were the birds in the garden outside. So peaceful. Then I took a walk around the old city near my apartment during peak morning sun, and took some very nice pictures. man why do I have to leave in two days I’m finally starting to love it here!
I have always been wondering what aged sheng tastes like, will it be like a ripe or… But eh, kind of. This tea is like a ripe that is perfect for the spring. A Ripe that is not as heavy, it is light and elegant still with plenty of flavor. It was very nice, but still not at all what I was expecting. I’m sure not all aged Ripes are like this, but this one was very vegetal, like a freshly chopped weeds in the garden type of vegetal.
The first two steepings of this tea were where it shined most. It was very fruity…extremely fruity. The fruits I got were very dark, stone fruits such as plums, and grapes, but this tasted the most like cherries! It was very very nice, and at this stage in the tea it was syrupy and heavy like a ripe, which was so good.
However, the tea lightened up very quickly after the 3rd steeping. It was the lightness of a 8th steeping of a ripe, yet with the flavor of a 2rd steeping of a ripe, very refreshing. However, this is where the fruit started to fade and it became extremely vegetal. By the 5th steeping it became a bit too much, and I decided to take a break.
The qi was nice on this one too, not too much, but yet enough that you can feel it.
Overall, it was a nice tea, and I am extremely excited to try more aged shengs and see what flavor profiles they bring, because so be honest ripe puers are starting to all taste the same!
Flavors: Cherry, Grapes, Plums, Stonefruits, Vegetal
Well, this tea is ok… haha, it’s like the most meh puer I have ever tried. It is almost as if you are drinking weird water, like this tea doesn’t have much flavor at all. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t giving me much to work with other than puer. I crave those ripes that give you more than just the regular flavors, a good example would be adorned in red, I enjoyed that tea a lot due to the fact that it gave me a lot of those other flavors, like a little bit of spice, or a mouth cooling effect, you know, just something other than the “regular flavors” if you know what I mean haha.
This was the first tea that I tried outside of Ohio, you see, here in Istanbul, unlike Ohio we stay up very late after breaking our fast. So that gave me plenty of time to fit in a tea tasting. I haven’t been drinking tea at all in Istanbul because the kettle that we had was horrible it was plastic and gave the water a really bad taste. But, today we bought a new one from the mall, so I thought why not try some of the tea that I brought back home.
But since I wasn’t at my usual set up, just to make sure that I wasn’t wasting any of the good teas, I tasted this one first, because I considered this one a daily drinker tea and nothing too extravagant. So if somehow something didn’t go right it wouldn’t be as much of a loss. and well, the tea kettle that we bought was very nice, it did not leech anything into the water like the last one, and heated up the water extremely fast! I had brought over all of my tea equipment in my suitcase from ohio, so I set it up on this little table overlooking the window and started to brew.
The first brew was quite nice, and the fermentation flavor even if it was small gave a very nice essence to the tea, and I actually quite liked it, it was very pleasant. The second brew as you might know with ripe puers was when the tea was at it’s peak. It was suuuuuper dark, but sadly with all of this color there was minimal flavor. I had a chocolate macaroon that I bought with the kettle, so I ate some of that with the tea during this brew, and the two worked absolutely beautifully together. The tea gave an insight into the more dark flavors of the chocolate, and because of the smoothness of the tea it made it so much more creamy. if it weren’t for the macaroon this tea session would have been extremely bland. Unlike most ripe after the 2nd infusion the peak wasn’t there and it fell fast from there. It lasted around 6 infusions, which was more than enough for me, especially since my stomach was absolutely full to the brim from breaking my fast earlier.
Kind of sad that I will have to leave istanbul in a little more than a week, I’ll be in Tunisia which is very hot and I will be stuck in a small house with all of my extended family. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that sometimes they can be a bit much, haha, if any arabs are reading this you will know exactly what I mean. But, for the sake of the tea I think I will save them for back in ohio, but I will fit in as much tea tastings in Istanbul as I can until then.
Well, I am a bit sad, as I used to have a very nice schedule for drinking tea where I would wake up before everyone else at 5:00 on the weekends make myself a light breakfast, then sit down and watch the sunrise with my tea.During ramadan I have to wake up at 3:00 and eat as much as I can before 4:30 and then I am not allowed to eat until 9:00. So, that doesn’t make much room for me to drink tea at a schedule of my choosing. So, I believe it is wasting tea to just sit there in the dark drinking tea with an almost full stomach from breaking my fast. So, this will be my last tea tasting until June 25 when Ramadan ends, but I’ll save a special tea tasting for Ramadan’s end
However, I sat down with this tea anyways yesterday, it was 10:00 and I had just finished breaking my fast with a huge meal. I thought that maybe I could give this tea a try. The tea session however was a mess, in the dark I really could not focus on the tea and I did not enjoy myself as I usually would with such a nice tea. It might be from the new found energy from the food, but I was extremely jittery and could not sit in one place to focus on the tea. As well, I felt although I was just trying to get the session over with and not really appreciating the tea. This is where I made up my mind and decided not to waste any other teas.
The Tea for such a young tea was actually very nice. There was nothing off-putting about it, but I really did not pay any attention to the specifics, as I said before I could barely sit still. I do, however, remember that it was very smooth, and with indeed, a peachish like taste with stone fruits along with it. When I say peach ish, it was like you were cutting peaches in a bowl then left that bowl in the sun and tasted it. meaning it did not have the acidity of a peach, but had some of it’s flavor. It was wonderfully balanced swell, but there was a bit more earth than I would have liked. The tea fell really quickly, and by around the 8th stepping it had lost most of it’s flavor.
I don’t know how teas like this age, but I am sure it would be amazing after a few years if it is already very pleasant today.
After Ramadan I will definitely want to finish up the sample and add more of my thoughts, but it will definitely by a very long wait until then.
Flavors: Earth, Peach, Stonefruits
I’ve been taking and studying for finals for the past few weeks, and though it didn’t go as I expected in the end it was alright. But, sadly at my school even if you have a 90% in all of your classes, if even one assignment is not 90% you will not get the credit. So, I will have to remediate my finals during the 3 days that make up “summer school”. In the end I don’t mind that much, for, I know that this semester was the first semester where I was proud of my work, and proud of what I have accomplished, even if that wasn’t enough.However, before I could rest even a little bit Ramadan had began. Ramadan is a time when muslims will fast and not drink, or eat until sundown. It is believed that the rewards for fasting just one day in Ramadan is better than fasting every single day of the year. This is my first Ramadan, I have tried fasting before, but I have only done half of ramadan, skipping many days. But this Ramadan was the first that it is mandatory for me to fast the entire length of the month. I’m a bit sad, as I usually like to wake up at 6:00 and start my day looking at the sunrise with a cup of tea in hand. But, since the first Salat (we will start fasting from the first prayer to the 4th) was at 4:30, by 6:00 I would have already started fasting.
Enough of my complaints let me talk about the tea! I ate a huge meal before fasting at a time called suhoor. After this meal I was absolutely stuffed, but I thought that having a cup of puer would definitely aid my stomach in the ordeal that it is going to face. This tea session was my most brief, and I think I am going to take the leaves and dry them with a paper town to save for the end of the day. I only had around 30 minutes to drink, as it was 4:00 and the start of the fast was 4:30.
In this time with myself sitting in the dark, this tea gave me so much more than it did when I first tried it. When I first tried it, I was so excited as I just received a box full of puerh, and was eager to taste what I have been hearing about for weeks. At first I only tasted pine apple, and nothing else. But, since then I think I have grown into puerh as this time I got so much more. I got apple, stone fruits, a black tea bitterness, it was absolutely wonderful. This tea is very enjoyable, but I wish it wasn’t so much of a mystery! It was very smooth aswell, with a nice cooling aftertaste. As I have found with many raws there is a bitterness at first that lasts for the first 2 or 3 steepings. However, this tea’s bitterness was more than tolerable, and it was actually something that I enjoyed in the tea. Just when the session was getting nice my alarm went off, and it was time to fast.
Ramadan Mubarak to anyone else who is observing the fast. Please, if you have any questions about Ramadan, feel free to ask!
Flavors: Apple, Honey, Stonefruits
I did a 20 second rinse then 20 seconds for the first 3 infusions then +10 for the rest of the infusions
For the first steeping I noticed this almost overwhelming earthiness. Like, a mushroom if it were stuck in a glass of hot water. This taste overwhelmed the rest of the flavors, and other than this I got a little bit of a black tea taste but barely noticeable and with the classic ripe taste. It was smooth, almost too smooth. For those who like really smooth tea this one if for you. I on the otherhand like my ripes to have at least a little bit of character, not just super smooth. But, again, this is just me, and when it comes to ripes I have my standards very high, and it all comes down to what you are looking for in a puerh.
after the earthiness came a medicinal black liquorish tasting cooling effect.In the second steeping I got more of a cherry taste with the pronounced earthiness of the last steep, and the date like flavor came back. This tea is really dark! It was almost pitch black from the second to the 4th steeping.
Sorry it’s been like an hour since I drank this and the qi is so strong like I am really sorry if this tasting note makes no sense at all. I will edit this later when the qi leaves me alone, haha.
Flavors: Cherry, Licorice, Mushrooms