56 Tasting Notes

I almost finished this packet and never wrote about it. I got a 50g sample of this about 4-5 months ago, and it’s about gone, so this must be the 8th or so session I’ve had with it.

This tea smells and tastes powerfully of dirt, or maybe wet stone. Seriously, drinking this has deeply warped my tastes, so that I no longer consider heavy humid storage to be a deal-breaker defect.

The leaf is dark brown nondescript lumps and bits strongly reminiscent of shu.

I used 5.5 g of leaf with a “standard gaiwan” and near-boiling water. 1 rinse of ~10 sec followed by short infusions, a couple each of 5, 10, 15s. The rinse smells of dirt, the gaiwan lid of wet stone. The taste changes from dirt to wet rocks over the first few infusions, and there is a slight mouth coating that becomes a little fruity. By about the 5th or so steep it’s getting pretty astringent, and soon the dark soup begins to lighten up some. There is some definite pore-opening perspiration-inducing power with this tea. Even at the 10th or 12th steep, each cup raises a fresh sweat. Eventually it becomes light-copper, stone-tasting, slightly sweet astringent water, after maybe 14-15 steeps.

I don’t think this tea has the staying power of some older raw puer, but on the other hand I have not tried brewing 8g of it at once. This tea is probably worth trying just as an example of 20-year-aged tea, but might be too humid for some. I’m interested in finding an example of the type that has drier storage, I think.

Flavors: Dirt, Fruity, Wet Rocks

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

The only aged heicha I have had some very humid storage taste to it as well. I’m airing it out right now.


It will do a job darkening up the craquelure in your ruyao ware. I don’t think it ever airs out, really.

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Finishing off another sample here. I’m not sure why I have this tea… I bought the sample along with a number of samples of oldish Yiwu from YS, but don’t remember deciding to buy it.

There is a lot of bitter in this tea. Beyond that there is still some green feeling in later steeps that leaves me thinking that it could stand to wait some more time before drinking, but maybe that’s puple buds that will never smooth out. There is strength too though, and something interesting about how the astringent mouth feel in later steeps turns into fruit fragrance on the tongue.

I won’t be buying this again, because I’m looking for more smoothness, and also I think the price is high for what it is, but reasonable people could differ about that.

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Made up one of these in the std gaiwan. Around 13 steeps and it went dead. This is a nice, floral-smelling thing, pretty leaf grade, low bitterness, nice mouthfeel at first. I steep these like in Crimson Lotus’s instructional video for Planet Jingmai: a 30-sec “rinse” while mashing the ball with the lid, a 5-min rest in the closed gaiwan, and another 30-sec-and-smush which this time I’m calling a steep because I drank it. After the 2nd 5-minute steaming the ball was completely unravelled.

Flavors: Flowers

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I followed boychik’s suggestion and tried 6g of leaf as opposed to 8, and did get through it this time, in 15 or so steeps. It was a lot less thick and fruity at the beginning, and tapered off into soft floral perfume at the end. In this it reminded me of a couple of last year’s Yunnan Sourcing teas, ones that are labelled “gu shu” and sold at about $100/400g.

I think I prefer the higher leaf ratio, and in the future will go back to that but with a more cautious steeping schedule.


6g instead of 8g…..in what size vessel?


I generally use a “standard gaiwan” from W2T, right about 100ml.


gotcha. cool. thanks

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Finished a sample of this today. I don’t have a lot to add to what I said before: this is some good tea with real endurance and significantly matured taste, with no defective or even humid storage characteristics. It’s probably too long-winded to drink every day but I’d like to be drinking something like this more often. I just keep hoping I can find something at less than $90/bing.

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Choppy, stemmy tea that makes a kind of weak soup. Today I gave it a 20-sec rinse while mashing on the lumps of leaf, then let it steam for 3 mins. After I steeped it like 20s 15s 15s 15s 20s…45s for a total of 10 steeps, and it’s pretty well done. The rinse and the first steep clogged up my filter with fine dust or fuzz, after that the soup was clear. Deep orange at first, starting to lighten up some by the 4th steep.

This tea has a bit of matured character, but not strongly (nothing about this tea is strong) and it fades after the 6th steep or so.


drinkin’ this today as well. :)

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Last session with this tea, though there’s a bit left to go in the random blend cup. I see that it’s sold out so I can quit thinking about whether I’d want to buy it.

When I first tasted this I was completely unaccustomed to humid storage and found the humid note an unbearable distraction. Whether because this sample has aired out a lot in the last 9 months, or because I’ve drunk a bunch of teas more humid than this since, I’m finding that much less of an issue.

The leaf grade is nice, mostly large pretty leaf pieces. The dry leaf when warmed gives a slightly musty scent. The first few steeps have a predominantly honey sweetness and a full sense in the mouth. By the 6th cup the dark orange color of the soup is fading and the feel is thinner with some astringent drying effect starting to show. The humid storage taste never completely goes away for me, though by the 12th or so steep it’s getting pretty faint.

I didn’t love this as much as I was hoping I would based on Oolong Owl’s review, but I think it was pretty decent for the price… on the third hand, I’m maybe glad to not have to wonder about fitting it into the purchase queue someplace.

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This is my last session with this tea, about which I said someplace else that I don’t see myself spending $190/bing on it.

I had a single chunk of beenghole material that clocked in at exactly 8g, I was able to slip in the pick and separate it into a half-dozen or so flakes pretty easily. When I warmed these by putting them in a heated gaiwan, I didn’t get much smell. Sort of generic maturing raw puer, with a bit of sweet hay or grass. I rinsed with boiling water for about 20s while pressing the leaf flakes with the edge of a teaspoon.

The first five or so steeps are mostly a sort of light-fruit sweetness, like white grape or apple. There is a nice enough mouth feel but not a real coating effect for me. I’m steeping with 208F water like 5, 10, 15s… and it takes until the 6th one before the leaves are really unfolded/unstuck from one another. A little bit of aged (OK, partially matured) flavor starts to show up at this point.

My previous couple of sessions with this portend that it’ll last 10+ steeps of gradually downhill from here. It’s nice tea, but does not have any special power that I feel, or taste that knocks my socks off. If I hoped to find why people rave about LBZ by drinking this tea, it was not successful. Maybe a Spring pressing of the same material would be more impressive.

Flavors: Apple, Drying, Leather, Tart, White Grapes

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I’m getting down to the last few sessions worth of this, revisiting it after not having tasted it in some months.

Maybe at the same time I got these I also bought a sample of the Milk, Cream & Alcohol: at the time, I was thinking that MC&A was about similar to this. When I mentioned that to 2Dog he was emphatic that MC&A was better tea, which thought I filed away for a while.

Later I bought a cake of MC&A and have been drinking it almost every day: it’s what I started with today, and I thought it would be good to do a near back-to-back comparison. Which is not totally fair to this tea, because it’s down to the last bits and is mostly chop at this point, while the MC&A I’ve been drinking has been looser, closer to whole-leaf material. But the session was instructive nonetheless.

This tea is definitely thinner than MC&A, especially considering that I was brewing chop (Basics) v. mostly large leaf pieces (MC&A). Spring Basics also has a considerably stronger bitter bite and comparatively powerful mouth-drying effect after 4-6 steeps. Basics has killer sweet dry-cup scent (in early steeps anyway) compared to the relatively bland one of MC&A, and Basics gives a nice fruity aftertaste, while the MC&A seems more about thickness in the mouth and an overall feeling of more power.

Anyway that’s my $0.02. I think maybe I will also do a comparison of Basics Huangpian against Fade. Basics Aged against Repave might be instructive also.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Drying, Floral, Hay, Sweet


If you ever end up doing these comparisons, I’d like to read about it.

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