167 Tasting Notes

Flavor profile is dominated by savory notes that hint at sweetness, but never quite get there. Primary flavors of carob, raw hazelnut, and peanut skins. Persistent slight nutty bitterness chased by carob savory and half-hearted sweetness.

There is a little whisper of dried date in there, along with coffee grounds and maybe even hints of bread pudding.

Can’t say that I recommend this one, but probably worth exploring if you are into liu bao.


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After being the only ripe that I was drinking over the course of a few months, this really turned out to impress me. It has a rich, sweet profile with all of the flavors that I love in ripe pu’erh, but sometimes struggle to find in many offerings.

The structure of the tea is nutty and savory-sweet. Rich flavors of pecan and cream of wheat. Popping from this backdrop is the star of the show – rum! Notes of rum barrel and rum raisin arrive and add a complex sweetness that really adds to the experience. These are further highlighted by vanilla and molasses flavors.

There is not much woodiness to the tea, which I think is to its benefit. This ripe is more about the rummy nuttiness than it is the more typical cherry wood and warm cereal notes you find in nearly every ripe. This is a rich experience, akin to a hong cha. I really appreciate the rum flavors when I find them in ripe pu’erh – it is one of the unique and delicious flavors that make a ripe special.


That sounds great. And the tea is cheap too! :)


This sounds so good. I really love nutty notes in my teas.


@togo @kawaii433 It really opened up for me. I probably drank through half of the cake before I started liking it so much. I don’t know if my palate changed or the warmer weather helped “wake up” the tea. Either way, I’m realizing the benefits of just sticking with one tea and really exploring it instead of bouncing around to different teas. So far, teas that I first thought were mediocre have really developed into something quite nice after fully exploring them on a consistent, daily basis. This one was worth the time spent developing a relationship with it, and is definitely worth the purchase.

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Tastiest hei cha I’ve had thus far. Great complexity and really appealing flavors.

On the nose, notes of caramel, red currant, and chocolate graham cracker. Taste is milky black tea blend, woody spiciness of coriander seed, carob and milk chocolate. Tart berry fruitiness arrives in aftertaste. Really interesting balance of creamy, tart, sweet, and savory.


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Aged tobacco, cream of wheat, and camphor are primary flavors. Secondary notes of hardwood, black walnut, raisin, date, and horehound. Floral and sweet mineral develops on the palate in aftertaste.

It took me awhile to get into this one. It needs some space and some attention to fully reveal itself. That said, it is pretty complex when you allow it to develop.

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Interesting Xishuangbanna blend. Starts off buttery and develops buttery, cooked vegetable notes on the palate. Peppery too. Definitely a savory blend. Astringency gives way to a bittersweet vegetal note, like cooked bell pepper. Not the usual gummy fruitiness I expect from other Banna teas.

This thing has some endurance, and will likely go longer than you will in one session. Buttery notes persist well into later steeps, and the tea remains enjoyable and relatively full bodied throughout.


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On the nose, spicy sweet notes are noticeable: horehound, sassafras, cola, and root beer. Dark molasses notes with hardwood and peanut shell rounding it off. In a preheated gaiwan, dry leaf emitted notes of ripe stewed plum, gummy fruitiness, and sweet hay.

On the palate, arrival is pinewood – soft, sweet woodiness with resinous notes. Body is relatively thick, but overall flavor is muted, developing hay, wood, and resin flavors. Gummy fruitiness starts to pop after sappy astringency arrives and dissipates. Aftertaste has nice plummy fruitiness. A little cocoa powder shows up well into the aftertaste.

A good experience; one that needs your full attention to appreciate.


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drank Wu Long Hong Cha by Yunnan Craft
167 tasting notes

This is a nice daily drinker. It never really wowed me, but that’s OK. It was a good drink to have when I didn’t feel like blowing my palate out of the water.

My one gripe is that I found myself using quite a bit of leaf to get deep flavors. Using my normal ratios resulted in a fairly thin and uninteresting brew. Best results were achieved with a gaiwan full of dry leaf. Once I did that, however, the quality improved noticeably.

Overall, flavor was light-bodied, with peanut-shell and Brazil nut nuttiness. Distinct and noticeable minerality throughout. Some nice stewed berry fruitiness and a little baking spice in the development.

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A delicious, chocolatey experience. I actually like slightly overbrewing it to accentuate the dark chocolate notes. It tastes like biting into a bitter dark chocolate bar, whose flavor gradually softens to rich milk chocolate. Other flavors include cafe mocha, cherry cordial, and blackberry syrup. Some sweet woody notes linger in the background.

An exceptional black tea. Very few black teas deliver the richness and depth of flavor as this one.

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This is a very nice Wu Yi for those on a budget. Solid notes of caramel, cinnamon, baking spice, and peanut shell on the arrival. A “wet rock” minerality develops on the palate. The finish brings up juicy and tangy fruit flavors of red currant, gooseberry, and tart raspberry. There is also an interesting nutty creaminess in the aftertaste, coupled with a lingering aftertaste that fades into a slight mintiness.


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A really tasty ripe. Solid notes of chocolate and cocoa (sort of like chocolate digestive biscuits), with strong bourbon cask and vanilla flavors. Soft wood and cereal notes form the backdrop for these flavors. Not much fruit on the palate, more like the skins of dried fruit than the pulpy parts. There is a soft citrus note in the long finish that is interesting. Never noticed that with other ripes.


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Rating info:
100 – I haven’t found the perfect tea yet!

92-95 – So good that I will purchase this tea again, guaranteed. Excellent flavor and value.

88-91 – A tea that I would consider purchasing again at some point. Great flavor and value.

85-87 – Tea that was worth the purchase and that I enjoyed drinking, although I probably won’t be purchasing it again any time soon. Flavor may have slight drawbacks, or the price might be a little expensive.

80-84 – A tea that has some good points, but falls a bit short on its price:quality ratio. Flavor is a bit mediocre.

No rating – I did not like this tea and would not drink it, given other options.


Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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