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100
drank 2017 lao ban zhang by Chadao.de
338 tasting notes

One of my swaps from the Steepster meet, this is a Lao Ban Zhang, aka the king of teas, aka the expensive stuff. Number 16117-1 from Chadao.de

First off – amazing colour & fuzz on the leaf! That’s some seriously show-offy silver hair.

The session starts with a glorious sweet perfume right off the bat. It’s one of those tastes that manages to be indefinable, yet so obvious when experiencing. Soft pineapple sweets are there too, such a nice flavour!

Chaqi is strong, but not so much that it’s uncomfortable, I feel relaxed, & over the course of the day I expected bitterness or sour to creep in but had been informed by Rui that this one goes twenty steeps, and so I took it there, and it followed perfectly. I didn’t detect the bitter notes of young plantation trees, so if they were there they were skillfully blended in as not to affect the taste. It also wasn’t face melting aggressiveness like people seem to expect from Ban Zhang, but instead elegant.

Seriously good tea. Throughout twenty steeps it stayed harmonious & balanced, and only when I got near the magic number did it just fade off quietly into a perfume water. I also noted the body still being good well into the teens.

https://looseleaf.blog/2017/10/25/2017-lao-ban-zhang-chadao/

Flavors: Perfume, Pineapple

Alexander

Great tea! ChaDao offers some very nice teas, especially puerhs made by Chuan Pu and some good aged ones (the oldest one are already sold out of course ;)

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85

Gentle and smooth with a slightly fruity sweetnes.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-chao-tian-gong-rui

Flavors: Fruity, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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90

Dark leaf, dark reddish orange soup, sweet raisin, sweet feel & some other natural/woodsy Yiwu notes. Not bitter, fairly refined & elegant taste. Sweet fruit aroma. The woody note shares a similarity with Wuyi Oolong, its a really easy drinking one.

Later steeps 5+ there was a gorgeous complex stonefruity/natural/menthol/woodsy flavour. It had a kaleidoscope huigan effect which stayed kept me on my toes – these steeps were really good.

By steep 10 or so, i was in the 1:20 range, the flavour huigan started subsiding but there was still something natural there, the soup was still pretty dark.

I hit this with 90c into my thermos so, 85c or so, & did 1/5/10/15/20/25/30/40/60/1:20 etc

Flavors: Fruity, Menthol, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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90
drank Mei Zhan (14066) by Chadao.de
338 tasting notes

Quite like this Yancha.

its roasty & aromatic but also citrus fruity & you can taste the Oolong coming through, has a lovely nutty-more-than-woody body & never overshadowed by a burnt wood flavour.

There is a floral aroma thats hanging around still & a buzzy head. Im not sure of the type of floral (terrible at that!) but its soft & petal-like.

I totally love these kind of Yancha that are caramel-richer & thick rather than dark chocolate & heavy roast types..

by steep 4/5 the smoke is clearing & a fruity floral oolong aroma is popping out (I got strawberries & also Turkish delight/rose). The liquor is still a bit acrid (thats too strong a word, but…) due to the smoke in it, but the huigan is nice, and again nice aromas hanging around.

steeps 6/7 & beyond. is now mellow, still a bit thick & dry with a good aroma still. i’m enjoying it at this stage very much. ive been eating dark chocolate with salt & lime & its a wonderful accompaniment (Monetzuma’s brand, never tried before. ok on its own but really very nice with tea ive just found out tonight) im leaving the water in the gaiwan uncounted by now

Nice stuff, having never tried Mei Zhan before, its a bit of a winner, the florals & nutty smoke are still prominent enough in the later steeps keeping me interested :)

Flavors: Char, Citrus, Floral, Nutty, Roasted, Rose, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Zhang Ping Shui Xian by Chadao.de
338 tasting notes

A gift in my chadao.de order, a vacuum sealed dark roasted zhangping mini cake.

This one was finished a while ago -I have removed some of the tasting notes as I might be getting them mixed up with another (that im drinking now & is in a silver vacuum sealed bag) The cake was very dark & dry. light-med smoky as well, but I couldnt pinpoint the type of smoke. overall the taste was smooth & ofc loads of infusions.

I love these zhangping cakes, every one ive had has been a pleasure :)

sorry for lack of picture, it was a dark silver packet iirc, but cant find an image – also for not taking proper notes – but I do remember I really liked it. Im pretty sure it was slightly burnt chocolate but also smooth & lovely.

Flavors: Burnt, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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100

This stuff is lovely. Stewed apricots and cream, maybe apple sauce as well. Nice warming cha qi & beautiful aroma that is very dan cong oolong (reminds me of a ba xian I have), slightly cashew nut, medium thickness & drying of the mouth with some cooling of the lips, although not strong menthol. I was surprised to get an oolong oilyness, this tea is 100% up my street.

Pleasing in every way. It is soft and velvety and unlike any sheng I have tasted up until now. Drank it all day, lost count of the number of steeps I had but the first third of the session were the ones for me.

gorgeous stuff, nicest sheng I have had to date I think.

Thanks Rui A for this lovely sample :)

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Creamy, Menthol, Nutty

Rui A.

You are most welcome. Another point that surprised me was its transparency, so similar to a very good quality oolong tea.

Rasseru

something about the way the oil from the leaf coats the mouth too. And a very interesting perfume, it smelled like the person making it really knows tea craft.

Daylon R Thomas

Okay, added to wish list to try.

Rasseru

you know how you can add a cashew paste to a curry and it flattens it a bit? thats how this feels to me, any bitterness has been flattened by the sort of nutty cream, and then you get the different flavour that I associate with more nutty teas.

I’m having it again today I like it so much. Yeah it smells of oolong.

Nom factor +1

Daylon R Thomas

Is it really that close to the Ba Xian? If it is, daaaaannng. Though I want to try the Ba Xian. So would you recommend this, or the Ba Xian?

Rasseru

no, it isnt like a ba xian, its still a sheng, just has oolong characteristics. Interesting mix. its just got a sort of aroma I associate with it, a nutty floral thing. I was going to split a cake of mine with LP, and was actually thinking of sending you some oolong samples via him already as I think we have similar tastes from your reviews, and shipping from UK i might as well.

Have you never tried ba xian dan cong?

Rasseru

but the aroma is like a ba xian i have, if you understand :)

Daylon R Thomas

Not officially, no. I’ve had Big Black Leaf Dan Congs which sound kinda similar since they are super floral and nutty. I can also totally understand the Ba Xian aroma. And holy crap, thank you! My trading stock isn’t the best right now to be honest. The lower reviews that I’ve posted are the ones that I have the most of. The highest rated ones that I have the most of are the Moonlight Sonata, Cherry Chocolate Latte Oolong, the Mexican Hot Chocolate, the Choco-Muscat Chai, and the Mandala Noble Mark. The Mandala Pu-Erh is one of the best dark pu-erh’s I’ve had, but it is also the strongest tea I have which makes it a little problematic. The Drunken Dragon from J-Tea I have less than an ounce of that I was reserving for LP. The others are Quarter to Tea and some stuff I have from LP.

And I’m pretty frickin confident we have the same kinda preferences and tastes. Both coffee and tea lovers after all. Plus LP also knows what I like pretty well. Our taste buds are also REALLY close with a few differences. Our preferences also overlap most of the time, except he likes greener where I like some slightly darker. Save Pu-Erh.

Rasseru

Yeah no worries, I dont know whats going on in the sheng olympic thread, as there seems to be a group buy going on, not sure if LP still wants to split the cake or not, if there is some available in the US. I’ll get you some either way. He was kind enough when I joined, and i like paying things forward :)

Rasseru

In my experience da wu ye is more perfume like a ya shi, and ba xian has a softer thing going on.

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