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Recent Tasting Notes
I actually tried this for the first time a few months ago, but I loved it so much that I wanted to wait until after ordering a cake before posting my notes here:
Quick rinse. Smell is light spicy wood, made my nose tingle.
10s (started at 200F): Warm woods, my nose is tingling, and it has that sort of big air mouth-stretching sensation I enjoy and have mostly gotten from some of bitterleaf’s teas before. Afterwards, a sweetness builds in the depths of my throat.
15s: A bit of slightly tart fruitiness and the barest hint of bitterness join in.
15s (switched to boiling water now): More bitter, in a good way! The liquid feels thicker, brothier, and I feel that mild/moderate bitterness go down my throat. The path it follows feels vivid for a while after, carved and memorable. After the sip, that path slowly fades to cool and sweet. Really enjoying just sitting here and experience that transformation.
20s: Pop rocks at the back of my mouth at the start of the sip. More umami and astringency joining in. Cheeks going fuzzy. Breath going colder, faster.
25s: OH this tea just really came into its own. Initial pop rocks and brightness. Bitterness is more direct and aggressive, but at the same time there’s a higher airier note accompanying it, adding some needed complexity. Then the bitter charges down my throat and leaves cool air and teeth and sides of tongue and throat in its wake, but also that higher unidentifiable aroma note stays in my mouth to elevate the whole experience. My cheeks are warm and lightly fuzzy, my teeth and palate and throat are cold, my heart is starting to pound. Feels like ice at that spot right behind my top front center teeth where I tsk at people who are rude on the train. This is where it’s at!
30s: Same except now my tongue is starting to go numb after.
35s: My first thought: tastes like liquid gold. Staying bright, getting sweeter and also more mineral overall. Oh, I like this one a lot!
40s/56s/70s: Mellowing, fruitier in the throat. This tea could easily go longer, but I’m out of time for this morning.
On the walk to the train afterwards: Tongue feels almost gritty. Lips feel almost numb. I feel like I’m glowing. Not a manic high, I really just feel GOOD.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Spicy, Wood
I first bought a cake of this on a whim in december 2017 (drunk, impulsive, same thing). It was coincidentally also one of my first shengs and I hated it. Coming back to it now after six months and having developed my taste more, here are my thoughts.
The leaves are easy to pry off. You can do it easily with a butter knife if you wanted. I did 1gr to 15ml gongfu style in a jianshui teapot. The tea started out soft with an astringency that sticks with you throughout the sessions. It settles in the back of your throat. The tea soup is quite thick and in the mouth it feels smooth and almost oily.
Only in the fourth steep or so did a bit of sweetness come through, but only peeking out so much before the taste turned flowery. It is hard to explain, but once you’ve swallowed the tea, you’re left with a strange bitter and flowery aroma and taste in your mouth. Like you’ve munched on some rose petals is the best to describe it (and yes, I have done that to know). It is not at all unpleasant, but I can see why I did not like this tea very much back when I was new to puerh tea.
The bitter flowery taste becomes more apparent and around steep number seven I found it leaning just a little bit towards orange peels. The soup kind of sticks against the back of your throat and with further steeps, I found it to begin to have some tardiness to it. Astringency is still there. Towards the end, it was mostly bitter with no further notes or aromas.
Cha qi is quite strong. I felt very alert and aware of my surroundings after, some lightness in the head and almost fidgety. Something I don’t get often either. It gives me great energy.
This is a tea that is not for everyone. I remember regretting buying a whole cake of this, but having revisited it now I can see how I might crave a tea like this once in a while. It’s definitely not a daily drinker for me. There’s still quite some bitterness in it and I was glad to have the jianshui teapot to take some of the edge off. I don’t think most people would enjoy this tea. It’s not necessarily complex in taste, but it has a very straightforward character that will only do for some. I enjoy it, but only once in a while.
Flavors: Anise, Biting, Bitter, Citrus Zest, Flowers
Tossed it in my sheng order because some red tea for breakfast is my way to go. Had it in the afternoon 7g/140ml silver pot.
Smelled the leaves and there was a lot of banana maltiness going on. As im writing this im currently at the 4th steep and it has a nice deep red colour. There is a good bitterness coating the mouth and slight astringency lingering in the cheeks. Sweetness is not super high but its there and fits the overall tea.
Quite a surprise after being slightly disappointed by most of the shengs i received.
Flavors: banana, Bitter, Caramel, Malt
quick rinse, smells sweet and strongly of GUAVA, of all things
7s: Still smelling guava, but mixed with something else now. Light sweet barnyard orchid guava? The infusion is very pale, and the taste is, well, light sweet barnyard orchid guava. Truth in sniffs right there. Faint dryness after, just the barest pinching in of the cheeks, and after a delay the tightness fades out and cool breath fades in.
12s: The scent is now floral straw, the guava seems to be gone. There’s a brief roughness across the roof of my mouth with the sip, and then again with the pinched cheeks but now they’re kinda sticky (which has bothered me in other teas but for some reason I’m kinda into it this time). This time my cheeks stay a bit sticky even when after a delay the brief huigan comes in.
15s/17s: A bit of the guava has returned to the scent, and finally even hit the flavor a bit! The texture is a bit astringent from the start of the sip now, but the huigan is coming in sooner after and feels more floral. I wish it lasted longer. I think my lips are vibrating.
20s/26s/30s: Hay with slowly decreasing flowers. The texture is maybe a bit less sticky dry than before, instead getting just barely a bit fuzzy now. Feeling sort of little muscle twitches at various places around my body. Jumped up after each steep to do chores around the house. Definitely more of a bwee! tea than a sneepy tea.
40s: This is the first bitterness I’ve gotten from this tea. Not really sharp, a sort of floral scented front-loaded dull bitterness that’s fading into into slightly stickyfuzzy cheeks and oh hey the sweetness afterwards is going further down my throat now. Then it finally lingers for longer as sort of an airy floral note by the roof of my mouth.
50s/1min/80s/2min/5min: Floral hay, with vegetal bitterness getting a bit stronger each time (still fairly mild, though), and flowers in the huigan. Could go longer, but gonna stop now just because I’m hungry.
Flavors: Flowers, Guava, Hay
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #45
A standard moonlight type white tea. The flavor is tough to describe though. I don’t think it compares to to Butiki’s White Rhino though… even if I’m probably seeing the White Rhino through the rose colored glasses of the past and love for Butiki. But this is a good example of a moonlight with all its unique colored leaves, some light, some dark, some fuzzy, some like old autumn leaves. The flavor doesn’t have as much smoothness and depth as I expect a moonlight to have though.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
This is a nice, clean young puerh tea from Farmer Leaf. No smoke or toasty off flavors, suggesting a processing that is to my taste: clean, pure, and highly aromatic. The fragrance is strong with sweet musk, a fruited sweetness, and a little roasted-corn-like character. Not overly vegetal, with some nice bitterness that is not overbearing. This is a bargain, in my opinion. I purchased a 100g cake, but after this tasting I think a full-size bing is going to be in my next order. Not totally mind blowing by any means, but definitely a great tea that could work well for a nicer daily drinker.
This tea begins very light, and then the astringency creeps up on you like some sort of ski-masked purse-snatcher. Three/four steeps in, and all of a sudden the sides of my tongue are numb and the insides of my cheeks are dry and tingly, like I’d just eaten a Saltine Cracker. Farmer-Leaf self-describes this tea as having a “very active” and “robust” mouthfeel, and they’re not lying, in the best way possible. Complex mouthfeel is a front-runner for what makes puerh so unique, and this tea is a great example…
Link to full review: https://shenggut.wixsite.com/shenggut/single-post/2017/10/08/Farmerleaf-Jingmai-Tian-Xiang-Spring-2017
Flavors: Orchids, Stonefruits, Tobacco
Last night, I was drinking several teas along with this one; however, this was the only one which I made any notes on since this was the only one not being had with people via Google Hangouts. I had the time to make a few notes with this tea since I wasn’t preoccupied. I had grabbed a few samples from the “swap box” for the session online with tea people; however, since there were plenty of those samples leftover to review at a later time; this one wasn’t so fortunate to have had been enough for two sessions. ;)
Tea Notes: This one brewed pretty lightly when I had first started with the ‘basic’ temperature that I often brew my tea (195 F). After attempting to get more than a “light honey sweetness, but nothing else,” I increased the temperature to 200 F per suggestion of another. That did the trick. I had a lot more honey sweetness, a thicker mouthfeel, and a slight note of ‘sheng taste in the aftertaste.’ See, I don’t know what that sheng taste is per se, but I recognize it from time to time…..hahaha. Overall, this was a very nice session. I brewed it out about 10 times from last night to this morning.
A place to release some air: I’ve come to the conclusion that tea is among one of the few comforts that I have (reading & hiking fall closely behind) which give me an absolute sense of ease from the oftentimes unintentionally sought out chaos which befalls us in this world. I am at the point where I must stop purchasing tea and drink what I have (I’m 100% ok with this, though) and to learn to appreciate and feel fortunate that I have what I have (a practice on humility)….Anyway, I could go on, but I feel that this would overshadow the tea review, rather than becoming a place to rant and rave about my own misfortunes and eventual blessings which derive from them….
PS. Thank you to whomever swapped this out with me. My memory isn’t so great, so I forget who I swapped tea with. ;)
Fresh and strong, bitter-sweet with slightly fruity note.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2016-jingmai-gulan-bana
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Sweet
Very fresh, slightly bitter-sweet and a bit astringent.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2016-nanzuo-lao-shengtai-bana
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Sweet
i really enjoy William’s teas, but i can’t say i really like this one.
it has no negative issues like bitterness or smoke or harsh aroma.
but the positive effects are near to none also.
the aroma is only slightly there, like when you want a hot shower and you get lukewarm water or you need a strong beam in the shower but only get a third of the pressure.
yes, it’s autumn, and of course it’s not that powerful, but this one combines the lesser autumn power with a lukewarm aroma.
the aroma itself has no interesting tones for me while the ones it has are rather good than bad ones, but they are so powerless.
the price for it is very low, like 10 euro/100g, so the price is ok, but you have to ask yourself the question: would you want a great tea for an appropriate amount or a tea that has near to no power and near to no intense aromas for for less money.
maybe it’s because the bushes are young and it’s autumn..
maybe some people might enjoy it nonetheless, but for me it’s between :/ and :), and that’s just 50 points here. i add 10 points for quality and rather good than bad aroma, but i can’t really give it a full 67 smiley face. sorry.
aroma is like: sheng, mild, slightly sour, slightly autumnal sweet fruity
intensity starts slowly (first steep is watery) but you can get quite a lot of steeps from it.
I’ve done a couple sessions with this one, both with boiling water, and would say that it is a good tea. Not interesting or dynamic or anything, but solid and drinkable. The leaves smelled like a white tea mixed with a sheng. Mostly floral and straw, with a bit of that strong shengy aroma that often comes off of young leaves.
The flavor starts out light, with mostly floral notes, but moves quickly into a sort of sugary sweet, lightly green hay (not straw) flavor. The texture is a little bit milky, but not super thick or creamy. This is one that I enjoyed guzzling while I was playing video games – it didn’t require too much in the way of thought on my end.
I’ll probably try it at lower temps as well to see what sort of different flavors I might get out of it, or if it will be more complex or anything like that.
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Sugar, Sweet
Oh man, been a little bit since I’ve posted a tasting note. I’ve been hella busy traveling for work and stuff. I’m actually finishing off this sample in a hotel room in Northern Minnesota – super pretty up here. Glad I got to come back again this field season. I would characterize this one as a lighter puerh. I get a lot of light floral notes, along with some nice nuttiness, starting around the mid-point of the session. Very slight astringency if oversteeped, but really a more friendly one. It has a pleasantly thick, but not oily, texture, and I don’t really pick up much of any qi from this tea. I’d say it’s good, but certainly not a standout.
Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Sweet
I really hate when there are multiple “teas” for the same teas, for I get confused on where I should post…
I grabbed this tea from my sample sack and got to brewing. The leaves are loosely threaded with a sweet menthol lick scent along with some wood, roast, and an odd sesame scent. I warmed my pot and placed a bit inside. The scent moves up into roasted veggies with some tandly light green wood. I washed the leaves once and prepared for drinking. The tea has the iconic odd “pencil shavings” taste which translates to a sweet dry wood. I can not some faint honey tones later one, but the brew does grow bitter. An intense green wood note (paloverde?) comes through with the pencil shaving building up. The pencil-y wood note was very direct and easily spotted. The tea is decent, and it makes fair travel tea, but it’s nothing I would keep as a staple. The qi is good though with a clear head feeling and nice energy.
Flavors: Bitter, Green Wood, Honey, Menthol, Sweet, Wood
The leaf is long and threaded loosely. I am picking up tones of sweet roast, fresh greens, butternut squash, and popcorn. I warmed my pot up and placed some inside. The scent explores into some sweet steamed greens and minor tobacco with smoke. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste starts with sweet sugar water. The thickness is on the medium side and a wildflower honey tone comes up in the aftertaste. The brew moves into some peppercorn spice territory along with a heavy green base. The brew balances out with smooth and bitter grassy tones with an alternating sweetness. This tea is pretty average, but it isn’t a bad drinker.
Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Green, Honey, Pepper, Peppercorn, Smooth, Sweet
This was a creamy, easy-to-drink, sweet puehr. I really enjoyed it. I agree that it seems dry stored. It has really great mouthfeel with a bit of fruit/citrus to it. There was a decent huigan that popped up. I really enjoyed this, much like the other Farmerleaf puehrs. I am finding them particularly easy to drink and fresh tasting, which is usually what I look for in my young (and young-ish) pu’s.
Finished off another Farmerleaf Sample today in a teachat hangout. This one was pretty nice, though not particularly remarkable. The dry leaf had a sweet straw and young sheng aroma. After a rinse, it got a bit more green tobacco-y.
The flavor on the first two steeps was grassy with a bit of a marine, briney note. It was thick from the beginning. On the second steep, there was a bit of fruitiness in the finish – a portent of things to come.
The main body of this session was characterized by a thick fruitiness – I described it as “jammy” in my notes. I wouldn’t call it apricot, like you get in a lot of young sheng, but it certainly wasn’t a dark fruit like raisin or plum or anything. It was a little unclear, kind of just a murky fruity flavor with accompanying thickness. One session out of the three I did yielded more of a floral flavor for some reason – still murky and thick, with slight fruitiness though.
As the tea starts to wane, the fruitiness leaves and the thickness diminishes, leaving a moderately sweet floral taste.
A decent offering again from Farmerleaf. Haven’t yet had a bad tea from them. A couple good ones – no great ones. I’ve been saving most of the higher end ones for last though, so we’ll see what those sessions yield.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Grass, Marine, Sweet
I have drank this tea around 10 different times at this point because I have a friend who came over with another moonlight and told me that this one was odd.
I have recently found out that this particular one does not provide a great result at 90c. It might be good, but not great. Ramp that temperature to 100c and the strength comes out for sure. The taste is much bolder and more enjoyable. Generally I am gentle on moonlight white so I can find the soft aspect to it, but this one seems to need some real heat to get it going.
$16/100g is a pretty solid deal to be honest. Really liking this stuff and the value is great.
I’m of the opinion that this tea is fairly light and subtle. It was very nice. Not very challenging to be sure and maybe not quite as tasty as the Miyun from Farmer Leaf but still a good quality leaf. The early steeps were quite light and then it opened up significantly around steep three. I need to take a couple more sessions with this before finalizing my opinion. I definitely get Herbals/greens notes from this tea. Quite pleasant. A good afternoon tea.
This tea is like candy. Sweet and easy to drink. It’s teas like this that make me love young sheng. It definitely has those apricot notes and a smooth, oaty texture. Highly recommended, especially for the price. I split a cake through a group buy on a whim and I am really happy I did so!
Flavors: Apricot, Oats
Got this among my Farmerleaf samples a couple of months ago now. This tea just failed to impress me. It was not that it was bad, it wasn’t. It is just that it wasn’t spectacular either. It is no longer on the website so they must have sold out. It did have an initial sweet note, but a mild one. About steep six a bitter note crept in and lasted a couple of steeps to again be replaced by a sweet note. Now I would not go as far as to describe these sweet notes as apricots, they were just not that strong. In some ways it was sweet in the absence of bitterness even. It was just so mild a sweet note it is hard to describe. Was there any qi to this tea? Maybe a mild qi. So far the Farmerleaf teas have just not been really impressive. I have drank sheng I would call impressive, this just doesn’t quite qualify. It’s not even me saying it’s not worth a try. IF you want to try any Farmerleaf teas I would suggest samples because so far I have not drank anything to motivate me to buy a cake. I am not that far into the samples. They now also have a shou for sale. Might be interested in trying that. Of course they may have only made a shou with leaves that weren’t good enough for a sheng. In the end I can neither recommend or not recommend Farmerleaf. They are not bad teas. I just had hoped for more from them.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.