Liquid Proust Teas

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drank Tea Seeds - C by Liquid Proust Teas
966 tasting notes

So I simmered some seeds for maybe 30 minutes in a small saucepan full of water. Boiled down halfway and left to sit for an hour, this is a lot darker than the earlier steeps in my teapot (I think it’ll take me into the night to steep out the teapot). This is absolutely the essence of tea. Chinese white and black teas at least.

I bet this would be lovely in a medicinal elixir or as an iced tea concentrate. I’m going to take what I have and make a simple syrup, though. I’ll figure out what to do with it later. Baked goods, whiskey cocktail, idk. Oh boy, now I’m thinking about baklava. Or glazed shortbreads. Maybe added to plain chamomile tea. I wonder if the hummingbirds would love it? Ha!

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drank Tea Seeds - C by Liquid Proust Teas
966 tasting notes

I have an unlabeled packet of tea seeds from Liquid Proust. This came as part of an LP group buy in 2018. Is that your photo, Roswell Strange? And do the 3 dishes of tea seeds correspond to A/B/C? The ones I have look exactly like the third dish, so I’m dropping a note here.

These little clove-looking seeds are from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Some have fuzzy little buttons in the center so I was thinking maybe they’re flower buds and not seeds? What am I doing…

My first attempt is brewing several teaspoons in one of my clay teapots, long and hot because they are as hard as cloves. When I opened the bag, there was a high aroma of spicy, woody geranium and tea rose. When I cup them in my palm they smell yeasty, twiggy and tangy-musty. I did rinse them briefly and let them steam for a while. They ended up smelling like the tea-in-hand aroma though more like a yeast roll and peppery-airy, aged wood and forest floor. I feel like I can smell a living tea tree typing that up :)

I’m just sitting here doing my taxes and brewing these however long. The aroma is sweet honeysuckle, woody and spicy. Roswell Strange said “Tea Seeds – A” tastes similar to an aged white — while not the same seed, dang right do these have that similarity. But it’s different somehow. Light, sweet, floral, refreshing, soothing in a gentle viscous body that swallows a touch dry. The essence of tea. The aftertaste is like yeasty baked goods. The first thought that popped into my head will probably not be understood by many people reading: Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The bottom of the cup smells like warm, golden spun sugar. I’ll see what later steeps turn into, if they turn more concentrated in flavor.

I have a pot simmering on the stove right now with the rest of the sample. Going to taste it as it reduces.

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Forest Floor, Geranium, Honeysuckle, Musty, Pastries, Pepper, Rose, Spicy, Spring Water, Sugar, Summer, Sweet, Tangy, Tea, Wood, Yeast

Roswell Strange

Not my photo – I pulled it from LP’s website when they were still listed. The seeds (A/B/C) did correspond to the dishes, though!

tea-sipper

Aw. just thinking of those big ol pretzels yesterday. I only tried the pretzels with the dippy cheese.

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94

Late post after LP stopped selling it and it’s something I hoarded from last year, and what Whiteantlers added further to this year. Thank you!

I was excited that Andrew started selling more oolong on Liquid Proust again after he procured some good ones. This one was not super expensive, so I thought it would be a run of the mill oolong that he sourced.

I was pretty ignorant when I first had it. The leaves are huge, even being close to the size of pennies rolled up. So a slightly better than usual Alishan? Trying it out, this tea was immensely creamy and aromatic with soft lilac and hyacinth florals and delicate fruits. The tea was prominently sweet, floral, and buttery, and milky.

As I’ve had this over time and opened up the bag a few more times, it’s become more fruity in the last year. When I opened up the bag today, it was floral galore and intensely buttery. Corn, and other fruits and florals mixed in with it. Some honeydew, a slight stonefruit note, coconut, and subtle pineapple too in the second steep western. Florals were more dominant but balanced out. Nuttiness hinted in steep three, though the tea is obviously creamy and floral Alishan with some fruit hints peaking out as the occasional flavor.

Then, I look up the name of this, and apparently, it’s a Stone Table Alishan. It reminds me of Beautiful Taiwan Tea’s Stone Table now that I think about it…

Anyway, this one works better for me western and grandpa. It does very well gong fu to break up the individual notes, but they are fully realised together with a thicker body western. I deeply enjoy this one, and though I’m not sure if Andrew’s going to sell this again, it’s a testament to the fact that he sells some unique and harder to find teas on Liquid Proust.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Green, Honeydew, Kale, Lettuce, Nuts, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla

Leafhopper

Yum! I definitely didn’t notice this tea on his website during the Black Friday sale, though I did get his Bai Hao cake.

Daylon R Thomas

This one was on there for a super short time last year. I think it was gone in three weeks. OOooh he was planning on that one for a long time. The Art of Tea cake really sold him on the idea of a pressed Bai Hao.

Leafhopper

Yes, I thought a pressed Bai Hao was an interesting idea, and the price was reasonable for 200 g. I saw a similar cake on Mountain Tea Co’s site a while back. I’m not sure whether I’ll break into it now or let it age.

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I think Andrew might have given this to me years ago during his oolong mentorship with me.

I’ve got mixed feelings about Aged Teas, and I only get them from Andrew or if it’s from a vendor I trust. I am a basic tea drinker in that I look for teas with decent energy and a tasting profile that lets my brain imagine flavors akin to dessert so I don’t have to eat or drink said dessert. Sugar is bad for a type one diabetic. Tea is good for health, therefore good for a diabetic. Aged tea…is mummified tea. I need some flavor when I resurrect it from the dead, and this one does have flavor.

The description is fun with this one since I remember his quest for finding the smoothest aged tea possible. Unlike a lot of other Aged Teas, it doesn’t have the paint stain funk most do and has qualities very similar to an actual rock tea. Andrew pegged the profile is being like Rolo Candy, and I can see it. The dry leaf reminds me distinctly of coffee and caramel without bitterness or harshness. Drinking it up, caramel, roast, woodiness, and a little bit of nuttiness are prominent. Some notes that remind me of a lighter roast coffee, but incredibly smooth. The second steep gets out a little bit more dark chocolate/cocoa, though not as strong as the caramel and coffee notes.

Later notes have some florals, but in the way that coffee is “floral” with some light acidity. It’s age and char are more prominent in the later rebrews, getting woodsier into dark oak, some cedar. Here comes the woodstain resin and paint notes. The later brews are also a lot more drying with some bitterness.

Getting to the point, Andrew found a tea that’s aged particularly well and one that I can enjoy in my basicness. I’d recommend this to Wuyi fans and Tea nerds looking for some aged tea that is feasible in a heartbeat, but I can still see some people being detracted by the woodiness. Again, aged teas are bit of a niche thing that mega tea nerds invest a lot in, but I do think this one is a lot more approachable for intermediate drinkers than most.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cedar, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Wood, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Oak, Resin, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth

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85

This one and the next few notes are going to be quick (after reading the length I wrote-LIES), as they are late submissions of teas that were released and out of stock last year.

First of all, this one is a bit unusual. It’s a Chinese Meizhan varietal processed as a greener oolong, and it’s very comparable to a Baozhong in its buttery body and array of florals. I’ve had it grandpa, western and gong fu. Gong fu would give me 5-7 servings using 20-30 second increments, Western 3 brews with a 2 minute beginning, and grandpa 2 rebrews in the tumbler. Gong fu is best to pay attention to the nuances in the tea, but it can do well with the other two styles as well since it’s fairly forgiving.

Like most of the green oolongs and Baozhong like teas I’ve reviewed so far, honeysuckle, orchid, and butter notes stands out. Some osmanthus, but it’s mixed with something softer I can’t quite pin on. There’s something kinda tangy I can’t put a word on yet, which contradicts the overall soft profile. Gong fu, there was more hyacinth than I anticipated. I could see some people using vanilla as a note, maybe coconut (texture, NOT FLAVOR) due to the creamy texture. Some grass, but more floral and creamy than vegetal. Soft sensation on the tongue, but thick enough to be viscous. There’s also a little bit of fruitiness, but it’s faint, and likely my brain telling me it’s a little bit sweeter when it’s probably just floral.

I probably would have guessed this was a Baozhong blind, yet the overall profile is a different direction with its softer florals and flavor. It’s not as vegetal, “tropical” or “acidic” as a Qing Xin oolong, and bears a lot of similarities to several Zhangping Shuixian I’ve had in its softened floral quality. I feel like I’m missing something in my description. I know it’s due to me constantly reviewing green oolongs, but I feel like there’s more to this one than its similarities to other teas.

Either way, I was really happy to get to try a greener version of this varietal. Meizhans tend to have a lukewarm reception on this site, and even when they’re darker, I tend to really like them without prejudice. Liking this tea was a given for me. I know that traditional styles of oxidation and roasting are better to preserve tradition and prevent a nuclear wave of green monotony from happening, but I like being able to try teas in different forms. Most of my 2020 tea selection were experimental teas that I really enjoyed, and some of which I’m excited to see again in the future.

I’m not sure if this one will come out again, but I do recommend Liquid Proust for unique developments for Tea Nerds.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Orchid, Osmanthus, Vanilla

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Holy crap-a scented Andrew Liquid Proust Black! I was stoked for this. It’s been a few years since he’s barrel scented some stuff, the last being Rummy Pu which was so good. I was also stoked it was a Laoshan-I haven’t had these in a while. I’ve skipped them for a few seasons since the last batch I had from Verdant wasn’t as good as other years.

As for this lovelyness….it’s good and it drives me nuts that it’s going to be a limited release. I got two oz when I should have gotten more. Cherry Cordial Chocolate is what comes to mind, and it’s sooooooooo good. You can smell it from the bag, and then taste it from the tea.

I was going to do it western, but ended up gong fuing it because I used too many leaves by accident. 15 sec, and it’s boozy heaven. Later steeps lasted between a minute and 4 minutes. The alcohol is present, but it’s not overwhelming or overly flavored. Again, smooth chocolate, cherry, rhubarb, vanilla, scotch, and a little bit of sweet lingering taste with the perfect amount of drynesss and slight bitterness to off set the sweetness. Like many Laoshans I’ve had, it’s also buttery in texture. The rye fades in the rebrews, but the overall flavor profile remains as this tea gets more buttery.

Either way, I frickin love this. I’m holding off rating it before I jump to an immediate 100 due to my basicness when it comes to chocolaty black teas.

Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Rhubarb, Roasted, Rye, Scotch, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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drank Mordor by Liquid Proust Teas
1108 tasting notes

After several days of blueberry and coconut, I wanted a straight black. Somehow, I pulled this one out, thinking that the Jin jun mei here would be more prominent with the ripe puerile acting as a delicate accent. Nope, in this cup, the puerh is right in your face.

I think I will add some Jin jun mei to my next cup of this to tone it done.

Note to self—When you crave a straight black, do not steep something with a good dose of ripe puerh.

I miss Liquid Proust and his presence here. And his experim-ents.

Evol Ving Ness

This auto correct is killing me. killing me.

tea-sipper

White Antlers says he does virtual tea events on Sundays or something! I don’t know more than that though…

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, tea-sipper!

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drank Unknown Oolong by Liquid Proust Teas
966 tasting notes

A packet of rock oolong that came from an aged oolong group buy orchestrated by Liquid Proust several years ago. Disregarding my Chinese character illiteracy, all I can read on the packet is “Ye Cha.” I don’t know if this translates as “Wild Tea” or something else.

Had this lackadaisical morning before a breakfast of chorizo and eggs (tea and breakfast made me 15 minutes late to work, whoopsie), I don’t remember much. It seems the roast was light and there were absolutely no lingering roast notes, just a nice warm toasty tone to the mineral sweet and dry woody deal. The flavor persisted for many infusions, which was a nice change of pace from so many rock oolong that seem to give all their life within the first few short infusions. Pliable and healthy spent leaves. A very friendly tea that I think would be great for beginners to rock oolong.

I created “Unknown Oolong” to house my many upcoming notes for teas from that group buy.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Chocolate, Jam, Mineral, Raspberry, Sweet, Toasty, Wood

Sierge Krьstъ

It is amazing that cravings for teas akin egg & toast on Saturday sunny morning. You can’t fool your body but it is almost like it wants to experiment by merely reading description of brews.

Evol Ving Ness

Chorizo and eggs! Oh, how Jealous I am!

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If you’ve ever had a LaoManE sheng pu’er, then you’ll understand the level of aspirin or rubberlike bitterness of this tea. The cake itself has an intoxicating scent but the flavor and any underlying complexity beyond dark and herbaceous tones are masked by the bitterness. I threw a pinch of a very chocolate-forward black (What-Cha’s Huang Jin Gui) in the second steep to try to give the tea more of a dark chocolate vibe. Can’t say it was successful. I have ~100g to play around with and am curious 1) how it does gongfu and 2) how I can amend this tea to make it drinkable western style. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

Leafhopper

This is discouraging. Maybe it’ll improve with age?

Natethesnake

I can’t imagine Lao man e being suitable for black, white or much of anything but puerh. Most of the yunnan Assamica I’ve tried processed as black tea, be it Yiwu, Lincang or Bulang has been too monolithic. LME being monolithic as puerh would be really so as black.

derk

Leafhopper, I think it might be an immutable bitterness. I’ll try to work some magic on it in the coming month and report back if mitigation is possible. It is on mrmopar’s wishlist. If you don’t like it, maybe he’d take it off your hands?

Natethesnake: monolithic is an excellent description! I have both a Bulang and a Mengsong black to compare.

Leafhopper

I’ll have a session with it in the next few days and will let you know what I think. However, it doesn’t sound promising.

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85

Brewed gong fu style in a gaiwan with boiling water. Yuzu forward, as you might expect from a tea stuffed into a yuzu fruit. Longer steeps toward the end of the session are like drinking orange marmalade. Drink it with some citrus flavored cake or gift it to someone who enjoys earl grey and blow their mind. I might drink this every morning if I could.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Malt, Orange Blossom, Winter Honey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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90

This is my first time tasting an aged oolong — it’s very comforting. Like putting on a warm blanket and settling in next to the fireplace. Cocoa nib is the dominant flavor, with a nice rounded malty sweetness and just a bit of tartness/astringency on the finish.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cacao, Cherry, Dates, Leather, Malt, Roasted Barley, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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If I hadn’t known this was a first flush Japanese black tea, I’d call it a second or an autumn flush Darjeeling.

It’s very aromatic. The dry leaf smells so much like a Darjeeling even down to the musky, green chillies/leaf, desert earth/incense descriptions I tend to give to those teas. Very floral in the nose and mouth. Lots of smooth and rich grain-malt and muscatel (plus some other fruitiness I can at best guess say is passionfruit) in the first two thirds of the sip, then in the back of the mouth it flattens out. I had Keak da Kook take a few sips this morning. She said when she swallowed it was like toilet water in the back. Ok, Keak. Other than that she enjoyed the flavors and aroma and so did I.

Thanks for sending my way White Antlers! I think I shipped some off to Leafhopper. If so, I’d love to see that tasting note :)

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Malt, Muscatel, Passion Fruit, Round , Smooth, Spicy

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

You’re welcome. Looking forward to leafhopper’s note, too.

Leafhopper

Derk, you did send some to me, and I’ve been searching for the optimal steeping parameters. After using 4 g of that Laos black tea in 355 ml of water, I was worried what such treatment would do to this tea. Maybe I’ll use 3.5 g and see what happens. :)

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100

This is the kind of white tea I think of when various companies or tea drinkers say that white tea is light in flavor. That hasn’t been the case for me with most types of white teas I’ve had, so I never fully understood that notion. I wouldn’t commit to saying this tea is light in flavor, though. What it is is gentle and refreshing. Wait, so how do these silver needles differ from others?

In comparison to other silver needles these aren’t exactly complex. The main taste is of sweet nectar and mineral water, but where these buds differ from others is in the general flavor profile. Others can be fruity, spicy, musty. These, though, have the distinct taste of the Taiwanese high mountain oolong composed of the Qing Xin cultivar (typing that makes me feel like such a snob haha!) — sweet vegetal and heady floral (sweet pea and gardenia) characteristics along with the rather strong fir-like cooling refreshment I’ve found in Shanlinxi oolong and later some lemony-citric tang.

I was trying to think of how this tea differs from the one or two Taiwanese green teas I’ve had. I can’t say for certain but it seems less pungently vegetal, more floral, sweeter, fuller bodied. How does it differ from the green high mountain oolong? It’s not fruity at all except for a once-found note of overripe honeydew which is actually more savory than fruity. It’s as thick as an oolong but gentler, like a sweet, soft soup. Less heady floral, more vegetal, mellower, less potential for astringency. What do I know. I like it, a lot.

While I adore this tea, I can see it not appealing to other people, namely for the vegetal character and the lack of fruitiness. Maybe even its lack of caffeine and cha qi, which means I can drink it at night without consequence or I can drink it in the morning as a refreshing and soothing preamble to the day.

I see I’ve gone on about this tea too long. If Wang Family Teas produces this again, I will certainly be buying more. Taiwanese white teas are not often found (the only ones I have experience with are of those leafy Ruby 18 cultivar teas). They tend to be delicious though and underappreciated due to their lack of availability since the majority of tea leaves are processed as oolong. When have you ever seen a Taiwanese silver needle?

Thanks, Liquid Proust, for making a tea like this possible!

Oh, one more thing. I had been brewing these as mini-bowl tea with a pinch of leaves in a 100mL teacup and water of unknown temperature (not boiling). My last session I dialed in the temp to 85C. That produced results consistent with all the other times. I suggest brewing these buds either as bowl tea (grandpa basically) or western 1+g:100mL. Brewing them gongfu with shorter steeping times didn’t bring out as much flavor, sweetness or silkiness. Daylon says they were good with longer gongfu steeping times, though!

Flavors: Broccoli, Fir, Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Honeydew, Lemon, Mineral, Nectar, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Tangy, Thick, Vegetal

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100

Like the silky, cool dew collected from flowers in a hidden mountain valley obscured by fog. I think about faeries.  A perfect tea to sip in silence and solitude.

I will try to come back with flavor descriptors.

Togo

I love teas that invite one to sip in silence and solitude :)

Daylon R Thomas

Andrew got it from Wang Family Teas. It’s really refreshing for a white tea. I personally liked the Bai Mu Dan version a little more since it had this intensely pineapple like profile that you get in Shan Lin XI’s without spinachy veggie notes, but that silver needle is among some of the best I’ve had.

Daylon R Thomas

I just Wang Family Tea sold it with the other white as a mainstream tea on their website. I’m also behind on adding their notes on here….

Daylon R Thomas

*I just wish.

Leafhopper

Ooh, this sounds lovely! I’m now looking wistfully at the 10 g you sent me. How did you steep it?

Daylon R Thomas

Was this a Derk question? Just for reference and comparison, I did mine western with 4 grams at 3 minutes for the needles. I’ve done it Gong Fu before, but longer steep times 30-45 worked better for 4.5 oz. These are extremely forgiving.

Leafhopper

Daylon, I did initially intend my question for Derk, but I’m glad you chimed in with an answer. I want to get the most out of these buds!

derk

Leafhopper, my favorite way was a good pinch straight in my 100mL teacup, refill as needed, 8-ish cups? I weighed the pinch once, came out to about 1.5g. Western is also great. Gongfu with short steeps didn’t do as much for me but it was still a viable method. Daylon’s right, these do best with longer steep times. And I’d say a little heavier on the leaf.

Leafhopper

Derk, good to know. I haven’t done bowl steeping before, and this would be a bad tea to mess up. What was your water temperature?

derk

Not sure. I’ll steep the last bit I have tomorrow morning with the variable temp kettle set at 85C and let you know how it turns out.

derk

I had been using the stovetop kettle, so varied temps but not boiling.

Leafhopper

Derk, it does sound like this tea is forgiving. Do let us know how it works out tomorrow.

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drank 2016 Lazers by Liquid Proust Teas
1294 tasting notes

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Another share from White Antlers :)

Smells kind of fishy from the shou when brewing but that does not come through at all in taste. Kind of thin but lots of sweet notes. I mostly get caramel-honey mixed with redfruit syrup and liquid vanilla marshmallow cake if that’s possible. Some wood, cocoa and pecan in the mix. A gentle bite in the throat. Plenty flavorful when cold but does turn a little toward bitter earth.

Flavors: Cake, Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Honey, Marshmallow, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Swann's Way by Liquid Proust Teas
966 tasting notes

Complex, deep. Rich, round and brisk. Illusion of sweetness? Interesting.

Sultry pralines with a kiss of lipstick.

I didn’t have the pleasure of trying this fresh, but it seems like it’s held up well even with nuts in the blend!

Thank you for sharing, White Antlers :)

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Honey, Licorice, Lychee, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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92

Sadly haven’t written anything for this yet.  It’s winter!  It’s time!  The leaf here is HUGE and very dark.  I like the addition of subtle mint and cinnamon.  The mint is more noticeable than the cinnamon.  But it’s a smooth, creamy mint.  I can’t really taste the oolong, though the brew color is quite dark for an oolong… but my tastebuds have seemed off lately.  Second steep: peachy which seems a bit odd with these ingredients.  Third steep: hint of roast.  I really liked the first two steeps… I should have kept going with some short steeps rather than killing it on the third steep for five minutes.  Surprisingly little roasted flavor even while overdoing it. The perfect blend for today anyway.  I would definitely use two teaspoons in the future.  It slightly reminds me of the mint in B&B’s Brighton which can only mean awesome. I have also been enjoying other holiday teas: S&V’s Sugar Plum, 52Teas Rumchata and Angry’s Candy Cane.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  // 1 minute steep
Steep #2  // 12 minutes after boiling //  1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 3 minutes after boiling // 5 min

tea-sipper

Also, I’m trying to keep up on reading tasting notes but it’s an avalanche! I’m always two days behind. haha

tea-sipper

AND Steepster has been doing very good with the ‘more’ button lately – I’m always able to make it to where I previously stopped reading notes.

Cameron B.

I’m loving all of the increased activity that comes with advent season! :D

gmathis

Y’all just remember that come July when I’m lonely and have none of you to talk to ;)

Leafhopper

Yes! The activity on Steepster has definitely ramped up and I’m feeling some advent FOMO. :P Actually, I’m glad to see all these tasting notes.

tea-sipper

Yeah, I love that Steepster lets me live through the advents of others! I get to “try” teas too. :D

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85

So, I took again this one and have decided to brewing gongfu after long, all day study of mathematics (next Saturday an exam). I decided to use quite lots of leaf — 6 grams + 1 gram of gourd in my 125 ml gaiwan with 10 seconds rinse.

I can’t help myself, but smelling roasted peanuts after the rinse, followed with sweet dates and prunes, with hints of char and those smoked/roasted scents.

1st steep, 10 seconds — it’s very nutty aroma, very complex taste. It’s nutty, with some bittersweet note (I guess it’s that gourd) and some kind of cooling aspect. Tastes wondefully, “full” taste — not watery at all. But all round and tends to be a bit on the sweet side, than rough and roasty.

2nd steep, 20 seconds — gives me a salted peanuts impression, with roasty aftertaste, round and pleasant.

3rd steep, 30 seconds — bittersweet note with roasty aftertaste.

4th steep, 40 seconds — I will try a bigger increment, as this steep is just roasty and nothing much else. Watery as well.

5th steep, 60 seconds — That worked well, I got similar taste to third steep.

6th steep, 120 seconds — Huge increment, and I know it. But it doesn’t help much with the taste. Probably the tea is done. But those first three!

Flavors: Bitter Melon, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Peanut, Plums, Roasted, Round , Salty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
White Antlers

I still have 2 of these in my bottomless tea cabinet. I’ve given away several without even trying this. Maybe now I should…

derk

I am morbidly curious about the depths and darkness of your cupboard, White Antlers.

White Antlers

Oh derk…the stories it holds!

ashmanra

Y’all crack me up!

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85

I wonder if I get this gourd directly from derk or it is from White Antlers? But that’s not important, just thank you anybody I got it from.

It is my first stuffed fruit/vegetable tea. It says that gourd translates to “pumpkin”. While I think it is rather far from it, especilly seeing the shape; I was very curious to try it out.

I don’t want to break gourd completely, so I was prying the stuffed tea with sharp knife, and managed to have 4 grams in my gaiwan saucer that I then emptied to my cup. Yep, grandpa brewing.

At first sips went through, it was pretty much okay. Maybe vegetal, but just a little. I would say it is even quite boring. The aroma was quite roasted and bitter, but…
the taste wasn’t. It was mellow. With more and more steeping, the roasted notes were more pronounced and in the end of cup I get mostly nutty and bit of peanuts notes. It was so yummy! I need to explore it more. Gongfu to come for sure.

Food pairing: Store bought Tiramisu I get for my name day (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_days_in_the_Czech_Republic). Thank you Grandma!

Flavors: Nutty, Peanut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Happy Name Day, Martin! When I was a kid, we used to celebrate name day in school. I’d forgotten all about it.

I shared the bitter gourd tea with you and derk. I was told that when you brew it, you are supposed to break off part of the gourd and brew it along with the tea leaves. I still have one here that I have yet to try. Medicinally, bitter gourd is considered ‘cooling’ and helps to stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol-so very helpful to drink after eating tiramisu. LOL!

gmathis

Love the custom!

Madeline

Happy name day! I hadn’t heard of that – I wish I had one! Looks like the closest name to mine is Magdelena on July 22. Very cool!

ashmanra

OH MY GOSH< MARTIN! My name day is my actual birthday!

Happy Name Day to you!

Martin Bednář

White Antlers: Thank you. I think I have to try that as well while brewing next time. The gourd is quite big. And I wasn’t sure it’s edible when dried. But funny I paired it with sweet tiramisu. Hopefully it had expected effect.

gmathis: It is not widely celebrated in my family, but I am grateful anyway!

Martin Bednář

Madeline: I think it would be that! If you want, you can start celebrating that! Haha!
ashmanra: No way…! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It seems I was born to this community. July 24 is birthday for many, not only for me and now we two share another reason to celebrate? LOL!

Mastress Alita

March seems to be another popular birthday month for Steepsterers. I think that Roswell, Variatea, derk, and myself are all March babies. I’d never heard of a Name Day, but seeing as that’s European rather than American… though one site tells me “Sara/Sarah” would be August 19th, which is only a day after my cat’s adoptionversary, heh.

Martin Bednář

Mastress Alita: In Czech calendar it would be 9 October. But the calendars are different, so not a big deal :)

Mastress Alita

I like autumn more than summer anyway! :-)

derk

I’ve had one of these sitting in my closet for a few years. I’ll have to break into it soon.

gmathis

The closest equivalent I could find lands my day on February 18. February is a glum month…I’ll take another holiday!

Martin Bednář

Haha Mastress Alita, celebrate anyime you want to :D
derk: I am curious what do you will think about it. It is certainly very interesting tea :)
gmathis: Not everyone can celebrate name-day when it’s good day to celebrate, haha!

mrmopar

Just call me Radoslav. I looked mine up as well. Happy name day Martin!

Martin Bednář

ashmanra: Oh well, I read your comment wrong. Ah well. I really need to focus more on language nuances. (My != your, haha)
mrmopar: So, you are celebrating joys? That is the meaning of that name. Joy-celebrater.

ashmanra

Martin – I was going to explain in my next email! Ha ha! You noticed and figured it out first!

Martin Bednář

ashmanra: :) Sometimes I just read too quickly!

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Gongfu!

Tried something really cool a few nights back; Camellia Sinensis Seeds!! I got these from Liquid Proust & couldn’t resist the novelty of them!! I wasn’t sure how many to steep, so I went conservative but I think next time I’ll use more. Despite an appearance that reminds me a little bit of cloves, I found that they had a flavour almost comparable to an aged white tea with a bit of a chrysanthemum note as well. Very unique!!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCBRWIRAJ2S/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfu101Rg08Y

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In the quest to sample all my Menghai Tea Factory/Dayi sheng puerh, I’ve met this tea again.

Not much has changed in the 9 months since last brewed. It is smoother, not quite as biting but still bitter mid-mouth, resinous, then most notably lingering low in the back. I notice now an oiliness giving way to that full-mouthed astringent-drying quality. Ashy damp stone fireplace and peat, a little dry smoked meat, cranberry-currant fruitiness maybe even a little tropical fruit, butter now, baked bread hint, rocky crag again. Camphor King. Aftertaste is dry and moves between fireplace and buttery tropical fruit. This tea absolutely glows in the cup! Th8nks again, mrmopar! I’m looking forward to comparing this to Camellia Sinensis’s supposed 1998 Menghai 7542.

Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Black Currant, Butter, Camphor, Cranberry, Drying, Fireplace, Meat, Peat, Resin, Smoke, Tropical, Wet Rocks

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Dropping this here. The handwriting of a special tea friend is difficult to read ;-P I thought the label said ‘2003 Mengku 7542’ but Steepster came up empty. With some knowledge of who this came from and a quick internet search, I’m almost positive it’s ‘2003 Menghai 7542.’ If my assumption is incorrect let me know. Somehow I’ve managed to drink through a whole bag of this pu without logging it. Sipdown it is.

Red-orange-gold-hay tea, not muddy dark. The lightness of the body took several steeps for me to register. Very clean taste with subtleties that lie beyond the smokey fireplace and a dry peaty, woody bitterness that leaves my tongue tingling. The feeling is almost effervescent in its prickliness, like tiny pop-pop-pops. The tangy/acidic fruity tone of this tea reminds me of currant jam and cooked cranberries. Very light baked bread, rocky crag and clean storage flavors. The camphor hints at its cooling presence in the back of the mouth before making its strength known in that lovely warming/cooling sensation I love in my ears. Each inhale cools my whole mouth and I’m left with that dry smoke and bitterness. Lacks pronounced cha qi but makes up for it in its aged profile.

I get it. This tea is nice. I would guess more years of storage will smooth out the acidity and tannic drying quality. Gonna need some water after this, though.

Thank you <3

Song pairing: Sierra Ferrell — In Dreams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fPqmceCf90

Flavors: Baked Bread, Biting, Bitter, Black Currant, Camphor, Cranberry, Drying, Fireplace, Peat, Tangy, Tannic, Wet Rocks, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 190 ML
Martin Bednář

Hmm. I was 8 years old…
It sounds like a nice tea.

mrmopar

You’re a youngster Martin!

Martin Bednář

Indeed I am :)

Nattie

Lol, I was 8 or 9 too (:

mrmopar

38 when this was made! ;P

gmathis

Mrmopar, you and I probably have socks (or other wardrobe essentials) that are older than these young pups ;)

ashmanra

I have two shirts I bought in 1985 that I still wear, and a sweatshirt of my husband’s from about the same time….

derk

You’re the same age as my brother, Martin. 2003 was a wild year for me. That was a little after I first started drinking tea — homemade Lipton iced tea because I had cotton mouth so bad from all the marijuanas. Glad those days are behind me, haha.

derk

Finishing up the pot tonight, I noticed a pronounced wintergreen aroma to the leaves still damp from last night’s session.

derk

mrmopar, do you know where I can find more of this? I imagine it’s out of my price range but I wouldn’t mind window shopping.

Nattie

Haha! I’m jealous @ashmanra, I am in LOVE with all things 80s (and 70s) and would have loved to have been around to witness them. The music, fashion, films… the hair! Ugh. Amazing. I have a couple of clothing pieces from the 80s I managed to convince my mam to let me have before she sent them off to the charity shop and I wear them all the time (:

Nattie

@derk what an introduction to tea! XD

Nattie

I wish we had a thumbs up button for comments

mrmopar

derk, to be honest these things are pretty pricey. I think I could find one somewhere. Did you have a budget range? I think LP and I got the last cakes from where he got his from.

And gmathis probably so on the clothing. They may not fit as well as they did back then.

derk

mrmopar, don’t worry about it, but thanks for the offer.

I’m still thinking about this tea 5 days later. It was very slow to open up, almost cranky, but worth having a long sit-down with.

derk

I was rummaging through a crock today that my hand hasn’t dipped into for a long time and found a different bag of this. Big smile.

Natethesnake

I read that 2004 was the year that Menghai cut the quality of 7542. I’ve had a few later pressings and wasn’t impressed. I’ve had a few samples from the late 90s that were great but not worth the price. Teas We Like has a few Menghai cakes from that period that are reasonable but I haven’t tried them. Their 2001 naked Yiwu is a bargain,

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88

Andrew did a good job with this tea. I don’t usually drink autumn harvest sheng, for they sometimes tend to upset my stomach. This brew was an exception. The cake is beautifully woven with a mid-point of compression. The leaves are subtle scented and when warmed show their fruity colors! You can easily pick up the iconic autumn scents of brown sugar, apricot, and dark wood. The liquor has an awesome thick body and begins with sweet and fruit notes, but it quickly moves to that LaoMan E bitterness. There is a base of astringency that fades to stone-fruit and resin. This is a nice tea, but it demands attention and a certain atmosphere. Cheers to Andrew and crafting new puerh cakes and bonus for the awesome neifei!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9M_cbUgNtL/

Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Grass, Peach, Stonefruit

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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