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Recent Tasting Notes
I received a sample of this tea with a different order. Taste-testing it using 3.5g for 1dl infused with boiling water for at least 5min, keeping the leaves inside the steeping and tasting vessel throughout the tasting.
Dry leaf: This tea presents itself as dark brown, thightly rolled ‘pearls’ with a lustrous hue. The pearls are of various sizes, containing smaller broken parts and some sticks as well. The smell of the dry leaf was very faint with traces of dark honey, some roasting notes (charcoal and ashes) and a light acidity remniscient of leather.
Warm leaf: Placing the tea leaves in the prewarmed vessel intensifies the smell of honey and the sour smell of leather. Additionally there was now a light flowery sweetness.
Wet leaf: After giving the tea leaves a quick rinse, they already started opening up. The roasted notes were much more present than in the warm of dry leaves. The flowery scent of the warm leaves was still present rounding off the stinging scent of coal and ashes from the roasting.
After 5min of infusing the tea I started to smell the liquid with a porcelain spoon: It really had the charcoal and ashes scent that hit your nose right away. The scent started to build up little by little revealing more of the flowery notes and dried fruit. There was a lingering sweetness left on the spoon reminding of dark honey and dried dates.
Liquid: The tea presented itself with a reddish brown and clear liquid. Form the looks of the leaves I would have expected it to become a lot darker. The taste presented with wooden notes and a light sourness reminding me more of a chinese red tea than oolong. Surprisingly the liquid did not taste as sweet as I expected, it was ruther dull. The mouthfeel was very smooth and watery with a light adstringency. There were some smaller particles of broken leaves in the liquid but it was not bitter. It had a light menthol tinge sticking to my teeth and a little dryness on the tongue and lips. The aroma building up at the back of the nose had a very typical oolong flavour of dried flowers and fruit but without overpowering sweetness. It reminded me of dried sunflowers. I would say that the taste is quite simple, not exceptional but all in all round and balanced with a little dryness that might be due to the roasting process.
Spent tea leaves: The tea leaves did not open up completely during the tasting, so I made a second infusion and steeped for 25mins but they did not open up further than before. The material is made of buds and leaves of a more or less constant size. The colour of the leaves was still a homogenic dark brown, not much colour variation in the individual leaves, presenting a completely oxidised picture. The leaves felt a little stiff and sturdy, they ripped easily upon traction not having any elasticity. They were very thin and did not increase much during the steeping process. The leaves are broken containtin holes and broken edges, some woody stems particles were mixed into the tea. The taste of the spent leaves was very faint, with a little bitterness but I was not able to discern any other flacours from the leaves.
This tea is simple and good. To me it seemed to be more like a chinese red tea at first tasting it on my tongue with the typical aroma of oolong building up slowly. The acidity and dryness might result from oxidation and roasting. An overall enjoyable tea that I would recommend to anyone who likes roasted oolongs.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Dates, Honey, Roasted
Slightly mineral and floral with a subtle bitterness and sweet, vegetable note, surprisingly intense body and beautiful “stable character”. The first two infusions have a slightly unpleasant, hard to describe note (soapy-oolong-like?), but from the third infusion on, the actual character of the tea comes forth. In the 2016 version, however, this note is not (any more?) present, so maybe only a temporary phenomenon.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2017-yiwu-lucky-bee
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal
Strong, fresh, bitter-sweet and slightly floral.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-hekai-shan-gushu
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Sweet
Smooth and sweet with a slightly bitter floral vibe.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2014-kunlu-shan-gushu
Flavors: Floral, Sweet
Going through some samples and came across this one: https://www.teamania.ch/en/hekai-shan-gushu-2014.html
Two sessions in the last week to reassure what I tasted here. Really nice thickness to the liquid. Lots of the autumn like taste going on with this even though it’s spring picking. I believe this is one of those teas that if left for years will become a heavy dark and thick drink in the future. Right now it is already quite thick and potent, but with my newly acquired taste of aged stuff… everything is just a few strokes of a painting that I can gamble on in regards to the full pictures years to come when it’s either close to finish or enough to consumed wholly.
Puerh has become less of taste and more of experience as I’ve gotten to know not only the liquid but the leaf as well. Lots and lots of hard to explain concepts for this hobby.
Some solid tea here. It has that same quality and price that the Yiwu had.
I’m really looking into doing an order with Teamania now… just a few more to try and I’m going to just do it.
This is very vegetable like, but unlike the Yiwu it can be over brewed. I believe this is very close to the type of teas that cost around $70 to $80 a cake which makes me happy to say that it is less thankfully. This is pressed a little looser than some cakes so it will probably fair well in a pumidor as more cake will be exposed to the conditions in there. Unless the other cakes have qualities I like more, I plan to pick one of these up at that low cost and store it away for awhile as this seems to be something I can get to age within a decent amount of time.
The sun came out and it was hitting 60s today so I brought a newer sheng outside hoping for some vegetable notes. Whatever ‘Yiwu Lucky Bee’ was suppose to be, ended up being what I needed.
So at first this looked like it was pretty new but also blended by the look of the leaf. From the first steep, I new this was a rather pure product that was going to need some serious attention so I did my best. I can tell you from experience that this tea is above what people would call ‘good’ and deserves to be called great. It reminded me of the pure taste that comes from Last Thoughts, but there isn’t a lingering taste. Notes of grass, fresh vegetables, and maybe a hint of sweetness, came through and make me smile because here I was finally enjoying a newer sheng once again proving that new or old, puerh can be amazing.
As I finished up outside, I took this inside with me to watch Collateral Beauty. Sheesh, this tea just kept going and I didn’t expect that. Little color, faint taste, and no way to over steep as I got towards the end.Finished with the tea I expected a higher cost because I believe Teamania presses their stuff? Maybe, maybe not? Still know nothing about them. However, I looked online and this cake is all of $40… what? This is one of those really good bargains apparently, even if good Yiwu is EVERYWHERE at this point. I find this to be something a newer drinker would really appreciate as there is no need to know all the differences of puerh to just drink something light that last with a price that this has…. solid choice.
After four hours, I ended it up with some (what I thought would be ‘light’) reading
A really unique tasting tea. It has some similarities to a really good genmaicha, although there are differences between the two. Most specifically, this doesn’t have the same ‘roasty-toasty’ taste that genmaicha usually does. This is more of a softer, sweeter kind of rice taste.
Subtle vegetative notes and distant jasmine notes. A really pleasant, unique tea. I loved it. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/10/rice-fragrance-santikhiri-green-tea-tea-mania/
I love Osmanthus Oolong teas … Osmanthus often has a “peach-like” flavor to it, so, I think it compliments the Oolong very nicely. This Osmanthus here is a little less like peach … and a little more like pollen-y nectar, and I’m liking this difference. I love the peach notes of Osmanthus, but I like that this is different. It gives off a unique sort of sweetness that I enjoyed.
Smooth, buttery, creamy, honeyed. Beautifully floral. I got six very enjoyable infusions from the tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/11/17/oolong-osmanthus-jade-pearls-tea-mania/
A really lovely Oolong. VERY nice!
Floral tones: flowery in taste and aroma … I tasted honeyed orchid. The honey-sweet tones are also evocative of honeysuckle. It’s a very mild tea … it has a very soft, gentle taste from start to finish. A very enjoyable, complex tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/06/08/oolong-17-jade-pearls-first-flush-from-tea-mania/
A really delightful Oolong. The leaves look like a tightly wound green Oolong, except that the leaves are much darker, like a chocolate brown color. A lovely fragrance to the dry leaf: floral and sweet.
A very flavorful Oolong. Honey-esque. fruity with juicy qualities. Earthy and woodsy. A really nice, complex Oolong.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/15/oolong-black-pearls-from-tea-mania/