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Recent Tasting Notes
my favorite YQH, I own many cakes, and keep buying more. Its my daily drinker. Since this tea is a blend, sometimes you get a session that’s a flop, but more often than not I get really good sessions. This tea is complex, sweet yet hits the lower register without being cloying or too rich, lingers for a while, and I never get bored.
This is also the tea I give to anyone who has never had puerh and they are blown away at what tea can be. So its safe to say this is a good tea for both beginner’s and experienced puerh drinkers. It can brew strong, but never gets bitter, just a bit leathery tannic which you can dilute with a bit more hot water. I actually prefer the deeper part of the cake closer to the bing hole, the more compressed part. I think the outer edges are too loose and aged too fast.
This is IMHO Yang’s best production and I’ve tried/own quite a few YQH teas. Yet this is the one I always come back to regardless of price or scarcity. Definitely worth a cake+
To bring out the best in this tea I brew higher leaf/water ratio. Around 7.5g in a 95-110mL teapot.
Steaming Aroma: Very nice roasted smokiness but not overdoing plus an exquisite old library scent, cold chestnuts, mineral stony, baked pears and a subtle hint of pineapple & mango! Later stronger herbal medicinal old library woodsy flair which transforms into something more leathery.
Tasting Profile: A bit lighter at the start. Wet Cardboard paper, something slightly steamed milky to it with an echo in the aftertaste of a slightly chocolate hint, nutty tart note of chestnuts, walnuts and a mix of grape seeds and sunflower seeds plus a sugar crane sweetness. A nice fruity mix of pears and peach skin. There is a nice sourly astringency to it which tingles the tongue and animates every tasting buds it can reach. Quite furry mouth feel. Not a total massive puncher generally it really develops its strength within its light compositions and Qi. In many other reviews I read a lot about “many steepings” at least around 12-20. I can’t say I experienced the same! From the start this aged Sheng is quite on the lighter side. In my opinion it is quite a nice Sheng for around 5 to max. 7 steeps but after that there is not much going on anymore! But the aftertaste of chocolate bananas is really outstanding and an experience of its own
I decided to start out the 2018 Sheng Olympiad with this one. On the balance, I found it fairly similar to the 2004 YQH Tejipin (of which I own a cake), albeit with less smoke, somewhat weaker qi, and a pronounced cooling note in the finish that occasionally made its way into the top taste on a few steeps. There was a bit of sourness in this tea, but nothing oppressive. Overall, an excellent tea, and a strong start to the series. If only it weren’t sold out basically everywhere.
Flavors: Menthol, Stonefruits
I haven’t been reviewing as much because of my involvement regarding puerh and my tea shop… anyways, Yang Qing Hao samples is a larger project I took on (in regards to longevity) in which I hope to offer everything within the next few years.
This beast came in the mail and when I went to break it up, I forgot it was 600g! Nice looking dark leaf with an aroma that doesn’t match the others in terms of strength. This smelled lighter from the start. As I broke it up, the consistency of the leaf throughout the cake was very enjoyable to look at and break with my hands.
Upon my third session, I’m really enjoying how this tea is softer than the other YQH teas. While there is still some astringency going on, the lightness of the taste is great. Not going to remark on flavors, but in regards to strength it isn’t at strong as the others and the body isn’t as thick but the astringency makes up for that as for the mouth feel.
This provides the kind of feeling as if you don’t want to move. A little light headed with no negative signs, but dang… I feel like just sitting here looking at my tea cup. Time is still going at the same rate but I promise you that I’m experiencing it at a slower rate right now. I like this : )
Ahh finally took the plunge and picked up my first full cake of YQH in Emmett’s last group order. I won’t get into too much detail because 1. It’s almost 3 am and I’m supposed to be studying and 2. I want to give the cake plenty of time to adjust to my environment before I decide how I feel about it. Visually this cake is beautiful! Super thick, healthy looking browned leaves with plenty of golden tips. The taste is very light throughout but with ample thickness. Light might not be the right word because I really dig the soft plummy sweetness but it certainly isn’t the most complex of the YQH. Qi is very nice and relaxing and there is a lasting throat feel/huigan. Overall I’ve quite enjoyed my first couple sessions!
Flavors: Caramel, Plums, Wood
This sample is from last year’s Pubertea group buy – apparently there was also some in this year’s, so I will have a bit more of it to drink later! This tea looks pretty nice. Dark and obviously aged. The dry leaf had a slightly sweet, leathery and woody aroma. After a rinse, I first picked up a bit of camphor, followed by a sweet, ever so slightly musty woody aroma which reminded me of a clean antique store. There was also a slight fruity note to the aroma, like a dark currant or berry note. Not super sweet.
The flavor starts off sweet and woody, with a thick texture. In the first steep or two, I did get a bit of sharpness to the flavor which was not entirely good, but that was out of the tea quickly enough. It never really shows up distinctly in the flavor, but I pick up a bit of a coffee aroma from the liquor of the tea on occasion.
As the tea moved past the slightly sour (though still pleasant) first couple steeps, it really came into its own. Earthy, thick, woody, and sweet. There was a lightly camphorous, cooling mouthfeel after I swallowed. The woodiness came out more distinctly as I continued to steep it out, presenting a really nicely clean woody flavor for the bulk of the session.
Around steep nine or so, I noticed some fruity flavor popping up – the dark fruity (currant?) note I smelled in the aroma off the leaves at the beginning of the session.
I did notice a bit of a calming qi while drinking this tea, mostly in the upper chest/shoulders. It’s not a qi powerhouse. Flavor and texture are very nice. I’m glad I have some of this tea! The tea can be had for $0.52/g, so in terms of the more typical 200g size from artisan tea producers, that comes out to $104. Based on these two sessions, I would probably not buy this tea at the price it commands.
Flavors: Black Currant, Camphor, Fruity, Leather, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood
Pulling out a YQH tea to drink while I go through Excel to see if I can manage to pay for some YQH to be in the 2018 Sheng Olympaid. Part of me struggles with not being able to do everything myself because I have up until recently with all the stuff in life going on… engagement ring and college, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. However, I love life so these little things are bumps to learn how to coast over : )
From the rinse I got an unexpected Smokey smell.
First steep came out and had slight smokey taste like beers that are finished in barrels… if that makes sense, like a faded aroma that comes off with a taste in the background. Liquid doesn’t seem thick until you drink it; it seems to like to stick around for a bit.
Second brew has the light from the door peering at me as the astringency is about to be gone… even though this is somewhat dry, the long lasting lip smacking taste is splendid.
Some number… I forgot to write. This is like a smoked leather wrapped plum that sat around for a bit. It hits pretty well to; for those who want to now what means, it feels good.
Great stuff, I’m just exhausted and don’t have it in me to write… hope August gets better!
Heavy thick and smooth with a long lasting bitterness and a bit astringent.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2007-huangshan-qizhong-yqh
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Heavy, Leather, Smooth, Thick
Extremely smooth, balanced, warm and thick. Lethery notes in the first steeps with becomes increasingly sweet. Very relaxing Qi.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2004-tejipin-yqh
Flavors: Heavy, Leather, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood
So I started this tea about 6 hours ago which is pretty awesome!
Anyways, at this point I have tasted through quite a few different YQH productions and find that all of them have great storage, however that storage may not be to my liking all the time. Something that also stands out is the texture of these teas in general; a nice thick syrup like viscosity. There’s a clear connection with price per gram and enjoyment of the teas; a very subjective remark, but in this case I can back it up.
For a tea that is running $.41/gram, I find this to be a good deal as it will brew an entire day if you’d like for it to. It’s ready to drink now. Personally I think this is the kind of tea you drink over the course of years as it should only deepen which would be noticed by the owner as they get to know the tea. This one has more of the mineral rubbed fruit notes, very dark and dry, opposed to my favorite YQH cake the 2004 dingji yesheng.
A few notes of leather and old book hang around. Later into the brew this tea can take the three minute steeps and come out thick with the taste as if it is only in its 5th brew. Longevity and consistency.
Got in on a split of this a couple months back. The bit I received isn’t particularly compressed, and after a rest and sniffing several times since then, I don’t get too much of a scent off the dry leaf. Once wet, however, the leaves give off a smoky aroma with a light sweetness.
This tea steeps out to a golden color and—again, since I had nowhere for wash water (and this tea is one of the pricier ones I’ve tried)—I drank the wash. There wasn’t much flavor there but it didn’t give a distinct huigan, smoothness and a light hint of dustiness.
This ended up being a very easy to drink tea for me, with a flavor profile that remained fairly consistent. I didn’t get much qi from it, but I will look forward to exploring this one further, for sure!
Flavors: Dust, Smoke, Sweet
I took a small sample of this tea from the Puerh TTB. I found it to be pretty enjoyable! The dry leaves had a light earthy camphor aroma. After a rinse, I smelled the camphor much more strongly, along with a sharp and slightly fruity aroma.
The taste was nice – heavy camphor, especially in the early part of the session. It really just tasted like a very nice and clean aged sheng. I picked up a bit of woody notes and sweetness, but not of the fruity variety I picked up in the aroma. I didn’t pick up much of any qi from this session.
It really isn’t fair to draw conclusions on a tea based off a small 4g session, but unfortunately that’s what I’m forced to do for this one. I found it a pleasant and enjoyable aged sheng, but not much of anything special. The camphor aroma/flavor was greater than I have experienced in most teas at least. I wish samples were available for these YQH Productions.
Flavors: Camphor, Earth, Sweet, Wood
So. Tea. Drunk. HYPER!!! This tea is nicely mellow and smoky, smooth camphor feel on the swallow, good aged orange color and taste. Very easy to brew, friendly in taste, no real bitterness or astringency really to speak of. The qi on this though has got me buzzing around on epileptic party parrots while laughing hysterically and waving my arms around like the party degenerate that just don’t care because it’s 19NINETY NIIIIIINE!!!!
I’d characterize it like weed brownies, you don’t eat it for the taste, but it’s not like the brownie taste is getting in the way, ya get my drift? And now I need to go. Go zoom around my house and jump off walls and such. yeah. Thanks for sample, phiiii!
Flavors: Campfire, Camphor, Dates, Medicinal, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sweet
Brought some random samples to my parents for the xmas weekend and this the the second one I pulled out. Started it up around 2pm and it’s 7pm now.
This tea is like a ghost. There’s this reminder that this tea once had a light smokiness to it, but if you try to pay attention it’s there but at the same time it just doesn’t present itself so you have to look. The color doesn’t give an impression that it is 10 years old, but the taste comes through as a 15-20 year old dry stored Mengku with some more moist/wet notes to it. For what it is, it’s incredibly clean making it the easiest to drink YQH yet. There’s this tough tasting sweetness at the upfront notes that reminds me of that nasty fruit that it popular for looks called starfruit. At $.65/g, it provides a $3 session that last hours requiring little attention as it is an easy drinker. Not going to remark on feels because I was and am not in the environment in which I would feel heat go throughout me; unless it somehow had combustible properties and my cells began to spark fire.
Liquid is thin. Lasting taste fades over three minutes and comes through by stimulation of tongue. Leaf has a dead color but the stems show quality through the thickness and light magenta color. Easy to brew and needs pushing as you go on.
Leaf before: not too tight, not too loose. Roughly in the middle as far as compression goes.
The rinse brings forth the old basement aroma that comes off the leaf telling me that it may need another way up call so I leave it alone for four minutes. The liquid is lighter than expected upon the first brew, light caramel color. Aroma from the liquid is much easier than that of the leaf which makes it more appealing to bring towards the mouth. Thin, semi light of a taste with a little throat feel that comes with the side of the tongue. Leaf might just need a bit more awaking.
Went through a good four steeps while packing up the Pubetea packages and realized that this is the type of tea you drink and then wait a good four minutes to really taste it. This tea has a nice pear skin with autumn leaf lasting taste. Kind of dry, semi tart with some sweetness. The tart seems to come from the little bitterness this tea has which I detect easily due to having a sensitive mouth which gives this room to still become a mature tea so it fits in the puberty theme quite well actually.
Only on steep eight after two hours which tells me that this is a tea that not only last, but it’s taste is one you don’t just sip down quick so it does last in different ways. I’m not sure how it will change over time since that’s not a thing I have looked into or experimented with yet, but to compare it with others… it is a step behind the 2004 Dingji Yesheng. That tea was just fantastic. While this is dry sweet like a pear and nice mouth coating for taste that is about 5 to 10 minutes, I’m just not sure about the purchase or not. However the one thing to note about purchasing this cake is that it is 490 to 500 grams of tea rather than 340 to 357 when you want to price it out per gram. It’s certainly a fair priced one compared to other options out there right now when you are doing price comparisons. I do have enough for a second session so I will follow up and add anything after I hit the 15th steep tomorrow since I plan to make this a two day tea.
2007 Yang Qing Hao “Huang Shan LingYa” – 5.35g in 200mL with a 10 second rinse
Wet leaves smell of tobacco and prunes with a note of fruit and a hint of menthol. Going to test this one with 5g first then try it again later with closer to 10g of leaf in the pot.
1/10s: Sort of sweet and fruity with a nice cooling menthol effect. Deep complex flavor. Very tasty! Causes a numbing/tingling sensation on the tongue.
2/18s: Accidently steeped longer than planned, but it just increased the fruity sweetness and cha qi. :) Tiny bit of bitterness as it cools.
4/10s: What a strange and wonderful flavor profile. Sort of sweet, fruity with this notable menthol effect/flavor
7/??s: Sweet and creamy. Really nice cup of tea.
Lots of breaks in this session do to travel, being sick and a refusal to not drink the tea until I could do it without pauses.
I’m off my face on this tea right now. It’s actually making typing difficult! Anyway, I was given a sample of this and have used half of it to brew up this afternoon. I’m pleased that I’m going to get a second pot out of the sample, because I’m really enjoying this one. Apart from the strong cha qi that has left me totally tea drunk, it is pleasingly bittersweet with dominant bark and leather notes, and a sugarcane or caramel sweet undertone. It’s sweet at the back of the throat and warming on the tongue in the aftertaste. As the tea cools, a stronger caramel flavour emerges. The only disappointment is that the aftertaste does not last very long. As a result, this tea is very good, but not quite excellent.
Flavors: Bark, Caramel, Dark Bittersweet, Sugarcane
I went into taking this tea very seriously.
100ml of water with 7g of leaf
What Rich said was absolutely correct which turned me off a lot. As someone who is specializing in aged oolong, this one is clearly damp/humid stored at one point which gives it some funk. Salted damp mushrooms that had a tant of old wood with moss. Not the unique and special treat I was looking for : (
For an old raw brick, the 40’ish cents per gram is actually a pretty good deal but there are some things to know about this. While this is an easily brewed tea with a great dark color to it with a taste that comes out like a week ripe and then transition to an old raw tea that is more of an outside drinker.
This tea is certainly good, yet I know it can become better. The storage seems to be quite dry and since it is highly compressed, I really think this would be a nice brick to break up and put into a clay jar where humidity would be at a higher level so it could reach the majority of the leaf. The reason I say this is because there a depth to be brought out of this tea that I believe some wet storage could provid.
Dry leaves smell of fall leaves and leather. Wet leaves smell of wet moss and autumn leaves after a rain. The aroma of the leaves take on a sweet tobacco note after the rest. Very pleasant.
1/10s: Sweet and mellow with a smooth mouth feel. This is the first aged sheng that has given be an idea of what shou pu’erh makers were looking to simulate in taste.
2/10s: Still sweet and mellow with a noticeable note of moss or forest floor leaves. Has an interesting mouth feel reminicent of breathing in through your mouth after eating something minty or camphorus. Mind, there is no camphorus note in the taste, just a similar after effect. Going to push the next steep a bit because so mellow.
3/30s: Not a hint of bitterness, but now getting a more crisp finish with the hint of astringency that shows up. Still sweet with a light mouth feel while in the mouth.
4/30s: A nice woody, moss note. This one is very reminicent of shou pu’erh.
5/45s: Woody and smooth. Good cup.
6/60s: Not a lot of complexity, but quite a good tea. Not sure I’d pay YQH prices for it, but it’s one I wouldn’t turn down if offered.
7/90s: Same as 5 & 6. Maybe a bit of sweetness developing. I like that this tea has a sort of shou taste with a sheng finish.
8/120s: Same previous though a light brown sugar like note is more noticable.
9/????: Accidentally steeped it for 10 – 15 mins or more. Got the quirky camphorous effect again. It’s a pleasant feeling, but odd and unexpected.
10/300s: Not a complext tea per se, but it’s consistent.
I think next time I will try adding more leave to my pot. Maybe 6g. It’s a tasty little tea, but knowing YQH prices I probably wouldn’t buy a full cake of this one. We’ll see if my take on this one holds true after the next sessions. All in all this was a very pleasant tea session though no cha qi (which I typically love) was present.
Flavors: Peat Moss, Wet Wood
Dry leaves smell of a minty camphor and autumn leaves. Really interesting, unique and wonderful smell. The wet leaves lose some of the mintiness, but the smell of camphor and autumn leaves remain and there’s and added note of sweet tobacco and prunes. If this teas is as good as it smells this should be a lovely experience. I have a new digital scale so now I can be more actuate when measuring how much tea I use in each pot.
10s rinse/10m rest.
1/15s: The taste of autumn leaves is most prominitent to me, but as usual the first pot is quite light. Very soft finish (not particulary crisp/dry). I am picking up a slight camphorous note.
2/10s: Camphorus, woody with a touch of sweetness. Still has a soft finish. So far good, but not really impressive.
3/10s: Woody with that light touch of sweetness. Finish is a little more crisp. The camphorus note is light and detected in the aftertaste more than anything else. The flavor profile definitely reminds me of shou puerh.
4/15s: About the same, but a mildly bitter note also apparent in this cup.
5/15s: A little more sweetness this time around. Still woody and pleasant.
6/20s: Drier finish. I like it. Sweetness about the same as the last steeping.
7/30s: Good tea, but I don’t think this is one I’ll buy more of. Maybe I just needed more leaf in the pot with this one.
Flavors: Camphor, Wood
Who knew that YQH had aged oolongs? They have just two, a 1970s and 1980s. I decided to take the chance and buy some. If you tried this tea blindfolded, you would probably not know what it is. To me, it tastes like a humid stored aged pu erh. The overwhelming flavor is damp, followed by some dark fruit, and a sharp huigan. It is very different than what I expected. I think his teas are all humid stored, including his oolongs, which gives it a unique flavor. It had longevity, lasting a good number of steeps. I’m not crazy about it, so I’ll put it away in my dry storage environment and see what happens after a while. If anyone is curious and wants to try it, I’m open to swaps.