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Recent Tasting Notes
Decided to have another go with this one.
Steep – Time – Note
1st – 20s – I wanted to test a longer initial steep with this tea. 20s is riding that razor’s edge of getting too much astringency. At 20s though it’s still very pleasant (for me) as a nice dry finish with a lot of sweetness. The first time I did a 10s steep and I thought, “Maybe I’m detecting a little cha qi…” This time there’s no doubt. There really isn’t much of the fruit flavors that develop in the later steeping in this cup. Just that pleasant sort of honey-like sweetness.
2nd – 20s – I think this pot has an 8-10 second pour. I don’t know if people count the pouring time as part of the steep time, but for simplicity’s sake I’m not. As would be expected this brew is stronger than the first. Still not overly astringent and the astringency has that lovely sweetness to it
3rd – 20s – Thicker, with the same sweet crisp aftertaste. A bit strong for someone new to sheng puerh maybe, but quite good in my book.
4th – 20s – Same as previous
5th – 20s – Those fruity notes are starting to show themselves now. The astringency has settled into that remarkably crisp, sweet ending. Brews like this one cause me to make unreasonable demands on my teacup to not be empty for say the next hour or ten as I drink to my heart’s content. Oh well, back to the pot.
6th – 20s – Had an overnight break between the 4th & 5th steep. About halfway through this pot and getting a reminder of how strong the cha qi is in this leaf. Starts as a sort of gentle head rush and tingling and then this very calm alertness. Chemically I have no idea what to attribute it to (I’ve seen some pretty good nonsense out there), but whatever it is I love it. Makes this tea an awesome companion with I have to do some coding, editing or other high focus detailed work. Crisp, sweet finish. The first fruit note that opens up is a sort of plum/stone fruit… something. It’s good. Wish I had something better to compare it to.
7th – 60s – Didn’t mean to steep that long. Got distracted. No harm done of course, because this tea is obviously hell bent on kicking ass. Thicker brew, the astringency is crisp, sweet – a little deeper and long lasting. Has that dryness that you get with a full bodied red wine. Very nice. I think stone fruit and/or a plum that has just hit the point of being ripe enough to eat is the fruit note I’m picking up. I’m also noting a sweetness at the back of the throat that I didn’t catch before. The 6th & 7th steeps are near perfection. The one before and after are absolutely amazing, but these two steeps… it’s everything you want in a good sheng. Drank this one a little slower, but it still didn’t last near long enough.
8th – ?? – Got distracted with work and I have no idea how long I brewed this one. Had to do it Russian Samovar style and cut it with a little hot water. Still good, but can’t honestly assess it because I’ve no idea of the ratio I used and if it was what an 8th steep actually would have been like.
Ummm… yeah… a little off the deep end.
19th – 600s – The leaves were cold and sleepy so the taste was a bit watered down, but still pleasant.
20th – “You can’t be serious” – I have a cup warmer at my desk and this time I set my teapot on it and left it steeping while I did some editing. Not sure how long I let it sit, LOL, but hot damn if it didn’t yield me a damn good cup of tea at least as good as the 17th steeping. At this point the amount of time needed to get great taste from the leaves is pretty dang high, but what the hell, let’s go for one more.
21st – “This is absurd” – Love it! I really should lay off, but now I’m amused at how much flavor I can get out of these longer steepings. I’m guess the last two have been at 15 minutes or so. I think keeping the temperature up and constant is a big help.I want to keep steeping until there’s just no flavor, but I don’t know if I have the patience. This one is pretty close to the 18th steep as well.
22nd – “Cut it out already!” – Alright, party people. I think this is the end of our reckless and insane tea steeping ride. The sweetness is now very mellow and alas, there is no discernible bite or crispness on the finish. Actually, there’s a little, but it does not soar my friend. It is time to retire these truly valiant and formidable leaves.
As a parting note, the flavor/aroma that showed up in the 16th steeping… that’s what the expired tea leaves smell like. Lovely experience from start to finish.
Flavors: Honey, Plums, Stonefruits
Ok, picking up where I left off earlier.
11th – 90s – Sweetness has increased, but the crispness of the finish has mellowed.
12th – 120s – A little more bite, the color is again a strong amber and the sweetness is unabated. Going to steep at 2 minutes again and see how far I can push the tea. Probably no more bite/crispness, but the sweetness is enjoyable. It’ll be interesting to see if I detect any cha qi this late in to the steeping (and this late at night).
13th – 120s – More sweetness and the the touch of stone fruit detected earlier is starting to mellow. The Qi is Gone to the tune of B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone is now playing through my head.
14th – 180s – Good color and sweetness. Pleasant and probably should be happy that the cha qi isn’t full on this late at night.
15th – 300s – Going for broke…. errrr… got busy and probably steeped that for more like 600s, but huzzah, huzzah! Rewarded with some bursting honey and fruit and that nice crisp finish. The color is a deep amber. Yummy. Going to keep it going for a bit more.
16th – 600s – Beautiful stonefruit and plum and peach and honey bursting out in these late steepings. The long steep times have given back the crisp dry finish, but the bonus on the back end just lovely.
17th – 600s – Ahhhhh, so good! I know that a 10 minute steep is probably absurd, but I’m so glad I took it so far. Crisp honey and fruit with a lovely thickness. The sweet aftertaste just lingers forever. Either the cha qi is completely gone at this point or I’m tired off my rocker from working such long hours, but the flavor more than makes up for it.
18th – 600s – Sweetness and crisp finished mellowed just a touch. I’m going to stop here so that I can try one more long brew in the morning and test it out on my wife.
It is far from being a cheap tea cake, but I’m seriously thinking about saving up and treating myself to one some day.
200cc Zisha ShuiNi (Zhuni) pot. The smell of the dry leaves is sweet grass and wet the smell is more intense with a fruity note I can’t quite describe.
Rinse 10s, Rest 10 minutes.
1st – 10s – A bit light and sweet. Nice crisp finish, but not much body. Bit of a honey and grass.
2nd – 15s – A bit more depth with a sweet slightly astringent finish that I love in sheng puerhs. I thought I was imagining in the first steeping, but the cha qi comes one really fast! I have breakfast this morning and I refused to eat before this session so as not to affect my taste buds so that might have something to do with it. LOL!
3rd – 20s – intended 15s, but started my pour late. Love the sweet aftertaste (hiugan?) It’s like a sweet astringency that just last and lasts.
4th – 20s – Ok, maybe just on an empty stomach, but man does this tea pack quite a punch. Love it! And the sweet aftertaste really does last forever. I really can’t pin down other flavors or notes. Just this slight honey sweetness and green tea that ends with this long lasting, crisp sweetness. I only had 50cc – 100cc of this one as my wife walked up, had a sip and promptly stole the rest of the pot.
5th – 25s – Just good tea. Starting to pick up notes of stone fruit.
6th – 30s – Stone fruit notes more pronounced. The cha qi just awesome. Stopped and had some food before this steeping and the sort of tingling, energetic sensation was starting to fade. 50cc into this steep and bam! Back on full bore.
7th – 30s – I was surprised and slightly offended when I looked down and found my cup unexpectedly empty. Then I remembered I was the culprit… time for another steep. :)
8th – 45s – A little light. Next steep should be 60s to 75s. Even with a slightly lighter brew the crisp sweet ending remains.
9th – 75s – That did the trick! Full flavor, thick and stone fruit. I’m going to try extending my steep times earlier next time I have this tea as it doesn’t seem overly astringent or sharp. Holy crap the cha qi is strong. Kind of sweating and tingling here. Of course I’ve had 1.8L (just shy of .5 Gallons US) of this tea at this point so…. LOL!
10th – 90s – Might have been a touch to strong at 90s, but damned good and a welcome bit of bite for me. Wrapping my work day up now so I’ll resume after dinner. I’m sure there a few more steeps in the leaves. I’ll pick up with the 11th in my next note/review.
If I were going to introduce a newbie to sheng pu’erh this one would be a great choice! I’ve only had one other sheng that I felt I could do that with. I really wish that I could afford to have this sheng as an everyday tea.
Flavors: Honey, Tea
I’m drinking some of my best teas after coming home from the hospital with a stroke (very minor thankfully). I thought I was just adding a note to an existing review but was surprised to see I hadn’t written this one up yet.
Tsang Liu is probably my favorite YQH tea (out of 8 that I’ve tried). The tea has a core of stone fruit surrounded by a complex aura of wood, spice, and occasionally a bit of veggie that detracts from the taste for me. The feeling is the mouth is full and rich; I feel there are layers of flavor that I can barely detect that are adding to the rich complexity. I’m a sucker for complex teas, which explains why I like this tea so much.
The balance is excellent: a smooth transition from aroma, to taste, to finish, with the finish fading slowly over a few minutes. The cha qi is very powerful, though I’m not noticing it as much today as I sometimes do. All in all and excellent tea, and when I first drank this tea I finally understood why people get so excited about YQH.
Here’s to trying some more YQH.
I will admit that my tasting notes are all different in the way I write the and what not so let me say that I am writing this one after drinking 19 steeps of this.
I bought a sample of this off a friend because it’s one that I was fairly certain was a type of sheng I would enjoy; though I was told that all YQH will have that humid basement leather smell n’ taste. The price of a sample isn’t so bad really if you know someone: $5 is the same as a beer somewhere, but this will last 15+ steeps.
The first thing I did was take a picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/BFhaLLOxYAR/
I went ahead an tasted the rinse because I was curious. Silly me, the leaf of this cake is pretty large and needs to open up so after the rinse I spread the leaf and let the moisture and heat pry it open a little. About 7 minutes later I came by and drank three steeps back to back. There’s an upfront feeling with this, somewhat to do with not eating yet though. I drank these steeps quick because I know it was going to have some storage to get through. I was right, the more dry leather with basement came through with a peak one steep 2.
From there, I finally find a new note in sheng I have yet to come across: strawberry. Not the sharp tasting strawberry you get from the tongue, but that sweet taste on the lips. With that flavor coming through there was also a texture just like those oily dancongs; in a good way. This isn’t thick in a cream texture sense but in an oily way… think, leaves a residue but complex because while you think it’s moist there seems to be a lingering dry aspect to the taste coming from the leaf.
Now this taste, strawberry as the best I can describe it, continued for roughly 8 steeps and I really enjoyed it. Other teas have an apricot upfront and it levels off quicker than this one did so that was enjoyable. Unfortunately, this tea turned around and the old taste came back. It began to lose the oily texture and have more of that humid to dry stored… taste, smell, and whatever you want to reference it to.
This is probably something I wouldn’t mind buying another sample of later on, but I just don’t have the way to store it or else I would look into spitting 1/4th a cake because it really is unique and tasty. The tea was still going, but I am just not a huge fan on the old stored tea taste as I’ve realized so I cut it short by probably 6 to 10 steeps. For now I will do a second browsing of YQH to see if that other cake I knew I might like is still there.
its my second try of this tea. i dont think i can give the proper review. still trying to figure out the notes.
First time ive tried i remember it being stone fruit sweet. last night it was a little different. very enjoyable but not as complex as the first time ive tried. could be many factors. with later steeps astringency built up but it was pleasant
still, it was very good. qi is mild. i felt relaxed.
no chest burning, face melting, eyes popping or lungs moving. very pleasant overall
4.5g/55ml yixing 212F
rinse i drank it
Dry – Nice semi-aged Raw scent with bittersweet and sweet woody and fairly medicinal notes, dried fruit (like tamarind shell), dried wood.
Wet – Woody bittersweet notes, slight medicinal with some camphor, good aged puerh notes and richness.
Liquor – light copper to amber.
1st 3secs – Woody bittersweet yet gently and thick upfront that coats and slightly numbs the tongue. As it goes down, it has a slight floral, combined with medicinal character that is sort of muted/gentle. The huigan is gentle and lingering.
2nd 3secs – bittersweet and somewhat bitter (pleasant) aged woody note with slight fruity note that to me resembles tamarind shell up front. As it washes down a thicker medicinal and slightly floral note appears that again coats/numbs the tongue but still feels muted/gentle/subtle (just not fully opened note). The huigan is very good with some of that floral-medicinal that lingers.
3rd 4secs – Bittersweet to bitter medicinal-wood front that develops a thick/numbing body. As it goes down, it feels briefly bitter (pleasant) and transitions to a sweeter, mineral, floral note. The huigan is still lingering with medicinal-floral.
4th 6secs – Non punchy Bitter and bittersweet woody front that coats the tongue and quickly mellows to woody (pencil shavings like?) note. As it washes down, tamarind shell notes with some camphor that refreshes the the throat. Nice huigan.
5th 7secs – Non punchy bitter and bittersweet, very woody-medicinal note that develops thickness and a tongue coating sensation. As it goes down, it is smooth with some camphor, pencil shaving (woody) and a musky sweetness (like musk melon or another musky fruit) and developing more floral/fruit notes in the huigan.
6th 8secs – Non punchy bitter wood and bittersweet medicinal notes that become smoother (before thicker). As it goes down the woody/tamarind shell note appears and becomes sweeter with some camphor that refreshes.
7th 10secs – Non punchy bitter woody and medicinal notes transition to smoother and refreshing (some camphor) and not so thick tamarind shell notes. As it goes down, it becomes sweeter and wears more dried fruit note (still tamarind, just not so shell/woody like). The huigan continues to have that floral and medicinal note that lingers.
8th 12secs – Bittersweet woody and slightly thicker again with some of the numbing sensation, nice muted and musky sweetness and a dried fruit finish.
9th 16secs – Bitttersweet woody and thick/numbing front. There is a ‘pencil shaving’ woody note in the middle with tamarind shell notes that linger until the more floral/medicinal huigan appears.
10th 24secs – Matching the previous notes but slightly weaker. This is the first decline which made me adjust steep times.
Additional notes I was able to get 13 steeps after adjusting the steep times. I feel like I could have gotten 14 and just MAYBE 15 if I had be more patient (I wasn’t).
I liked this one quite a bit, It has complexity and changes along the way or at least it is playful with which characteristics shine. I’m not sure if it is more related to the blend having the opportunity to open up at different times but it offers different notes and I’m sure my next session will have different results. Thanks to the friend who shared this with me so I wouldn’t miss out on the YQH wave. :D
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Medicinal, Wood
Got a sample of this recently. Thank you Boychik for this sample. This was a good semi aged tea. It started off with some notes of tobacco and leather, as do all the Yangqinghao teas I have tried. This did not last too long. It evolved into something nice with a sort of a muted sweetness. Not the apricots of a young sheng but still what I would describe as a sweet note. I enjoyed this tea. It was good. I steeped this sixteen times in a small 50ml gaiwan. I think it would go another eight or so with longer steeping times. This is a high quality tea as are all the Yangqinghao teas I have sampled or bought. This is one I would consider buying at some point. I don’t think I am going to participate in this group order coming up in a few days.
I steeped this sixteen times in a 50ml gaiwan with 3.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, 3.5 min, and 4 min. I am feeling the qi of this tea now. It comes across as an energizing qi to me. Some people may experience these teas as having relaxing qi but I always get an energizing qi from them.
Flavors: Sweet, Tobacco
Here’s to my third YQH sample. I will admit that receiving these as gifts make it so much easier to review because if I had paid for them I would feel more obligated to make myself enjoy the tea rather then go through 16 to 20 steeps and just spill my thoughts on here with no regret.
Knowing that this is a blend, I know that I won’t be getting 100% of what someone else got but I do know that I will still be tasting the majority of the same notes. Leaf was easy to separate after a quick rinse (I do this so it is all opened within 8 minutes of sitting). Since this isn’t in the middle range of color, I have to assign a number for a darkness: I would say this is around a 7 to 8 out of 10 concerning darkness of a raw pu’erh That to me normally means levels of depth within the liquid as well as a more syrupy lingering in my mouth. Most of the raw I’ve had from the 80s, 90s, and 00s follow this assumption I assigned. Unfortunately, this tea only has the longevity of around 27 seconds after a sip. However, after the fifth steep it stays rather consistent which is nice because at steep 10 you are not losing the flavor profile that steep 6 had.
I was really hoping for a stronger feel as well as a lingering taste or tingle in my mouth. It has the taste of a 00s tea for sure, but I’ve had better and I don’t really want to compare prices because I feel as if this tea would only improve over a decent 5+ years according to my taste preference; which leans towards young rather than old. As this was my Easter treat, it kind of let me down because it went down and its mark was gone before 30 seconds had passed. Wait about a minute of a decent sip and you notice a bit of flatness to it that you wouldn’t get from a tea that has tingle feel or syrup like layer left in your mouth.
Thank You Boychik for this sample. This was one good tea. easily the best of the Yangqinghao teas I have tried. There were some notes of tobacco early one, for about the first two steep. Then it was nice and smooth. With a subdued sweetness to it that I don’t know how to properly describe. The tea soup had a fairly dark color but perhaps a little less dark than some of the other Yangqinghao teas I’ve tried. This tea had a strong qi. There was an energizing qi to it. I can’t say that I became tea drunk but am really feeling it after sixteen steeps. The tea was not finished at sixteen either. I will save the leaves for later or tomorrow and hopefully get back to them. Now I want to try the tea I bought from Hawaii. That was even more expensive than this if you can believe it but I only bought 18g of it.
I steeped this tea sixteen times in a 50 ml gaiwan with 3.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, 3.5 min, and 4 min. I think that this tea would go another ten steeps or so with longer infusion times.
Flavors: Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco
With only two YQH samples, I have been very picky on when I’ll use them. Today was beautiful outside and I just got the 6th book of the new printing of Master Keaton in the mail: https://www.instagram.com/p/BC_UbhwRYLN/
That made me go to my box of ‘this is the expensive tea samples’ with intentions to have a wonderful afternoon. The leaf looked rather dark with clear signs of age on it which excited me. Brewing this was pretty easy as the leaf opened on the second steep, however my findings are more negative than positive. This is not a raw pu’erh for me nor for others who like the lighter teas. If I would have blindly tried this tea, I would have given up at steep three as the first two were really hard to sip down. Very strong notes of leather and tobacco come out from this tea with an underlining sweetness similar to a raisin (not taste, but that small sweetness) and a nice mouth feel. While there is no bitterness to the taste, the texture that the liquid leaves behind has the similar feeling as that of a smoked tea where your mouth feels like it is being dried a bit even though your mouth feels like it is being dried a bit even though you just drank a liquid.
Well, since I did not blindly taste this and knowing what it was, I continued to brew this out. At least the tea was consistent for me in regards to all the mentioned taste. Continuous leather mixed with tobacco and a diminishing undertone of sweetness that gave it an attribute that I liked, I just can’t see myself wanting any more of this.
Now that I have finished my 12 steep session, I have decided to go check the price because in my head YQH means $$$. It looks like this tea is $.48 a gram which I wouldn’t consider a really high price as I associate with YQH. As usual, I read nothing of this tea before drinking it because I want my own thoughts to bring forward my tasting notes; it looks like this is noted to be stronger than its mellow cousins per the description which would have already made me realize it wouldn’t be one for me.
Going through the YQH and knowing my preference, it looks like I have two I’ll be looking at: 2004 Dingji Yesheng because yesheng is tied for my favorite with bang dong and the 2004 Jinhao Chawang.
Overall this tea is pretty good. There were no real noticeable storage tastes, certainly no wet storage taste. There were some initial notes that you could describe as tobacco, leather, etc. There was a fair amount of bitterness to this tea, but it was not what I would call an abiding bitterness. It developed into something you might call sweet. What was disappointing about this tea was it’s lack of qi. There was some qi to this but not much, not the massive qi I got off of some of the other Yangqinghao teas. It did evolve into something nice. It had a strong aftertaste, somewhat bitter.
I brewed this tea fourteen times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. The tea was not done. I may save it for later.
Flavors: Bitter, Leather, Sweet, Tobacco
What an exciting tea session I had today! My life has been so hectic over the past 10 days that I have not even had time to do one gong fu session. I missed them as part of my daily routine so today I could not wait to begin a session and I knew it had to be something special. I chose the 2006 YQH Chawangshu. This is definitely an extra special tea! Sourced from the Chawangshu plantation in Guafengzhai, you know that the material has to be high quality. Beautiful leaves which are obviously carefully stone-pressed. Flash brew and then the first smell – rather interesting sweet notes dominate. Clear and bright golden yellow tea liquor. This liquor is very agreeable in the mouth – coats the mouth; fills it with the sweet tastes of fruit, honey and wood; begins to promote a bit of salivation. Cha qi is very individualized and for me, I began to feel this one after the second infusion – a nice relaxed feeling began to move throughout my body and continued to build throughout the session. Thank you Emmet for bringing this tea to me!
This tea is perhaps the smoothest semi aged sheng I have drank. It was smooth with little bitterness from the start. Oddly in the first infusion I got the definite note of peppermint, for just a few sips, but it was there. I drink a lot of peppermint tea so I am familiar with the taste. This was a sweet tasting tea pretty much from the start. There were no unpleasant aged tastes and no wet storage taste. The qi was not quite as strong as it was with the other two Yangqinghao teas I have drank but it was there, very energizing. I have to give this tea a high mark even if I’m not all together sure it was worth the price I paid. It is good but I think it should have cost a little less in as far as how good it is. Ah well I can’t control the prices of the tea I drink. Luckily for me I still prefer ripe over raw in general and it is much cheaper.
I brewed this tea fourteen times in a 60mlg gaiwan with 4.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I might save the leaves for tomorrow, have not decided yet.
Unsure what I was getting myself into: The long awaited YQH tasting has come.
Not knowing a thing about this tea, I went right into it. Within 11 steeps I had my thoughts collected and went another 6 steeps with no changes on those thoughts.
This tea brews easily which is a plus, but within the ability to brew it easily with no disappointment coming from astringency or bitterness there seems to lack depth. This tea hits the tongue and ends in a rather flat manner; therefore I can’t say there is a body to note about this tea. The taste is on the mild side, appealing to my personal preference, with a mellow color.
Reading about ‘gushu’ vs fake ‘gushu’, I was really looking forward to this tea and my conclusions were leading me to conclude that I was let down by this. There are many teas out there that slide off the tongue with pleasant flavor, but without a body or lingering qi… I really have no idea what would set this apart. I do have two or three more YQH samples to go through and each should be a step up from the one prior to it.
This tea was good, at least I enjoyed it. It started off with notes of tobacco and perhaps leather. These didn’t last and were replaced by another aged note that was still a little unpleasant. This note (I’m not sure how to describe it) lasted another four or five steeps. This was replaced by a sweet note of sorts. Not apricot sweetness like a young sheng but a more subdued sweetness. It became very smooth. There was a certain bitterness throughout the steeps too. There was no note of wet storage. I think the storage of this brick was very clean. The main question is this worth the price? Because of the fact that I split this three ways and mailed off two big chunks of it today I would say yes. My first impulse is to say I wouldn’t get myself a whole brick of this in the next group order but who knows what I’ll think after I drink this again. I gave this tea fifteen steeps and stopped at that. I think it would have gone another five or six steeps. I don’t know if I will save the leaves for tomorrow or later today, I may. This tea has some qi to it. It is not a massive qi but I am definitely feeling it now, quite energizing.
I steeped this tea fifteen times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Leather, Sweet, Tobacco
This tea is in my opinion quite good. It ought to be for what it cost. It started out with what I would describe as notes of hay and tobacco. This lasted maybe two steeps and another taste emerged. It became quite smooth and in its own way quite sweet. Not mind you the apricot sweetness of a young sheng but something I am not sure I have tasted before, a sweetness with an aged flavor. It did not develop any of what I call unpleasant aged flavor that I have tasted in many ten year old sheng. There was no taste of wet storage. This tea must have been stored quite cleanly for it did not seem to develop any storage taste. As to qi, I am really feeling it. I am energized after fifteen steeps in my small 60ml gaiwan. I will most likely save the leaves and continue tomorrow because the leaves are not done and this was expensive. This tea rates a 100% for it’s qi and a 90% for its taste. I have enjoyed this immensely.
I steeped this tea 15 times in a 60ml gaiwan with 4.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min. I would guess that there are five or six steeps at least left in this tea but maybe even ten steeps. This is also the first tea I have drank where I know the claims of gushu can be truly backed up. While some of the other teas I have drank that claim to be gushu certainly were, some of them certainly weren’t. This I don’t doubt was gushu.
Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Sweet, Tobacco
It’s a beautiful day and today I’m sampling a 2011 YangQingHao Guyun Bulang courtesy of MrMopar. I decide to go with about 6 grams of material to my 1990s Huang Long Shan Hong Pi Long Shui Ping Hu 60 ml Teapot.
Upon inspection, the dry leaves are relatively large in size and have a thick, healthy look to them. Also, it is clear to me that MrMopar is much more skilled than myself at prying puerh! Barely any breakage!
I give the material a quick wash and inspect the nose. The wet leaves produce a rather dull nose… perhaps somewhat vegetal with very soft, barely noticeable, notes of plum in the background. Perhaps some mineral-y notes in there too. From my experience, this is rather common among Bulangs. The appearance of the soup is rather typical – clear with your golden hue to it.
Following a few infusions, I find that I enjoy the mouthfeel on this one. The soup is thick in the mouth with a brief initial cooling sensation followed by a sweet finish in the back of the throat, which seems to linger. There is also a very agreeable astringency that balances well with the sweetness that lingers in the back of the throat. This is a nice tea and would definitely recommend it.
Sweet and mellow sheng. Full body with a soft texture. Active in the mouth with nice mouth/throat coating. Quick hitting lower level relaxing qi which I enjoyed very much. Lingering aftertaste. The 1st sip was noticeably pleasant – fruit and honey sweetness dominated the flavor profile. My enjoyment continued throughout the session (8-9) steeps. I’m a fan! I was working with a sample of this and the 2006 Yechawang so that I can make a purchase decision. Based on my time with these two samples, I am fairly certain I prefer the Wuyangcha but I have enough for one more session before I commit.
YQH teas are not inexpensive; however, this tea is a relatively modest cost of $0.39 per gram (500g cake). I made my purchase last year and was fortunate enough to pay $0.35/g. With eleven years of age and pure Yiwu gushu material, this is a very good price! Lots and lots of beautiful whole leaves (but also stems and broken pieces as well). Bright and clear golden tea liquor. Floral/fruity aroma and a very sweet/mellow sip. Good longevity – I can easily go 10-11 infusions and I usually give up before the leaf does. The qi is also there but it is a gentle qi – evoking what I can best describe as a thoughtful meditative state. Nice daily drinker for me and I have successfully shared with non-tea drinking guests.
Gushu blend of material from the original six famous mountains (Yiwu, Mangzhi, Yibang, Youle, Manzhuan, Gedeng). With a mix of both autumn and spring leaf, it seems to have a thicker body and heavier brew than many of the YQH productions. Nice complexity during the tea session – I found both tobacco and old book leather (particularly in earlier infusions) as well as herbs, sweetness and fruitness. Active mouthfeel throughout the session. Never turned to bitterness. Very good YQH value found in this tea – premium 6 mountain blend; 10 years of age; great longevity and endurance; 500g cake ($0.39/gram). Dare I say a bargain YQH tea?