Yunnan Sourcing

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Recent Tasting Notes

88

Home – 11:00 AM

Ahhh… Sunday… The laziest of days.

To me, this tea is like a combination of Yunnan, Fujian, and Taiwanese black teas. There is a smooth, slightly savory sweet potato note and thick texture from Yunnan, an interesting caraway or rye bread taste that I associate with Fujian, and then a lighter honeyed dried fruit and floral flavor from Taiwan. I would say it leans more toward a Yunnan black tea than the others, which makes since considering it is, in fact, from Yunnan.

Very tasty! I’m not sure I would order this over other teas, as I think I would rather have a characteristic tea from each region, rather than a hybrid. But it is extremely enjoyable and I will certainly have no trouble finishing the 50g packet.

I just noticed – Yunnan Sourcing has a “Taiwan Sourcing” section now? Oh boy… Now if only they offered a 25g size… ;)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Hay, Honey, Rye, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Leafhopper

Taiwan Sourcing is an offshoot of Yunnan Sourcing and they do have a 25 g size! It’s definitely worth checking out, though their teas can get expensive. (Or did you know this already and my irony sensor is out of order?)

Cameron B.

You’re totally right! I just didn’t realize some of them were 25g because they’re the same price as 50g of Yunnan black tea! :O

Leafhopper

Yep, they’re not cheap. They do have some unique stuff, though.

Cameron B.

In my experience, Taiwanese black tea leaves are often very lightweight and voluminous as well. So that could be part of the price-to-weight ratio seeming higher as well.

Leafhopper

That could be, although I still use about the same amount of tea by weight so it doesn’t make a difference. :) I think Taiwanese teas are generally more expensive for some reason.

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86

This was a fairly tasty Fujian black tea. I loved Teavivre’s unsmoked wild Lapsang Souchong and would have bought some more except I didn’t want to be saddled with a 100g bag so I purchased this one instead from Yunnan Sourcing. I found it to be an enjoyable tea yet a little too basic for my liking. The Teavivre one had an amazing depth of flavor, while this doesn’t go beyond the chocolate notes. Frankly, I’m starting to tire of super chocolatey black teas. I have several of them and they all taste very similar. I love chocolate as a flavor component but want more complexity. Often I’ll remedy this by blending with a different black tea. Below are some quick notes I jotted down while drinking it. I tried it both gongfu and western style, and preferred gongfu for its richer and slightly more complex flavor.

Leaf appearance: very thin, wiry leaves
Aroma: dry leaf has a soft fragrance of cacao nibs, malt, and blackberries. wet leaf smells predominantly of chocolate

1st steep: starts of with sweet potato and cocoa. then as it cools, transitions to a rich Ovaltine chocolate malt.
2nd steep: more chocolate comes forward, specifically dark chocolate and a hint of sweet potato
3rd steep: lighter, but smooth and syrupy sweet

Flavors: Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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92

One last note before I finish off this 50g pouch in the coming days.

In addition to the southern style green beans made with ham hock, a dash of black pepper, spring grass and gardenias in the air, with longer steep times I’m pulling out a fresh yellow peach in the nose and mouth.

The impression I’m getting is a summer gathering with little girls running around in white dresses on the Georgia coastline, and a cooling marine breeze to trick you into thinking it’s not as warm as it is. Not that I’ve ever been to Georgia besides as a thoroughfare to Florida ;P

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

I made some bolognese sauce with old hamburger. I have ragrets. Bi luo chun always makes me feel a little better when I have ragrets.

Straight up, drinking this smooth, thick, mouth-watering tea is like eating a plate of southern style green beans with ham hock and a dash of black pepper, while sitting on some fresh spring grass with gardenias abloom. But it’s imperial grade so it’s light in flavor.

I love it.

(Western, 3g, 8oz, 175F, first steep 2 minutes, 3 total)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Oh yes, this is better. 4g in 16oz boiling water Grandpa style makes a good chocolatey, leathery cup in aroma and taste. Less pronounced sour orange and much thicker mouthfeel. Still no bitterness but it is sweeter now. Like western, some light astringency is showing up in the throat but it’s tolerable for me and doesn’t increase despite steeping for an hour. No fuss, keeping me awake for this 4-hr-long nighttime programming class.

Edit: I took a longer sniff of the leaves and I’m getting something like spiced oatmeal cookies. They’re very fragrant but hard for me to pinpoint.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70

I was reading through last year’s harvest reviews and I can say this year’s tea is much different.

Prepared this western because assamica black. 3.5g (roughly 1T), 8oz, 212F, 2 steeps at 3 and 5 minutes. I tried a third steep and while it sill had plenty of flavor, I don’t recommend it because of a strong wet leaf funk.

Dry leaf smelled very peppery, with some malt, cedar wood, leather and faint chocolate if I went searching, lightly cookie-ish. Wet leaf smelled like moss, chocolate and light ginger?

In terms of taste, there was a black pepper spiciness on the sip and in the nose with some malt, leather, wood and earth and a sour orange background note holding it all together. In the second steep, I noticed a slight cooling ginger spicy after effect. The liquor was light-bodied but produced a heavy feeling. No sweetness or bitterness. A very light astringency showed up in the throat in the second steep.

Overall, it’s a solid tea, nothing to complain about for the price – it’s certainly affordable. I think I’ll try one long steep western, too. I’ve already had a go at grandpa but I didn’t take any mental notes, so I’ll try that again.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

(sipdown of an older sample from Mackie)

I think this has long some of its flavor because it was the 2015 harvest. The first cup I added some soy milk hoping to bring out the rich cocoa notes. It didn’t give a lot of flavor, so my second steep I went with half of the water and only water, also I used boiling water instead of the moderate temperature I normally use. The second cup was much better and it steeped a rich amber-brown and had a distinctly cocoa flavour. It also gets a bit tannic if you let it steep too long, so be careful. I get an acidity but also smooth malty notes.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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88

This tea has one of the strongest dry leaf aromas I have encountered in a sheng – mostly smells of honey and cookies. After the rinse, the aromas change dramatically to smoky & earthy ones, and strangely enough the wet leaves don’t actually have such a pungent smell anymore. They give off aromas like egg shells, bbq sauce and celery root.

The taste is very strong and bitter right up front in the first few infusions (make sure you keep your initial steeps short). The quinine like bitterness quickly transforms into sweetness though. Other than that, it is a mineral tea with some notes of moss, dry grass and cranberry. The aftertaste starts off sweet but becomes slightly salty afterwards. In late infusions (above 10) I also get the standard tobacco and mushroom flavours, the former actually really strong in the aftertaste.

The liquor has medium thickness and is mouth-watering, oily and a touch powdery. It is also quite warming in the throat. The most memorable aspect of the tea is definitely the cha qi though. It hits really hard, this is not a tea to drink while working. I had to lie down after 3 infusions already.

The leaves are young (small) and still very green, attesting to the dry storage of the tea. It still has quite a way to go in terms of aging. I wish the mouthfeel was thicker overall. Because of the pungent taste, steeping more aggressively doesn’t seem to be a viable option to improve that. But ok, I can accept that this tea is not about the mouthfeel, rather the ‘mindfeel’ and, to a lesser extent, the strong taste. The longetivity is quite good too. Right now I am on steep 14 or so (each one of which was 90-100ml and the first few I should have done shorter tbh), and it seems like it will last for a few more at least.

Flavors: Bitter, Celery, Cranberry, Dry Grass, Grass, Grilled Food, Mineral, Moss, Mushrooms, Salt, Smoke, Tobacco

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

The Ba Ma Gong Chun from HLH has a kick as well.

Togo

Thanks, I will check it out :)

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My black tea samplers are usually 50 gram packs, that way even if I don’t favorite a tea I will use it up.

This High Mountain “Tu Cha” Black Tea from Wu Yi Mountains is a nice surprise, it is inexpensive but delivers a sweet viscous tea soup that hits the spot.

The description is of a slight coffee roasted taste but for me it has a rummy note. Either way I will be ordering more.

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Home – 10:00 AM

Happy Sunday, everyone!

So this is the second of three black teas I ordered from Yunnan Sourcing. I was too intrigued by the description to pass it up. Apparently at some point in its processing, this tea is fried in muscovado sugar water. Too interesting to not buy! ;)

The leaves are quite small and slender, and they have a dark cool brown color. They have an unusual amount of sheen that isn’t portrayed in the photograph.

Yummy, this is definitely a very satisfying tea! At the forefront are the lovely malt and sweet potato notes that are quintessentially Yunnan. They have more strength or heft here than in the golden needle variety. I would almost call it a bit of a “chew” – in the most pleasant and satisfying way, like eating warm freshly-made wheat bread.

There is a bit of dark caramel or brown sugar here as well – though not necessarily the sweetness as much as the rich flavor. I’m also finding a bit of a savory note, perhaps reminiscent of lightly smoked meat. That sounds weird, but it’s not, I promise! XD

Overall, it’s a satisfying balance of malty, sweet, and a touch of savory. Definitely a great tea for getting going in the morning, but also complex enough to savor in the afternoon.

P.S. – I would love to hear recommendations for your favorite hong cha from Yunnan Sourcing!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Rye, Smoked, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

2016 Menghai “7752” Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake sold by yunnan sourcing.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGLoSFl-J/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988

Dry leaf: musty, sweet, earthy.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGRzClXKq/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988
https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGOchlC4o/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988

Wet leaf: earthy, very sweet, rainforest/forest floor.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGZsBl9lq/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988

Light steep; I smell/taste:
Smell; earthy, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate, camphor(?), mushrooms(?).
Taste; medium —→ earth, metallic(copper/iron), rainforest/forest, fermentation, sweet, Mushrooms, chocolate, cookies. Strong camphor. Special note: brewed tea has a thick tasty mouth feel.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGXNblCVC/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988

Medium steep; I smell/taste:
Smell; Same as above however a bit stronger.
Taste; medium —→ cookies, mushroom. strong —→ earth, camphor, metallic (iron/copper)

Note: I won’t be doing a heavy steep a I figure from above notes, it would possibly be too strong. Maybe I’m a few years if I buy it again, then I can try. I suggest light steeps.

Aside from a lack of a heavy steep, I rate a 100/100. Just so clean, crisp, and tasty!

Where to buy: https://yunnansourcing.com/products/2016-menghai-7752-ripe-pu-erh-tea-cake

Another special note, it may be hard to pry good sized chunks off. This is not a big deal. Still a great tea.

Bonus Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BonGUokl171/?taken-by=kirkoneill1988

Flavors: Camphor, Chocolate, Cookie, Earth, Forest Floor, Metallic, Mushrooms, Musty, Rainforest, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Kirkoneill1988

i just noticed this is my 666th note….. maybe bad luck lmao! but could be good luck in Chinese terms ;)

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This is unlike any other tea I have ever had. I am not quite sure why is that the case though. Dry leaves give off an interesting and deep aroma that has a little bit of a leather quality. After the rinse, I get a fairly subtle, sweet and complex smell. There are hints of fish, nettle, swamp vegetation – I just can’t stop sniffing it. The liquor smell like dry bamboo and the empty cup more like rapeseed flowers to me.

The first two infusions after rinse are still just a warm-up. They are quite vegetal, salty and a touch bitter with an interesting aftertaste that’s a mix of fish and thistles. I know it sounds strange, but that’s the closest approximation I could come up with. This is a strange tea.

The third infusion is where the session properly starts. From then on, the tea is thick and incredibly smooth with a buttery and numbing mouthfeel. It is a Lincang tea, so naturally there is a decent amount of astringency, but it’s manageable and it only occurs in the mouth, there’s no drying sensation in the throat. Interestingly, the colour of the liquor is quite dark and with a brownish hue.

I enjoy the taste too, although it’s hard to place it. I would say it’s a mix of sweet, floral and alcohol flavours. I think I will need more time with this tea to be able to pinpoint it. The aftertaste is slightly acidic and floral at first and becomes nutty (think sunflower seeds) and sweet over time. It also lasts so long. As I am writing this, it’s been about half an hour since I last drunk the tea and I can feel it in the throat as if I just swallowed it! One quality of the aftertaste that just emerged now is a kind of vegetal (grape leaf) flavour.

Because of the protracted aftertaste, strong cha qi and a very good longetivity of the leaves, this turned out to be a really long session in the end. It’s not the kind of sheng I would drink casually or with little time to spare.

I think I like it a lot, but I will wait with the rating until further sessions. It’s hard to compare the tea with others because of how different it is. It’s a bummer that the cakes are sold out though, I would have loved to have this one in the collection. At least there are versions of this tea from previous years that I could pick up, but now I wonder which one should it be?

Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Bamboo, Fishy, Floral, Nutty, Plants, Salty, Sour, Thick, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tanluwils

I’ve had the 2013 autumn, 2014 spring, and 2015 spring – all are quite different – which I’m not sure can be said for Scott’s other pressings. Perhaps Mangfei? I’m intrigued by your description of the 2017 pressing. It’s a shame QMS isn’t in this year’s lineup.

Togo

hm, I see you’ve enjoyed all of them a great deal, that’s good to see. Let’s hope that next year it will pass Scott’s tests and it will be back. Or maybe we will get an autumn version this year? The last one is from 2014 I think.

The variability in the Mang Fei cakes actually makes more sense. A quick look at the descriptions seems to suggest that the material used is not always from the same garden(s).

tanluwils

Yes, re: Mangfei. The MF 2014 pressing was amazing in terms of both qi and flavor…and sorta takes my breath away.

Yes, I’m pretty happy with all QMS pressings I’ve tried so far. It’s one of the purest teas (in taste and body feel) i’ve had and it would be a shame if this year’s QMS maocha didn’t pass the EU residual pesticide test…

Togo

I think it’s more likely that it wouldn’t have passed Scott’s personal evaluation test than the pesticide tests. They always has to make a choice between a lot of maocha samples, so it’s possible that it just didn’t compare too favorably with the rest of what has been on offer this year.

tanluwils

That’s a good point, as we’ve already seen such variation in each pressing of QMS. I imagine timing the harvest just right has as much of an impact on quality as skilled processing.

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88

I normally don’t like rose-scented teas. I don’t even know why I bought these dragon balls but I’ll be damned, the mood for rose struck today. Maybe it seemed like a natural progression from my wake-up cup of some underwhelming gui fei I’m trying to finish off.

Anyway, whew boy is this a sweet tea!

Gone gaiwan. 1 beautiful dragon ball, 150mL, 200F. Gave it a 30s soak and lost track of the number of steeps because I was so caffeinated. 10+ that’s for sure.

The dry ball smells so good, much like cherry and not that old lady perfumey rose scent. The aroma of the liquor matches the scent of the dry leaf and rose petals, never once making me regret choosing rose today. Once the ball opened up about halfway, the liquor became very thick with down and had a wonderful viscous texture. There was some astringency that could probably be somewhat mitigated by keeping steep times at 10-15s (I was doing several rounds of 20 before knocking the time down).

In terms of tastes, I wasn’t aiming for depth of notes today, rather just enjoying the session. Most notable was the cherry-rose, some spiciness and some minerality. Several steeps had a pronounced note of frankincense. Where this tea really got me was the intense! date sweetness that lasted long in the back of the mouth and seemed to also sit in my chest. I’m not normally a fan of super sweet teas but in this one, it just worked so well.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable, incredibly sweet tea, one that would be great to share a session with somebody. The rose petals are beautiful and vibrant in smell and taste, never perfumey but quite fruity. I do wonder if the fruitiness could be attributed to the base tea. I know YS sells it alone but I haven’t tried it. Regardless, the two ingredients work really well together. Another thing to note is these balls are pressed not nearly as compact as the Silver Needles or Moonlight White dragon balls, giving this tea less of a learning curve than those other two. I’m glad I picked up several of these dragon balls and won’t be in a rush to finish the last one just to get it out of my cupboard, saving it for when the mood strikes again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

This was my most recent sipdown. I finished the last of a 50g pouch of these flowers earlier in the day. I absolutely loved the snow chrysanthemum buds offered by Yunnan Sourcing, and fortunately, the flowers did not disappoint either. Naturally, they were very similar to the buds in terms of aroma and flavor, though I found them to be a bit gentler and smoother overall.

I prepared my snow chrysanthemum flowers gongfu style. After a rinse, I steeped 6 grams of dried flowers in 4 ounces of 212 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 20 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 minutes, 12 minutes, 16 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dried blossoms produced intense aromas of chrysanthemum, dill, pickle brine, and bitter orange. After the rinse, I noted hints of black pepper on the nose. The first infusion introduced a subtle ginger scent. In the mouth, I found pungent chrysanthemum notes on the entry that gave way to notes of pickle brine and dill before vegetal notes reminiscent of green bell pepper and hints of bitter orange took over on the swallow. The subsequent infusions introduced a tangerine aroma. Notes of black pepper and ginger emerged in the mouth, and new impressions of minerals, caramel, tangerine, and grass also made themselves known. The later infusions offered soft mineral and snow chrysanthemum notes that were balanced by subtler impressions of citrus, ginger, dill, pickle brine, and green bell pepper.

Much like the aforementioned snow chrysanthemum buds, these little flowers were seemingly inexhaustible. I just reached a point where I could not go on with the review session and stopped there. As mentioned above these flowers were smoother and gentler than the buds, so if the snow chrysanthemum buds were a little too pungent and herbal for you, I could see these snow chrysanthemum blossoms being more up your alley.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Caramel, Citrus, Dill, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Mineral, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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64

5g leaf with hottish but not boiling water
10 second rinse with cold water

Steep 1: 7s
Light vegetal flavour, and I think it reminds me of chamomile but with more medicinal flavour. Much less flavour than I anticipated for the first steep.

Steep 2: 7s
This steep came out very strong, but it wasn’t bitter which I appreciated. The vegetal notes remind be of cauliflower and dill, citrus in the finish, quite medicinal

Steep 3: 5s
[dill intensifies]

Steep 4: Less medicinal, more vegetal and herbal, maybe a touch of fruity sweetness?

Steep 5: This just tastes like a dill pickle. I’m not too sure I like this

Flavors: Dill, Floral, Herbs, Medicinal, Mineral, Sweet Potatoes

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Home – 10:00 AM

So once upon a time (actually, a few years ago, when I was first on Steepster), I really loved Chinese black teas, and especially Yunnan black teas. So now that I’m drinking tea again, I had to order a few to try from Yunnan Sourcing, just to see if I still feel the same way. I chose Fu Shou Mei Feng Qing, High Mountain Red Ai Lao, and this tea. Because come on, anything with “Honey Aroma” in the name needs to be tried! ;) Plus I wanted some variety.

Some of my favorite teas that I remember were the lovely golden varieties. This is no exception, the leaves are long and slender and covered with golden hairs. Lovely! I followed the Western parameters from a similar tea on Teavivre (because YS only has Gongfu parameters). I sort of eyeballed the amount of tea instead of weighing it for some reason… (shrugs)

The resulting brew is light, and it smells and tastes just as I remember. The predominant note is malty sweet potato, alongside lightly toasted bread and honey. Perhaps a touch of apricot adding a bit of fruitiness (okay, now I want buttered toast with apricot jam…). At the end, there is a light floral finish, making me think of honeysuckle.

I’m happy to find that I still love this type of black tea, despite drinking mostly flavored teas these days! Will definitely be trying more once I’ve worked my way through these selections.

I’m going to hold off on a rating, since I don’t really have anything to compare this with. But I highly recommend it!

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Toast

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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A nice ripe puerh for sure. I’ve had a sample for a couple of years I believe, but I just got to it. Has a strong, slightly sour note in the first couple steeps that I don’t usually encounter in shou. It wasn’t bad, but certainly unexpected for the first session. After that, I got a lot of earthy notes, some dry chocolate, like a very dark chocolate, and some very mild spice notes. Good body. A solid shou for sure. I might check out one of the newer versions of this one, considering it’s sold out now.

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The dry leaf has the appearance of kibble or rabbit droppings.

Arylide liquor turning muddy if over-steeped. Ginseng aroma with hints of licorice, orchid, and a faintly medicinal note. The lightly oxidized base tea disappears on the palate with the ginseng dominating. Soft, almost powdery mouth-feel. Finishes sweet with a long lingering aftertaste. Moderately energizing.

I’ll be sticking with the subtle balance of Ten Ren’s king’s tea as their dark oolongs stand up well to a touch of ginseng – by contrast, this tea has an insipid base overwhelmed by the full frontal assault of the flavoring.

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86

I was searching through my cupboard this morning looking for a tea to complement the weather. It’s cool, overcast and humid today, making it feel a little warmer than it really is. I figured I’d dip into this yellow tea for the first time.

I prepared this gongfu, using 3g, 60mL gaiwan, 195F. Flash rinse followed by 10 steeps, though you could probably get more with attentive brewing.

The dry leaf smell was very rounded with sweet potato, sweet mango, malt and a deep umami that reminded me of soy sauce. The wet leaf scent remained surprisingly strong throughout with notes of tropical fruits like mango, passionfruit and guava, some malt, light cocoa and a faint mint which disappeared early on. The mint made its presence known as a cooling effect more than a taste. Despite the warm notes in scent and taste, this was a very cooling tea. The flavors remained unchanging and reflected the scent of the wet leaf: tropical fruit, umami, malt, sweet potato, mineral and a kind of lightly bitter alkaline taste with a building but not unpleasant astringency.

The amber-gold liquor remained thick throughout and sat heavily in my stomach, making food a requirement. I ended up finishing the session while eating some leftover Ethiopian food which overwhelmed the experience so I was sitting and wondering what kind of food would go well with this tea. Maybe a guava or pineapple cake or a red bean moon cake? Something to bring the fruity notes forward and tame the growing astringency.

I really enjoyed this tea and found it to be a great pick for today’s weather. It’s definitely Yunnan in taste and very different from the yellow tea I’ve tried from Anhui province. I’m glad my curiosity brought me to this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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88

Brick sample. Low aroma, but heavily-compressed, early steeps are incredibly sweet. As the compression lets go, the floral bitterness, pleasant, intensifies. Brewing carefully, it stays in check and is balanced in a show of strength that’s quite enjoyable. Late steeps pick up some of the youthful fruitiness of sheng. Good tea, with great endurance, a revealing story, and both strength and grace.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sugar

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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89

It is too late now for anyhting caffeinated, so this seems like a good option. I just received a box of samples from derk, so I am excited to try them out, this will be the first one of them.

The first thing I notice is how pretty these look. Obviously, they are not leaves, so the look is always going to be unusual, but very few flower buds are this cute I reckon.

The smell is mostly what I would expect from Chrysantemum, although a little more citrusy and vegetal than the properly grown flower scent I am used to. It also doesn’t really have any of the thick pollen smell. I get reminded of my grandma’s house :)

I really like the mouthfeel of this tea. It is farily thick and at the same time somehow feels as if the tea just disappeared in my mouth – so light. In terms of taste, there is surprisingly a lot of balance. It is sweet, sour, a little medicinal and herbal (reminds me of Almdudler/Rivella and cough sirup). The particular notes I get are not so pronounced, apart from the obvious flowery taste, I also found this leafy taste that derk identified as curry leaf. I am a bit ashamed to admit it, being passionate about cooking and into curries, but I actually never came accross curry leaves. To me, that note is reminiscent of fenugreek leaves.

Another satisfying aspect of the tea is the long cooling and sticky aftertaste. It is sweet and peppery overall and doesn’t seem to change a whole lot initially. Quite a bit later on however, once the pungent sweetness disappears, I get a strong floral sensation coupled with the spicy feeling in the throat that still persists some 10 minutes after drinking. I wonder how many infusions I can get out of this. It has been mentioned that it lasts long, but I need to go to bed soon. Maybe I will cold brew it overnight, or just leave it for a morning continuation of the session.

As far as tisanes go, these Chrysanthemum buds are absolutely awesome, I will be looking to get more. I also have to thank derk for sending me this (among all the other lovely teas), because it is surely a hit!

Flavors: Black Pepper, Citrus, Flowers, Herbs, Medicinal, Pepper, Plants, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML
derk

Every time I drink this, I think about South Indian food.

Bluegreen

What a tempting review. I want, I want, I want. I have been looking on tisanes offered by YS for a while, including this tea. They are not particularly numerous but all of their herbs/flowers in their tea blends tasted very fresh and robust. So, I guess I know what my next order from Yunnan Sourcing will largely consist of.

tanluwils

I recommend brewing them in a glass vessel or chahai to appreciate the beauty of these golden flowers as they’re suspended in their own soup. Quite stunning to watch as one drinks. This one definitely passes TeaDB’s “mom test”.

I can see where one might get curry leaves from the nutty notes in the tea. It’s definitely nothing like conventional Chinese chrysanthemum tea.

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97

Completely delicious!
Fantastic tea! It is enjoyable from the very first sip. Though it is hard to tell from the picture, these cubes are really cubes, not flat. They are shaped like a baby’s wooden letter block. I used less than half of one cube, about 5g of tea to 8oz water in a small clay pot. The taste was great immediately (whereas other teas kind of sneak up on you), and it has a nice long finish too. Tea soup is a pretty reddish brown. Lots of nice mineral notes and slight bitterness. Coats your mouth and has a long, earthy aftertaste. Second steep was just as delicious. It has a metallic/mineral taste that I just love in a good ripe puerh. It coats your tongue and mouth and just keeps on giving. If you buy 100g, it’s only 7 cents/gram, which is great for such a good tea, but if you get a whole Kg, it will be only 4 cents/gram! That makes it one of the best bargain puerhs I’ve ever seen, amazing for the quality of tea you get.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
mrmopar

Clay pots are nice to brew in!

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67

This was the last of the white teas I consumed this month. I think I finished my 25g pouch Friday afternoon. Sadly, this tea was the least impressive of the bunch. It was not a bad tea, but it was not as memorable or as unique as the other white teas I have tried recently.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea buds in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced aromas of hay, corn husk, sugarcane, smoke, and honey. After the rinse, I detected a stronger corn husk scent as well as new aromas of butter and cream. The first infusion introduced scents of lettuce, grass, and fennel. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, butter, hay, and corn husk backed by hints of grass, sugarcane, smoke, and honey. I also caught some vague herbal touches that I could not identify. Subsequent infusions saw stronger aromas of fennel and smoke appear on the nose along with scents of straw and cooked green beans. Stronger honey, sugarcane, and grass notes were present in the mouth along with belatedly emerging hints of lettuce and fennel. New impressions of minerals, straw, spinach, cooked green beans, and sour plum were also on display. The final few infusions offered mineral, butter, lettuce, hay, and corn husk impressions that were backed by subtle fennel, grass, spinach, and sugarcane notes.

Despite a nice, thick mouthfeel, this struck me as being a pretty standard Yunnan white tea. Aside from the initially distracting smokiness it displayed, there was nothing about it that stood out to me for any length of time. More than anything, it would probably be a suitable Yunnan white tea for beginners, but if you are someone who is used to much more depth and complexity and goes looking for highly unique and challenging teas, it will probably not be of much interest.

Flavors: Butter, Corn Husk, Cream, Fennel, Grass, Green Beans, Hay, Honey, Lettuce, Mineral, Plums, Smoke, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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