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Recent Tasting Notes
This is quite nice. Has the characteristic LBZ smoothly bitter background with a touch of camphor and cocoa. Also has the qi you’d expect from such a tea. My only gripe is that it’s not as generous as I’d like. For me, 6 steepings and its cashed. This is a brew that you want to get 20 steeping from. Think I’ll let er sit a few years and see how she evolved. I bought a cake before the price increase. Don’t know if I’d pay the current price.
At 34 cents a gram this tea gets my bang for the buck award. There are too many floral, spicy, fruity and umami flavors to list and they change with each steep and as the cake ages. This tea strangely reminds me of a good Chinese stir fry in liquid form and goes perfectly with such a meal . The qi is of a chill variety, not bombastic or brain melt, just warm fuzzy contentment. If you want a rewarding gushu without paying a buck or two a gram look no further…
I liked everything about this tea. First time drinking a dragon ball and I loved watching the little ball expand over many steepings to fill the gaiwan. Amazing floral smell both dry and wet. Tasty. Unfortunately can’t remember much more of the flavor notes…was days ago.
Go easy on the heavy steeps…I mostly drink raw puer and this can get cloyingly astringent/bitter if pushed too hard. Shared this with my friend and we both commented on the lovely qi. We both had had a terrible night of sleep but felt fantastic and energized after it. Though that might have been to do with our usual session being 3G and this having 8G :) Really like the story about this tea from Scott on the website.
This tea brews up a very pretty light champagne gold, and smells like fresh alfalfa with a touch of something savory that I can’t place. The taste was mostly light hay, alfalfa, and a soft vegetalness with a tiny bit of honey. I didn’t get much in the way of floral or fruit notes. The finish is a little short and on the dry side. I spaced out and forgot to use a filter for the first few steeps but didn’t end up eating a bunch of leaf which was nice. The price point on this tea is really nice, which would make it a nice daily drinker for someone that likes a more savory white. I said “nice” too many times. This tea is nice.
It’s been a while since I actually had this tea; I’m a little behind on my notes. So, I just have some random observations collected from various scraps of paper that had notes on them – the end result of my tea sessions coinciding with my two-year old’s tea parties… Anyway, here’s what little sense I could make of them:
My experience changed a bit as I worked through my 50g pouch. My first impressions noted its sweet smokiness, mainly because I wasn’t expecting it. Just based on the color and my impression of Jin Jun Mei, I was expecting a whallop of malt sweetness. Instead, the main flavors where thick roasted nut notes and some sweet smokiness.
As I got to know the tea, though, I wasn’t noting the smokiness nearly at all – that got overshadowed by the prominent nut notes. Beyond this, I was really picking up sweet, fruity flavors, with a little pleasant funkiness (I called this “grape leaf”).
So, it was an engaging tea that made me want to explore it more. Overall, it definitely fits in the “roasted nut” flavor profile of black teas. However, there is some noticeable sweetness and fruitiness that keeps the flavor profile complex and balanced.
Dry leaf – mesquite smoke (barbecue), fragrant floral, pollen, molasses, hints of grape leaf and red currant. In preheated vessel – peanut, buttery toffee
Smell – mesquite wood smoke, roasted pecan, dark caramel, pungent floral?/wet wood?
Taste – heavily roasted pecan and hazelnut, grape leaf*, mesquite, brown sugar and malt sweetness; fruity and syrupy finish and aftertaste – grape leaf, mesquite smoke, red currant, molasses and malt.
*Grape leaf – fruity, leafy, musty flavor – some fruit sweetness counteracted by a leafy greenness and slight bitterness. Musty without being earthy.
I need to start finishing my older teas. I remember this one being more complex, but today, I’m getting roast, honeysuckle, and minerals. I filled the pot halfway full of leaf and the results are fairly astringent. I’m not tasting the orchid and stonefruit notes mentioned by other users; maybe that’s because the tea is old, or because I brewed it incorrectly. I have one more session’s worth of this tea, though that will probably be even more bitter because it’s the broken leaves at the bottom of the bag. This dan cong was okay, but I’m not inclined to buy it again.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Gardenias, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Roasted
This tea is quite pricey but well worth trying. For lack of a better term, this is the most Bulangy tasting tea I’ve had. Bold but smooth bitterness, very thick soup w lotsa huigan. Big camphor and some forest floor with perhaps a bit of quinine. I’m reminded of an old school English IPA or a gin and tonic hold the lime. Not much fruit or floral notes (in contrast to the Crimson Lotus single tree LBZ maocha that I tasted side by side with this) this tea remains pretty constant in its mission statement 20 steeps in. While the flavor remains bold and unwaivering the qi is over the top. Not relaxing and dreamy like an Yiwu or Naka but more like a stoned roadrunner. This is a great tea to drink with a hearty breakfast before you need to perform some menial tasks around the house as I guarantee you’ll get them done quite quickly and won’t even be bothered by the tasks themselves as you’ll be too busy grinning. I play high energy rocknroll and plan to drink a pot of this before a gig and see what unfolds…
Received a sample of this tea courtesy of teasipper. It’s my first time trying Ben Shan which is supposed to be closely related to Tieguanyin and is sometimes sold to unsuspecting buyers as TGY. So going into this tasting, my perception was Ben Shan probably tastes a lot like TGY albeit a lower grade version.
The dry leaf indeed had the familiar floral aroma of TGY but additionally, I smelled some eucalyptus and vanilla. The first steep was like a weak TGY. Light orchid flavor. The color wasn’t nuclear green though. It had a slight amber hue to it. The next steep was fuller with TGY like orchid balanced with a nice vegetal backdrop. In the 3rd steep, the florals become brighter, more orchid than lilac. Some vanilla peeks through as well and a little fruitiness can be detected in the background. This was a very well balanced infusion that tasted like an earlier steeping of TGY. The flavor of the tea changes little in later steeps. It just gets thinner as the steeps wear on.
This was a good tea in my book but there’s nothing unique about it. It doesn’t separate itself from other TGYs in any meaningful way. For all practical purposes, it can be considered to be TGY-lite.
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Flowers, Orchid, Vanilla
First infusion i thing less than 10 seconds gave me an amazing experience. I thought that sheng can give u nothing but punch in the face either with its overwhelming richness or pungent astringency. This one was different. Rich yes, but not overwhelming, rather like soft pillow that surrounds your face when going to bed in tent during summer trip. Very sweet, i have found that sweetness similar to Heart of the old tree from Mandala Tea, its awesome tasting experience – especialy when u wait and see what happens on your tongue a while after drinking it. For me – pure raisins in carmel. Guess i might give up all the sweets and just drink that tea instead. Further infusions brough another dimmensions to the tea, rising the astringency – the longer brewing time, the more punchy it becomes.
It smells and tastes wonderfull, so nicely that i made full 1/2 liter cup of tea by mixing half of every infusion i was making (another half i was drinking to taste it) and got it by my bed so i could sip it whenever i wanted (didnt lasted long tho :)). Very nice sheng.
Flavors: Caramel, Raisins, Sweet, warm grass, Tobacco
september 1/17 this tastes like i was drinking this in a barn, or a petting zoo, and i mean this in the greatest of ways. got this in a sample run of ys golden flowers teas. relaxing qi with this one, and with the kids not going back to school until next week this is no small feat. got 10 steeps here, but honestly the last 2 were kind of wishful thinking. it would not suprise me one bit if i bought a brick of this.
I love that Shu, its sweet, it has all the plesant notes that makes me relaxed, for me there are notes of smoked plum, cinnamon, cacao. Its taste changes in mouth from something intense to subtle at the end. The tea having that “i want more and more” factor. The smell is sweet with some umami elements and the taste deffinietly follows it. When im drinking it, it has some similar notes to raw puerhs, yet they are not dominant, its more as an impression than main note:)
The cake is very loosy so tea tends to fall off the cake, yet it does not change its taste which is awesome :)
Perfect tea for autumn and winter days for sure!
Flavors: Caramel, Mushrooms, Plums, Wood
I’ve been sitting on this sample for nearly two years…pulling out from the depths of my stash
-wodui aroma, no wodui in flavor
-clean, no fishy
-chocolate, rich, full flavor, creamy cocoa
-no bitter, very smooth
-enjoyable, but not earth shattering
-chaqi is negligible but this was a relaxing session
-lingering smooth aftertaste, more feeling than taste
-decently priced at $46/357g, if I remember I’ll get a cake next order, if I forget, its not something I’ll miss. its worth getting a sample if you like shu
-astringent and bitter when pushed
-tasted kinda similar to a white tea – in the malty sweet kind of way
-not getting kuwei, qi, or huigan
-maybe a daily drinker because its inexpensive currently at $.16/g
- I didn’t get much out of it. I’ll finish the sample but don’t see myself getting a cake
6g, 95ml F1 shuiping yixing, very dark leaves, made me think it was purple tea at first. Fairly clean storage, but you get some of that wetness in there, its not unpleasant but noticeable.
dry leaves smell richly/sweet but that doesn’t translate to flavors.
liquor is clear orange-amber, thick body/mouthfeel, very woody/sour/tannic leather-like flavor, not sweet at all don’t know why everyone else says it is, medium longevity (about 10+ steeps), medium cooling huigan that is very noticeable – don’t have to look for it, lingering tannic/sour/bitter kuwei and aftertaste, chaqi is very nice – massaging and gentle pressure in middle forehead and upper sinuses, makes you sit back and enjoy it.
needs a bit more time to air out and mellow.
The “vintage” of tea I am drinking is the Spring 2015 version VS the 2016. I want to echo oceanica. I love this tea. It is delicious. This oolong is so heavy with fruit notes, the first infusion tastes like a flavored tea. This is a real winner in my book.
I did this gong-fu style in a very small 50ml gaiwan, covering the bottom heavily with tea leaves (did not weigh). Short steeps. Dry leaves smell great. It reminds me of a fruit cake, sticky, sweet, dried fruits, brown sugar. Wet leaves smell similar, but have a bright fruity note like white grape juice, lychee.
Tasting is very fruity during the initial steeps. Lychee and white/green grapes is a good description here. Oceanica mentioned mandarin. I don’t think I would have said that on my own, but I agree. I think there is a hint of mandarin in the flavor. Mmm. mmmm. Good stuff.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tea. I could drink this every day. Highly recommended.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity, Lychee, Orange, White Grapes
This is an interesting Chinese green tea. I haven’t had this style before. Dry leaves are twisted and curled, taking up a lot of volume for their weight (so don’t be afraid to use a lot when you brew). They have a nice range of colors from a pine needle green to frosted and slightly fuzzy tips.
I used 4.5 g in a 100 mL gaiwan. I heated my water to 180 F.
First steep—15 sec.
The liquor was pale yellow with light green tint.
Taste is complex without overwhelming you. A nice middle ground between subtle and intense. One of the first things you notice is the texture, which has a creamy, brothy body that reminds me of something like Tom Yum soup. The flavor has many components, overall is mild, sweet, and comforting. Not grassy at all. I get summer squash sauteed in butter, especially as it cools down a bit. A hint of a bitter note like dark chocolate. A slight minty coolness. Somewhere in there, fruity sweetness.
Second steep—about 30 seconds
Less sweetness and overall less flavor, and this steep brought out some tannins and more of that minty cooling/numbing sensation. I’m wondering if 180 was too hot for this.
Later steeps with cooler water dialed down the astringency, but a lot of the flavor had been squeezed out by that point. Will try cooler, shorter steeps next time to see if I can get more rounds out of it. Still, that first steep was good! And at this price, it’s a bargain!
Flavors: Broth, Butter, Butternut Squash, Chocolate, Fruity, Menthol
Shui Jin Gui “golden water turtle” wu Yi rock oolong tea spring 2017 from yunnan sourcing.
My new oolong clay teapot. (Name escapes me); gongfucha.
Dry leaf: toast
Wet leaf: very sweet, floral, toast, metallic(?), sea water.
Light steep; I taste/smell:
(smell) light. —> floral, toasty, nuts(?).
(Taste). Light -→ Milk(?), raw nuts, toasty, sea water, metallic (iron), cashews(?), peanuts(?).
Medium steep; I taste/smell:
(Smell) slight floral.
(Taste) light metallic(copper?). light to medium —→ peanuts, cashews, toasty, metallic (iron), roasted nuts, sea water(?).
Heavy steep; I taste/smell:
(Smell) little to no floral.
(Taste) light —> metallic (iron? Copper?), nuts (peanuts? Cashews?). Medium -→ roasted nuts, toasty, floral.
Al in all one if the best roasted oolongs I’ve ever tried! I rate a 95/100. Nice tastes/aromas, nice cha qi. Nearly if not impossible to over brew IMHO.
I suggest you try it!
Flavors: Floral, Metallic, Milk, Nuts, Peanut, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Toast
This was a pretty nice tea – I pulled a small sample out of the TTB last time I had it. The dry leaf smelled sweet and woody with a bit of a dry chocolate note to it.
I didn’t find the flavor particularly exciting, but it was certainly good. Smooth and sweet throughout. Nice texture. It was softly woody, with a bit of nuttiness. For some steeps, there was a sweet, creamy finish. The tea didn’t taste fully aged for sure. There was a bit of a “raw” note to the flavor still, which sort of tasted like a fruity flavor, but not the juicy fruit notes you can get from really young sheng. Sort of presented itself as a bit of an unripe fruit note, though…not particularly sharp either. Hard to describe. Maybe fruit rind. I didn’t pick up on any qi from this session.
I looked the tea up on YS after this session, and was surprised to see it coming in at $260/cake. Based upon this session alone, I would absolutely not spend that kind of money on this tea. That said, it’s rather unlikely I tried this tea at its best. I only had a small sample, so I just had this one session with my 60mL gaiwan. I don’t know the storage of whoever put it in the TTB or how long it was riding around in the TTB. Then it sat in my little sample bag for a few months before I got to it. That still doesn’t mean I want to go out and buy a cake, but it’s perhaps excusing this tea for not being anything more than “good” this time ’round.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Nutty, Sweet, Wood
I agree with the high ratings people have been giving this tea. I’m drinking the spring 2016 harvest and am down to my last couple sessions.
The fuzzy golden leaves produce a copper brew that evokes rye bread with dark chocolate chips. It’s possible to oversteep this, but even when it’s bitter, it still tastes good. I’ll definitely be restocking this tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Peanut, Pleasantly Sour, Yeasty
4g/80ml in a glazed gaiwan rather than a pot, because this stuff is pungent!
This is exactly what I wanted it to be. I love sticky rice herb. I’ve been keeping the cake of this on its own out in the open in its wrapper, as you could smell the sticky rice even through the ziploc bag the cake was originally in. Far away from my other puerh!
The shou here goes very dark fast and gives a nice thick carrier for the flavour, while otherwise staying out of the way. (File under sticky rice tea rather than shou, really).