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Recent Tasting Notes
Opening up the little sample pack I get a strong whiff of “green”. I haven’t had much sheng so young in a while.
This one brews up a bright yellow-gold. Prominent mushroom and fresh mint notes with some green wood, dried herbs, and raw winter squash. Moderately thick mouthfeel with just a bit of bitterness and astringency. As I steep on it gets more honeyed and herbaceous and reminds me a bit of the mead that I tried at a restaurant recently. I get some warm, mellow, floaty qi feels. This is a potent tea that goes many brews.
This is a nice and unique young sheng. I’d like a little more bitterness and strength out of it for aging purposes, but it’s nice, mellow, and potent and the mint and mushroom combination is really nice. Depending on how I like the other samples this might be a cake for me.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Mint, Mushrooms
Early aromas include mineral, leather, old books, cherries, with a sweet, round, possibly apricot flavor that is a bit musty, but with no astringency or bitterness. Additional early steeps present strong minerals, light cherries, paper. The physical composition is much more leafy than the twiggy ripe pu erh from the same year/producer. Very little mustiness as steeping continues, with some faint damp earthiness. Much paler compared to ripe, a tawny port color. Aftertaste is not very long, but apricot is predominant, with a little tannin. Later steeps bring an aroma of wet hay, campfire, and a little bitterness enters the flavor.
Petered out around 7 steeps
7.5g, 150ml, 92C, 1x rinse, 15s + 3
Flavors: Apricot, Campfire, Cherry, Earth, Hay, Leather, Mineral, Musty, Paper, Round , Sweet
Driking it today. I was thinking that ill start it with “omg crazy shit, every sheng is different” sentence, but then i have realized its so obvious that it would be very dumb :P
Dry leaves smels good, very good and – when i have smelled them at the morning shortly after waking up i got hungry immediately. Hungry for eating but also for drinking that smell. The first comparison that came to my mind was fresh cut sunrays, it got even stronger when i have firstly sniffed wet leaves – had to hold the table otherwise i would faint out of awe. Usual gongfu brewing, and i can explore different layers of this tea – from basic one (pungent – tho not that hard) which is similar to the teas i tried so far, then second one which is mild and sweet, to next one that brough “something like mix of the coffie with black tea” effect and wanted me to go deeper till the refreshing waterfall. I will update later when im done with infussions, so far im on very interesting tour :)
Update: some infusions later strong punch in the face with bitterness but still followed by sweetness and some acerb notes.
Update: end of the day – strong bitterness coming out, just strong enough to call it a night :)
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Hot hay, Summer
Thank you so much again, to mrmopar for this sample!
[Finals are soon, and I am too busy studying to write a good length review sorry!]
It was quite beautiful out, today so I decided to take out my first raw in a while and taste it outide. This tea was alright, it was extremely bitter at first with a fruity pineapple taste. It was very light and enjoyable for the warm day outside. It took around 2 steeping for the bitterness to fade, then it was a very tropical and mango taste from there on. This tea was also a champ still brewing out tasty brews until the 10th or 11th steeping! I’m sure someone else might have enjoyed this tea, but I think I am more of a fan of the complexity and darkness that a ripe gives me, though this was still very enjoyable!
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Mango, Pineapple, Tropical
Brews a medium yellow, pretty light for it’s age. Moderately bitter, but quite astringent. Prominent woody oak note with hints of toasted grains, kale, and honey, as well as the alcohol-like taste of many young factory produced shengs. Good lingering flavor/aroma in the mouth, it’s lightly sweet and floral. As I steep on it gets more of a honeyed sweetness and I get I mild qi feeling in my forehead.
Somewhere I heard someone describe Wu Liang teas as “sunny” tasting, and this one fits that description. Kind of like walking through a lightly wooded field on a sunny summer day.
It’s a nice tea, but the strong astringency is somewhat off putting. Not one I need a cake of.
Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Grain, Honey, Kale, Oak wood
This sample has been lying around unsealed my tupperware pumidor for over 1 year. I’m not the biggest fan of blends, as I am sort of a purist. I also don’t purchase autumn harvests, but here we are.
The leaves came apart from the bing chunk without much effort. It’s practically maocha. They have a strong dried apricot and peach fragrance after the rinse. The leaves are quite long and thick and some are still slightly olive toned. The tea liquor is a deep gold with an orange-like hue. Very clear.
First few steeps are much fruiter in the front than I expected — some honey, wood notes, and quince jam. At first, this seemed like it would be a sweet autumn tea (yawn), but by the 5th or so steep there is healthy, refreshing bitterness that rings in the back the tongue and lingers for a while. I liked where this is going.
There isn’t much body at all. Instead, the tea has good qi and a remarkable warming affect I feel coming from my solar plexus. It’s a dynamic little tea.
A very buttery and somewhat marine tasting green. Moderate peachy sweetness with moderate-high astringency for a green tea. Slight floral aroma that lingers in the mouth. A pretty nice green, but not my favorite from YS.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Marine, Peach
I have just started my “sheng samples trying week” with this tea and im kinda suprised. I have started safely – first brewings were rinse, flash, flash, 10 secs; i was expecting much more bitterness (not that im a huge lover of that taste, just considering it as young tea i would expect a punch in my throat) while i have found very enjoyable bitterness that was transforming into sweetness. Magic happens im telling you. Nice golden liquor, very fresh and enjoyable smell, like sunflowers and hay i used to lay on at summer, plus some freshness – hard to describe for me, like breath of fresh air. Totaly relaxing tea.
Update: after somewhere arround 6th infusion it has changed – bitterness apeared quite intense, few more infusions later the hay notes and sweetness apeared intensively again but overall taste and smell was fading out.
Flavors: Flowers, Hay, Summer
Oh my, awesome ripe experience. Extremely creamy and sweet – sweetest pu-erh experience so far with a noticeable backnotes of fresh fruits and spicyness. Very full in mouth, long after drinking i still have its taste and can activate it just by making a windmill with my tongue – thats crazy :). Ive just could not stop myself from drinking it more and more. For a while i have felt like small child in the playground.
Flavors: Caramel, Dried Fruit, Peach, Plums, Raisins
Another tea added to the “favorite black teas” list. The tea had a slight yellow/golden hue to it. The mouthful was surprisingly thick. The flavor had a nice malt, cocoa-wheat, and slightly astringent body. Definitely a tea that could become a daily drinker once I get some samples out of the way!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Wheat
This has made it to the top of my “favorite black teas” list. I noted that the color of the tea was very dark golden/yellow, but the mouthfeel was “thin/light.” The aroma of the leaf reminded me of wheat and a bit of cocoa. As far as the flavor, this was a smooth, rich, & wheat-y tea; with a very subtle note of cocoa.
Flavors: Cocoa, Wheat
This is a very cute tippy little cake, and the youngest ripe I’ve ever bought. I’m a sucker for most of YS’s year of the monkey wrappers. Though if there was ever a year of the red panda I’d buy ALL the cakes! Unfortunately they’re not in the zodiac. Is there somewhere that I can file a petition to have them added?
Brews a nice red brown. The first couple steeps are very funky. Not Bootsy Collins funky, but pretty funky nonetheless. After four rinses I take a sip. Wow! Not what I expected from a young ripe. Nice camphor, mushroom, spice, and a slight fruity apricot note with a brown sugar sweetness. Creamy in the mouth, though not as creamy as the Green Miracle. Reminds me of the 2007 Yong De organic ripe that I’m very fond of and soon to run out of.
This is a very nice tea, give it a few years to let the funk fade out and I think it will turn into something great.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Mushrooms, Spices
I’ve had this grandpa style a couple times now and it’s pretty nice. Light hay and grass flavor with a big floral nose (not sickly sweet floral, it’s gentle but big if that makes sense). A little bit of umami as described on the web site.
I brew it with 6-7g in a 12oz glass, 175F water initially then ~190F water for the re-ups (topping up with water when the glass becomes ~2/3 full). It floats for the first half hour or so so you’ll want a lidded cup. Drinking pretty slowly and lazily it lasts a few hours this way before it’s just hot yellow water.
Awesome daily drinker at a very low price point. It’s also easier on the stomach than most greens and doesn’t dry out my mouth.
After months of looking for part time work, today I landed a cashier job at my local Home Depot in the garden department. This calls for celebration tea! The obvious choice was to break into my sample of the pricey wild grown Guo You Lin Yiwu from YS.
The leaves in my sample are medium sized and fairly broken up. Using 5g in my 90mL jian shui pot, this tea brews a medium yellow and is quite potent. I’m immediately hit by the thickness and aroma of the broth. It’s super thick and coats the mouth and throat with bittersweetness and wildflower aroma. The flavor is shitake mushroom with honey, pine, green wood, wild flowers, and steamed vegetables. As I brew it out I begin to notice the qi, first in my head and then in my chest and arms. Nothing stonerific, but nice calming, tingly sensations. Five grams lasts my whole 1L kettle.
This is a very nice and potent young sheng. Worth the price tag? Maybe not for me; it’s really high quality, but just doesn’t have enough “special” to it for a tea with such a big price tag. Very glad to have tried it though, and happy to have had it for a celebration tea.
Flavors: Flowers, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Melon, Mushrooms, Peas, Pine, Umami
My second ever Pu-erh, and first to brew at home. I found it bitter, but not unpleasantly so. Had a bit of an earthy buttery flavor. The first steep after a rinse was light in flavor, and then got stronger as the ball unfurled. By the 8th steep, it was back to the light flavor of the first steep. I enjoyed the lighter flavor more than the deep bitterness & astringency of the middle steepings.
Flavors: Astringent, Wet Earth
Brews a medium orange, not quite as dark roasted as I expected from the name, it’s actually pretty similar to the Fo Shou that I had the other day.
Tastes of roasted barley, though not at all burnt or coffee-like. There’s a moderate herbal medicine note and moderate fruityness, though I struggle to identify any particular fruit. There’s a little bit of the same dried seafood note that I found in the Fo Shou, a little bit stronger, and just a hint of floral character. Moderate honey-like sweetness.
Overall it’s pretty nice! Not as clean in the mouth or fruity and mineral as the more expensive Fo Shou, but pretty nice none the less and a good daily drinking Wuyi oolong. I’ve heard that roasted oolongs often improve with a little age, so I’ll try to keep an eye out for any changes in this one.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Marine, Medicinal, Roasted Barley
I got this as part of my monthly tea club from yunnan sourcing. Examining the leaves they are quite large and full , even in the dry state. Pre heating my duanni pot with 190 water, I put the leaves in and gave it a quick wash. I got aroma’s of grass, flowers, spinach or green vegetables.
First infusion produced a very clear light liquor, almost pale straw yellow would be a good way to describe it. I got a little bit of astringency, but not too much, it was very lightly, the floral and grass notes were very pleasant with just a light touch of sweetness. There is also a little bit of tingle on the tongue, that persists after drinking it.
Second infusion was much the same with the bitterness and astringency coming out just a little more. Now its tasting more like spinach, but still light and floral…And woooh the caffiene level is high in this one. After some of the later infusions, I was feeling a bit tea buzzy..
Third infusion and its mostly staying the same as the second and holding fairly consistently, though the leaves still havent fully opened up at this point. Im still getting a fair bit of tingle on the tongue, this is going to brew out at least 10 times I suspect.
Fourth and fifth infusion was much the same, but a very slightly darker color on the liquor, but the taste and aroma are still very consistent. Light, floral, grass and green vegetables.
I imagine this tea will be amazing once 10-15 years are on it.
I highly recommend this tea for anyone who wants to age, or likes light floral young sheng.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Grass, Vegetal
I love fresh spring greens! While most of the year I prefer to drink darker teas, tis the season for the lightly oxidized. I got a few in my Yunnan Sourcing order, and have a few more coming from Teavivre sometime this week.
The leaves are fresh and soft with lots of silvery buds. Brews almost clear with a light floral and vegetal aroma. The taste is light, fresh, and mineral with notes of edamame, chestnut, and milder mushrooms like oyster or enoki. It’s somewhat sweet and feels round in the mouth. A very enjoyable green, especially when it’s so recently picked.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Sweet, Umami
Today I took my last exam of the semester, and I’ve got about two weeks before summer semester starts. That translates into two weeks to drink lots of tea!
This is a very nice Yunnan black that brews a dark orange. The leaves are really pretty; they’re long and pressed into straight needles with many furry gold buds.
It’s a medium bodied brew with lots of malt and milk chocolate with a bit of yam and a doughy/yeasty quality. As mentioned by someone on Reddit, this tea tastes like chocolate chip cookies! It’s not the most complex tea, but it’s really tasty and goes among my favorite blacks from YS.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Yams, Yeast
This is a fairly tasty black tea. It’s got a malty note to it and I would say a bit of a fruity note. As it is pure bud it should be high in caffeine.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water.
Beautiful dark tea. Very strong smell of earth and smoke after a rinse. Smells like Scotch Snuff which I would guess very few people reading this have smelled before lol! 5g to 80ml which is standard for me. I’ve been reading through the archives of MarshalN so I’m trying to take his advice and leave tasting notes out. This review is mainly for me to have a list of what I want to buy a cake of when the money comes. There is a lot of body warmth happening with this tea, and even a tingling in the nose now and then a bit like when you burp after a heavily carbonated beverage. There is some bite on the tongue and cheeks and a long-lasting dryness in the mouth. Hitting my stomach rather hard considering it isn’t empty. I’d be very curious to try this cake again in a few years! Not sure I’ll be buying one right away but it’s fairly cheap and I look forward to drinking the rest of this 25g sample.