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Recent Tasting Notes
I only had one session of this tea, out of the TTB which came through recently. My session was relatively enjoyable, though the tea didn’t impress me a whole lot. the tea smelled a little generically “sheng-y” with some sweet, greenish notes. The flavor was mostly vegetal, with maybe slight floral notes. I found it a little bit weak and just a touch boring. It was best when I started pushing it and some of that Wild Arbor bitterness began pushing its way to the fore. If I had a full sample of this one, I definitely would have tried to push it the whole time, maybe even overleaf it.
Alas, I just had the one session, so I won’t get to try that unless I order my own sample. All I can conclude is that, in my opinion, this tea should be treated with a heavy hand for best results. If that bitterness is prominent enough, it could make for a cake that will age rather well.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Vegetal
On my last session with this cake – it has been an almost daily drinker for me at work lately.
Brewing this in my Jian Shui gaiwan into my glass cha hai and porcelain cup. Using filtered Santa Monica tap water just off the boil throughout. Not weighing the leaf, but I’m guessing I use between 9g and 12g of material. The dried cake has a distinctive camouflage appearance with an abundance of black and white leaves.
No rinse, but I start the initial infusion at 90 seconds as the tea is so dry. At this point the liquid is a royal yellow and has a distinctive aroma of fresh hay with a hint of oats. The flavor is sweet, gentle, and faintly grassy. Earth, toast, and honey emerge in the finish.
Subsequent steeps are around 20 seconds, resulting in a darker, alloy orange liquid, a more vegetal (autumn leaves) aroma, and a slight acidity in the palate entry. The hay remains at the core, but there is a certain low level bitterness that emerges now, presumably as higher oxidized portions of the cake wake from their slumber.
This easily lasts 10 infusions once it gets going – the caffeine is sufficiently pronounced that I usually quit imbibing before the leaf is fully spent.
An interesting, if unremarkable tea – the white/black combo was new to me – happy I bought a cake, but not sure I’ll develop a craving for it in the future now that it is gone…
2015 Sheng Olympics(?)/Sipdown
In the depths of the tea stash, I had discovered this one hiding, awaiting it’s turn in the tea line. I have finally organized the teas in categories/type via samples, sipdown stashes, tea swaps, and cakes/larger quantities. After measuring out the full amount of tea, I have a good 2-ish years of tea to drink down! Two years controlling myself from buying anything else in large quantities. I’m calling it “A Practice in Humility;” which will, in time, allow me to appreciate what I have and make use of it. :)
Anyway, I sampled the rest of the tea early this morning prior to anything else. My wife was concerned as to why I was getting out of bed around 6:30 a.m., when I had gone to bed so late. Besides the fact that I cannot sleep as well as I used to, I wanted a cup of tea…
Notes: Smoky, leather, slightly mouth drying, and a touch of bitterness (toward the beginning of the session. It smoothed out around the 4th infusion). This tea was “smoky” in the sense that it reminded me of a “smoker’s jacket,” rather than smoked meat (lapsang souchong, for an example). The smokiness, in time, had died down, but it was strong until the 6th-7th infusion.
Flavors: Leather, Smoke
REALLY odd. I’ve had this tea before and don’t remember it being special. But now my face is melting…in a good way :) Perhaps the qi matured in the last year ? Or it’s one of those anomalies. Def have to try this again later. I got this because I really enjoy the 2012 mu shu cha for its super relaxing vibes. But this is like “am I stoned” ? I only got this Autumn version because it was such a cheap version of the 2012.
Also has a nice atringency, bitterness and fruity rotation going on. Strong throat and mouth numbing. White pepper-y cooling. Jeez I’m only on 6th steep. I love Scott and YS
Flavors: Apricot, Lemon, Stonefruits
I tried to recreate the steeps of this one exactly like the 2014 harvest of Black Gold Bi Luo Chun that I adored. Even when the 2014 got older it was still so complex. Wasn’t hitting those complex notes in this harvest so tried to steep the same this time around. I think the tea is still delicious but still isn’t as lovely as before. I even was able to get really great third steeps for such golden leaves from the 2014 but the 2017 harvest isn’t as strong on the third steep. It’s still a surprisingly dark tea for such golden leaves though. And I still love this tea.
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #36
I had a massive headache (or everything ache) all day, so I couldn’t drink much caffeine and this sadly only had one steep. But the first steep was definitely delicious. The flavor wasn’t quite like other Moonlight teas I’ve tried either but of course, it’s tough for me to describe.
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Flavors: Mushrooms, Nutty, Sweet, Wood
From some LP Group Buy
First—when preparing the tea, my wife had noticed the name of the tea on the package. Her response: “Sounds painful.”
Anyway, I had been drinking this tea nearly for the last three hours. I started the session without notes—on the account that I was still half awake—however, after the 4th or 5th steep, I closed the book that I was reading and brought out the tea notebook. I will note here that I didn’t record every steep, but I noted profiles throughout the session, at random intervals of the session. I marked down the “differences” within the tea throughout the progression of the session (rhyme scheme?), so that I could note it on Steepster. I will also admit that I simply marked the profile of the tea, rather than writing down the depth of the tea; therefore, these are basic notes compared to the intricate ones that may oftentimes be made on a normal routine. Lastly, these notes aren’t in any particular order. I jotted stuff down as I thought of it during the session.
A bit bitter/sour on the initial taste, but the aftertaste becomes slightly sweeter.
Slight floral notes.
(Oh look, a little flower bud!)
There are a lot of broken leaves in my gaiwan; which I assume is giving the tea the bitterness upon each sip.
Leaves are a forest green/yellow-ish color.
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Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Coffee
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Flavors: Herbs, Lemon Zest, Spices, Sweet
“King of duck shit aroma” dancong oolong * spring 2017
Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha.
Dry leaf: honey, peaches, very sweet, floral.
Wet leaf: earth, honey, spices, sweet.
Light steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) light —> earth, honey, clay.
(Taste) light -→ earth, honey, clay, floral, metallic (iron), sweet.
Medium steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) light —> earth, honey, clay, pie(?).
(Taste) medium -→ earth, honey, clay, sweet, floral, metallic(iron), metallic(copper?), pie(?).
Heavy steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) light —> floral, pie(?).
(Taste) light to medium -→ earth, honey, clay, sweet, floral, metallic(iron), metallic(copper).
All in all, nice flavours/aromas. Nice cha qi! Nice warm feeling. Just yummy and awesome! I rate a 99/100.
give it a try.
Flavors: Clay, Earth, Floral, Honey, Metallic, Peach, Spices, Sweet
Spring 2016 leaves.
end of my bag so a lot of finer leaves in here. using shorter steep times than normal to offset.
wet leaves have rather fruity aromas of expected apricot and unexpected gooseberry underneath. roasted notes are not overwhelming. nicely balanced with marzipan roasted almonds.
This tea unfolds gently starting with a surprising sweet malty medium-dark chocolate component on palate, which is later balanced with roasted notes and slight bitterness at tip of tongue on finish. I don’t recall this bitterness from earlier tastings with this tea, so could be due to the fine leaves.
Later steeps bring out cooked celery and more nuttiness.
Interesting take on da hong pao, which may not be for everyone.
Got this in my recent order. First thing to say is the fermentation taste is very strong and earthy. I would not say fishy but it is strong. It is a very thick dense liquid, bittersweet at the start. It slowly turned to a more sweet note. One might say there are some chocolate notes but I am not sure. Overall it is a nice ripe that does need to age another six months really but it was good.
I brewed 12.7g of leaf an a 150ml gaiwan with boiling water. I steeped it six times (so far). I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet
Attractive Bi Luo Chun style tightly rolled leaves. The flavor is nice, but somewhat generic for a Yunnan black with a strong maltiness, slight sweet potato, dark chocolate, fruit, and brown sugar notes. Good daily drinker.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Malt, Sweet Potatoes, Toasty
This is probably one of the best entry points for those exploring both aged and wetter-stored tea. It is super affordable and has a very approachable taste. It is a great introduction to the camphor notes of older pu’erh.
I wouldn’t say this is the most interesting pu’erh in my stash, but being able to sip the aromatic and earthy flavors of a wet-stored, semi-aged pu’erh like this (and spend less than $20 on it), it is a must-have and will be a repurchase for me.
The flavor is something of a combination of tobacco/leather notes of other semi-aged raws, the earthy sweetness of ripe pu’erh, and the tannic bite of a strongly brewed black tea breakfast blend.
An affordable and educational tea for those exploring storage effects on raw pu’erh.
Dry leaf – aged tobacco, camphor, root beer, sassafras, hints of dried date. In preheated vessel – sweet and savory notes of cream of wheat and sweet bean/taro paste.
Smell – aged tobacco, sweet dry spice, stewed black tea; secondary notes of camphor, sassafras, and dried date.
Taste – Arrival of tobacco, leather, strong black tea blend. Development of ripe pu’erh earthy sweetness, creaminess, and hints of chocolate. Finish includes camphor and dried date. Aftertaste of ripe pu’erh, black tea blend. Lemongrass notes arrive later in aftertaste.
The leaves are really big and fat with lots of golden fur. Opening the bag I get a really strong chocolaty, woody aroma. Brews a golden orange, and WOW chocolate! It’s super chocolaty, almost artificial tasting. Combined with the milky/creamy texture, this tea reminds me of chocolate milk made with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Subsequent infusions reveal other flavors, particularly dry wood and dank red clay. Borrowing a flavor note from Denny on TeaDB, there’s something here that reminds me a bit of pencil shavings.
This tea is really rich, the mouthfeel is almost like an Irish stout. Personally I prefer teas that aren’t so thick in the mouth, but that said this is still an awesome brew. Chocolate lovers beware, this may be your new favorite!
Flavors: Chocolate, Clay, Milk, Mineral, Wood
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Flavors: Apple, Bitter, Mushrooms