1009 Tasting Notes

drank 2019 Fo Shou 佛手 by Old Ways Tea
1009 tasting notes

Finally in the mood for yancha after the recent heatwave passed.

Bright (citrusy? stonefruity?) with mellow caramel-hazelnut-mineral taste. I found it difficult to balance some sourness, either from the roast or related to the citrusy taste. Rising floral on the swallow followed by a creeping, low-lying pithy bitterness. Dry aftertaste with guava and peach skin. Camphor sensation in chest.

Can’t say I’m fond of this one — it might be too green for me, disjointed, the bitterness is weird. It does have good longevity.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Cannabis, Caramel, Chocolate, Citrusy, Drying, Floral, Guava, Hazelnut, Herbs, Milk, Mineral, Peach, Pear, Pecan, Sour, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wet Rocks, Wood

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91

Haha, there’s a reason why I don’t normally participate in Black Friday in any form. I’m not blaming you for anything, Leafhopper!

Oily, full and sweet-savory-tangy-floral. Complex tastes, most notably with cooked blackberries, pumpkin, wheaty malt and a leather-orange tone. Rising, beautiful spiced-peachy-rose and honeyed yeast roll aftertaste. I do prefer this tea western as opposed to gongfu, steeped at about 4 minutes for first infusion and howeverlong for the second infusion.

I will be happy when this tea is sipped down. What I have is a March 2020 harvest and I find it inferior to the beloved March 2019. The taste and aftertaste are great. The wet leaf, though, has this very pungent herbed tomato-carrot sauce character that bleeds into the aroma of the cup.

Flavors: Allspice, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Butternut Squash, Carrot, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Elderberry, Eucalyptus, Floral, Forest Floor, Herbs, Honey, Leather, Malt, Orange, Osmanthus, Peach, Prune, Raisins, Raspberry, Rose, Savory, Spices, Spring Water, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Vegetables, Wheat, Wood

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drank Indian Nimbu by Harney & Sons
1009 tasting notes

Accidental 5-minute steep gave a robust cup, dark, full-bodied and woody-brisk with a very muted muscatel undertone. I feel a little crazy that I’m the only one that seems to have picked up on any muscatel. Some very smooth and gentle malt softens the tingly astringency and tannic edge.

I really enjoy the level of flavoring here. It is not overwhelming. The grapefruit reminds me of Harney’s Paris and Tower of London. The caramel lends to the perception of a touch of dark sweetness. The combination of those two aromas leaves a nose that offers something a little different from the familiarity of Harney’s popular bergamot-flavored black teas. I enjoyed Indian Nimbu even with over-steeping. Kiki, on the other hand, had not a word to say about this tea, even with a properly brewed cup. Thank you for sharing a sample, Cameron B. :)

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Caramel, Dark Wood, Malt, Muscatel, Oak, Tannic

gmathis

Mmmm…I haven’t had his one in years, but it was a favorite early on in my tea life.

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drank 2015 Little Walk by white2tea
1009 tasting notes

How cute is that wrapper, and when paired with a name like Little Walk?

My cousin got married this past weekend, so a lot of the family was in town. My oldest younger sister and I were pretty much glued to each other for her few days out here. I spent the first five years of her life growing up with her; the bond is undeniably there but due to various reasons, we hadn’t really talked to each other in our adult lives until the wedding.

Way to make my heart swell, white2tea. This makes me feel so happy to have experienced those formative years with my sister and to have reconnected with her so many years later.

The tea — the artwork pairs so well with what this tea is — simple and pure. At first the taste is very sweet yellow beany and feels very cool in the mouth. Strong, sweet milky-vegetal aftertaste. Some flowery bitterness moves in and also some green woody-mineral astringency, enough to let you know what sheng pu’er is about. There’s a kind of bright apricot tone that uplifts the sweet beaniness. About 4 infusions in, I got bored but kept pressing to see how it would go. Turns out his tea does have some longevity.

If Little Walk were still available, it would be my #1 recommendation for those new to sheng pu’er. It hits on everything I’d expect to find in sheng without either getting smacked in the face or left searching for something — cleanliness, sweetness, bitterness, astringency, structured mouthfeel, cooling huigan, an aftertaste strong enough to easily notice.

Thank you White Antlers, and a special thank you to mrmopar, too, since I know well the unique handwriting on the label ;)

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Astringent, Beany, Bitter, Caramel, Citrus, Flowers, Green Wood, Lemon, Milk, Mineral, Mushrooms, Pine, Stewed Fruits, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal

tea-sipper

I hope White Antlers is doing ok!

gmathis

I’m so glad you had some good family time!

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Dry, this smells a lot like the other teas I received from White Antlers — kind of perfumey and like buffalo grass. It’s pretty brown leaf though and as Life in Teacup states, had been subjected to 7 years of dry Guangzhou storage. I can definitely smell the storage in the warmed and rinsed leaf with lots of traditional Chinese medicine character.

The brew tastes a lot like mushroom broth and smoky leather. Nuances of cognac fruitiness, sweet mushroom, walnut bread, wet rocks, eucalyptus and camphor, old flowers, spicy wood. It’s oily but a little flat feeling. Mild bitterness and an astringent undercurrent. Date-like returning sweetness only last for the first several infusions. Handles absent-minded infusions well. Very long-lasting stimulation.

For the price of 20c/g, this is a fair gem of an aging tea and an easy drinker with no heavy wet storage character. However, if you’re picky, there is a sour, lemony aftertaste that might deter. I’d personally like to try this with another 3-5 years of that same Guangzhou storage it had from 2008 to 2015.

Thank you White Antlers for sharing, and I do hope you come back soon!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brandy, Broth, Buffalo Grass, Camphor, Dark Chocolate, Dates, Eucalyptus, Fig, Flowers, Grain, Honeysuckle, Leather, Lemon, Medicinal, Mushrooms, Pleasantly Sour, Red Fruits, Savory, Smoked, Spicy, Walnut, Wet Rocks, Wood

Natethesnake

That’s a good price for old tree Mengsong with some age. Sometimes the sour lemony aftertaste is a sign that it’s in transition and about to show more aged character. Sometimes (if it tastes like lactic acid like a Belgian sour red ale) that it’s gotten too dry and would benefit from a few months of humidification. I had one tea, the 2006 xigui from clt that was undrinkably sour and I broke it up and put in a jar with a boveda and 2 months later it was amazing.

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drank Jingmai Moonlight White by Farmerleaf
1009 tasting notes

Backlog from March 2021. Sample from Martin of 2018 harvest. Thankee :)

More aromatic than flavorful; bright and oily; deeper, unique flavors brought out by higher temperatures. Too much of that weird, primal, ephedra-like energy I get from high quality Jingmai teas.

Flavors: Allspice, Apricot, Berries, Cinnamon, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Flowers, Forest Floor, Honey, Rainforest, Savory, Straw, Wood

Martin Bednář

You are welcome! I guess I have some little left, but can’t find a time to finish it!

derk

It will be good when you do get around to it :)

Natethesnake

That nails it. Jingmai tea has qi reminiscent of ephedra. The 2003 Jingmai from EOT less so and quite tasty. The qi of it reminds me of a Mengku on steroids.

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drank Marrakesh Mint by Mighty Leaf Tea
1009 tasting notes

Clearing and cleansing, awakening aroma. Good first tea of the morning to nurse me out of a hangover and little sleep (bigfatgreekwedding). Dry grass gunpowder green tea with subtle bitter-smokiness, bright and sharp spearmint. Gently sweet, mineral-astringent tingling. Good balance to this tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Dry Grass, Mineral, Smoke, Spearmint, Sweet, Warm Grass

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drank Green Tea Tropical by Mighty Leaf Tea
1009 tasting notes

Nice to sip on a warm cup while sitting in the shade of a late spring afternoon. Grassy with a smooth tropical fruit balance – I guess it’s pineapple. Sunny-cool, happy, bitter-sweet.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Pineapple, Smooth, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tropical

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More mown grass forward than jasmine. Bitter-sweet herbaceous undertone but overall rather smooth.

Flavors: Bitter, Cut Grass, Herbaceous, Jasmine, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet, Warm Grass

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This tea, what the fuck. And reading tea notes from Sierge, another what the fuck. Funny thing about the internet is the blur between man and machine.

Yesterday started the day prior. Maybe several days before that into last week. The sky drops a stone, Sierge drops a note, or in the case of what’s actually been happening in the Garden of Derk, a mosquito drone zips up up down down left right left right b a start in my airspace, hovers over my neighbors’, slowly pivots and snaps photos (a government operative so says neighbor-across-the-way), elicits a scream from me into the windstorm of the night. I can’t sleep with… that… buzzing… in. my. ear! The ribbon-scrawls of my vibrating chords out the sliding glass door get snagged in the beak of the raven that rains the fruits of the giant date palm upon our heads and the garbage cans below with dark comedic sounds of dullish thunk and plastic clunk. The operator is an operative; it cannot sense my anguish. My calls to the operator to cease and desist are truncated by the wind changing direction and the drone slicing up the night.

A drone drops a bomb, a raven drops a date, a hawk fights above with a crow and one of them drops a third bird in the bath below. And another, and another. A quiet war in an overlain world rages for our garden. We tip the bird bath several times daily toward the cat graves under the lemon tree. The residuum of war — a stew of sun-warmed water and remnants of tiny beasts — a bony wing, a clawfoot, a spinal chord, engorged entrails, waterlogged lucent lizard skin — nourishes the seed and cultivates the strange. Rinse and refill.

A derk drops a bean and it grows.

The tendrils of weird snake their way through the days, twirling and weaving, winding and binding the feet of unaware apes. You know the sound of a growing woody vine? It crunches the large, dry leaves on the floor in its slow wake. A sound one cannot discern unless one is tuned into their own insidious nature when surrounded by silence. An arthritic hand of earth assembles itself. “It’s time,” it says and reaches out to touch tips with a fallen Buddha’s hand and the two hands, snickering as one, pull the chain of monkeys to the ground.

Somebody passed, another was born, another took hand, another retired, many resigned, an innocent question rang a bell that nobody knew needed ringing. Raw energy oozed from the crevices of the earth, crept from the cracks in our collective being. The vine was tensed, the tail was tugged, the dog had bit and we all fell to our knees, stinging palms with rocks embedded, bruised egos pounding dirt. Still, so many felt the full force but did not register the complexity. And after, we all got up and brushed ourselves off.

This week was a weird one and I think this tea precipitated from my own vessel into a teacup all these fucking weird feelings and I must keep drinking of the earth and the dark beauty of nature in order to understand. And occasionally generate some clicking sounds into the void. Humans want to make sense of things. Funny, I cannot do that with this tea.

Flavors: Berries, Campfire, Cotton Candy, Lemon, Lime, Olive Oil, Raisins, White Wine

Togo

Love your note, thank you derk

When sense is deprived, what is left but to embrace the weirdness?

mrmopar

I loved this. Sounds like some of my days.

derk

<3 to my tea friends

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