146 Tasting Notes

98

Second tea from my new order from WFT. I remember how amazing this tea was now. I think that this year’s tea is a bit less dynamic than the winter 2022 batch I last drank, but this tea is still exquisite. That lovely mystical misty mountain forest flavor that made me fall in love with this tea is still present. The main drawback is I don’t get much in the way of tropical fruits on the nose this year. Not a huge deal though :).

So glad I splurged on 75 g of this. I will be enjoying it for at least a couple of months I bet. Phenomenal stuff really. Now I just wish I had more of the Bi Lu Xi as well haha.

Harvest: Spring 2024
Location: Da Yu Ling
Elevation: 2500 m
Cultivar: Qing Xin

Flavors: Mist, rainforest, sweet, vegetal, cabbage, cream, butter

Flavors: Butter, Cabbage, Cream, Petrichor, Rainforest, Sweet, Vegetal

Leafhopper

I’m glad you like their DYL as much as I do! I haven’t gotten tropical fruit in the harvests I’ve tried, but it’s still an excellent tea.

Marshall Weber

OMG it’s so good! I’m probs gonna buy some every year going forward. Love all of WFTs teas.

Leafhopper

Yes, Wang is one of my favourite oolong vendors. They have a 10% off sale right now and I’m very tempted to buy tea I don’t need.

Marshall Weber

Hahaha I’m also tempted but have no money at the moment unfortunately. It’s okay though because I have plenty of this DYL left :)

Daylon R Thomas

I just got one of the Dayuling and Wang Jia Cong Fu Cha. This is the first time I didn’t spend over $50 for an order lol. It would have been higher if the Jasmine Shanlinxi didn’t run out of stock.

Leafhopper

Nice! I look forward to your opinion of the Wang Jia tea. I wish they had more 2024 teas in stock. My secret source is only selling one oolong this year (spring 2024 Lishan), so I’ll need to buy other gaoshan at some point.

Marshall Weber

Oh nice! I’m also curious to see your thoughts on both teas :).

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100

HO-LI SHAN this is amazing! Now I see why people like Lishan so much. Fruitiest tea I’ve tried. Furthermore, the steep-to-steep variance is insane.

The smell when I opened the bag was heavenly. No other way to describe it. Red, tropical fruits, sweet. Wet leaves screamed breakfast table, still with some fruit. First steep was all fruit all the way, quite sweet. Second steep was savory, green, vegetal. Third steep was back to sweet and fruity. Fourth steep is white sugar and a bit sweeter. Later infusions are vanilla, fruity, and sweet.

A top five tea in terms of complexity. Balance is top notch. Hui gan is fruity and lasts at least 2 minutes. Zero bitterness and astringency. Medium-high sweetness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and full and slippery like a longan. Longevity is 9-10 infusions.

This experience reminds me why I love tea so much. Thank you, Wang Family.

Harvest: Spring 2024
Location: Bi Lu Xi, Renai Township, Li Shan
Elevation: 2300 m
Cultivar: Qing Xin

Dry leaf: Pomegranate, cherry.
Wet leaf: Breakfast table, toast, butter, cream, papaya, guava.
Flavors: Papaya, guava, blackberry, sweet, mung bean, vegetal, savory, jackfruit, peach, white sugar, vanilla.

Flavors: Blackberry, Butter, Cherry, Cream, Guava, Mung Bean, Papaya, Peach, Pomegranate, Sugar, Toast, Vanilla, Vegetal

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76

Another sample from my recent YOT order. This one is just okay. Probably the least HK type flavor out of all YOT’s teas I’ve tried. The flavor and look are also both lighter/younger than I expected given the storage.

Some sweetness in the huigan, but none in the primary flavors. Hui gan lasts 3-4 mins. Up front flavors have almost no camphor/cooling notes. Lasts 10+ infusions. Very light color brews.

Flavors: Camphor, sweet, wood

Flavors: Camphor, Sweet, Wood

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94

From a new Verdant order. Major props to Mrs. Li on this beautiful tea! An absolute treat. I’ve never had pre-Qing Ming Longjing before, so I have no similar comparators, but this certainly blows the other Longjing’s I’ve had out the water.

Medium-high sweetness that is beautiful. Mouthfeel is incredibly unique and chalky (in a good way). 1-2 mins of hui gan. Longevity is 4 golden infusions.

Apparently Mrs. Li has been at tea-making for 50 years. She has certainly perfected her craft. The #43 varietal was apparently bred specifically to bud earlier than classic Dragonwell varietals.

I’d say this was worth ~$1/g :).

Harvest: March, 2024
Cultivar: Longjing #43
Location: Longjing village, Zhejiang Province
Elevation: 300 m

Dry leaf: Artichoke.
Wet leaf: Artichoke, nutty.
Flavors: Artichoke, sweet, nutty, honey, chalk.

Flavors: Artichoke, Chalk, Honey, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Leafhopper

Ooh, I’m jealous! I’m waiting for some pre-Ming Dragonwell from Seven Cups. I also have pre-Qingming Dragonwell from Teavivre and Treasure Green that I’m waiting to open until the Seven Cups order arrives. I’m going to do an epic green tea comparison tasting—but the wait is driving me bonkers!

Marshall Weber

Ohh dang I’ve seen the Seven Cups stuff before and now I’m jealous. Maybe I’ll drop the cash on that good stuff some day haha. I’ve never even heard of Treasure Green though. I can’t wait to see how those Longjings compare to each other though!

Leafhopper

Treasure Green is a company from Vancouver that offered the three Mingqian teas I was interested in: Longjing, Bi Luo Chun, and Anji Bai Cha. I haven’t heard much about them, but their 2024 Meng Ding Huang Cha, which I also bought, is pretty nice. The other contenders, including Verdant and Tong Xin She, didn’t offer Anji, and Bitterleaf doesn’t appear to be doing Longjing samples at all this year.

ashmanra

Ashman loves Teavivre’s pre-Qingming Dragonwell. We haven’t tried any others and haven’t had dragonwell in a while. I need to paw through my samples.

Leafhopper

Ashmanra, I had samples of their pre-Qingming Dragonwell several years ago, so I’m expecting good things. It will be interesting to see how it compares with pricier Longjing.

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90

Second tea from new YOT order. Bought a brick of this as well as it was only $0.12/g and it is pretty nice! I think I like it more than the ripe from the day before. It still has a nice camphor flavor, but more muted. Not overly complex, but a nice brick with big leaves.

Dry leaves: Camphor
Wet leaves: Same
Flavor: Camphor, wood, dark

Flavors: Camphor, Dark Wood

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89

Well this is from a new order from YOT. I had to give some of their other teas a chance when I heard how much the taste of HK was disliked by some people and considered an “off batch.” This shou is first up and I’m very glad I caked this because it is quite good for the price ($0.09/g). Overwhelming scent, but the taste is much more muted.

Mild sweetness, medium-thick mouthfeel. Lasts 12-15 infusions. Some of this cake literally looks like clumps of clay haha. I know it’s note, but pretty wild how different it looks due to the HK storage.

Dry leaf: Camphor
Wet leaf: Camphor
Taste: Camphor, wet earth, forest floor, wet wood, sweet

Flavors: Camphor, Forest Floor, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wet Wood

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1

I would give this 0 if I could. The worst tea I’ve ever tried by far. This is everything bad about when people talk of the “funk” that fermented teas can have. And I even rinsed this 3 times. The golden flowers just don’t sit well with me I suppose.

At least it was a free sample.

Dry leaf: Pungent, smoke
Wet leaf: Same
Flavors: Pungent, rotting fish, disgusting, mold, must, musk

Flavors: Fish, Mold, Musk, Musty, Pungent

Leafhopper

Was this your first heicha? I’ve avoided this tea type exactly because of the flavours you describe.

Marshall Weber

No I love love love shou puerh and have had somewhat enjoyable experiences with Liu Bao and Hunan Fu Zhuan. Nothing has come close to being this horrible.

Leafhopper

Oh dear, sorry to hear that. I’ve had maybe six teas from ORT and they seem very hit and miss to me.

Marshall Weber

Appreciate the sympathy :). Yea they are definitely hit and miss. Probably wont be ordering samples from them again unfortunately :(.

derk

I know last year ORT had issues with some puerh molding over in storage. Maybe the same happened here? Generally fuzhuan teas should be mild and sweet.

Marshall Weber

Hmmm maybe that happened. Wasn’t aware they had issues with molding. I didn’t see any mold other than the namesake golden flowers, but maybe it was there an not super visible.

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85

Not too bad as my second to last sample from ORT. Also not worth the price IMO, but I can tell it is pretty high quality. FL’s HZLZ is better tbh. Not sure how much this being 3 years old affects the perception as well.

Moderate bitterness that lasts 2 infusions. No sweetness. Decently thick mouthfeel. Very smooth overall. Lasts 12+ infusions.

Harvest: Spring 2021
Location: Boatang, Huazhuliangzi, Mengsong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan

Dry leaf: Puerh scent, grapes
Wet leaf: Same
Flavor: Puerh, hay, grapes, honey, bitter

Flavors: Bitter, Grapes, Hay, Honey

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96

Wow this is a properly aged white! And a wonderful tea for the price ($0.13/g). Much better than the aged white from KTM, although a lot more expensive for sure. The price to quality ratio here is phenomenal, though. I am really starting to love aged whites. I will be caking this FOR SURE.

Incredibly sweet, no bitterness. Can handle boiling water. Mouthfeel is thick and oily. Hui gan is insanely long-lasting; 15-20 mins later I still have sweet honey taste lingering in my mouth. Lasts 5 infusions. Complexity is very high for a white tea.

Harvest: Autumn, 2013
Location: Diantou, Fuding, China

Dry leaf: Fermented fruit, dried apricot, fig, honey.
Wet leaf: Same
Flavors: Dried apricot, fig, dates, honey, sweet, vanilla, old library, cream, thick.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fig, Oily, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla

ashmanra

This sounds amazing!

Marshall Weber

It was so good! Would definitely recommend :).

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84

4th sample from ORT. This one is definitely better than the Xenringxiang, but not amazing. Much more going on and more complex. Still not as good as Verdant’s Milanxiang.

Tingling mouthfeel and aftertaste that lingers for ~1-2 mins. Trace bitterness if you squint your tastebuds. No sweetness. Lasts 6-7 infusions. Probably can handle boiling water.

Harvest: Spring 2023
Varietal: Milanxiang
Location: Phoenix Village, Phoenix Mountains, Chaozhou

Dry leaves: Floral, citrus
Wet leaves: Floral, citrus
Flavors: Floral, citrus, grapefruit, tingly, sour, honey

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Honey, Pleasantly Sour

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