13 Tasting Notes

drank Ma Hei 2015 Spring by Tea Urchin
13 tasting notes

Drinking 6.5g of this right now in my trusty 100ml porcelain xishi. Quick rinse. First steep tea is still opening up. Second ok. At the third steep this tea starts to give up some well rounded mellow mids and some really nice thick mouthfeel somewhere between soupy and oily. Nice mellow calming energy too. Fourth steep some balanced astringency and an almost barely just perceptible bitterness, mouthfeel really nice, feelin pretty glowy and liquidy. Fifth pretty similar except maybe a tad bit more astringency which is still balanced. Empty tummy is feelin good right now too. Sixth, bitterness developing slightly and also there is a tantalizing hint of sweetness got my attention. Seven, definitely getting some sweetness now but probably could have pushed this steep a bit more as the mouthfeel is a bit lighter.

Up to this point I would say that the session has been very comfortable and warm. Nice gentle progression. Empty tummy still feeling great and and also feeling warm and glowy but now with a bit more energy and lighter feeling in head. Went through 500ml water so far and now leaves are going in 500ml thermos with 100C water for at least half an hour. I’ll check back in here later.

So over an hr in thermos this tea is pouring pretty dark. Could have pushed tea more during first half of session. Enjoying it a lot though as I really like strong tea and greatly enjoy bitterness. I’m finding that the sweetness, bitterness and minerality are doing an amazing dance together as the tea moves past my palate and through my throat. They are all three very present and taking turns singing their spiralling song on my tast buds but none shouting over the others. Light astringency and very present dynamic huigan.

Ok Tea Urchin you have my attention. I’ve been enjoying your samples and look forward to trying more of your teas.

6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2018 Arbor White by White2Tea
13 tasting notes

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Bought this mini cake with my first order of young sheng samples several months ago so that I would have a daily drinker and also a tea that I could drink without having to study or pay close attention to. Suprisingly enough, for a young plantation bush pu’er, it is very enjoyable. It may not have everything going for it but there is absolutely nothing wrong or off about it. It has never failed to deliver an easy going enjoyable session. It is great for letting go and turning off when I may be taking myself or my tea drinking too seriously. When expectations are minimized it opens up a lot of space for enjoyment and gratitude.

“The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences” -Zen 3rd Patriarch


This was my first tong purchase. I got a stack to store and age.


Nice. Never bought a tong but when I do it will probably be this tea.

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Wouldn’t normally enjoy singin’ that corner baggie blues but this Stirling is music to my taste buds.

I kinda like broken leaf anyways for the extra minerality and because the gong fu session gets goin full steam right away.

Keep it comin’ Bitterleaf. Got any other bottom bag material?

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Was sent this tea from CLT as a gift to make up for a booboo that happened with an order. Otherwise would probably not have tried this tea. Thanks Glen and Lamu.

I drank this at least 10 days ago. I didn’t want to write about it right away because it was a special experience and wanted to make sure that this review imparts the essence of the experience in some way and not just describe the tea in the usual quantitative/qualitative way.

What this tea is is a taste of what tea would be like for the first time. A taste of what someone who has never been exposed to tea would experience during their first tea session. Imagine possessing all the adoration and love for tea that you have now but with a palate that has become a clean slate, and a taste vocabulary/memory that has also been wiped clean.

CLT said they broke this tea up into single sessions so that as many people could experience it as possible. I get it.

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Definitely the most dynamic young sheng I have tried. Steeped forever as well. Dry cup aroma last well into the session and actually lasted longer than any tea I’ve tried.

Just finished the sample of this tea. Enjoyed everything I’ve tried made from this varietal. It’s a unique tea for sure.

This tea started out a bit light and felt the need to push it for the first few steeps. Floral and a bit peppery with a somewhat light and sharp mouthfeel that goes into the throat. Not much bitterness or sweetness.

Middle steeps develop a rounder flavor and mouthfeel. Bit of huigan. Dry cup smell out of this world. Bitterness building pleasantly but no sweetness. Flavor very good, interesting and unique.

Later steeps I started to push this tea pretty hard and got some good bitterness which was followed by a pretty heavy astringency that almost overpowered the rest of the experience. Flavor still excellent. Shortened steep times but still got intense astringency. Still not much sweetness.

I guess I’ll just keep hitting it with water and see what happens…

Still later steeps. Finally the astringency gives way to a very clean bright soft sweetness. Wow what a nice way to end a session.

Like I said before. Dynamic. Surprised me several times. Just when I was feeling bored or overpowered with any aspect of the tea it would change up. Longest steeper I’ve encountered out of about 25 young sheng I have sampled so far, most of which are much more pricey.

Huigan overall is deep and present but not particularly strong.

Good balanced pleasant well rounded cha qi.

Definitely buying a cake.

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This was one of my favorite teas from the 13 sample pack from CLT that I got a couple months ago. The best word I can think of to describe the taste is “detailed”. It’s like the flavors were sculpted and very specific. Not lacking bitterness. Not too green tasting or muddy either. Exploring the possibility that my palate loves fall teas. I hope this is true because then I can afford to build my pu’er collection a lot quicker.

Update: After trying several more fall teas including an LBZ I realized that I’m not really that into them. I just happens that one other tea I have and this Moon Princess happen to be excellent examples of fall material.

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Clean, solid, dynamic tea.

First tasting of this was in a thermos with 150ml boiling water per gram. Was immediately impressed. The dry cup smell was out of this world. I really love dry cup smell and it is a big factor for me in choosing cakes.

Enjoyed this tea gong fu as well with my 60ml gaiwan using 3.5 grams. There’s some smoke in the first couple steeps which I’m not into, but after that all good. Very clean. Just enough bitterness. Not too vegetal. I’m pretty new to pu’er so not sure if lack of veg flavors is because it’s had a couple years to rest or if it is inherent to this tea. Would like to know. Good session.

Brewed up more of this sample today. 7gr in 110ml porcelain teapot. Lately I’ve been brewing tea doing 10 second steeps from start to 8, 10, 12 steeps or whenever a tea seems to be needing a push and then I put the leaves in a 500ml thermos for at least half an hour. The short steeps are nice for enjoying the more subtle flavors and enjoyed the progression of this tea. Even without the thermos portion of the session this tea is recommendable and worth buying a cake. But with the thermos steep this tea shines even more. Very thick but soft mouthfeel. Warm maple sweetness. Amazing puckering bitterness. And a huigan that stayed with me for nearly an hour.

If you have not brewed tea this way I suggest you try it. There are some things that just won’t come out of tea leaves without a thermos or boiling but boiling boils off a lot of flavors. Basically once you are two thirds of the way through a session is a good time to feed the thermos. And I’ve noticed that the better the tea, the better the results.

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