186 Tasting Notes

74

Quick update, not so much notes

I had this one stored in a box because it is so different from most teas I have. I bought a big clay container from taobao and repaired it with JB Weld and to test it out I put this cake in it…

I thought the JB Weld and the clay were smelling weird and that I had wasted money, then I remembered that this cake has a very dank tobacco-green wood and medicinal bitterness. I replaced it with other cakes and the container is great. This one is probably one of the dankest (not wet stored or anything, just strong smelling) puerh I have.

I feel like it is a mixture of scents and flavors of: Chinese medicinal cabinet, woody tobacco, green wood and hemp with just some grain notes. The taste is not far departed from the scent either. It kicks you in the mouth up front then all of those notes become sweeter as the liquor goes down. I’d like to know if anyone else has this cake, what they think about it. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, it’s just weird and can be pleasant at times.

Flavors: Bitter, Grain, Green Wood, Medicinal, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Yang-chu

Sounds interesting.

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78

Dry – Woody rich dark notes
Wet – Rich woody notes, broth-y/savory, wet storage, decayed wood.
Liquor – Light Brown
Initial Note/caveat – I’m drinking the loose version of this tea, the pressed version may differ due to the the pressing process

Initial steeps are smoother than you would expect for the scent of the wet leaves but still rich wet wood notes with cedar (spicy?) and some camphor and a fair amount of thickness that is brothy/leathery/musty (think mushroom soup) and as it washes down it has some astringency to it, but not unpleasant.

Mid steeps (4-6) were similar but with some of that ‘dankness’ of mushroom soup and leather mellowing down, but also loosing some of the body with each steep. Somewhere in here the cedar comes upfront, I think because the slight spice note numbs my tongue a bit and it also has some more astringency than I expected, but still not unpleasant at all.

Later on it keeps loosing steam in the strength of the steeps, so you have to start pushing it a bit. However, it does hold up well with longer steeps and gives more than I expected from it.

Final Notes
The tea kept loosing steam, but I lost steam a bit quicker. I came in biased with this tea expecting some bulang character and found none of it. I did a few more steeps and I was over it, I bet people who love wetter stored tea will love it.

Flavors: Cedar, Leather, Musty, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

Yep, this one sits all alone in my storage. Waiting to dry out a bit.

JC

Yup, mine is in brown bag airing out for a while. It still has plenty of dank to give out.

JC

Do you have yours in the pumidor airing or just letting it dry out a bit outside? I’m not sure how to go about ‘cleaning’ some of the wet storage taste off it.

mrmopar

It is outside by itself. A bit too humid for the pumidor.

tanluwils

JC, be sure the brown bag doesn’t have a strong smell. Sometimes the cardboard smell can linger.

JC

It came in it, so hopefully it wont disturb the tea. Honestly, I think the brown bag suffers more. lol

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75

Follow-up two years later

This is coming along MUCH nicer than before. I’d don’t thing it is great, but is a lot more pleasant. The perfume-sour note has dissipated, and a light petrol-like/tobacco note appeared (positive) that gives it a bit more body.

It has some more camphor and most of the fruit and floral notes are muted, which again its a very positive thing because those were gag inducing for me. Now there’s more honey-ed/caramel notes with nice woody base. I have about 120-150 grams left of this so hopefully this will continue to improve as it has, this is one of those I’m glad I forgot about in storage.

Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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Follow up two years later

The tea has very similar notes as expected from a ripe, not much change in terms of taste. I will say the front, even though it is still bitter, woody and nutty still, it is a more refined version of itself, before it was a lot rougher and you could tell that I had to age to enjoy, now it is followed by a cleaner sweeter finish and very pleasant camphor. It has some thickness to it in the front but it fades away in to a cleaner and more refreshing cup as it goes down. I’d say an optimal age for this tea will be in about 2-3 years more where it still has a that strong front but it will be much cleaner in the front and middle.

Something that I noted was that the liquor smells very good and sweet (minor chocolate and vanilla notes in there), while the leaf has more of a bitter, woody-nutty note. The taste is more related to the leaf scent, with woody-nutty bitter notes, but the finish does hint that vanilla sweetness, no chocolate (at least for me) on the taste, pleasant camphor that lingers.

Flavors: Camphor, Dark Bittersweet, Nutty, Vanilla, Wood

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90

Quick Note I was rearranging my tea storage and decided to break this cake to store it in a clay pot (to open space for other cakes) and what didn’t fit I drank last night and brought to work some leaves to continue.

This is doing amazingly, smooth refreshing with dried fruits woody and even a slippery sensation on the tongue. The Huigan has definitive complexity that is hard to describe but easy to enjoy.

Today at work I’m doing gong fu on a glass tumbler “FuGuang” I bought from YS a few years back. It recommend this one done strictly on Clay pots if possible. I think it brings out more notes and respects the leaf more. However, this is a pure pleasure and I’m happy to have brought the extra leaves to work today.
Cwyn

I’m in love with your storage :P

JC

Clay pots are damn good storage! I do have some failed experiments in other type of storage :P

mrmopar

Ok, what were the ones that didn’t work? Inquiring minds want to know.

tanluwils

Folks probably already know this, but sealed zip locks bags are a no no. My teas started to taste sour and that flavor took about a year to age out, so..

JC

Successful ones: Yunnan Clay pots (large tong fittings ones and smaller ones to break cakes into), plastic containers (they have worked incredibly well for the 7-8 months I’ve been trying it. I think the trick is to air them/possibly reintroduce humidity monthly or every two months). Failed ones: Thin cardboard boxes (THey’ve just let my tea dried up slowly), Thick cardboard boxes (hit or miss some seemed to work well but others gave the tea that cardboard scent/taste YUCK),glazed crockpots (from Etsy, they are cute and all but they don’t seal as well the lid and are glazed so the airflow is either non-existent or too aggressive. Dried up some cakes). Finally, just exposed, lets just say DC weather is not what you want for Puerh.

JC

I forgot to mention the that Whisky cardboard cylinders are PERFECT for storing tuos!

tanluwils

You don’t think that cardboard containers could potentially dry them out?

JC

I hope not LOL. I mean I’ve been using them so far for a year and a half and they have worked very well. I take them out every 3-5 months to air/reintroduce humidity and sometimes taste one of them and they are doing well so far.

I think the cardboard cylinders for whisky are sealed enough so that they dont dry up, but at the same time they dont have the strong cardboard scent from normal boxes. I’ve used Balvenie(fits small 100g tuos and cakes well) and Aberlour (wider so it fits 250g tuos 100g cakes and mushroom shapes well) containers so far.

tanluwils

I think I know what you mean. I have a cardboard cylinder canister with a wax-like outer and inner lining that could definitely fit a few tuos. Nice idea.

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80

Initial Notes
I initially thought I was going to be updating my first note, but not I noticed that I never uploaded that. I will put this current one and just edit it later with the original at the bottom for reference (when I find that note from over a year ago).

Dry – plummy and prune like with some mid-aged bittersweet wood and a musky sweetness (wee like). lol
Wet – Prunes for sure, dried fruit (aged), musky melon, bittersweet woody notes, some hints of dark richness.
Liquor – deep gold/light amber >> amber.

The initial steeps with woody-tangy fruit and the ‘prune’ sort of intensifies a bit with hints of medicinal notes, yet they are a lot cleaner than I would expect from the initial notes. There is some minor astringency, but the final sensation is oily and numbing.

The mid steeps are more woody and bittersweet in the front with a more definitive ‘prune’ and slightly more bitter to bittersweet woody note, yet it goes down smoothly. There is some slight astringency followed by a pleasant numbing sensation, but it becomes oily and thick in the finish.

The final steeps are smoother still, but they ‘prune’ taste is A LOT LESS fruity like and more like medicinal, think like Chinese aged fruits that have that mix of ‘fruit’ but then has a lingering bitterness than can be just as pleasant as unpleasant (to me it depends on the day and the tea, but I’ve had this before in other mid aged teas from EoT.

Preparation
7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tanluwils

I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices that prominent prune note in EoT’s mid-aged teas. Even the ’04 Long Lan Xu has strong hints of prune before you can actually enjoy what the tea leaves have to offer. I did notice however those prune notes moving further towards the back as the ’06 Wild Peacock sat around and aired out.

tanluwils

Correction: ’04 Long Lan Xu should read ’14 Long Lan Xu.

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88

Dry – Dried fruits, stone fruits, floral, apricots, sweet veggies, some bittersweet notes (tomato vines?) and possibly a hint of maple.
Wet – dried red and dark fruits, thick/creamy, stone fruits, floral bitterness, nutty, corn, maple?/candied fruit >> and later pungent and very pleasant musky fruit and a maple note.
Liquor – deep golden

1st 4secs – Good mellow and almost ‘umami’ front that develops a savory olive oil note and body. As it goes down it has more fruity notes but seem almost savory as well. Thick and numbing (love this).

2nd 4secs – Very nutty, bitter and bittersweet floral and tobacco notes and a slightly savory note that transition to sweeter nutty and refreshing sensation and there a pleasant bitterness that remind me of tomato vines (I usually get this note from purple varietal, but this is more gentle).

3rd 6secs – Nutty, strong tobacco-like bitterness that transition to savory middle and thick body with some fruity and floral notes that have a nice lasting thickness (oily sensation). I keep getting that maple? note that I like followed by that ‘tomato vine’ note that lingers.

4th 8secs – very nutty and tobacco-y notes together with thick body and minor astringency. There are notes of olive oil and tomato vine before becoming sweeter and fruity/floral, but keeps that tomato note that lingers.

5th 10secs – Very nutty and tobacco-y that is both thick and slightly astringent, the olive oil note is still there with the tomato vine but it isn’t as noticeable or as savory, the fruity remind me of dried persimmons and at this point I also noticed a slightly more refreshing sensation during the huigan.

6th 14secs – Nutty with strong bitter and bittersweet tobacco notes that develop thick body and astringency. Huigan has a fruity and floral profile with rich notes that still reminds me of maple.

7th 20 secs – Bitter and bittersweet, tobacco, nutty, some vegetal notes, that still remind me of tomato vine, floral. As it goes down it has a more nutty and fruity profile with a refreshing sensation.

Final Notes
I easily made it to 12th steep and I stopped taking notes to enjoy even more and chill while I did it. I’d recommend trying this one at least once if you get the chance. :)

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tanluwils

I thought this one was interesting but not to my liking this winter. I had it again in late May and found it to have improved longevity, heightened complexity, and maple-like sweetness. I picked up those tomato notes, too. Not exactly my cup of tea (no pun intended), but it’s fun to try.

JC

Yeah, I liked this one, but I have to agree on the tomato vine note. I’ve had that note from mostly young purple varietals and it is possibly the reason I don’t like them as much. But the maple notes I loved, I wish I could get more of those.

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Dry – Rich bittersweet note, dried apricot, faint toasty/smoke note and a maybe warm sugar.
Wet – Thick/rich apricot, musky (like musky melon), floral bitterness, ‘green’ wood note/herbaceous.
Liquor – dull gold/light amber (initially cloudy but cleans up)
Steeps 5,5,5,7,9,13,25,40,1min.

The tea starts smooth and quickly develops a rich and medium thick body with bitter floral and bittersweet apricot notes and hints of a musky fruit (pleasant like melon), as it goes down it gave me a metallic/mineral hint that I didn’t really enjoy in the first steep, but following steeps become more of a olive/oily note and a bit mineral (not metallic) and at that point it is actually pleasant. The Huigan is lasting and gets sweeter.

By the 4-7th steep the taste is very similar on the front but when it is transitioning (going down) it has a pine note that is very pleasant and refreshing, but resembles most silver needle puerh and still hold some of that floral and apricot note and some thickness.

Final steeps loose the smoothness with astringency becoming noticeable, but not unpleasant. The thickness goes away completely and it’s replaced by the pine note and is very refreshing in the throat.

Final Notes
This was fairly pleasant, but it does resemble most silver needle puerh I’ve had before, I will say that it is very aromatic when dry which is very pleasant to open and smell and the initial notes are thicker than most silver needle puerh. This was a nice free sample from Teanami. I have to check out their other samples and I’ll probably revisit this one later after I air it a bit more.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Pine, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Dry – Nice semi-aged Raw scent with bittersweet and sweet woody and fairly medicinal notes, dried fruit (like tamarind shell), dried wood.
Wet – Woody bittersweet notes, slight medicinal with some camphor, good aged puerh notes and richness.
Liquor – light copper to amber.

1st 3secs – Woody bittersweet yet gently and thick upfront that coats and slightly numbs the tongue. As it goes down, it has a slight floral, combined with medicinal character that is sort of muted/gentle. The huigan is gentle and lingering.

2nd 3secs – bittersweet and somewhat bitter (pleasant) aged woody note with slight fruity note that to me resembles tamarind shell up front. As it washes down a thicker medicinal and slightly floral note appears that again coats/numbs the tongue but still feels muted/gentle/subtle (just not fully opened note). The huigan is very good with some of that floral-medicinal that lingers.

3rd 4secs – Bittersweet to bitter medicinal-wood front that develops a thick/numbing body. As it goes down, it feels briefly bitter (pleasant) and transitions to a sweeter, mineral, floral note. The huigan is still lingering with medicinal-floral.

4th 6secs – Non punchy Bitter and bittersweet woody front that coats the tongue and quickly mellows to woody (pencil shavings like?) note. As it washes down, tamarind shell notes with some camphor that refreshes the the throat. Nice huigan.

5th 7secs – Non punchy bitter and bittersweet, very woody-medicinal note that develops thickness and a tongue coating sensation. As it goes down, it is smooth with some camphor, pencil shaving (woody) and a musky sweetness (like musk melon or another musky fruit) and developing more floral/fruit notes in the huigan.

6th 8secs – Non punchy bitter wood and bittersweet medicinal notes that become smoother (before thicker). As it goes down the woody/tamarind shell note appears and becomes sweeter with some camphor that refreshes.

7th 10secs – Non punchy bitter woody and medicinal notes transition to smoother and refreshing (some camphor) and not so thick tamarind shell notes. As it goes down, it becomes sweeter and wears more dried fruit note (still tamarind, just not so shell/woody like). The huigan continues to have that floral and medicinal note that lingers.

8th 12secs – Bittersweet woody and slightly thicker again with some of the numbing sensation, nice muted and musky sweetness and a dried fruit finish.

9th 16secs – Bitttersweet woody and thick/numbing front. There is a ‘pencil shaving’ woody note in the middle with tamarind shell notes that linger until the more floral/medicinal huigan appears.

10th 24secs – Matching the previous notes but slightly weaker. This is the first decline which made me adjust steep times.

Additional notes I was able to get 13 steeps after adjusting the steep times. I feel like I could have gotten 14 and just MAYBE 15 if I had be more patient (I wasn’t).

Final Notes
I liked this one quite a bit, It has complexity and changes along the way or at least it is playful with which characteristics shine. I’m not sure if it is more related to the blend having the opportunity to open up at different times but it offers different notes and I’m sure my next session will have different results. Thanks to the friend who shared this with me so I wouldn’t miss out on the YQH wave. :D

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Medicinal, Wood

Preparation
3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
DigniTea

Look at you, drinking YQH….. ;-)

tanluwils

I’m gonna have to try some YQH before they’re all gone…

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74

Quick note on this one I bought this in May 2014 from Yunnan Sourcing drank it and never log it. I was moving my teas around today to rotate and found it so I decided to dive in.

Dry – Leaf has a darker hue than it used to, which makes me happy to see some aging going on. The scent is mellow tobacco, faint wood and bittersweet to sweet notes, nothing special.

Wet – The leaf are sort of choppy but not bad. The scent is very apparent (but not unpleasant) tobacco (maybe, just maybe some smoke), combined with very medicinal bitter/ bittersweet and even sweet notes.

Liquor – Amber and at times sort of cloudy.

The tea is very straight forward with bitter to bitter sweet tobacco and medicinal notes that linger in the middle and turn sweeter as it goes down. Something note worthy is that the body is very smooth and even has thickness to it, specially when considering usually teas like these tend to have a more astringent and lighter body; with that being said, some astringency is still here, but is not unpleasant. The huigan is sweet and lingers that develops a nice camphor. This tea is making me hungry to the point that I stopped drinking to cook something.

Hind sight is 20/20, for $14 back then (and now sold out) this was a tea to buy and store, it won’t become AMAZING, but it will sure turn nice if you like a more ‘traditional’ tobacco-like Bulang Puerh.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
tea123

Excellent review. I think I know what you are saying about this one.
I’m wondering what you stopped to cook…

JC

I don’t know what it is about these stronger teas that just make me feel like I skipped breakfast and lunch altogether. I didn’t had many choices, but I happened to had fresh salmon which only takes a few mins to cook. so I went with that.

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Profile

Bio

I’ve been drinking tea for about 8-10 years now, but Puerh for about 7-8 years. I love learning and I love the people who ae passionate about it. This is a constant learning field and I love that too. I’m mostly in to Puerh, Black tea and Oolongs but I do enjoy other types from time to time.

I’m adding the scale because I noted that we all use the same system but it doesn’t mean the same to all.(I rate the tea not by how much I ‘like it’ only; there are flavors/scents I don’t like but they are quality and are how they are supposed to be and I rate them as such).

90 – 100: AMAZING. This the tea I feel you should drop whatever you are doing and just enjoy.

80-89: Great tea that I would recommend because they are above ‘average’ tea, they usually posses that ‘something’ extra that separates them from the rest.

70-79: An OK tea, still good quality, taste and smell. For me usually the tea that I have at work for everyday use but I can still appreciate and get me going through my day.

60-69: Average nothing special and quality is not high. The tea you make and don’t worry about the EXACT time of steep because you just want tea.

30-59: The tea you should probably avoid, the tea that you can mostly use for iced tea and ‘hide’ what you don’t like.

1-29: Caveat emptor! I feel sorry for my enemies when they drink this tea. :P

Location

DC

Website

http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/

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