258 Tasting Notes

drank 2004 Yiwu by Biyun Hao
258 tasting notes

5.9g, 90mL, boiling, mixed water

1. bitterness that dissipates immediately into candied florals on tongue. bit of medicinal woody taste and maybe watermelon rind white part. some oversteeped hongcha taste reminiscent of the 04 nannuo gushu from TWL. Engaging and dyamic

2. more medicinal taste. heating, and sinking in center chest

3. dull leaf taste like most of my YQH. nothing like steeps 1 and 2

4. still dull, but feeling seems intact

5. kill steep. sappy mushroom taste and some bitterness when cooled

this is the second time I’ve had this tea and maybe the cake edges are just not very good compared to when i had the MZ. Will need to revisit down the line bc for the hype this tea gets, both sessions w this were disappointing. I guess I’m glad to have a cake to revisit, since the other tea I remember being amazing upfront and then dying almost immediately was one of the YQH jinchas. An experience akin to fireworks…

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Have only ever mugged this but it’s reasonably enjoyable that way. Mid aged sheng profile, but very very strong BBQ note and not sure how I feel about it. Some grape in the aftertaste, as mattcha notes.

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5g/90mL/boiling. Water mix

dry: fruit, apricot
wet: green tea, sweet pea, hint of smoke

rinse was a little too long, and was nervous about the remaining flash steeps, but tea handled it very well for something so young

1st: full mouthfeel, grapefruit like floral and numbing on tongue. apricot and gummy candy aftertaste, and a brief floaty feel in head. A little slowing. minty and sharp taste at edge of tea
2nd: sharper taste, with tongue cooling. Lingers in throat and breath
3rd: similar, vanilla note on end

Did not note the remaining 3 steeps, but stopped then bc the stewed veggie taste started to show. Still interesting aspects and it could’ve gone for a little longer.

Really tasty, although not cheap. Very soft in taste and feel for a young tea, so probably a more modern processing style meant to drink now

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drank 1999 Cangmi by Yang Qing Hao
258 tasting notes

Finishing random sample bags.

2 rinses for tight compression. Somewhat choppy material, at least for the sample. 7.2g/90/212

1. Yang storage, bitter herbal, honey. Some floral (overstepped chrysanthemum tisane?) aspect to aftertaste in throat
2. Similar but more pronounced bitter. Some warming and downing feeling in face
3. Woody bitter. Warming in face

Did fourth and fifth long distracted steeps, but not too interesting otherwise.


This is one I’ll remember for being my first YQH tea but ultimately it wasn’t very memorable.


The great majority of the YQHs are not especially memorable, but all the ones I’ve tried and own are Yang-stored. I wonder if ones stored by others are faring better?

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7.1g/100 mL duanni/212. Brita filtered tap.

in all fairness, my sample may just be dried out, but it tasted like wood chips and yee on’s basement. very little of the other notes hinted at in the description. I’ll reassess later when I remember, but atm would take any of the TWL old liu baos over this.

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drank 2003 Zi Pin 紫聘 by Wistaria
258 tasting notes

6.2g/90 mL ZZZ teapot/212f.

Bought this as a sample from LP a few years ago and finally brought it back after visiting home for the weekend as a consolation prize after I was unable to locate my Naked Yiwu cake in the mess of boxes. Was more than a little upset to open it and see that the sample was comprised of a small bing hole segment and leaf bits (very choppy after brewing), so I’m not sure if this was from a cake or the tuocha.

Having this after trying the 2015 Lishan Gongcha was a mistake, but my friend was very gracious about it. LSGC didn’t shine as much as it could’ve (my fault), but frankly this tasted downright terrible (not my fault) compared to LSGC. If this was my intro to puer, I would probably not try it again, or at the very least, avoid it for a good while. Friend mentioned a jujube-like (sans the sweetness) note, but for me the storage note, smoke, and a strong sour taste were dominant. What Mattcha describes as “pond water” doesn’t seem too far off. Wisps of sweetness and floral in one of the later steeps, but I didn’t push too much towards the end. Texture was good throughout. Stilling feeling, and strong heating towards face, and also slightly in arms and chest. Guess the nice thing here is the feeling, even though it looks like from my previous note from my cake that the taste here could be far better.

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drank 2015 Lishan Gongcha by Biyun Hao
258 tasting notes

5.6g/90mL/212f in a gaiwan, Brita filtered tap.

Drank this with a lunch guest back to back with Zipin. A mistake, though my friend was a very good sport about it lol. Have had bad reflux symptoms more and more lately, so have had to stick to lighter meals and avoid tea for the most part.

Anyway, the tea was nice, but punchier than expected. I had a poor frame of reference for this going in I think, since most things I choose to drink in the limited time I have for longer sessions are things with some age (mostly >15 yrs+), so I didn’t expect this to taste quite so young. Lingering floral, apricot, and licorice notes, and a trailing string of bitterness throughout from brewing with too heavy of a hand, most likely. Stopped at around 5 steeps, but could’ve continued a bit longer. Wisp of smoke on the wet leaf at some point. Dried leaves after steeping were still very floral.

Some quieting and a burst of warmth that gave way to cooling. Friend didn’t think of it as warming at all though, so maybe just something for me.

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5.7g, 140mL tokoname teapot, poland spring water.

160f, 30s: toasty, sweet pea, corn
176s, 15s, then 30s: honey, light floral, sharper green tea taste
185f, 1 min: stewed taste

Who drinks green tea 2 years after harvest and expects anything from it? Oops. I opened this to try with a friend at the time two summers ago, and forgot about it until I was looking through old boxes last night. I can see wisps of what this might have been at the time, but it’s definitely not living up to what I paid for it at the time any more and justifiably so, lol. I didn’t have the self control to not participate in tea buy korea this year, but this might be the first in several years since I’ve been drinking tea that I will not buy any greens given multiple bags of pricey green teas from years past haunting me…


Thanks for reminding me to drink the Korean green tea I bought last year!

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6.3/90/212 zzz teapot.

dry: bread, raisins, roast

1st (prob 30s or so… much too long for this tea): bitter, stewed leaf

2nd (5s): mineral in upper throat, bland otherwise

3, 4, 5 (all ~10s): stewed bitter taste

cold: something plastic-like, not particularly pleasant. bitterness, and then some chocolate hovering in background.

bought this a few years ago and didn’t get around to trying until today. I need to branch out with my drinking more since lately indecision paralysis of sorts has been hitting with too many teas to try on my backlog. overall quite disappointing. Have heard this one is better at higher ratio. Will also need to be more mindful of steep times, since even though it’s not as green as some of the OWT ones, still not roasted enough to handle overly long steeps.

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5/90/212. late night spin with the zhaozhuang zhuni teapot from TWL since it came in last weekend but I didn’t have a chance to use it then. smelled great, basically some candy, maybe peachy in a way. Taste is the candied peach and bitter edged minty note. Aftertaste/mouth coat is very fleeting. lasted maybe 2 flash steeps and another 2 brief steeps max before turning into stew water. Enough to scratch an itch, but not interesting so at .13c/g, it’s fine.

This is one of those things I’m very glad I didn’t buy large amounts of several years down the line (though I paid more than my fair share of tuition because I’m stupid). Looking at old notes, I have no idea why I was thermosing everything 2 years ago, no wonder my stomach rotted for a good year or so before I was able to come back…

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Just a chronicle of a stranger’s tea journey. Keeping old notes up to see progression, but no longer really believe in all of them. Trying to learn!!

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a fair amount of solid teas out there, and reading mildly subjective reviews from others > very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.



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