105 Tasting Notes
Wow, the aroma on this one is killer! So light, juicy, and some kind of red berrylicious, with just a touch of creaminess to it, I love the smell more than the actual flavor, would totally smoke up my house with an incense that smells like this. The taste is light, like a weaker version of the scent, the touch of cream flavor fortified with a stiffer hint of malt and some mild astringency. Not as sweet as it smells, but I bet this would make some bomb milk tea.
Flavors: Berries, Cream, Dry Grass, Malt, Red Fruits
Pulled this out for another tasting today. Smells much less sharp fruit and floral and wet than last try, tastes up front kind of like a savory, chestnutty mao feng to start, but with more bitterness that turns into a very nice (vaguely sweet) and lingering floral fruit aftertaste.
Flavors: Bitter, Chestnut, Floral, Green, Sweet
Crazy fizzy, tingling mouthfeel where the tongue meets the roof of the mouth, feels like my back bottom jaw is humming. Strong mouth and throat coating, like having rice paper thin gauze coating my mouth. Can feel the tea all the way down my throat into my chest and further into my stomach as it penetrates further throughout the session and kind of undulates up and down in an odd sensation. Kind of reminds me of those audio sound jiggly lines as a water droplet slowly stretching and separating from the body of water right before completely splitting from it. Man, did I get tea drunk.
6.66g/100ml ruyao gaiwan @ 207F
Flavors: Camphor, Cotton Candy, Dried Fruit, Herbaceous, Plums, Spices
Lovely sticky, floral fruity aroma. Takes a bit to get going past bitter, but opens up to a kind of savory body and mildly sweet flavors in sip and aftertaste. Long lingering floral sweet aftertaste that just goes and goes paired with a quick throat coating in a mildly woolly scratchy, drying way. Strong feeling of uncomfortable jitters in stomach and chest for me mid way through the session, possibly due to current diet regimen/light breakfast? Did not finish session. 4g to 68ml porcelain gaiwan, 205F.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous
Gongfu in a 70ml glazed pot, boiling water into a thermos, so probably about 207F. Malty sweet potatoes with a layer of chocolate. Delicious and very nicely balanced with very low bitterness. I usually find hong to be too bitter potato skin or bitter malty/astringent, this is much better ratio of those aspects. Does tend to go a little sour by the third steep. Thanks for the sample, steph!
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Sour, Sweet Potatoes
Opens up with the start of some aged flavor to it, but quickly turns youthfully punchy and bitter in a light-ish fashion as it opens up (more noticeable with some mild pushing in the mid game). Pleasant, but not particularly unusual in any way. I think more age will bring out some different flavor due to the punchiness, but not something that stands out as of now.
Flavors: Bitter, Green
~6.5g to 100ml water, preheated and steeped at 205F.
This was a very easy going tea, starting off sweet and just a little bit smokey. The smoke fades into a surprising floral note towards the middle, but comes back a little stronger towards the end although not too much so (I don’t really like smoke in tea, but didn’t find it to be unpleasant in this). There is some lingering sweetness afterward, but it’s a pretty soft sweet throughout. Not a lot of body or mouthfeel and I would say a pretty neutral caffeine buzz, but pleasant overall.
Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Sweet
Wow. So, I decided to try this again today to review before I inevitably throw more of my money at CLT, and it is worlds different from the curdled lemon milk that I remember. I don’t know if I hadn’t rested my sample properly, used poor quality water, or was just plain bad at brewing a year back, but that is not how I would describe the tea today at all.
6.66-ish g to 100ml preheated ruyao gaiwan with 205F water. Starts off intensely bitter, but with interesting savory honey flavors behind the bitterness. Second steep sees the bitter dying down immediately, but maybe that’s just the tea energy socking you in the face so you don’t notice, my arms were feeling funny at this point. Recurring flavor profile becomes savory green bitter citrus fruit cooked over powdered nut charcoal with a strong lingering aftertaste that goes from refreshing green citrus to bitter to nut cigarettes to even sweet, milky candy with a thick mouth feel. Lots of transitions and flavor switches with this tea, the ride alone makes it worth sampling, in my opinion.
Overall, crazy cha qi, an impressive and intricate dance of flavors, textures, and aromas, but definitely bitter backbone to it all. I liked it a lot for its uniqueness and lack of astringency despite the heavy bitterness, but non/new pu drinkers almost certainly may not appreciate the bitter and its many more subtle qualities.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Creamy, Green, Nuts, Pineapple, Pleasantly Sour, Sage
205F, 6g to 100ml.
The aroma off the wet leaf on this is amazing—floral, jammy/fruity, light, grassy, crisp, topped with the unmistakeable heady scent of young sheng. The tea itself was surprisingly palatable and gentle for baby sheng when brewed, kind of like a more complex, lighter green tea. There was even a surprising light sappy sweetness in the first steep that disappeared quickly, but sort of slightly surfaced throughout the session that I’ve never really had in sheng before.
The main flavor on this tea was a savory grassiness that was reminiscent of a green tea, but varied throughout the session in character/lightness/depth. There was a bit of light, pleasant bitterness to counterpoint the flavors, along with a bit of mild astringency and mouth coating. Applying extra heat in the later steeps brought out more of a glossy texture and fuller body, but the flavor itself ramps down quite quickly, with the tea not lasting much longer than ten steeps at a stretch. Still, I quite enjoyed it while it lasted, it would be very friendly to introduce someone to young sheng with I think, although not sure how something like this would age in the long run.
Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Floral, Grass, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
REPOST AS I PUT THIS UNDER WRONG TEA ORIGINALLY
Sample from gylxtea, 7g to 100ml at 205F, preheated. My sample says 2010 on it for some reason, but I think this is probably the same one?
Overall, I liked how complex it was, with some nice fruity sourness (turns a metallic kind of sour when overbrewed) and nicely contrasting bitter flavors, but I wasn’t a fan of the predominant cigarette smoke flavor that lingers throughout. It had good returning flavor (even sweetness towards the end) and savory tobacco body that coats the throat and tongue throughout its decent lifespan. The smoke flavors do die down somewhat eventually in the later steeps as well, but it never fades to the background.
I felt a little tremulous after, but not much tea drunk, probably just a decent amount of caffeine whoosh. Had a fun tingle on the tongue a minute or two after drinking that was very refreshing and slightly numbing. I think I would have liked this a lot if not for the cigarette taste.
Flavors: Ash, Bitter, Herbs, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco