New Tasting Notes
This is the unflavored Jin Xuan milk oolong from Teavivre. The tea was produced by pinching off a stem that contains several leaves, and then rolling this into a tight ball. It’s really amazing to see one of these small rolls of tea unfurl. I read a review where someone thought this teas was better brewed western style. I’ll try that next. I brewed this gong fu style. It lived up to its billing. In the first two infusions, it had a distinctive milky, creamy note. As the infusions increased, the milkiness was no longer present, and it took on more of a vegetal taste. The tea remained sweet throughout.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal
Ah, Da Hong Pao, the big daddy of all cliff tea. This being a blend will certainly not taste like anything I’ve had before, and the mystery continues. Deep, sultry, but not overly forceful as some I’ve tried. A faint sweetness in the back of the throat and some red stone fruit flavors too. Baked 4 times which for me is on the lower side, but they must’ve been watching this like hawks because the amount of roast in the mouth feels like 6-8. Leaf structure held up nicely after 10 steeps, the minerality hits just perfectly at steep 4 along the lateral tongue. A blend for all seasons, cause I love me some DHP.
Far too fruity and not really a tea. Artificial flavours is what kills this one. Unfortunate as I hoped for a genuine subtle flavour of fruit and got an overpowering fruit sorbet instead.
Flavors: Artificial, Fruity, Strawberry
The colour of the brew is amazing (really, really red, but not maroon). Super delicate, polished taste. Not bitter at all, regardless of how long you brew. I tried several brews.Slightly fruity.
Flavors: Fruity, Irish Cream, Nutty, White Chocolate
I had expected this to be a strong black breakfast tea. However is more like an early grey. Someone else described this as a weak early grey and thats what it is. Very pleasant, tastes fresh and great for a morning tea, to gulp down. Just not what I was expecting.
“2004 Yang Ping Hao”
I have had this since the first Puerbertea (?) Group Buy that LP had hosted. I had a session shortly after getting the tea, but hid this away for some time now. I am on my second day session with this, but it’s lightening up now. Throughout the session, there have been some pretty nice earth notes that remain throughout; which I quite like a lot. My wife thought that I was drinking something that reminded her of my parents basement, but to me, I had noted “deep earth after a rainy day.” This tea brews long and hard; I’m currently going at boiling water for 3-4 minutes. I think it’s time to quit shortly and find something else to be had before going to bed.
The scent of this is absolutely delicious. But, as my pu-erh has been pounding into my head, remorselessly: smell does not equal flavor — not by far. In fact, sometimes, they go in opposite directions all together. This was one of those times.
The scent of this was very sweet, like glutinous rice — just as the website’s description puts it. But, the flavor and scent upon brewing it was very unappealing to me. It was smoky — more smoky than earthy or woody, but there were earth and wood scents and tastes in there. There was a sweetness still in there somewhere, but it was barely detectable under the smokiness.
Part of this could be because I used a bit more tea this time. The flavor was very strong and the brew was so deep in color that I couldn’t see the bottom of the glass unless I put it in bright light. The other issue could be that I used a lot of pieces of leaves. I also noticed that one of the small chunks I broke up was very easy to break. I tend not to have good results from cakes that just fall apart, but that’s just my own experience.
I will brew this again with pieces from a larger chunk and with less, as this seems to be very strong. That said, smoky is not a flavor that I like so I don’t anticipate liking this one. I’m allergic to smoke, so as I’m sure you can imagine, tasting or smelling smoke is not the most pleasant experience of me. So, while I’m sure that another tasting will give me more details and perhaps a better experience, I still don’t anticipate deciding to buy this one. It’s just not my taste. But, I’m hoping it will at least be a more pleasant experience. This one was not pleasant for me. Even after cutting the brewing time in half for the second steeping to compensate for the strength, it was still just too much. I should have enough left for at least two gaiwan steepings, so I’ll have the opportunity to make adjustments and see how it goes next time. For now, I’ll leave it without a rating as I don’t think I have a good grasp on the experience of it yet.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Rice, Smoke, Smoked, Sweet
I refrigerated the steeping of this that came from the poorly-stored tea with the mold spots on it, just to see if the effect of it was the same after refrigeration (knowing whether or not cold affects the taste and effect helps to narrow down their origins). Anyway, I just had two sips and already I have a feeling of tea drunkenness coming on. If tea drunkenness were equated to alcohol drunkenness, this poorly-stored tea would be like very strong whiskey. Still, nothing tastes the least bit ‘off’ about it. It’s a very unobtrusive, clean woody flavor. What a curious thing! I wish I had the scientific tools and understanding to investigate it. I’d love to know what makes this so strong. Is this overflowing with l-theanine or mycotoxins (hopefully not) or what? I wonder…
I am going to have to say that this at the moment is too dry and astringent for me. The material is compressed on the tighter side but there would need to probably be some storage adjustment with this one so it develops over time to something I would like… no sweetness which is a downer for me, but not all tea with have a sweetness and that is fine because not all tea will be for my taste buds.
I just got a huge shipment of samples of pu-erh (both raw and ripe). I looked at them and smelled them without reminding myself of the price or the notes which other people detected. Most of the time, it was very obvious to me which ones were higher quality. Even without tasting them, I detected much of the same notes as others did.
Then, there were the lower-priced ones that just had something special in them. One of them had their price raised by the vendor in the time between my ordering these samples and receiving them! The same thing happened to me when trying to order a cake online. I had it in my shopping cart and it shot up to almost twice the price before I clicked “buy.”
I must have a similar eye and nose for flavor as others! — Though, I wish that would stop impacting the price so much. I’m not swimming in money…only in pu-erh. ;)
Reviews of these samples will come soon. (I think I will prioritize those which seemed best to me just so that I can maybe catch them before the price gets raised again!)
This was a standard chai with a bit of nuttiness and marzipan sweetness. The black base is quite fine inside the teabags, so it gets a bit tannic and bitter if you oversteep. Beside the spices were flavours of minerals and vanilla. Unlike most chais, I would advise against adding milk or you might not make out the almond or some spices.
I probably wouldn’t try it again, but it wasn’t bad.
Flavors: Almond, Mineral, Nutty, Spices, Tannic, Vanilla