17 Tasting Notes


This is what gives pu-erh a bad name. I bought these really not expecting much but more a a gimic gift for some friends that I am trying to convert to tea. And they suceeded in being just that, a gimic. This is a perfect example of what many mini toucha’s are, dust that has been sweep up off the floor. These are shu so you can’t screw them up as easily as a sheng but still.

They are fun to introduce new people to tea but other than that really not worth your time.

205F. 1gram tea per 30ml. start with 15 sec infusions.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I’m sorry, but why would you use a bad tea to introduce someone to tea? I wouldn’t think that would convert them into a happy tea drinker…

The Seattle Tea Snob

Ah ha a well deserved question my friend, so I perhaps should qualify that somewhat of what I had in mind was directed towards the friends whom I was sharing this with, but I believe much of it applies to the masses. Most tea drinkers are familiar with tea bags and even loose leaf is a novelty to them. And most tea drinkers are familiar with flavored teas and black blends that taste rather generic and bland. Shou, even the cheap crappy stuff, has a very unique and strong flavor, that is especially true in regards to the cheap crappy stuff. Therefore it is a completely new flavor range for them to try, hopefully they will become intrigued and be interested in trying others.

And the even simpler reason is they are miniature compressed tea bowls which your average joe/jane has never seen so again a fun novelty which shows them there is much more to the teaverse then they had imagined, and again will hopefully want to try more stuff.

Also there are people that genuinely like these and don’t like higher quality pu, therefore its not like I am giving them dog food, just tea that I don’t choose to drink for myself.

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This tea left me feeling very whelmed, it is nothing to right home about, but appranently it is something to write on steepster about. I’ve had worse yancha’s but I have definitely had better. If I was given a tin of this stuff I would drink it, unlike some others I’ve had. But this won’t be going on my wish list.

This tea is a bit dull and flat and lacked the floral subtleties that I have grown to crave in some of the better teas that emerge from the wuyi region. It held up quite well to multiple resteeps, on my third at the moment, but honestly I consider that a shame.

Again thanks to China Cha Dao for the sample but I can’t in good conscience recommend this one. 2 down 4 to go.

185F. 4min. 1g leaf per 80ml water.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Not to be selfish or anything but I’m revamping how I do tasting notes a bit. They are going to become much shorter and be more tailored to be useful to myself in remembering teas I like and dislike, rather than being a full on review.

Well its sample time, I’ve gotten a number of samples in the mail and its time to start going through them. This one is thanks to Jerry Ma and the China Cha Dao tea store.

This is the first one I tried, and I’ve got to say in the past I haven’t been much of a Wu Yi Yan Cha fan but this one is changing my mind. Delicate, sweet and pretty mellow with good flavor. Definitely would drink again.

I’m going to try all 6 samples and then buy a couple hundred grams of which ever my favorite is.

185F. 4min. 1g leaf per 80ml water.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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This Nam Lahn is really a very nice smooth afternoon tea, not one of the best teas Vietnam has to offer but a good example of what can come from their jungles.

Dried leaves: Somewhat unremarkable, very few tips and also it looked very twiggy which made me unduly nervous.

Wet leaves: Smell woody which is to be expected and I detect hints of chocolate other than that the scent is actually fairly tame.

Liquor: A beautiful and quite vibrant golden amber, the unadulterated clarity was the first thing I noticed, if their was such a thing as a mountain tea spring this is what it would look like. The taste did not disappoint, it is a ridiculously smooth tea, almost too smooth if that makes any sense. Not even a hint of astringency and the tea seemed to dance across the tongue while tickling the individual taste buds. There are some subtle chocolate notes, and if definitely has an underlying woody theme but that does not dominate, rather this tea strikes a perfect balance of sweet and smooth and earthy. Perhaps because of the geographical closeness to the Yunnan province or other factors unknown, but this Nam Lahn is remarkably similar to a nice Dian Hong.

In fact this tea reminds me of going out with your girlfriends twin sister, they look a lot alike, they smell, feel and taste similar. And the sister may even be smoother, and better polished, yet their isn’t the familiarity. In fact the sister may remind you to much of the original girlfriend to enjoy yourself.

Yes in my case while this is really a lovely tea it is to similar to a dian hong and lacks the soul that the Chinese black has. However if a tea from yunnan is a bit to harsh for you I encourage you to give its twin sister a whirl, you just may like it.

I am very excited now that I have discovered Vietnamese tea, and look forward to seeing what else this small country has to offer.

3g tea, 8 oz water, 4 min, 205F.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I can’t PM you, if I could I would have with this, but it needs saying. For your comment about self-promoted forum police, thank you! That totally made my day.


Hey, how do you know all that about your sister’s twin?! :)

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On my never ending quest to find the best tea that hails from the yunnan region I’ve given this remarkable tea a shot. The tea leaves themselves are quite beautiful, a fair amount of gold for not being a gold tea, they are also fairly large and as such they tend to twist when dried. As has been stated this is a very neat tea to watch as it steeps, the leaves graceful unfurl and untwist and seem to dance about in the beautiful amber liquor. The fragrance of the tea made my heart palpitate and I could tell I was in for a treat.

The best way I can describe this tea is like a good strong dark beer. It just tastes right and feels comfortable like you’ve known each other your whole life, yet it is best served as a treat rather than a staple. This yunnan has a wonderfully earthy taste and the pepper is surprisingly strong, and in a region known for smooth teas this is one of the smoothest even with the pepper accent. That is due to its malty nature. Without a doubt this is the maltiest dianhong’s I’ve ever encountered, and can become a bit overbearing after a cup or two.

Like an overbearing mother, this tea is best in moderation.

While overall this is a nice tea, it is not an accurate representation of a dianhong nor is this the end of my quest.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Doug F

I’ve found some fabulous teas from yunnansourcing.com Have you tried them yet?

The Seattle Tea Snob

Yeah I try to order an overseas order every 3-4 months, and they are one vendor I’ve had success with. I drinking a very nice aged wild arbor dian hong at the moment that came from them, I have some golden curls from them too but they need to be aged a few years, still to harsh. Their pu collection is quite vast, not all fantastic stuff but they do have some pretty decent cakes.

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Perhaps your individual who thought the “cold war unicorn play set” was a good idea, or maybe you lean more along the lines of thinking kids should have the “cat acupuncture model” or maybe you went out and bought an iPad. If you fit into one of the above categories then you too probably thought Brown Rice Tea was a good idea.

But don’t feel bad who of us at one time or another hasn’t been duped by a wily sales man selling popcorn tea? But whats not to love about Genmaicha you ask? Well if cheap and inferior Sencha leaves paired with toasted brown rice that has a flavor reminiscent of Chex cereal is your cup of tea then you should promptly disregard this review and your self esteem and run out to buy several kilograms. However if you don’t have the overwhelming urge to drink Chex cereal, and who of us hasn’t at times, then I suggest skipping this one.

In all fairness and seriousness however there is something special about drinking this tea. As the old wise tell relates, this tea was developed by poor peasants who didn’t have enough money for tea, therefore in order to stretch their meager supply they cut it with rice, therefore it become a kind of “peoples tea”. Nowadays its more of a novelty, and of course as such not the cheap tea it was developed to be. However while slightly more expensive then cheap green tea it still does come with a low price tag.

As far as Remedy’s Brown Rice Tea is concerned there is nothing to complain about, you can expect a rather fine representation of Genmaicha.

So if are trying you recreate what it would be like to be a poor Japanese peasant without enough money to buy tea, then you should probably get off the internet, or want to impress your friends on how authentic you are by drinking cereal flavored tea then buy a couple ounces. But after that please do me a favor and have a cup of long stemed Sencha or a nice Gyokuro to cleanse your palate.

Side note if you insist on drinking Genmaicha, look into Matcha-iri genmaicha, I personally haven’t tried it but it intrigues me.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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In a world where men are men, woman are men and little girls are FBI agents its nice to have something to count on. While this is not the best Yunnan there is, it will always be in my cupboard because its reliable. From time to time your car won’t start, your lights won’t work and your mom will call down evil upon you. But this tea will always be there ready to step in when life lets you down. If only one of Job’s three friends would have offered him a cup of Yunnan Red.

A relatively forgiving cup of tea, and by relatively I mean providing your not a complete moron and had to Google Yunnan to know what it is, then you should have no problem creating a cup that will sooth the nerves of a balloon in a knitting shop.

This Yunnan is a fairly bold tea, with a mildly astringent middle and a silky buttery after taste. Which when run over your palette creates a very smooth tea. Slightly sweet to compliment the earthy nature of Yunnan’s.

You know your loud obnoxious Uncle Jack that doesn’t care what anyone thinks and just does what he wants as to proudly exclaim this is who I am and you can piss off? Well this tea is nothing like him, its more like your Grandpa Stan, he may not be loud, showy and flashy, he is always there for you. And after basking in his quiet strength and spending a little relaxing one on one time with him you feel ready to face the world that called you a pansy and lit your underwear on fire today.

Tasting Notes: 2.5 grams, 4 min, 212F water, 1 infusion (if you trying to infuse it a second time snakes will grow in your belly)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Great review and at almost 64 years of age I totally understand what you mean even though I’m a girl. But I was a shot put coach and can build computers and won a apple pie bake-off if that qualifies me better!

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I like tea.

Oh you mean you want to know more, demanding little sucker aren’t you?

I’ve been drinking tea since 2003, quickly became obsessed by it and now it consumes far more of my life then I’ll ever admit. If you haven’t already noticed I like to write and love friendly debates and discussions, that’s how we learn. It just so happens that I think my way is the best and I’m always right. :) At the same time I am very happy to be proven wrong because that just means that I’ve learned something new.

Disclaimer: Despite very strong evidence to the contrary I don’t mean to offend. I do however speak my mind quite unabashedly and I hope you do the same. However if you decide that your bound and determined to take offense to what I write anyways perhaps I can direct you to your mommy.


Follow me on twitter to find out when I update my blog and hear about tea related shenanigans.



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