14 Tasting Notes

93

Summertime. A charcoal grill smoldering on a freshly mown lawn. Weed-whacking big, hearty, thick-stemmed weeds. Ripe peaches, dandelion, cold bacon, tomato vine in the hot sun. White nectarine, fire pit ashes. A long lingering tang of plum skins, sun baked grass, and vanilla. Tomato water, flowering pear tree, and yellow cherries. Becomes more like a white tea with each steep. A hot summer afternoon. A beautiful memory.

Flavors: Charcoal, Floral, Grass, Peach, Plum, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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77

This will be a divisive one. If you’ve ever loved cigarettes in your life, I recommend it.

Camel cigarettes and ripe peaches, and charcoal grilling in the shade of a swaying cedar tree. If that sounds like a nice sensory experience to you, I think you’ll enjoy this feisty sheng puer.

It is musty and herbal from the start. The cake has the fragrance of a freshly unwrapped pack of Camels, with mint, prune, fig, and cedar. The wet leaf is brash and smoky, with charred cedar plank, golden raisins, sun dried tomato, carrots, and wild woody herbs.

The taste is of apricots, peaches, and smoldering charcoal. Big green banana leaves blackening over a fire, and smoking cigarettes in a copse of tall cedar trees. There is also some creme brulee, singed sugar and heavy cream.

There is a long, strong, lingering aftertaste of peaches and charcoal, and the texture is extremely full and airy, like whipped silk that coats the tongue. This tea also packs a wallop of Cha Qi, for the adventurous.

Flavors: Cedar, Charcoal, Peach, Tobacco

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

Eating sliced green and red bell peppers on buttery Ritz crackers. Someone in the room is wearing Rock ’n Rose perfume and slicing an unripe green pineapple. Lovely guava aftertaste.

This winter-harvest tea from the hot climate of southern India has a strong, unique character that is vegetal to the max, peppered with spicy herbs, and then finishes with tropical fruit.

It starts with a dry leaf fragrance of apothecary shop (hundreds of wooden drawers full of herbs and spices) thyme, sage, mint, eucalyptus, red pepper flakes, buttery crackers, and green resinous wood reminiscent of Camellia Taliensis lateral buds (Bai Ya Bao).

The wet leaves are heady and spicy: red pepper flakes, mint, garrigue, dried flower bouquet, rose, and guava.

The taste is very vegetal and unique: bell peppers, pico de gallo, thyme, mint, mountain herbs, crackers, and lingering guava. Nice to experience a bold terroir with a strong identity.

Flavors: Bell Pepper, Cracker, Guava, Herbs

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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79
drank 2022 Lumber Slut by white2tea
14 tasting notes

Eating walnuts in a hot sauna. Brewed strong, there’s nice cocoa and saline as well.

The dry leaf fragrance is an antique oak cabinet, a cedar chest full of clean cotton sheets, pine 2×4s, an arts and crafts store, paints and paintbrushes, and a wooden staircase to the attic in an old house.

A lot of raw, fresh, sweet wood. Also some mushroom and dried, brown grass clippings.

The wet leaf aroma: sauna, hot steamed cedar wood, acorns and cracked black walnuts. Very woody, but not dusty or bitter at all. It has a nice comforting sweetness to it, like freshly cut oak planks.

The taste is of black walnuts, cocoa powder, silky saline, charred oak casks, cedar chips, and wood vanillins.

Flavors: Black Walnut, Cedar, Cocoa, Oak, Saline

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81

Walnut bread, decaying acorns and leaves, very woody and dark. This shou has a phantom sweetness when you first sip, like white chocolate, but then it’s immediately gone and the flavor is aged wood, raw walnuts in the shell, oak vanillins, and lake water. Muted in the mid-palate, but silky and round with a playful, light saltiness. The wet leaf aroma is sweet old wood, like antique Amish furniture, or an old, worn, wooden rowboat.

Flavors: Dry Leaves, Oak, Vanilla, Walnut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

Quality tea from a Colombian producer that definitely cares about their leaves, but quite a light flavor. Very creamy texture. Delicate floral, green, nutty, and buttery flavor. Light violets, dry roasted edamame, and salty Ritz crackers. All nice notes, and a luxurious silky texture. The long steeps tasted like a raw puer: notes of apricot, apple, and persimmon, but also quite light.

Flavors: Cracker, Floral, Peas, Salt, Violet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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72

A very dark-roasted Iron Goddess Oolong with flavors of Corn Flakes, Charleston Chew, marshmallow and chocolate, vanilla cookie, Three Musketeers bar, salted caramel, and coffee. Some delicious flavors, but it starts off light and grainy in the first steeps and ends a bit cloying in the later steeps when the marshmallow becomes a bit too artificial tasting. The wet leaf aroma has a powerful strange bitterness like burnt sugar, creme brulee with sliced strawberries, and Special K Red Berries cereal. Overall interesting complexity and surprising marshmallow and chocolate notes, but lacks balance. There’s also a persistent corn/grain note, especially when brewing Western style, that detracts from the other flavors.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee, Cookie, Malt, Marshmallow, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

Floral bomb. A whole bouquet of flowers in the aroma and taste. Lilies, gardenias, rose perfume, fresh rain, pine forest, strawberry candy, freeze dried raspberries, green pear, jasmine, pistachios, and steamed white rice. Elegant, confident, powerfully full-flavored and floral. Like a rich, sophisticated, impeccably dressed woman with expensive old perfume that smells of roses and the humid green jungle. This is a tea of remarkable quality and refinement.

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Lily, Pear, Perfume, Pine, Rice, Rose, Strawberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

Spring 2023 harvest: Intensely malty. Whole wheat crackers, very little sweetness. Strong aroma of Wheat Thins, sun dried tomato, bitter boiled roses, and a hint of cigar. The vegetal / floral bitterness fades away after a few steeps, leaving a very nice cocoa cookie / chocolate graham cracker flavor that lasts through several steeps and lingers on the tongue. Love the appearance: silky black and gold pellets covered in bud dust / hairs. Great quality for the price.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cookie, Cracker, Malt, Wheat

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
drank Nug Potion by Mei Leaf
14 tasting notes

Delicious flavors, but you really need to brew it long and hot to draw them out. When you finally get there: cocoa-dusted prunes, black garden soil, salted caramel coffee, walnut brownies, and musty stone cellar.

Silky and creamy, super mouthcoating. The real star is the leaf aroma of raisinettes, leather jacket, Riesen candies (dark chocolate and caramel), and coffee grounds. Very good – all delicious notes – but there are shou puerhs with more generous flavor.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Leather, Mushrooms, Prune, Salt, Soil, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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