Spring 2014 "High Mountain Red" Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Earth, Fruity, Plums, Wet Earth, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Herbs, Molasses, Raisins, Tangy, Caramel, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by boychik
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 7 oz / 221 ml

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18 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Having never tried this tea before, I went in with the assumption it was another black yunnan. I expected deep rich and malty; what I got was more like an wulong. I’d been brewing this a lot at...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Additional notes: I steeped this exactly like the 2017 harvest to see if there were any differences. Last year I bought teas from YS and had to buy this exact harvest because the same tea that I...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “This one is pretty earthy. Kinda too earthy for me, to be honest :( Earth isn’t the main flavor though, the main flavor is like fruity. Mainly getting plum notes, which was rather unexpected!...” Read full tasting note
    31
  • “Another from my dearest tea sister Terri This one has notes in it that remind me a bit of an oolong while still falling on that sort of bready kinda of tea. this one isn’t my favourite but it’s...” Read full tasting note
    79

From Yunnan Sourcing

High mountain tea grow at 2000 meters on Ai Lao Shan in Zhenyuan area of Simao. Picked and processed only from the first flush of spring this black tea is lightly oxidized and processed similiar to Taiwanese black tea or Wu Yi Rock tea. There is a still a greenish tinge left to the leaves! The brewed tea is rich and thick with hints of dried Longan fruit with a protracted mouth feeling!

March 2014 harvest!

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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18 Tasting Notes

88
86 tasting notes

Having never tried this tea before, I went in with the assumption it was another black yunnan. I expected deep rich and malty; what I got was more like an wulong.

I’d been brewing this a lot at work, where we have a water filter and am now writing this note at home, where i have no filter. At work, found none of the deeper frequencies I’d associated with a Yunnan black, but rather more high-pitched mineral, plum and floral notes.
The sans-filter infusion is more caramelly, rounder and maltier

what’s really interesting are the later steeps, which bring out aromas and tastes of coriander seed and lemongrass.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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85
2535 tasting notes

Additional notes: I steeped this exactly like the 2017 harvest to see if there were any differences. Last year I bought teas from YS and had to buy this exact harvest because the same tea that I tried before was so PLUMMY. I loved it. It was delicious. This should be exactly the same harvest. I made sure that all of them were the Spring harvests, so I’m not getting confused with that. But somehow this tastes completely different from what I remember. No plum at all. Now it seems like a very light Taiwanese tea like Laoshan black, with honey notes. It’s disappointing that this supposedly same harvest is so different now (and of course I know teas will age but still….)
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

Another day: So then to complete this experiment, I wanted to try my sample that Nicole sent me of this very same tea steeped exactly the same that was turning out so plum-like. (Also, sipdown! I had exactly a teaspoon and a half of leaves left.) And I do notice that the leaves are smaller. I’m not sure if it’s because they are crushed more from shipping/storing OR it was because it was the bottom of the pouch crumbs all of the times I’ve steeped this tea OR both these reasons (still in the official YS bag, by the way.) But I think the smaller leaves DID make it all the more plummy. Maybe I should measure out a serving of the 2017 leaves into a teabag, then crush the hell out of them, steep it up and see if I get that plummy flavor. An interesting experiment…. so maybe this experiment isn’t over YET. However, I’d also say this final steeping wasn’t AS plummy as my first tasting note. So not as plummy as before, but definitely a ton more flavorful than either new pouch of 2014 or 2017. But I did only wait until the water had cooled for 10 minutes instead of 15. The brew is darker too. It’s just a bit odd the supposedly the same harvest of the same tea can be so different. The rating for the new (yet supposedly same tea) would be 72 instead of 85 that it was originally.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

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31
736 tasting notes

This one is pretty earthy. Kinda too earthy for me, to be honest :(
Earth isn’t the main flavor though, the main flavor is like fruity. Mainly getting plum notes, which was rather unexpected!
Just the combo of earth and plums is not my thing! D:
Thanks so much for the sample though, Nicole!

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Plums, Wet Earth

TeaNecromancer

Not a fan of eating a plum you dropped in the mud? Yeah, mixing those two sounds a little odd to me as well

donkeyteaarrrraugh

thanks for the warning….this might have been on my long list to order eventually.

tea-sipper

If you don’t like this, I’d buy it if you have any left?

Ost

I believe I do, I’ll let you know how much I have left and give you a price-that’s in the box that I have to measure out how many tsp of things I have and such still :/ So may take a while. But you will be the first to see the list, no worries, Tea-sipper_!

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79
9734 tasting notes

Another from my dearest tea sister Terri This one has notes in it that remind me a bit of an oolong while still falling on that sort of bready kinda of tea. this one isn’t my favourite but it’s still been a nice cup of tea this morning while i work from home. I had this one while setting up the slower cooker this morning for pulled pork tonight! woohoo!

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88
972 tasting notes

This sample came from Nicole. Thanks to her and to everyone else who has been willing to send me these Yunnan Sourcing samples. I really appreciate it! I know I have tried this tea before, and I remember enjoying it, so I’m excited to give it a second try. The leaves are medium-sized and they’re rather thin and twisty/curly. Color is jet black. They have a very mild dry scent, just a bit of malt and some sweetness and hay.

The steeped tea smells rich and caramel-y with fruit and floral tones. Mmm delicious. The texture is thick and silky smooth. I can taste a bit of baked bread, but the main flavors for me are honey and caramel, thick and rich. Even though it’s such a rich and sweet tea, it doesn’t seem all that heavy. Perhaps it’s the airy floral notes that start to pop up midway through and linger to the end. It’s a very light and inoffensive floral. Aftertaste is all honey and flowers, yummmm.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Floral, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

Cam – look in my cupboard and see if there is anything YS in there you want to try

MzPriss

Or anything else – not just YS

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424 tasting notes

Thank Stephanie for the sample! Have I ever mentioned that you have really nice handwriting?

I pulled this out of the sample bag this morning, and really enjoyed it. I had more than enough for one steep (I steep 11 oz at a time) but not quite enough for two, so I put it all in there and steeped for less time. Really delicious. I think I can get a third steep out of it as well.

I drink so many similar black teas that I’m running out of unique things to say about them, but I really liked this and would reorder if I saw it on sale. I have too much tea otherwise, especially since I just bought 400g of tea from Teavivre’s sale this morning.

Steph we will be at that same place tomorrow if you want me to bring samples of anything for you.

donkeyteaarrrraugh

what’d you get at the sale? I’m debating…. I just got a bunch of Dian Hong Gold Tips and forgot to buy my favorite keemun!

Marzipan

I got:
Bailin Gongfu Black Tea 100g (in tin)
Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea Full-leaf 100g (no tin available – sad face)
Golden Monkey Black Tea 100g (in tin)
Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea 100g (in tin)

Cameron B.

I’ve never had their “Full-leaf” dian hong but I adore the “Gold Tips” version. :) I ordered a sample of the Dan Cong oolong too, it sounded interesting!

donkeyteaarrrraugh

i didn’t even know they had in-tin!

Marzipan

It wasn’t much more expensive to get the tins, I just wish all four had had them.

donkeyteaarrrraugh

….i just got more tea and tins…. curses! there goes the budget!!

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1113 tasting notes

I drank this tea this morning, but then was pretty swamped at work and didn’t get to write about it until just now. Lots of coworkers on vacation right now, we don’t actually have more work to do, just less artists!

Anyway, thanks so much boychik for the sample. This was DELICIOUS though I do not remember details. Very very nice though!

boychik

Yay, another good offering fr YS. Glad you like it:)

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89
790 tasting notes

Having this one again this afternoon. Still supremely yum. Bready, yeasty, baked good scents, sweet and molasses-y. Leaving it to steep in my little glass pot so I’m probably at about 15-20 minutes of leaf in water by the time I’m at the last cup. Not a bit of dryness or bitterness – just an increased sweetness. That’s what I love about these teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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3294 tasting notes

I thought perhaps that this high mountain red & whispering pines ailaoshan red were the same tea, so yesterday I made a cup of each (thanks to a sample from our dear TeaFairy) & attempted to drink them side by side. But I was also trying to fix breakfast in between painting sessions, operating on very little sleep, & honestly, l didn’t do a very good job of comparing the 2, although I know I enjoyed both cups. They do look very similar, both dry & steeped, although I think the whispering pine version might be a little thicker & sweeter, & I have enough of both to try again when things slow down a bit.

So for this tea: I’m still working out the steeping parameters I prefer. I tried it using 1 tsp + 8oz X 3min, & it was nice, but a little thin. So I tried the same parameters, using 1 Tb of tea, & that was much more satisfying. I’ve been outside a lot painting, & so allergies are muting my tastes a bit, but it’s a very pleasant cup with a sweet fruity taste. More of an afternoon tea, not particularly bold, or thick, & it has a kind of crystal clear quality to it .
What does that mean?
Heck, I don’t know…kind of like the water from a sweet spring, I guess.
little terri told me to say it.
Now her & Ms Theresa are laughing, like it’s some kind of private joke.

TheTeaFairy

Oh, oh, may I join Terri Harplady and Ms Theresa in the private joke giggle party? I use “crystal clear quality” in my reviews as well, I totally get it!!

Terri HarpLady

You are invited! :)

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493 tasting notes

TheTeaFairy ’s note about Ailaoshan from Whispering Pines encoraged me to try this tea.
thru Wiki i found that longan and lychee are cousins, they are in the same soapberry family. people say that lychee is more fragrant and potent. by looking at the pics i realized that i probably eat longan thinking it was lychee.
i did make this tea gongfu style before. for some reason i didnt record that which makes me think it wasnt right method for me. i prepared the same way as WP recommends. 1/2 TBSP 205F 8oz 3 min
the tea tastes very fruity(lychee kind),sweet,juicy, some nuts and white rice.
i havent detected any chocolate, caramel, or plum. it does taste like Taiwanese black tea style.
And i came to the conclusion that i need to get a sample fr. Whispering Pines because these teas sound different

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tabby

I need one of those samplers, too. I stalk their page a lot looking at their super unique blends.

boychik

sadly, this tea is not offered as sample choice on WP;(

TheTeaFairy

Interesting boychik, we seem to be having a VERY different experience, lol. Longan / lychee sounds pretty neat, though I did not find any in my cup. I saw after that it was in the description, along with plum. My interpretation of plum translates into dried fruits I think. Thanks for reviewing yours :-)

Tabby, too bad WP doesn’t offer it as a sample, but if you are a black tea lover, I doubt that you would regret it, one ounce is very little for such a tasty tea :-)

boychik

I know, i just have to have it. Just for comparison sake

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