221 Tasting Notes
I’m trying again to love this tea, after reading some comments on Instagram about its more endearing qualities. I think the reality is that Taiwanese style puer isn’t my style. I pushed the tea harder this time and produced more plum and astringency, but it still seems a bit hollow. There’s underripe stonefruit pit astringency and spring Witch Hazel twigs, but some decided sourness as well. Chalking this up to a style of semi-aged puer which isn’t me.
Flavors: Astringent, Plums
Dry leaves are a bit smaller than I expect, but give a fruity, herbal scent. When wet, aged smoke reveals itself, with a bit of meatiness. Quickly then, pine sap and lots of herbal notes. Overall round, married, and richly flavorful. Paler than I expected for 16 years, but still having great aged qualities, with tobacco and leather playing strong in the finish. A high note of astringency rides in the middle and late steeps and it empties out by steep 6 or 7. Great value overall and a tea with a flavor profile and aging history that is right up my alley.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Leather, Pine, Smoke, Tobacco
Amazing how my experiences with these two Mu Ye Chuns has changed so much in the past 8 years. I’m different, the teas are different. This breaths smoked meat and vegetables, really beefy. Opens up with a lot of astringency, with a lot of thick sweetness. This hasn’t aged quite as much as the 001 did and at this point, I don’t like it as much as the 001 at this point in time, it has a really scratchy throat quality that makes the finish unenjoyable. My samples haven’t aged well in the past 8 years (although some of my cakes have), so I’m glad I’m paying more attention to the humidity of my teas.
Flavors: Meat, Smoked, Vegetable Broth
Eleven years old and sampled again, seven years down the road. Certainly my palate as changed, as has this tea, although not as much as I expected or hoped. Samples are not gaining a lot of agedness in my storage situation. Dried fruit and paper aroma. Middle golden soup. This tea wasn’t all that enjoyable to me the first few times I had it and it really isn’t all that interesting now, but it is improved, mellowed, married. The astringency is strong, but tempered and the flavors are mingled. Holding onto some unfortunate paperiness from drier storage. Pleasant finish, with salivating, lingering bitterness.
Flavors: Fruity, Paper
Aroma of orange blossom and honey. Distant smokiness up front, which I like. Thick, sweet soup, with some astringency. Quick, menthol cooling huigan. Lacks a good green bitter snap, but otherwise workable. Clean qi. I think this is respectable tea and certainly the best of the four single village 2015 teas I sampled from YS, but still seems a bit expensive to me for the relative quality.
Flavors: Honey, Orange Blossom
Sun dried fruit aroma of dry leaves. First steeps are strongly floral, orchid, oolong, and cedar. Body has strong astringency, no bitterness, and no huigan. Green tea qualities throughout, which are unappealing. Uninteresting to me. A surficial tea, without much depth or body. I can’t imagine this aging well.
Flavors: Cedar, Fruity, Orchid
I recently ordered three shengs and one shu from Liquid Proust, and the first I cracked, the 2006 Mengku Qiao Mu Wang, was amazing. Subsequently, my next two teas were total duds. This is one of them.
Old, dried leaf and some ruby fruits. Flavors have distant sweetness, distant fruits, some woodiness, a heavier than desired sourness and some moderate, bland astringency. What is here? This is very empty and hollow. Also throws some throat scratchiness. Almost no wet leaf aroma. Long, long, long returning sweetness. Takes a while and doesn’t give much. The redeeming factor of this tea is the wonderful calming qi.
Like yesterday’s sampling of the 2005 Yang Qing Hao Yiwu Chawang, this tastes like it has suffered through dry storage and is so unremarkable for the price that I’m suspicious that it is in fact authentic.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Red Fruits, Stems
Sample from Liquid Proust. Moderate composted leaf litter and dampness on a stone aroma. Initial sweetness and light thickness in the first few steeps, but it doesn’t seem very distinct, maybe a hint of distant smoke, a cursory lick of light acidity. Needs to be pushed and hollows out very quickly. It’s one of the first shengs that tastes a little bit like modern shu, with some of the zookplantoniferous “wo dui” in a few places. Woody is probably the only shining quality here. This is what I think happens when you store mediocre sheng for 13 years and what I fear will become of all my teas in a dry climate, plainly woody and hollow. I feel that perhaps this sample may not have been stored well for some chunk of its life.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Drying, Wood
Sample. Absent aroma and minimal up front flavor. Yiwu sweet thickness present in the first two steeps, but then empties into Bulang bitterness and astringency (I get more Bulang character out of this one than I do with the ’14 CL Bulang Shan Tribute Tea). Really moderate throughout. Fast, bubbling energy to it.
Flavors: Grain, Mint, Sugar
Sample. Light aged aroma, bits of earth, basement, and older leaf. Cloudy first few pours. This is highly astringent, paired with some throat scratchiness. Medicinal is a good way to characterize this tea. However, I feel like it takes forever to wash down to the characteristic Bulang qualities I look for, the camphor, menthol and clean balancing bitterness. This is a bit rough on the edges. The theanine content is highly and pleasantly brain dampening. Overall, though, it seems to have gone through some advanced aging, only being 3-4 years old…perhaps the maocha sat around a bit before being pressed? Time may really help this tea, but it’s a little awkward right now.
Flavors: Ash, Bark, Medicinal, Plants