209 Tasting Notes


Distinct yellow tea notes in dry and wet leaf. First steep is blazing yellow and has that unfinished raw greenness of yellow tea in the first steep. Distinct astringency and freshness present this as a quite nice yellow tea, but a long ways from being puer. Lacking bitterness, but has a bit of returning sweetness. This tea really feels like improperly processed leaf, with too much kill-green or too much drying. Clean, delicious yellow tea.

Flavors: Butter, Grass

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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Dry leaf aromas of black tea and light flowers. Wet leaf more muted, sunshine and damp softwood. Moderately thick, focused heavily on grainy wheat flavors, paired with muted astringency and absent balancing bitterness. Distantly, some light returning sweetness. Most disappointing is that this tea emptied out by the third steep at 10s! Clean and fragrant, but hollow and tepid.

Flavors: Black Currant, Flowers, Wheat

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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As of now, this tea is wretchedly terrible. Sure it was $8, but either the cake or the maocha was stored improperly. I haven’t given up on it yet, as I’m hoping the burnt-tire, rotting vegetable material scent and flavor will dissipate with time. But this cake may be heading for the compost pile in the future.


Oh no!! :-(


Yikes. Burnt tire is utterly unappealing.

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drank 2010 Hong Shang Dou by Douji
209 tasting notes

I’ve drank this tea a fair amount lately and I have to stop and ask myself why. I think because this tea is kind of a throw away. It’s not bad, it’s not great and it was cheap. The maocha was obviously heavily cleaned and maybe processed a little stiffly. There’s an odd papery sensation to the whole tea and I think for now, I’ll stop drinking it and see what becomes of it in 10 years.


Their prices keep going up too! Douji probably makes the best “brand name” tea, but the price gets higher and higher. I do think it ages well though!

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Finished off my sample of this. All I can say is, boring. I’ve been drinking high quality blends or known gushu for a while now, so this tea comes across as pretty tepid, even if it is “wild arbor” which I’m not sure I believe. Little sweetness, plain grain flavors, and a bit of old orange peel. I’m excited to be moving on from some of the bigger factories, such as Mengku.

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Finished off the last of my sample today, since it was raining and I was a bit hungover.

I don’t have a lot of words for the tea. It’s good. Very warming and comforting. I think it’s interesting that the wet leaf aroma has a particularly noticeable basement character, but that that does not translate to the flavor, which I appreciate. Some slight hints of earth in the flavor, but then mostly woody, composted leaves and lots of vanilla, mint, and floral woods. Looking forward to pushing this one some more tomorrow.

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2011. Used “Double Brew” method. Last Long Jing for now!

This afternoon, rain comes and brings with it cooler, autumn temperatures. I’ll be drinking pu’er soon enough. Right now, the lightness of this green brings quenching satisfaction on what may be the last hot day of the year.

Funny, I think I can sense that of the four Long Jings I drank, this one is probably regarded as being the best and having the highest quality. I’m not sure it’s my favorite, I think I preferred the Da Fo, but I would need to do a side-by-side of the two to be entirely conclusive. Again, a taste preference for the green, thicker, heartier qualities.

This tea exuded delicate finesse, a bit of finicky resistance, and a balance of bittersweet and tropical fruit. Lots of lychee, pineapple, and pear came through and then was countbalanced with an herbal, almost minty bittersweetness that cleaned the palate nicely. Not a sweet, not as supple, and definitely requiring more attention, as there was a tendency for bitter, even with the gentle double brewing.

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Again, this is the 2011 vintage.

Today, I abandoned the side-by-side brewing and stuck with just the “Double Brew,” putting all of 4g sample into my large gaiwan. This choice is based entirely on taste preference. I just enjoy those subtler, sweeter tones that this gentle method yields.

This particular tea has a lot going on for it, but, in my opinion, it isn’t quite as good as the Da Fo I had yesterday. There’s a lot of breadth here, but not as much depth. Some solid sweet corn, a bit of sweetgrass, and some light grain sugars. Nearly spicy notes kick up in the backend. A good tea, but not stunning.

Cold weather is coming, I’ve got to finish my last Long Jing while it’s still warm!

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I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to have an entry for every vintage of teas like this, especially if only one or two people are going to review them.

This is the 2011. This is my first Long Jing with puffballs! So excited!

Again, side-by-side Grandpa-style and Double Brew, as mentioned in my previous Long Jing review. Today, the constrast in flavors revealed by the two methods was very strong. While the warmer, Grandpa-style emitted artichoke and overcooked peas, with some lemon within, the Double Brew gave an intensely sweet brew, with soft, young Spinach and distant pine. What’s surprising to me is that the Grandpa-style method drained these leaves quickly, leaving them much less durable and more or less exhausted by the second steep. The Double Brew went on longer, continuing to yield a delightfully sweet, gentle beverage.

Whatever method is used, this is great Long Jing, in my estimation. I much preferred it to yesterday’s version and rank it as the best I’ve had. Very, very flavorful and nicely rich.

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Picked up a set of four Long Jing samples from Gingko recently and will spend the week working through them, before all of summer disappears and the teas get too old.

Having little experience with quality Long Jing, I thought I’d try brewing with Gingko’s tips (http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2010/04/brewing-long-jing-dragonwell.html) and wrongfucha’s “Double Brew” (http://chahai.net/long-jing-double-brew-method/).

The two methods created very different results. The Double Brew was intensely sweet, subtle and airy. Delicate and fluffy. I really like this, it was akin to many Japanese greens and required concentration. The “grandpa” style suggested by Gingko also made a nice brew with this tea, a hearty, chunky thicker brew that released the dry chestnut edges of this tea. I think this leads me to a matter of preference. I generally don’t get that excited about those dryer, toasted, mineral-heavy notes in Chinese greens, so I’m interested in the method that produces a sweeter, softer brew.

Definitely one of the better Long Jing’s I’ve ever had and I’ve got three more great ones to go!

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Yet another puer obsessive.


Ithaca, NY

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