5 Tasting Notes

87

I brewed this in an easy gaiwan, as so to taste the tea as is.

The smell of the dry leaves are of dark red fruits. Once rinsed they become much more present, as aromas of peaches and plums are very much present, along with some citrus (orange peels too).

First steep wasn’t too spectacular. Just like any other Da Hong Pao, but with a lot of flavorful smells going on. The second steep is very nice. You can tell the teasoup is getting a lot more full and the soup is no longer ‘watery’.

The fourth steep gives a wonderfully golden orange color. The wet leaves are very pungent by now and very full. With the longer steep of about 30 seconds, the flavor does not go too citrus-y as some Da Hong Pao can get. With the 9 Year Da Hong Pao, the high notes can reach to an almost sour level. With this one, it’s very balanced yet you can taste the sweet fruity notes very well with a more balanced woody base.

The soup gets thicker and thicker and has an amazing feel in the mouth and in the back of your throat. I can’t imagine how the soup will be in my dedicated pot. It has a light floral taste, but very very subtle. The top notes are definitely there, but just enough for you to want more.

The lid now gets a more floral and grassy smell. The tea is still going very strong on its sixth steep with no sign of stopping. As I go on with the steeps, the smell sometimes goes into my nose because it’s so pungent. I can only taste and smell plums and peaches and blood oranges. Although the thickness of the soup is thinning out.

A very enjoyable tea that I would definitely recommend. It’s in my humble opinion better than the 9 year aged one, but I still have a whole lot of samples to go through so who knows! On its own, it’s an amazing sweet little tea.

Flavors: Blood orange, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Floral, Fruity, Goji, Grass, Peach, Plums, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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85

A very floral tea with an obvious roasted taste. Though very aromatic, the bright notes were more subdued when brewed. The lid smelled very much like vegetable, something along the lines of zucchini or cooked cucumber. The tea leaves themselves were less of that and had more fruity aromas.

When brewed lightly, the roasted taste was apparent with a nice balance of fruitiness to it. Its balance is unlike other oolongs I’ve tried. It’s just ‘right’. It’s slightly tardy in the mouth after a while.

I accidentally left it sit for a bit too long (close to a minute) and overbrewed it. The taste of that steep was awfully familiar to black tea that I had to go back and make sure I had brewed oolong and not black tea. It had the sweet yet slight bitterness that black teas have. In a blind test, people would surely share this view.

A very enjoyable tea. I’m glad I got myself a small sample of it. I might even prefer this one over Da Hong Pao on some days.

Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Honey, Lychee, Tannin, Zucchini

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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80

Got a sample of this with my shou puerh sample package from Crimson Lotus. I rinsed twice and started my steeps.

The first steep I would describe as very clear in taste. It had a sweet mineral taste with some light muddiness and mushrooms in the back. The second steep brought out the earthy flavors. It’s incredibly smooth and almost creamy.
The earthy flavors disappeared around steep 4-5 and that left me with a very sweet mineral taste. If anyone is familiar with White2Tea’s Brown Sugar, it reminds me very much of this tea. While Brown Sugar is a bit more muddy, the MEGA Brick has the same notes but is very clean in comparison. It’s incredibly sweet and at around steep number 8 the soup got lighter and very clear as well.

The tea also gave me quite a sweat. It is summer, but it’s not particularly warm (18 C) but rather windy instead. Still, I needed to wipe the sweat off my forehead after drinking this. It’s very easy to drink, impossible to overbrew and incredibly smooth.

Would I buy the whole brick? If it’s winter and I get a bonus? Sure. It’s affordable and delicious.

Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Mud, Mushrooms, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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66

The dry leaves smells like green tea, with a few high notes in there. After a rinse, the leaves smelled like the tea was right in between green oolong and dark oolong. The taste was exactly as how you’d imagine it: a green oolong base with very bright citrus-y notes. The first few steeps had a sour aftertaste. It threw me off, as I did not read up on it when I tried. It took me a minute to get used to it, but nonetheless quite tasty.

Around steep number 5 the tea started to lose its flavors and returned a more faint tasting tea. I tried to push it a bit with more boiling water and longer steeps, but couldn’t get much out of it anymore.

Overall, a very enjoyable tea but one that doesn’t last very long. I’d say it’s good for some grandpa style drinking.

Flavors: Citrusy, Grass, Green, Mushrooms, Raisins

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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70

I first bought a cake of this on a whim in december 2017 (drunk, impulsive, same thing). It was coincidentally also one of my first shengs and I hated it. Coming back to it now after six months and having developed my taste more, here are my thoughts.

The leaves are easy to pry off. You can do it easily with a butter knife if you wanted. I did 1gr to 15ml gongfu style in a jianshui teapot. The tea started out soft with an astringency that sticks with you throughout the sessions. It settles in the back of your throat. The tea soup is quite thick and in the mouth it feels smooth and almost oily.

Only in the fourth steep or so did a bit of sweetness come through, but only peeking out so much before the taste turned flowery. It is hard to explain, but once you’ve swallowed the tea, you’re left with a strange bitter and flowery aroma and taste in your mouth. Like you’ve munched on some rose petals is the best to describe it (and yes, I have done that to know). It is not at all unpleasant, but I can see why I did not like this tea very much back when I was new to puerh tea.

The bitter flowery taste becomes more apparent and around steep number seven I found it leaning just a little bit towards orange peels. The soup kind of sticks against the back of your throat and with further steeps, I found it to begin to have some tardiness to it. Astringency is still there. Towards the end, it was mostly bitter with no further notes or aromas.

Cha qi is quite strong. I felt very alert and aware of my surroundings after, some lightness in the head and almost fidgety. Something I don’t get often either. It gives me great energy.

This is a tea that is not for everyone. I remember regretting buying a whole cake of this, but having revisited it now I can see how I might crave a tea like this once in a while. It’s definitely not a daily drinker for me. There’s still quite some bitterness in it and I was glad to have the jianshui teapot to take some of the edge off. I don’t think most people would enjoy this tea. It’s not necessarily complex in taste, but it has a very straightforward character that will only do for some. I enjoy it, but only once in a while.

Flavors: Anise, Biting, Bitter, Citrus Zest, Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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