234 Tasting Notes
My dad is a dentist, and like this time of year for many years past I’ve been whisked away for a Florida Dental Association convention at the beautiful fantasy world known as the Ritz Carlton Naples for a week long escape from reality! It’s a beautiful hotel, but I’m smacking myself for not bringing any tea.
Tea Forte is what’s available for hot tea here, if only the teas were as good as their adorable packaging… This is an okay Earl Grey, but not one I would actively seek out. Malty, slightly floral, and citrusy, but it doesn’t really taste like real bergamot.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Malt
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a tasting note; I’ve been working a lot and when I have time to drink I’ve been reaching for Yunnan blacks that I’ve already logged.
I haven’t finished my Gylx Tea samples; despite being good I just haven’t been in the mood for young sheng lately.
This one is lightly bitter with a prominent shengy gasoline/alcohol note alongside green wood, minerals, and pine. Later steeps mellow out with a slight honey sweetness. Somewhat generic and not as good as the Bang Dong but an enjoyable brew nonetheless.
Flavors: Alcohol, Green Wood, Mineral, Pine
Brews a medium yellow-orange. Taste of honey, citrus, and dry leaves with a hint of cinnamon spice. This is a decent tea but not nearly a mellow and complex as Teavivre’s 2011 Shou Mei.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Lemon
Brews a light gold, noticeably less green in smell and taste than the 2016 shengs I’ve been drinking.
The taste is moderately sweet and the mouthfeel is moderately thick, slight bitterness. Flavors of sugarcane, green wood, white grapes, pine, heart of palm, and a mild peachyness. Overall pretty nice, though not my favorite from YS’s collection.
Flavors: Green Wood, Peach, Pine, Resin, Sugarcane, White Grapes
I bought this tea a year or so ago, and when I tried it I though it was terrible; like a dirty, funky wet dog in the mouth. So it sat in the back of my tea cupboard and rested. Today I opened it up, and it’s like a completely different tea!
The dry aroma is very sweet, and if I didn’t know better I’d guess it was a black tea. Brews a light orange. Like the smell the taste is sweet, a bit like burnt sugar. There’s notes of malt, green wood, and dried herbs. Specifically like dried herbs that have been aging in your mum’s spice cabinet for far too long. It’s sort of like a combination black tea, sheng pu, and roasted oolong. Doesn’t last many steeps however.
This is a nice tea now, and makes me want to further my Tian Jian exploration
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Green Wood, Herbs, Malt, Roasted
It’s ma birtday, gonna party like it’s ma birtday, gonna sip Rou Gui like it’s ma birtday!
It’s also my first day without school or work in a week or two, and the first gray and rainy day in months. That may be a downer to some people, but personally I love the rain as it’s clean and refreshing and gives me an excuse to sit around playing music and sipping tea all day :)
This is a nice tea that brews a medium orange with a floral gardenia and spice aroma. Tastes of ripe fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, and slightly vegetal. Brown sugar sweetness and walnut-like tannins. Background notes of minerals, fresh mint leaf, and dried seafood-like umami. Great smell in the bottom of the cha hai!
A good tea, but quite a bit different than I remember YS’s Rou Gui being when I had it a few years ago.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Fruity, Gardenias, Marine, Mineral, Mint, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut
Wow! This is a very high quality sheng that hits all the right spots for me.
Brews a medium-dark yellow, noticeably darker than most of the other 2016 sheng I’ve been tasting. Smells of spice, honey and reminds me a bit of bag balm/tiger balm. Like the aroma the taste is spicy with prominent notes of mushroom and aromatic wood like pine and cedar. Honey, grain, stewed veggies, fresh spring water, and herbal medicine with a hint of something floral. The brew is thick and viscous, very potent and moderately bitter. It’s very complex and active in the mouth with a cinnamon-like pungence. The qi is noticeable very early on and makes my face and cheeks feel flush and tingly. Five grams lasted many brews and about a liter of water. The brewed leaves are plump and an attractive olive green with thick veins and stems like spaghetti noodles.
This is a very potent tea with a nice balance of bitter and sweet as well as a complex, never boring flavor profile. I tend to be kind of stingy when purchasing tea, really struggling to spend over $50 on a cake, but this is a tea that I will happily spring a little extra for.
Flavors: Cedar, Floral, Grain, Honey, Medicinal, Mineral, Mushrooms, Pine, Spices, Vegetables, Wet Rocks
Brews up a medium-dark yellow, and has a spicy and honeyed aroma (though not as honeyed as yesterday’s Wuliang) Taste wise it’s also quite comparable to the Wuliang; honey, mineral, grain, but it’s dryer (as in less sweet, not astringent) and has less honey and bitterness, but a thicker body and a more mineral, spicier, woody-er flavor. After a couple of steeps I start to get strong “qi” feelings of calm and mild tingling on the crown of the head.
It’s a nice tea, but for the price I would go with the Wuliang as it’s quite similar and cheaper.
Flavors: Grain, Herbs, Honey, Spices, Wet Rocks, Wood
My sample is a nice, loosely pressed piece of cake with medium sized green leaves. Smells very “green.”
Brews a medium yellow. This is a medium strength young sheng with medium-low bitterness. Super strong honey aroma and flavor, the bottom of my cha hai smells just like warm honey. Other notes of green wood, clay, wildflowers, and grain/baked goods.
This is a very nice tea, especially for being on the cheaper end of YS’s 2016 lineup. It’s a shame though how pu’erh prices have gone up since I started the habit, I remember when I bought the 2012 Wuliang in 2012 it was only $25-ish.
Flavors: Clay, Flowers, Grain, Green Wood, Honey, Mineral
Brews a very light yellow, tastes of fresh grass and green wood with hints of sugarcane, mushroom, honey, and canned peach. Fairly thick mouthfeel, little bitterness, but some astringency. Moderately but not overbearingly sweet. Mild, pleasant qi feelings. It’s a nice, for drinking now mild kind of sheng but overall fairly generic. I’d recommend it if you enjoy young sheng or greens and are looking for a daily drinker.
Flavors: Grass, Green Wood, Honey, Mushrooms, Peach, Sugarcane