313 Tasting Notes
Very tasty high quality ripe! Snooth and full bodied with flavors of dark wood and earth with a slight dried fruit sweetness. Very infusible and fairly clean tasting.
Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Clay, Dates, Earth, Wood
I’ve been exploring big factory teas a bit, especially the premium productions, and this one sounded interesting and reasonable priced so I added a sample to my last YS order. Opening the sample there is a pretty big intact chunk, and compression is on the lighter side for a factory cake. There’s a good bit of smoke in the dry leaf aroma, and it carries over into the taste. The taste is moderately bitter, but also on the lower side for a factory cake. Tastes of green wood, smoke, mineral water, and slightly vegetal, I’d say artichoke. Mouthfeel is clean, but not thick or lingering. On the first two steeps I though “do I really want to waste my time drinking the rest of this?” but I kept going and it became smoother and more enjoyable. It’s an ok young sheng, but definitely doesn’t stand out to me.
Flavors: Artichoke, Green Wood, Mineral, Smoke
I was excited to find a sample of this out of the Sheng TTB. I’ve only tried one YQH tea before, and I greatly enjoyed it. This one is quite tasty too! It’s yeasty/funky in a Belgian ale kind of way, pleasantly tart, reminding me of red apples and cranberries. It’s just lightly earthy with a bit of leather and old book smells.
Flavors: Apple, Leather, Red Fruits, Tangy, Yeasty
Very clean shou, I even took a sip of the rinse and it was perfectly drinkable. Tastes of petrichor, mineral, decaying wood, and leather with a little bit of cocoa. Not super complex, but tasty and super clean. Also it got me feeling tea drunk which is unusual for a shou.
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Mineral, petrichor, Wet wood
I bought this tea last spring and was very unimpressed with it. It was relatively flavorless, just slightly sweet, slightly astringent red water. It’s improved quite a lot over the last year, it now tastes like a fairly standard Yunnan black, but still fairly unremarkable. Tastes of malt and yam with maybe a touch of maple or cocoa.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Maple, Sweet Potatoes
Drinking the loose leaf version of this. The first two steeps had a strong musty basement aroma and flavor, so I tossed them. It fades in later steeps and gives way to honey, kale, and mineral flavors with a bit of fruityness and floral aroma. This is mellow and easy drinking.
Those of you who have the cake, does it smell/taste musty at first? For me that was the biggest downside to this tea.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Kale, Mineral, Musty
This is a unique and very tasty Fujian black! Fruity and malty with a floral aroma similar to a jade TGY or Taiwan high mountain oolong. With the silky mouthfeel plus tastes of mango and peach it reminds me of a juice nectar.
Flavors: Carrot, Flowers, Malt, Mango, Peach
Very nice storage on this brick; well matured for it’s aged without being dank or earthy. Tastes of dry herbs and honey with some tobacco, mineral, and citrus in the background. It’s unobjectionable, but not super “great.”
Flavors: Citrus, Herbs, Honey, Mineral, Tobacco
I went for a sample of this tea based on the very red color of the liquer in the pictures and the “lightly fermented” description. Both of those are common attributes of ripes that I like.
It brews a red-brown, though not as red as in the pictures. The brewed tea smells of pumpkins a earth (but not the bad kind of earth), taking me back to the time that I helped some friends from a church unload a semi-truck full of pumpkins for a pumpkin patch. I always found it sort of strange that a Christian church sold pumpkins for what is essentially a pagan holliday. :P
But back to the tea. It tastes mainly of dry earth, pumpkin, and light roast coffee. It’s has more bitterness than I’ve ever encountered in a ripe, but definitely not enough to be unpleasant. No fermentation funk to speak of. There’s a slight herbaceous greenness in the back ground, perhaps like bayleaf. There’s a light brown sugar sweetness and a fruity background. If I had to pick a fruit I would say cranberry. This tea reminds me a lot of “craft” or “third wave” type Central American coffees.
I get some qi feels from this tea, which is unusual for a ripe. Fairly complex, and it goes many infusions. This is a pretty unique tea, and the lowest fermentation ripe that I’ve tried. I’d strongly recommend it if you’re a fan of YS’s Rooster King cake or light roast specialty coffees.
Flavors: Coffee, Cranberry, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Herbaceous, Pumpkin, Wood