234 Tasting Notes

60
drank Earl Grey by Tea Forte
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

Helena

An okay tea is better than a bad tea.

tperez

Yes! I’m very grateful for the ok tea, I would probably wither away if they had no tea or just something really bad.

tanluwils

I don’t drink much black tea, but will turn to Earl Grey if I’m at some function. I find it helps me digest those Continental breakfasts! I see you’re from Clearwater. i’ve spent some time in Tampa where my uncle lived. I envy your proximity to nice beaches!

tperez

Clearwater does have great beaches! I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I frequent Honeymoon island beach/state park.

tanluwils

It was so long ago. I may have picnic-ed there.

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86
drank 2017 Mang Fei by gylxtea
234 tasting notes

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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80

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
apefuzz

Love the Qing Mei Shan. What would you put up as your favorite YS production?

tperez

I liked it quite a bit too! Hard to pick a favorite, but I think I’d go with the 2016 Shan Hou… that one really did it for me.

tanluwils

The 2014 QMS is almost an entirely different tea.

tperez

Interesting, I’ll have to try it

tanluwils

The 2015 one is evolving for sure. It’s becoming more fruity with that dry white wine grape-y-ness.

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88

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Inkay

I love accounts of how different a tea is after some time has passed. I bought this one last year and haven’t had it yet; definitely need to give it a try sometime soon!

tperez

It’s a tasty tea now! I think aging is one of the most interesting things about puerh and hei cha.

apefuzz

Lol – wet dog in your mouth. I don’t know if I was that put off by it when I first had it a year or so ago, but it definitely is a delicious tea now!

Cwyn

I love this brand of dark Anhua heicha. I own three, each from a different vendor. I really get the black tea and betel nut flavor this is known for.

tanluwils

I’ve had that happen (looking and tasting like hongcha) with my tian jians too. They do morph in interesting ways.

tanluwils

The 2015 YS WuLong Tian Jian will give at least 7 tasty steeps.

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92

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
apefuzz

Happy birthday! Excellent choice for a birthday libation.

Sqt

Woo! Have a great day!

looseTman

Have a fantastic b-day & many more!

boychik

Happy Birthday!

tanluwils

Happy Birthday! Hooray for geminis! Mine is also just a few days away! :)

I have the 2015 version of this one which only has a faint floral element to it.. Your description gives me the impression the 2016 version might be a better harvest.

mrmopar

Happy Birthday! I am a bit late.

tperez

Thanks guys!

andresito

Happy belated birthday!!!

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98

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tanluwils

I’m glad someone else reviewed this one. I did like the spiced honey and complex wood notes from this one. I too only had budget for a couple of cakes this past year.

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91

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
JC

Another one worth the price tag and you are getting very good material. When you put the order for those Bai Ni Shui add a few of these :P

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90

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tanluwils

I really liked this one. Very clear and pale liquor. Clay is an interesting note!

tperez

It’s a good tea! I guess you could also call it a “mineral” taste, but it reminded me of the smell of the clay when I took some ceramic classes.

tanluwils

Water quality and brewing devices will always influence the tea. What did you use to brew?

tperez

Purified bottled water and a small jian shui pot, so maybe the clay flavor came from the pot, but I haven’t noticed it in other teas

JC

I’ve had some teas being influenced by the clay more than others, I’d recommend trying it in different vessels, but I’ve had Puerh taste like minerals before.

tanluwils

Yes. I remember Scott’s Qing Mei Shan, Ku Zhu Shan, Huang Shan Gu Shu and others having more mineral elements in later steeps.

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78

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Profile

Bio

My name is Thomas,

I’m a long time coffee and tea lover, but only started my journey into the world of loose leaf and high quality teas about six years ago.

My favorites are pu’erhs, Yunnan blacks, and roasted oolongs, but really enjoy greens when they’re fresh. I’m not much into flavored teas or jasmine/florals, but I love a good cup of chai or adding a spice or two to my teas sometimes.

Currently working on a degree in nursing.

Other than tea I’m a nature lover, guitar picker, and unabashed nerd.

My Rating Scale:
95-100 Wowza!
90-94 Pretty darn good
80-89 Nice
70-79 Decent
50-69 Potable
0-50: Blech.

Location

Clearwater, FL

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