270 Tasting Notes
Thanks for the sample, Garret!
My first thought when taking a sip of this tea was “Wait, is this the right tea?” I had a few shu pu’erh samples airing out in small cups, but this one looked distinctly different, being the only loose leaf. Yep, this is the right one, but how can a 2011 pu’erh taste so clean?!? Despite its young age, there is little fermentation flavor left in this tea. :)
Early steeps: Being this was a young shu, I was fully prepared to set aside the first steep or so for pouring over my yixing, but I decided to take a sip, and it was remarkably clean and smooth. The main flavors that I picked up on were milk chocolate, cream, and white peppercorn. Sure there was a bit of off flavor, but for a tea less than two years old? This is amazing!
Middle and later steeps: The warm, creamy flavor continues, and I start to notice some bready flavors as well as a sugarcane note that reminds me of a Yunnan black. It is malty and delicious. I didn’t find the flavor to be especially complex, just sweet, smooth, and enjoyable. Perhaps more will come with age.
This is a very soothing pu’erh and would make a great “happy place” tea :)
This is my first tea from Verdant. Thanks Autumn Hearth for all of these wonderful sounding samples! There’s quite a bit more tea here than I expected, I feel like I should have sent more :) My room is currently drowning in teas, teawares, and packaging between my Mandala and YS orders and multiple swaps that all came within the past two days.
This tea is quite vegetal, which usually isn’t my thing, but wow! This tea is nice and refreshing with flavors of green bean, bok choy, fenugreek, and clover. It has a nice, creamy mouthfeel with a subtle honey sweetness. Great stuff!
This reminds me (quite a bit) of Adagio’s Mei Hua, but fresher and considerably better tasting. They look so similar and have pretty similar taste profiles, I wonder if they use the same processing technique? The Mei Hua is from Fuijian, which I looked up and found to be fairly close to Laoshan, but not especially so.
Wow, this is a wonderful shu. I wasn’t completely sure about it based on its slightly muddy appearance and not having heard of Yong De, but seeing it described as a favorite by both Garret at Mandala and (different year’s pressing) by Scott at Yunnan Sourcing, I figured a 1oz sample was certainly worth a try. And it was.
Dry leaves: The leaves are slightly larger than the Menghai pu’s I’ve tried, and are a warm, chocolaty brown in color. The smell is deep and rich, but I have trouble identifying any one note.
Early infusions: The first thing that strikes me in tasting is a sort of marshmallow “puffiness” to the liquer. Even in the first steeping there is no noticeable “off” taste. The tea is remarkably smooth and has a deep woodiness with a pleasant zuchini-like flavor.
Middle Infusions: Around the fifth infusion, the tea starts to open up in flavor with notes of saffron, sea breeze, and cantaloupe. The flavor is woodsy like dry fall leaves.
Later infusions: Around the tenth infusion, when the tea begins to be weaker, the flavors become more sweet and subtle. It has a slight vanilla sweetness, and flavors like a dense sourdough bread. The flavor is very clean, almost like a Yunnan black tea.
This is my new favorite pu’erh, very smooth, clean, and deep. A full cake of it has jumped to the top of my shopping list :)
This is a nice shu! This afternoon I was faced with a tough choice; which tea to try first. :D I was in the mood for pu’erh, and decided to try the phatty cake.
The leaves are attractive and fairly large in size. The compression on this cake is really tight around the center, I could hardly pry a piece out!
Early infusions: The first couple of infusions were a bit disappointing for me. It was a bit too mulchy and mushroomy, but I could taste the good, strong flavors underneath.
Middle infusions: All of a sudden, this tea was delicious! A bold, chocolaty flavor with a slight saltiness, and an unexpected hint of fruit; apricot and, blueberry maybe? Blueberry is definitely a new one for me. There is still a bit of “compost pit” hanging around, but its mostly gone. Around this time I also start to get some “qi” feel with some tingly feelings along the top of my head. Definitely the strongest feeling I’ve gotten from a ripe pu’erh.
Later infusions: Tea! Waht r u doing!! Stahp!!! I have some homework to get on, but these leaves just keep making more tea! These little leaves made at least twelve (I wasn’t really counting) nice, bold infusions.
This is a good, potent pu’erh, but my(not so) expert opinion says it could use a year or two to let the fermentation flavors fade.
I was more than a bit apprehensive to try these powdery, grey-green nuggets. Some people think pu’erh looks scary, but I find these to be far more intimidating.
The taste, however, is quite nice! The first few steeps tasted mostly of the sweet, grassy ginseng, while the later ones showed more of the flavor of lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. The sweetness of the tea reminds me a bit of stevia, I wonder if there is any sweetener in the ginseng powder, or if that’s from the ginseng itself? The ginseng is quite energizing, and if I didn’t know any better I’d think someone had slipped some Red Bull in my tea. :P
I’m not sure I appreciate the simultaneously peaceful and hyperactive feeling I’m getting from the tea/ginseng mix. Overall this was pretty nice and I’d judge it to be of good quality, but I think I prefer my oolongs plain.
This is my first Da Hong Pao. It brews a nice warm brown-gold color. The taste is bold and dry and reminds me of a dry sack wine. Its mildly sweet and mineral, and the main flavors that I pick up on are apricot, clove, and slightly cooling spearmint-like note.
I don’t think I used quite enough leaf, as only the first infusion really seemed strong enough. I think I’ll be making it again with a bit more tea.
Received a sample of this with my last YS order.
The leaves are a dark olive brown with plenty of furry white buds. I wasn’t too impressed with the first two steepings, as they were mostly tobacco-ey and bitter. After that, however, the flavor became quite mellow and sweet. The flavors that come to mind here a ginger, almond, and wheat flour. This tea is fairly similar to my 2012 Wuliang Mountain cake, but gives a stronger ‘qi’ feeling which shines on the crown of the head. Very infusible, made about twelve times.
My initial impression was “meh”, but the later steepings were delightful; this is a nice tea.
Eek! I got this free from Nature’s Tea Leaf for reviewing like a month ago, and just realized that I hadn’t posted a tasting note. Sorry!
The dry leaves are slim and tender with a cool green-gray color and are covered in a downy white fur. This is the second silver needle I’ve tried, and it seems to be much fresher than the first.
The tea brews a nice daisy yellow-gray, and the wet leaves gain a soft, grey, leathery appearance that reminds me of baby lizards.
The taste is sweet and smooth with notes of fresh linen, green peppercorn, and melon. The tea is very slightly floral and reminds me of freshly trimmed gardenia bushes.
This tea was wonderfully soothing and brought me back to center after a long, stressful day.