189 Tasting Notes

90

This is easily my favorite of the Hei Cha samples I bought from YS. Unlike the others, this was not muddy or earthy at all, but honey-sweet, slightly minty, with creamy vanilla and birch bark flavors.

It’s also a powerhouse of a tea and will last all day if you keep the steeps short. Overall, this is a really nice, friendly tea that fits somewhere between a ripe and a raw pu erh.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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88
drank 2017 Impression by Yunnan Sourcing
189 tasting notes

This is a pleasant surprise! I wasn’t expecting anything more than a daily drinker but I think this exceeds that category. The tea is clean (I drank the rinse) and right on point for a young sheng, with predominantly apricot flavors and a pleasant astringency. The second through fourth steeps were noticeably thicker and sweeter with some nutty and grassy notes emerging. It also produces a nice tea buzz. A great value!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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80

This Liu Bao has a muddier, grassier taste and is not as sweet as the 2003 Hei Cha I tried recently. There is the slightest hint of blackberry and birch bark but the mud and earth tones dominate. It’s pleasant to drink and has a beautiful reddish color but it’s not all that complex; good to steep throughout a cold day.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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95

This is an absolutely delicious black tea that I’ve been buying faithfully every spring for several years. Forgiving to brew, with a nutty caramel flavor, and an old-tree maturity and depth to the cup, this is a pleasure to drink any time of the day or year.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

I’ve come to expect excellence from the Goomtee estate and this selection is a perfect exemplar of a top shelf second flush. It’s clean and dry, and the floral high notes are balanced by a deeper, toastier base. There are not a lot of pyrotechnics here like you might find in some Castleton or Arya teas but I prefer this deep, steady and classic muscatel cup.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Teatotaler

I have debated about purchasing this tea. After reading your review I have decided that I need to go ahead and get some. Have you tried the SUNGMA ESTATE SECOND FLUSH SFTGFOP1 MUSC. (DJ-136) ORGANIC from Upton? Heaven in a cup! :)

Doug F

Yes, the Sungma is another estate I love. After I finished the DJ 136, I ordered the Goomtee. They’re pretty similar.

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88

I was persuaded to try Hei Cha after watching some tdb.org reviews of them and I have to say, despite the dirt smell and unappealing look of this tea, the golden liquor was quite tasty—honey sweet and tangy—and very easy to drink. It’s a powerhouse too; I was able to steep this upwards of 15 times with little drop off in flavor and the buzz rivaled that of a quality raw pu erh.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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94

I bought this when I was still a pu-erh neophyte but somehow in my ignorance I made a good choice. It’s very smooth and clean, and I don’t think I’ve had such a pronounced black cherry flavor in a ripe before. I like to drink this after a good long steep to bring out all of that cherry essence.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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92

I have always enjoyed this tea because it is full-bodied and smooth and it isn’t demure like so many green teas. I like in-your-face green vegetable flavors from my greens. The other special thing about this tea is the hint of caramel sweetness in the finish—almost like a Yunnan black.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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98
drank Hashiri Shincha by Den's Tea
189 tasting notes

Drinking Hashiri Shincha is one of the most undiluted, unmediated tea experiences you can have. You can identify every aspect of the tea’s flavor as if you were chewing the tea leaf itself: Buttered lima beans, salt, seaweed, fresh grass. My body is so receptive to the intrinsic vitamin goodness of this tea.

I crave it like a body craves the warmth of the sun after a long cold winter.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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93

You can’t go wrong with any of the YS black teas and this is no exception. It has top notes of raisin and blueberry with a deep malty, honey-sweet body. It finishes like an Assam, which is no surprise given it’s provenance. All in all, a delicious cup on this cold rainy morning in Maine.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Profile

Bio

I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

Location

Maine

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