66 Tasting Notes

Dry leaf smells dusty and musty, a bit like mold spores actually. Since its from a reputable site I am not worried about sampling it.

I rinsed twice. All the infusions are dominated by a strong storage flavor. The brew itself is a bit sweet, faintly aged-fruity and lacking vitality.

Well, 3 out of 3 semi-aged sheng samples that I ordered are all rather disappointing to be honest. I see good review here so perhaps I am doing something wrong. Again, lets see what happens after they breathe for a few months.

Flavors: Musty

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 90 OZ / 2661 ML

it was first wet stored for me but i liked it. maybe because i live in a very humid climate. Couple days ago i tried 2008 wild tree Ye Sheng cha. nothing like this one. bright yellow soup, not bitter at all. sweet. highly recommended. available fr Mandala Tea

Charles Thomas Draper

I always enjoy your honest reviews.

Asaf Mazar

Thanks Charles. Its challenging to be accurate when rating a tea, especially aged puer. So many factors seem to influence the experience. This is why I have put aside numeric ratings for now. Perhaps its best to assign a score to a tea only after about 4-5 sessions with it.

Asaf Mazar

boychick, I am hoping to get some of that menthol that you mentioned. Its one of my favorites qualities in puer. Fortunately you left precise notes.I will try again using the same parameters.


I agree on lettung the tea “breathe” also. Since shipping can be slow and it is sealed most of the time I allow it to "acclimate’ to my environment.

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Dry leaf aroma has fruity tangy notes. After rinse the aroma is not that pleasant, perhaps a bit like aged rubber but not quite. The tea itself has a dulled-out aged barely fruity taste with some storage notes. Not much vitality in this one.
Perhaps it needs to acclimate for a few months.

After my experience with the ‘ancient spirit’ cake from YS, which seemed dull wen I first received it and is now an excellent tea, I can’t really judge a tea from an initial tasting right out of the sample bag.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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This one helped me calm down and recover the lao ban zhang puer. It has a warm, calming nature that seems to be typical of da hong pao.
Nice clear broth with good flavor. Well rounded with no smoke, dry mouth, or roughness of any kind. Again very pleasant on the body and mind. I could drink this often. There is a bright crystalline quality to the brew.
Flavor is hard to describe…almost peachy.
I used a gaiwan. Will try yi xing pot next time it seems to add depth and texture for roasted oolongs.

Flavors: Mineral, Peach, Roasted, Sweet

3 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

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This is obviously top quality leaf. Very impressive.
Dry tea is fragrant. moderately compressed. After rinse, a satisfyingly strong, very pleasant and elegant tangy-fruity floral aroma emerges. The elegance of the aroma is a common denominator of quality old tree material, from my limited experience.
Sweet, thick tea liquid with penetrating aroma and lots of vitality in the mouthfeel. Very satisfying. This one really hits the spot and leaves little to be wanted.
Little bitterness/astringency for a young sheng. Poweful qi. Strong caffeine kick and psychoactive effect. Pleasant at first, then a bit unsettling.
Now I understand what all the ban zhang hype is about.
Compared to other old tree premium shengsthat i’ve tried of the same vintage, this one might have the strongest flavor and aroma, second only perhpas to a sample I once received of a $300 cake from royalpuer.
Its qi reminds me of the 2011 nano mountain old tree tasting set from jk tea shop, though the flavor is much better.
The refined flavor and aroma is similar to the top quality teas you get from essence of tea.
$10 for 25 grams is a decent deal.
If you like raw powerful shengs, give this a try.
I probably wont reorder this because I like the calming effects and warmer nature of old sheng, though I might buy a newer (cheaper) vintage of this tea and age it for 12 years or so.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 80 OZ / 2365 ML

Fascinating review, might sample this one myself after reading about your experience. Though I prefer the older stuff too.


I wish Yunnan’s China site was working better. Every time I get on it to look at things it “locks” the page up.


I wish that would happen to me, the checkout page works all too well.


I can’t seem to get it right. I go to it and it is in Russian and Google translates it but when looking at the info for the tea, instant lockup. I really have a few things I want but the lock up issue really bugs me..

Asaf Mazar

I get some russian in some parts of the site as well. Try using a different browser/clearing your cache. disable browser add-ons perhpas.

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Yunnan sourcing order finally arrived. No free sample this time, though there were a few grams of an awesome looking shiny tightly rolled green tea just loose at the bottom of the cardboard box that I rinsed and brewed. It was nice and fresh.
Back to the yong pin hao…
I brewed it in a yixing pot fresh out of the sample packet with no acclimation time in a porous container. It might taste different once it acclimates and breathes a bit.

The dark leaves, once rinsed smell aged and a bit rancid. They look great: very shiny, mostly intact, and substantial.

brew is very mellow, perhaps too mellow. no bitterness or stringency, and not much flavor or aroma either. Sweet, a bit piney and almost aged-fruity, but again- not much flavor.
Not much caffeine (this i like) or qi sensations either.
After drinking many cups I could almost feel a cooling sensation at the back of my throat for a minute.

Stay tuned in a couple of weeks once try this one again in a gaiwan after it has revitalized from the month it spent sealed during shipping.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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wow, I just did a session with this tea using yixing pot and a lower leaf to water ratio. Its great tea!

amazing that what once appeard to be a dull, lifeless snokey tea now has zero smokey aroma, a clam, steady quality, and smooth, aged character.

Its not particualry complex , but the flavor and aroma are woody with slight camphor fruity notes.

Flavors: Camphor, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

Sounds relaxing.

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re-visiting this tea 10 months later. seems to have mellowed and become fruitier. nice meditative 6:00 am session. seems helpful to keep the tea and gaiwan hot by doing at least two infusions at a time between breaks. otherwise, if doing one infusion each time with long break, its a colder infusion.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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drank Sencha Karigane by Hibiki-an
66 tasting notes

excellent tea.
low caffeine level.
lighter, yellowish color compared to the bright green of sencha.

Fresh, vibrant dry leaf, as usual with hibiki-an.

I used fairly precise temperature, leaf weight, water volume and steep time during this sessions, using thermometer, timer and scale.

First infusion minral-umami, sweetness and a touch of pleasant bitterness, very thick ‘soupish’ tea liqud.

second infusion onwards: thinner than first. a faint almost tart floral fruity aroma detectable on exhale after sip.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 190 ML

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I love this tea. Been looking for a low caffeine option and this is the answer.

Brewed according to vendor instructions, guessing a bit since I had no scale/thermometer.

Flavors/aromas, in progressive order across the 3 infusions:
chicken soup (umami)
freshly sliced delicate cucumber
subtle, almost but not exactly floral-fruity tangy aroma that is unique to this tea and very pleasant.

This tea is fresh and sweet. The best infusion was perhaps the second, though the first had the most concentrated mineral-umami flavor.

Enjoyable fresh clear feeling with no caffeine jolt, racing thoughts, restlessness, or other side effects that may result from drinking puer and oolongs especially with 7+ cups in a gong fu session.

Flavors: Cucumber, Tangy, Umami

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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In my opinion this is a wonderful roasted TGY with excellent flavor and thick body.
It’s not completely roasted all the way through and retains its fresh green layers.
It has some dancong characteristics, in that dancong is a roasted oolong made from fragrant leaf.
I enjoy this tea more than than the early spring unroasted TGY and the roasted laoshan oolong form verdant.

Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh



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