521 Tasting Notes
If you’re looking for a great introduction into old-growth puerh, then this is your cake! Most “gushu” is very expensive and hard to authenticate, but this is the real deal and for a steal of a price! I bought this as a great travel tea and to brew for company. The cake is moderately compressed with some subtle aromas of live wood. The warmed leaf is quite sweet and fruit forward with nice aromas of apricot. The brewed tea is a little tricky to put my finger on, but it is very nice and soft! You can expect a medium body with clean tones of watercress, easy-going stone fruit, perhaps a background of vanilla. This is a wonderful relaxed tea to drink while working or studying. I’m glad I added this tea to my collection, and i’m curious as to how it will age.
Flavors: Chestnut, Freshly Cut Grass, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Andrew did a good job with this tea. I don’t usually drink autumn harvest sheng, for they sometimes tend to upset my stomach. This brew was an exception. The cake is beautifully woven with a mid-point of compression. The leaves are subtle scented and when warmed show their fruity colors! You can easily pick up the iconic autumn scents of brown sugar, apricot, and dark wood. The liquor has an awesome thick body and begins with sweet and fruit notes, but it quickly moves to that LaoMan E bitterness. There is a base of astringency that fades to stone-fruit and resin. This is a nice tea, but it demands attention and a certain atmosphere. Cheers to Andrew and crafting new puerh cakes and bonus for the awesome neifei!
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Grass, Peach, Stonefruit
I preferred the Shou to the Sheng of the Simple Family, but this is still a great deal! It reminds of W2T Daily Drinker except for a few things:
Bit More Bitter
I’d recommend a big pot for one of these slices; it really tones done the bitter and allows the chunk to open up better. This is another great travel tea and it works for people new to puerh. There is a lot of fresh grassy tones along with some floral qualities. The best aspect is on exhale, it’s sweet sugarcane and jasmine! I blow through these travel cakes quick, for you just pop some in a hot thermos and BOOM you got grandpa style puerh for the hike of the day!
Flavors: Bitter, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Jasmine
I was actually impressed by how nice this tea was. I find that the lesser offerings from these west puer-veyors to be pretty great (Milk&Alcohol, Daily Drinker, Whispering Sunshine)! The “pie” comes in easy break away chunks. The compression is a little too tight for my taste, for it takes a loooong time for the tea to break apart in the pot. The flavor is straight-forward and clean. For me, I always look first for a clean direct tea in shou puerh; theres a lot of funk out there! This is one of those cocoa woody puerhs, and I think it does best on the road. This is a no fuss brewer that you can make on the go and share with new friends without them giving you the “ugh” shu face. Cheers to Glen for making an easy-goer!
Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Cocoa, Smooth, Wet wood
This is a beautiful and rare tea offered during spring harvest from Yunomi. I decided to pre-order a small amount this year to give it a shot, and i am so glad that I did! The leaves give off an enticing sweet scent of cream, hazelnut, and honey. It’s amazing how dessert-like this Sencha smells. The brew’s taste lies someplace between an Anhui Yellow Tea and Fresh Gyokuru. The cup begins with a spring water juiciness with a thick body and ends with a slight vegetle tannic finish. It’s a wonderful brew, and I’ll be adding this to my must-haves spring harvests!
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Hazelnut, Honey, Milk, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal
This is a “border tea” that I had received a little bit ago. I use the term border tea to define those that are made as puerh; however, they are made outside of Yunnan. The dry leaves are a bit curled and give off subtle scents of earth and dry leather. I warmed up my gaiwan and scooped some inside. The leaf opens up and gives off some stronger aromas of dark chocolate, espresso, and black cherries. I can already tell that this is going to be a heavy hittin’ Shu! The flavor was pretty consistent with the scent of the gaiwan, for it was punchy and bitter. The flavor began with dry cacao and moved into salt and mineral with lasting tannin. This was a chewy and sharp broth. The later steeping brought on some semi-sweet choco. chip flavors, and the qi was smooth and warming. This was an interesting tea, but it was a bit too aggressive for me. I would categorize this leaf as the “espresso” of puerh.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Espresso, Tannic
To me, the perfect morning cuppa is fresh green tea. This is some high quality Dragonwell that Adagio is now beginning to source through their new Sub-Comp. “Masters Tea”. The leaves are thin, vibrant green/yellow, and with a heady sweet aroma and dashes of tangy fruits like tangerines, pineapple, mango, and papaya. It’s quite a bouqet! I brewed this several different ways, but i recommend a glass teapot (6oz), a small handful of leaves (2.5g) and brewed at 185F with the lid off. The broth is an opaque yellow with silky chestnuts, mild vegetle tones, and sweet clean finish. It’s a great tea, and again its a perfect start to a day!
Flavors: Chestnut, Sweet, Tropical, Vegetal
It’s been a long time since I’ve been on Steepster (since Dec 2017 to be exact), and I’ve been re-familiarizing myself with the discussion board and a stack of messages that I need to answer. I thought the best way to get back into the motions is to start drinking and reviewing!! Therefore, I began with some Grandpa Balls!
I picked these up quite a bit ago, for they are the perfect add-on to a free-shipping promo. I know that these “should” be brewed in the true Grandpa way, but I went for the Gongfu route. They are tightly rolled and give off a light aroma of dark fruit; however, these are not overly fragrant. I warmed up the Shibo and dropped the shu inside to settle in. Once I lifted the lid, I was greeted with typical Menghai tones of soil, sweet clay, wet wood. I washed the puerh and began my brewing. This lil dude is super smooth and hardy. I played with my parameters, and there really isn’t away to over-brew this. The tea kept its smooth pace with an easy-going sweetness. The qi was comforting and relaxing with heavy warm waves and a state of ease. I still have a ton of these on hand, so I think these will be my go-to car teas. I figure I’ll grab a couple of these and throw them in my big thermos during long drives!
Flavors: Mushrooms, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wet Wood
I do not have a lot to say about this tea, for it is a straight forward brew. It’s a jasmine green tea. Therefore, it tastes like Jasmine and green tea. Hahaha. However, I will say that Jasmine pearls are an all time favorite for me. Actually, jasmine tea in general is almost always a win in my box, except some the very poorly executed greens that curl your tongue. This is not one of those tongue curling monstrosities. This is actually quite nice and quite meek. The leaves give off a very subtle and sweet waft of jasmine that is warm and feminine. The brew itself matches the subtlety and quiet approach with a tantalizing sweet touch of jasmine. the follow-through is filled with basic soft watercress tones. It’s good stuff.
Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal
I usually am not a fan of aged oolongs, for they sometimes hurt my stomach. I’m not sure what it is, but there is something about the aged tones that act aggressive towards my digestion. This is only apparent in aged oolongs though, for I incredibly enjoy aged puerh. This tea did not have that effect on me. The leaves are nice and dark and carry dry oak tones along with some roasted fruit. The impression is tangy, mildly acrid, and without complexity. I warmed my pot up and placed what I had inside. The aroma from the leaves is prominent with roast, and there are a few sweet tones and some cedar that take the backseat. This is a nice experience, for it is both smoothly sweet and harshly bitter. I washed the leaves quickly and steeped away. The bowl contains a drink that is very heavy with roast; however, it is not overwhelmingly so. The roast brings some good mouth watering and a returning sugar cane sweetness. The brew is mildly oily. The drink continues in this manner with a smooth appearance that covers the muted rough wood tones. I enjoyed this tea, but the aged tones were almost non-existent. I can guess that age shows its face with curved cedar tone, but it is mostly consumed by the classic roast and cliff taste. Perhaps this hasn’t aged enough, or perhaps it was re-roasted not too long ago. In any case, this is still a fair tea, and it makes a good daily drinker.
Flavors: Cedar, Roasted, Sugarcane, Sweet