521 Tasting Notes

90

I feel that Wuyi teas are trickier than Puerh, for there are a lot of Wuyi’s but there are veeeerry few good ones. Luckily, this tea falls into that category. However, I wouldn’t call it luck, for it was well made. This Shuixian this different that ones I’ve had before. I’m a fan of Laocong, for it has a more distinct cliff taste, and I enjoy how oily they are. This tea fits those perfectly. The leaves are nice and long and wiry with a bit of strength to them. They carry a hearty smooth roast of toasted berries and subtle peach pie. It is very pleasant. I warmed my teapot and placed what I had inside, so that the pot was completely stuffed. The aroma from the lifted lid is of intense roast, graham crackers, some slight earth, and coffee. It’s an awakening aroma. I washed the leaves quickly and prepared for brewing. The brew was quick and the water was hot. I pulled out one cup full of laocong goodness. The taste begins very sweet and thick. There is a massive huigan that continuously cycles as it washes over my tongue. The taste is long and filled with stevia sweet sensations. The next sip brings a more prominent cliff taste along with a tannic undertone that scurries behind my tongue. The brew is surprisingly well rounded and full without hardly any edges. Upon completion, I can fell my mouth salivating and tongue well lubricated. This is some awesome stuff. In my experience, shuixian is bit drier and tannic with slate tones. This tea is much different than what I’ve had. I enjoyed my session. It’s good to know there are still great wuyi’s accessible to the west. :)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZd4j8wn9T0/?hl=en&taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Berries, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Peach, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 OZ / 70 ML

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85

I have been away for a bit due to life being hectic, my travels, and the move, but I am slowly returning to my affair with tea. I’d like to jump back in with this yancha. This yancha was hand roasted by Cha Ceremony, and it makes for an interesting brew. The leaves are a bit wiry and thin but the have a nice broad leaf and fairly long. Due to the med. roasting, they have retained a good portion of their forest green appearance. The dry leaves give off an aroma of light fruitiness and hay with some dry wood undertones lightly creeping in. With a breath over the leaves, I can pick up a smooth roast tone with berry and yam mixed in. This is a nice classic roast aroma. I warmed my vessel up and poured the leaves inside. The roast scent spikes up with sweet potatoes, mahogany, and leather; thus forming into the typical sturdy and familiar roast scent. I washed the leaves briefly once and began my steeping. The taste is smooth and thick with a good roast base. A light returning sweetness waves over my tongue along with a stout creaminess that remains. I can note a bit of cherrywood that provides structure. This is a decent tea, and it makes for a solid daily yancha. My only addition to add would be that this tea is quite perfectly a “medium”. Meaning, that this tea is grounded right in an awkward middle ground, for the tea is neither dependent on its roasted tones nor is focused on the fruity vibrant greens. Therefore, the tea lacks in each department making it “too balanced”; however, this is me just splitting hairs. The tea is able to withstand a second steeping due to its lack of heavy roast, and it brings back a 50/50 meld of vegetal and char that soothes and calms with a classic cliff taste. I enjoyed this tea, and this would be perfect to stock up on guests that are casual drinkers.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BX5sDk1HGN7/?hl=en&taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Fruity, Hay, Leather, Roasted, Sweet Potatoes, Yams

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
Daylon R Thomas

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mrmopar

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89

This is a warm and “springy” tea, and I enjoyed sipping on it. The leaves are large and nicely threaded with a sweet peppery scent along with some creamed honey subtle tangy apricots and peaches. I warmed my yixing up and placed some inside. The aroma thickens with some prickliness to it. I can note crisp fruits of pineapple and peach. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The brew is thick and mild with molasses, fat, and apricot. It’s an enjoyable tea and it grows with some bitterness of crisp apple. The aftertaste and long and lingering with sweet oils. The tea carries some good balance of huigan and kuwei, which is nice. The last steeps cause the tea to become soft and sweet with a very faint bitter of buffalo grass. I liked this tea, but I feel at this price point it should stay in storage.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BToafnig6h6/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Grass, Green, Pear, Pepper, Pineapple, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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88
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
521 tasting notes

I’ve been looking for a good daily “sencha”, and I think I found one. The leaf is primarily straight; however, I note some curls within the bunch. The green tea gives off an amazing umami scent with some nice seaweed, milky creaminess, and vegetal base. I can also hint at the slightest honey sweetness on top. I grabbed my kyusu and began my brewing. The directions tell for light brewing, so I hit it at somewhere around 176F. The brew is delightfully jade green with smooth deep grassy notes. My mouth fills with umami and a nourishing green bean base. The brew is smooth with a slight dryness alike dandelion. I enjoy this tea, and I can drink multiple pots in one sitting.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTT3hHBgR1f/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTY_84cAoV_/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Dandelion, Green Beans, Honey, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

This tea had a great price, so I decided to grab a cake to try. I am a big supporter of factory productions, and I like imitations as well, so I kept an open mind when brewing. The cake is moderately compressed with some aromas of hay, slight floral, raisin, and cherry along whit some dark wood. The leaf is a bit rustic in its appearance as well as its scent. I warmed my teapot and threw some inside. The aroma opens into a punchy scent of wet hay, wet wood, grassy, and sharp fruits. I washed the leaf once and began my brewing. The taste is very rustic as well with lots of hay and wood. I can grab at some dry floral along with a sweet aftertaste, but the brew grows thin quickly. However, the qi is good and warming along with a pleasant head space. I liked the qi, but the drink was a bit too much for me. I think this cake will spend its day in storage until it learns to calm down a bit. A perpetual time-out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRODoC9AyFm/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Dark Wood, Drying, Floral, Hay, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

I am a fan of XG, and it is very hard to find, and it is very to find “real stuff”. I can’t tell you weather or not this was “real stuff”, but it was very good!

The leaves are tightly compressed, and they give off an array of scents including strong high notes of grass, watermelon, and raspberry lemonade. It was sweet, tangy, and aromatic. I warmed my gaiwan and scooped the leaves inside. The scent opens with sweet, smooth, and thick musty tones. I can pick up some florals and spices in the undertones. This reminded me of a nice high end cologne. It has heavy sweet rough tones along with some musk and just a tinge of floral. It was very nice. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste began alike a sugary apple turnover that was heavy on the bread part. I could note a slight viscosity, and it carried a decent kuwei. The next sip brought a distinct bosc pear taste. The brew is thick, fair, and it reminds me of some XG maocha I had in 2015. The brew builds with high notes, and it smoothly goes down. The aftertaste leans towards sour patch kids, with a sharp enjoyable bite and then a gooey sweetness. The liquor thins; however, it is still very fruity and punchy. Then I noticed the qi. The qi starts subtle, but it quickly builds. This was a very intense feeling for me. I took a lot of heat in, I got a little shaky, I even felt a little faint. This was an awesome brew, and it lasted for quite some time. The session ended with me sniffing the cup and relaxing as I spaced out. I really enjoyed this tea!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRMrJL5ASrX/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Raspberry, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80
drank Thyolo Oolong by Tealet
521 tasting notes

This is from 2014. I drank this side-by-side with a 2012 thyolo.

The leaves are slightly crushed, and they offer an aroma of dark wood, hay, raisin, and dried cranberries. I warmed up my gaiwan and began my brewing. The warmed leaf gives off a strong savory aroma of roast beef and other meaty scents along with some dry wood. I washed the leaves once and steeped away. The taste was nice and smooth with agave and oak tastes. The tea was a bit odd with desert blossoms coming off the cup along with sawdust, but it was enjoyable. The tea gave a very nice thick and sweet aftertaste. I liked this tea.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRVxcXngCjG/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Oak, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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86

This is the 2016 harvest.

I always enjoy tea from Klasek! I have had a similar tea from Happy Earth Tea, and I find theirs a bit better. This tea consists of long dark strands with an intense aroma of sweet and smooth blackberries along with some salted caramel, baked bread, and black cherry. This was a very aromatic tea. I warmed my pot and slipped some inside. The scent exploded into some hot olive oil, ciabatta bread, with smooth, heavy, and hearty resin. This was a very dry savory scent. The aromas were well rounded and full. I washed the leaves once and began my steeping. The taste is smooth and round, but it is a bit thin. There was not much punch or energy with this tea, for it presented bold and hearty aromas. The base is a sweet mild wood, and it brings some vanilla bean syrupy tastes to front. The tea grows with malt and dry wood tones as the brew goes on. I enjoyed this tea, and it was an easy drinker; however, it was quite lacking.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSQ32IWg9Sn/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blackberry, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Dark Wood, Drying, Malt, Raspberry, Salt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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77

I did a side by side with the Colombian green tea and this black tea.

The leaves are moderately sized and slightly twisted with scents of sweet dark fruit, baked breads, and caramel with a base of Hay. I grabbed my gaiwan and brewed away. The taste is odd with some wet bamboo tones along with a more general wet wood note. I could note a slightly sweet aftertaste. The next taste brought the image of roast beef stew. This was an odd one for me. I couldn’t pick up the sweet berry notes peeps were talking about; i only got roast beef stew…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRGu6Y9gjKa/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Bamboo, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

This tea frightened me, for I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. However, I decided to finally walk through my fear and gongfu the darn thing.

I grabbed my shibo and prepared for the worst. I opened the package to reveal ctc grade black leaves and some crimson pieces scattered throughout. The leaf gave off a strong rum and malt tone with some dark cocoa nibs along with a rich, warm, and spicy background. I warmed my shibo and dumped what I had inside. I lifted the lid, and I instantly thought of hot hard apple cider, or perhaps hot apple cider spiked with rum. It was a very intense tone. I did not wash the leaves. The brew was a deep dark red, but I gave it a sip, and I was quite surprised. The tea was actually quite good. The initial taste was dry cocoa, hard wood, and apple cider, except less on the apple part. The wood and spices were very intense. The aftertaste is what hooked me; it was an oily and heavy taste of sweet raspberry, blackberry, and dark cocoa. I could only not a slight run taste, and it stayed towards the back. The next steep intensified the wood notes along with some spice, also the brew became significantly drier. Towards the end, the brew was a bit too aggressive, but it still carried the sweet berry aftertaste. This was an interesting tea!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS066tnA21i/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel&hl=en

Flavors: Blackberry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Malt, Raspberry, Rum, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Bio

Young and experienced Tea consumer. I’m continuously learning and developing knowledge about tea. If I have learned anything at all from the world of tea it is that I do not know anything about the world of tea. I enjoy good tea, and I try to acquire the best of the best. I usually brew gongfu but I’ve been known from time to time to resort back to western brewing.

I have an Instagram (haveteawilltravel), and I am proud of my photographs. I use my pictures in my reviews,and I hope that they aid in portraying the beauty of tea and teaware.

https://www.instagram.com/haveteawilltravel/?hl=en

Tea Rating System:
I rate my teas based on the category they fall into (Puer, Red, Oolong, Darjeeing, Flushes, Yancha… etc.)
This means that I will rate a Oolong based on how it stands up as a quality Oolong. I try not to compare teas, rather I work to evaluate them on their craftsmanship, harvest, processing, and qi.

I am most strict with Shou and Sheng Puerh, only because of the vast expanse of various experiences, such as; region, vintage, production, processing, etc.

Location

Middle of nowhere, New York

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