521 Tasting Notes

92

I mistook this for a lightly roasted oolong so I brewed with very hot water. I now know that this is a green tea, hahah, but it was still amazing. In the package the floral smell almost went pungent and I was wary of this brew. I brewed in my gaiwan and the floral notes calmed out and brightened. The aroma of this was spectacular! I was transported to a sweet and sunny garden. It was a nice escape from my regular “winter wonderland.” The taste was sugared and like nectar. The brew is a brilliant jade and glistening.This is a very good tea and I will be gathering some in the future.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Guava, Jasmine, Nectar

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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60

The small nuggets seem like a regular Jade Oolong. I opened the bag and it smelled very artificial, almost like cough syrup. I brewed western in my tea press. The leaves had a very nice expansion and all were mostly intact. They didn’t smell all that pleasant though. I could only describe it as cherry lipgloss on soggy cigarettes. The brew was a thick bright gold. the aroma was of red Gushers, which was kinda amusing. The flavor was very faint. It was mostly like drinking a regular Jade with a slight hint of neapolitan ice cream. I really am not one for flavored teas, but I tried it and its nothing special. It isn’t horrible either.

Flavors: Green, Rhubarb, Strawberry

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 6 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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91

Yabao!!! This was the first one that i tried in this tea box. I have never had Yabao and have been very interested in trying but could never get ahold of any. Finally my day has come :D Now I opened the package and it was mostly odorless. I could hint at a very light dry grass aroma. I brewed in my gaiwan with near boiling water. The aroma of a sweet and savory emitted from my vessel. This tea is unlike a lot of teas. The taste is somewhat cooked and syrupy. Its like an anise honey flavor. The best part of this brew is its colour! Its an iridescent green topaz! It’s very beautiful! I am so happy to have finally tried Yabao and I definitely will be purchasing in the future!

Flavors: Anise, Cut Grass, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
TheLastDodo

I have been eyeing their yabao for awhile. I’m glad you like it!

The Finest Brew Co.

Happy to be of service @haveteawilltravel! It is a little surprising how neglected this tea is especially given it isn’t even a tisane. We will introduce more premium versions of this tea in the future. And Fantastic DP :)

Haveteawilltravel

I am very glad to hear it, this tea should be more popular in my eyes. Its a more abstract version of tea :)

The Finest Brew Co.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself

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94

Wow, what a brew! This cake definitely lives up to its name. First, I opened the wrapper to reveal a deep ruby black and gold cake. It had a faint aroma of cacao. Then, as soon as I sunk my pick in the scent of raspberry and cream emitted from this beauty. I was easy with the amount of dry leaves that I used since it was a dark yunnan. I brewed in my gaiwan with anticipation for this lovely treat. It brews an orange and red liquor. The smell of raspberry, cherry, dark chocolate maximize within the wet leaves. The brew tastes of mahogany and cherry. I can hint at undertones of Asian Pear. It is a very smooth sip and deep flavor. I’m glad I picked the spring version, for its very decadent and silky flavor. The best part about this tea is its power. I haven’t noted prominent Qi in Red Teas before today. While drinking this you truly become “Drunk on Red.” Yunnan Sourcing never disappoints.

Flavors: Cherry Wood, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Raspberry

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

I just about pulled this one out the other night. Now I need to get to it.

Haveteawilltravel

Oh its amazing, hahah :)

mrmopar

I am going to get it now. Thanks for the review on it.

Haveteawilltravel

Glad I could “convince” you

Tealizzy

Wow, I gotta get some of that! Sounds delicious!

Haveteawilltravel

its amazing, also very affordable!

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68

I once thought that Sheng was feminine in comparison to its counterpart Shu; I stand corrected. This is a powerful brew! I opened the wrapper to reveal a dull green and jade Tou Cha. With pick in hand, I began separating a generous amount. A small and faint aroma of grass and shale emitted from the bird’s nest. I brewed in my yixing with boiling water. The wet leaves emit the scent of smoke, bitter greens and a sweet undertone. I washed the leaves. By the second steeping I was drunk. This brew has an intense overwhelming menthol flavor. It dominated with sharp and bitter with slight astringency. I could only hint at the sweet undertone after drinking and allowing my mouth to relax. I thought maybe that the sharp would die down and the flavor would plateau, but I was wrong. The intensity of this never died down. I assumed it to be slightly deepened, considering its twelve years old. I also came to expect a slightly lower quality considering price. I’m not sure if this Sheng is good or not, I couldn’t muster the strength to steep after round seven. If you enjoy an incredibly powerful sheng then this is for you. Also, as a last note, I do enjoy the box it comes in. I think it would come in handy for storage.

Flavors: Bitter, Menthol, Smoke, Sweet, Warm Grass

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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71

First person to review… Well I’ll jump right in! I just recieved this today with my order from scott @ Yunnan Sourcing and it was beautiful. It has filled my cupboard with a sweet cacao aroma. The disk is mostly black with golden “zebra” stripes. It smells of dark cacao and a red grapes. I picked off a generous amount to flash steep in my gaiwan. It can apart easily and smoothly which I enjoyed. Upon brewing, the scent became scrumptious. It smelled of dark fudge and maple syrup. I rinsed the leaves and prepared to consume. I poured out a cup with excitement to taste the delectable brew. The flavor was somewhat disappointing. This is a very decent Dian hong and especially good for the price, but the aroma is misleading. It tastes very bold and robust. The initial flavor is almost identical to Assam. Its a very rustic wood smoke flavor. Its almost difficult to get down with the expectation of a desert flavor. I still enjoyed it thoroughly. Its has a sweetened coffee like flavor. The sweetness does present itself but only until after a few steepings. The flavor of maple sugar and currant fill your senses as a an aftertaste. The liquor is a crimson ruby color and continues this way well into steeping. This is a great value Dian Hong, and its interesting to get black tea in cake form. Yunnan Sourcing never disappoints.

Flavors: Black Currant, Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Malt

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

I’ve been drinking a YS black tea cake lately, a 2013 cake. Not sure it is the same one. It is small, like 100g and cost $4. A serviceable black tea.

Haveteawilltravel

I think thats the “Drunk on Red” cake. They have a Spring harvest and Autumn. I thought that cake to be much better than this one.

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92

The aesthetic value of this cake alone would make anyone swoon. I opened the wrapper to revale a beautiful downy disk. Long silver furry buds make up this fantastic tea. I brewed it in my gaiwan with slightly hotter water than I would with Bai hao yin zhen. The dry leaves have an intense aroma of stone fruit, honey, and cyprus. I broke a small chunk off and brewed. The taste is almost identical to Silver needle except for the intensity. It has the same honey and hay taste but more in depth. The flavors are brought out and maximized. The dry leaves have the scent of honey, sugar, hay and with a spicy undertone. I can hint at lychee and peppercorn. The aftertaste is phenomenal with a sweetness that lingers long after drinking. Unlike silver needle I’m able to steep this repeatedly with a consistent palatableness. The liquor is light golden copper with hairs lining it. A truly magnificent brew, I only wish I could taste it once it has aged for some time.

Flavors: Hay, Honey, Nectar, Peppercorn, Sugarcane

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Tealizzy

Mmmm, sounds amazing!

Haveteawilltravel

Oh I love it, definitely one of my all time favorites :)

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91

I had a little trouble with this tea; I usually brew with less leaves. When I brewed this I had to add more in the pot after a few steepings. I opened the pack to be greeted with the scent of plums, dates and slight undertone of early morning grass. The leaves are very large and range from a dark muddy green to silver and citrine colored. I also spotted several large dark red stems. I brewed this sheng in my yixing with boiling water. The aroma of tobacco, shale and bamboo creeped from my pot. The taste at first was very bland and had a slight menthol tinge. I realized I would be needing more leaves, so I filled my pot up. After I added my leaves the taste was much better! I achieved an explosive sharp sheng! I especially love sheng that makes you shudder and coats your mouth with a cooling intake. I could note the taste of bitter greens, light smoke and bok choy. These bitter flavors were replaced with an aftertaste of apricot, maple and pepper. After each steeping, the sweet flavors took over and shrouded the sharp. It had a consistent sheng menthol sip every steep. The qi of this brew was very strange. The entire drinking process I noted no presence and could not feel any overtaking of qi. After I finished drinking and was cleaning up then the qi took over and was very powerful. This was a very interesting and educational tea session.

Flavors: Apricot, Bok Choy, Dates, Menthol, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Tealizzy

I liked this tea! Kind of the one that put me on to sheng!

Haveteawilltravel

Thats awesome, Teavivre shengs can never go wrong :)

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92

Thank you Kevin for supplying this beautiful brew. The scent from opening the package was very unexpected. It is a very vibrant floral spice. When I usually use the word floral, scents like Jasmine, orchid, cherry blossoms come to mind. In this situation, this is not the case. Scents of Hibiscus and Rose dominant with undertones of vegetal and kale. I brewed the forest green spirals in my gaiwan. The dry leaves were very downy and variety of colors from a deep green to white and gold. The liquor is a topaz yellow and iridescent. The aroma of green peppercorns and summer grass filled my tea room. This was a very unexpected green tea for me. Its brew tastes sweet and with a tinge of zest. I can note apple blossom and spinach. Its a very fresh and sharp taste. I loved the diversity of this tea. When it is steeped the wet leaves even look like a vibrant seaweed salad. My only complaint is I attempted to treat it as a oolong and steep it excessively. Sadly, this brew grows very bitter. I love this tea and I’m sad that the company is closing.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Kale, Peppercorn, Rose

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 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.

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Middle of nowhere, New York

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