90
drank Ye Sheng Hong Cha by Mener
2207 tasting notes

From the EU TTB – Round 3

This morning’s pick from the box. I’m on a roll with Chinese blacks at the moment, so why not continue the theme…

I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. This one reminds me quite strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. It has the same stone fruit/honey notes that I loved so much, although I would say that the flavour is a little more muted here. That might be my fault, though. Possibly some experimentation with leaf quantity and/or brew time required.

Anyway, the initial sip is gloriously sweet and malty. It’s such a smooth tea, with absolutely no bitterness or astringency, and in a way it’s almost juicy. That works well with the gentle apricot note I’m picking up, and with the light honeyed sweetness that rounds off the sip. I love teas like this, and I’m pleased that my appreciation of straight blacks seems to be developing over time. There’s no need for flavoured tea when there’s plain tea this good in the world!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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