448 Tasting Notes


[Spring 2019 harvest]

This is one of the most interesting of the Yunnan green teas. Pure Bud Silver Strands has a dry aroma of apple, florals, and a butter-fried carrot. Wet leaves then smell of freshly cut grass, cooked vegetables, and cinnamon.

The taste is quite complex so my note will only scratch the surface of the flavours present. First infusion is herbaceous, metallic and alcohol-like (think gin). Later, it becomes more savoury with a tart finish and I get notes such as fennel and straw. The aftertaste then displays a tangy profile with flavours of sugarcane, malt, butter, and plant stems. It is slightly drying, but the astringency never becomes overwhelming.

I also really like the velvety, bubbly, and mouth-watering texture, as well as the relaxing cha qi. It’s a truly great green tea in all respects.

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Butter, Carrot, Cinnamon, Cut grass, Drying, Fennel, Floral, Herbaceous, Malt, Metallic, Nutty, Plant Stems, Spicy, Straw, Sugarcane, Tangy, Tart, Umami, Vegetables

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

YS has a great variety of green teas! I never liked a lot of green tea until trying some of theirs.

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[Spring 2018 harvest]

I found derk’s review of this tea match my experience very accurately, so I will be fairly brief. This tea is nice and all, but it didn’t really strike me as exceptional in any way and didn’t fully grab my attention. I think of it more as a tea to drink while doing other stuff than one to focus on.

Dry leaves have a scent of old furniture initially with some notes of moss, forest floor, and dry conifer needles in a preheated vessel. After the rinse, the aroma is more malty on the other hand. The taste is malty, woody, and creamy; and evolves into a prolonged sweet and spicy aftertaste. Body is medium to full, with a sticky, tingly mouthfeel and decent astringency.

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Forest Floor, Malt, Moss, Pine, Spicy, Sweet, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Even though a few years passed since their reviews, my impression of the tea is quite similar to those of oceanica and HaChaChaCha.

This tea is super smooth and fruity, with a strong heady and defocusing qi. It has aromas of peach, ash, melon and flavours such as white grapes, citrus, resin, and spices (like allspice). I also really liked the mouth-watering, bubbly texture, especially in the first few infusions.

Flavors: Ash, Citrus, Fruity, Melon, Peach, Resin, Smooth, Spices, Stonefruits, White Grapes

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Cha Duo Tang is an easy to drink, comforting tea with complex aromas and a nutty taste profile. However, the best aspect of it is its mouthfeel. The liquor is very thick and bubbly, with a slick, oily texture. This might very well be the best tea in the 0.5$/g category that I’ve ever had. It is not funky, so I would recommend it to everyone really, even those new to the world of fermented tea.

Dry leaves have a faint scent of peanuts, cooked pasta, and light wood smoke. After the rinse, I get a medicinal aroma with notes of herbs, cumin, kumquat, cedar, palm, dried lime, forest floor, and swamp flora (marigold).

The taste is vegetal and herbaceous with a touch of bitterness and a sweet finish. There are flavours like yellow peas, roasted hazelnuts, and wood. Aftertaste is then quite sweet, earthy, and warming with a sort of metallic character and notes of licorice, bay leaf and garlic.

Flavors: Cedar, Citrus, Dried Fruit, Earth, Forest Floor, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Herbs, Licorice, Lime, Medicinal, Metallic, Nutty, Peanut, Peas, Plants, Roasted nuts, Spices, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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YS’s Wu Liang sheng is a pleasant and tasty tea with no drawbacks and a bargain price. However, it is not super special that would make me want to buy a cake immediately. I has notes of gasoline, roasted nuts, and apricot pits in the wet leaf aroma, while the empty cup smells of sweet florals and blue grapes. The taste is bitter, grassy, and brothy, with flavours such as green apple, thyme, honey, and tobacco, developing into a cooling sweet aftertaste featuring notes of green bell pepper, resin, and butter. The liquor has a nice thick mouthfeel that is buttery, mouth-watering, and lubricating. In the 0.1$/g category, this is one of the best teas and I think it could hold up to long-term aging very well too.

Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Butter, Earth, Floral, Grapes, Green Apple, Green Bell Peppers, Honey, Resin, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Thyme, Tobacco

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

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What a beautiful tea this is. It blends many fruity and floral notes into a deliciously sweet and spicy profile. It is very good even when it cools down. Dry leaf smells of tobacco (without any smoky notes) and to a lesser extent tomatoes and blueberries. In a preheated gaiwan, there’s an interesting mix of chestnut and passion fruit. I find it very hard to identify the wet leaf aroma, but it is very flowery for sure with stone fruit notes mixed in.

The taste profile is super fragrant, sweet and tart. I got flavours such as star anise, fenugreek, apples, nectarine pits, dill, and citrus zest. In the late steeps, there are some herbaceous and malty notes as well. Aftertaste is dominated by a persisting sweetness, but it is not boring. New flavours like licorice, wood, curry leaves, and carrot emerge.

On top of the complexity, the tea also has a strong, calming cha qi and a bubbly, viscous mouthfeel. Drinking it I get a mouth-watering effect as well as a strong drying sensation on the sides of the mouth.

Flavors: Anise, Apple, Blueberry, Carrot, Chestnut, Citrus Zest, Dill, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Licorice, Malt, Passion Fruits, Spicy, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart, Tobacco, Vegetables, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is a fairly simple semi-aged tea with a warming cha qi and an earth/fruity profile. It has aromas of cranberry, smoke, decaying wood, wet earth, and autumn leaf pile. In the taste I could then detect flavours of fermented pear, plant leaves, and geosmin; followed by a sweet drying aftertaste with a raisin note to it. The body is medium to light and the mouthfeel bubbly and throat-tingling.

Thanks for the sample derk! :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cranberry, Decayed wood, Earth, Pear, Raisins, Smoke, Wet Earth, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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Today is my first time trying out a fairly recent addition to Yunnan Sourcing’s vast catalog of Jinggu teas – He Tao Di. In particular, this sample is the 2018 vintage. As it turns out, this is probably my favourite Jinggu tea at the moment. It is very well balanced and pungent. Also, it bears some resemblance to both Menghai teas (strong honey notes and a good huigan) and Yi Wu teas (being aromatic and strong without turning too bitter or astringent). It lasts for quite a long time too, I got 16 infusions (200ml/g) today; and remains interesting all the way until the end.

Dry leaves smell like squash blossom with various notes of fruits and flowers, but it’s not a pungent aroma overall. Instead, wet leaves have a stronger scent that reminds me of fireplace, wood, fur, courgette, and cinnamon. In the late stages, these get overpowered by a strong mushroom note.

Already the rinse is strong tasting and flavourful. The profile is brothy with umami, butter, and wheat flavours. First infusion is then more sweet, an aspect that seems to just keep intensifying throughout the session. There are notes of milk, honey, truffles, and cashew nuts. Second steep is somewhat grassy and nutty in comparison, while the third has new flavours such as raw olives and juniper berries. Subsequent infusions are consistently pungent with a touch of bitterness and increasing sweetness as well as a light dryness in the finish. Flavours like those of vegetable broth, wet rocks, wood, and eventually also mushrooms emerge over the course of the second half of the session. The aftertaste at times reminds me of warm spiced milk, but it also shows new notes like green peas and bay leaf among many others.

One of the definite highlights of the tea is its texture for sure. The mouthfeel is super thick, coating, foamy, smooth, and kind of sticky. I greatly enjoyed this tea and I am likely going to buy a cake with my next YS order.

Flavors: Broth, Butter, Cinnamon, Fireplace, Fur, Garden Peas, Honey, Milk, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nuts, Nutty, Olives, Plants, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Wet Rocks, Wheat, Wood, Zucchini

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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A nice Yunnan white that is indeed a bit more grassy and green tea like as you would normally expect. It doesn’t stand out all that much, but it does have a very nice thick buttery texture and a balanced taste profile.

Dry leaves smell of nuts and hay, while wet leaf aroma is more sweet and floral, akin to tree sap and honey. Taste-wise, the tea reminds me of apples, green wood, pine, cream, asparagus, and grass. Aftertaste is then sweet and floral again. It is somewhat biting in the throat and at the same time mouth-drying without being astringent.

Flavors: Apple, Asparagus, Cream, Dry Grass, Drying, Floral, Grass, Green Wood, Hay, Honey, Nutty, Pine, Sap, Sweet, Thick

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
448 tasting notes

Last Sunday I got a (fairly large amount) of some black tea from Azerbaijan from a friend of mine, who in turn got it from someone who visited Azerbaijan a while back. There is not much information on the box, but the tea is from Lankaran region. Unfortunately, the production date is unknown.

It has a somewhat unusual dry leaf aroma of cigars, peat, prunes. The wet leaves have a similar scent with further notes of motor oil and some more fruity ones.

I am a little surprised how smooth the tea is given the broken up leaves, I was expecting more astringency. Instead, this is a pleasant sweet, woody and fruity black tea with very little (if any) bitterness or astringency. I suppose the smoothness might be partly a result of it being aged (i.e., old). The profile does remind me of a mix of some Georgian black tea I had with a 7 years old purple varietal black tea from Dehong I had recently. The aftertaste is quite sour and has notes of cedar wood, leather, and cookies. It has a decent longetivity and evoves into a sweet one. I also seem to get some body warming sensation from the tea.

I was not expecting much from this tea, but it turned out both a bit unique and very much drinkable. I just wish I had just a bit information about it.

Flavors: Cedar, Cookie, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Leather, Peat, Plums, Sour, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood

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Currently, I am a PhD student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds.

I have been a fan of green tea for a while and only recently (in 2017) started exploring other kinds of tea in greater depth. I rarely drink blends or white tea and avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied. The one thing that I am currently missing in my collection are teas from India, in particular some Darjeelings.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.


Waterloo, ON, Canada

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