64 Tasting Notes

“Do you ever think of what they’ve gone through?” he asked, as I stared upward, mouth agape in amazement.

I hadn’t really considered it. After all, it’s been a dream of mankind to fly for so, so long. Naturally, I was jealous of the figures soaring and looping above my head. Who wouldn’t be?

But I was still thinking about it, later that night as I lie in bed on my back. Even this would be impossible to do. Clearly, there was a cost to be borne. But the joy, the exhilaration- it would be worth it, I was certain.

I won’t go into detail what it felt like, having objects growing out of what you’d grown used to as your body. Thank goodness it was winter – they tell me the cold keeps it from being worse. I cannot imagine how it could be worse.

But in the end. everyone who has seen me appears just as amazed as I was, back on that day. Eyes and hearts full of life and hope as they tell me how wonderful it must be. It is truly inspiring to be an uplifting influence on so many people.

When you grow tired of the humdrum, the everyday, the monotonous grind of feeling like you’ve seen it all, you can come and watch me fly. I never tire of it, and just maybe you’ll be invigorated like I am, way above the tumult and commotion below.

Wonder and amazement is never far, when you’ve got wings.


Wonder why this tea is called Winter. Is it winter tea pressed in spring, or just a name for a tea?


@cwyn Sometimes a name is just a name. Can’t take them literally. In this case we felt there’s a nice “cooling effect” with the tea. The combination of this, the nimble qualities of this tea, imagery and alliteration led to the name. We couldn’t in good conscience be able to sell winter tea, no matter what the name.


ah yes, the name threw me off too and I had to read the fine print to realize this is a spring tea :)

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First the first few steeps, not to put too fine a,point on it, it tastes like you’re having a decent middle aged sheng in the middle of a small, enclosed room in which is burning giant piles of extremely green wood on all sides. The leaf odor is smoke. The initial flavor is smoke. There is a deep, lingering flavor. Of smoke.

After a rinse and five (very quick in duration) steeps, the flavors start to peek through and become rather enjoyable. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but at the remarkably affordable price point there’s little to complain about. As long as you like LOTS of smoke.

Or just rinse it seven times.

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Excessive length warning
Also – if you’re reading this, shah8, don’t.

I walked into the office. Still no messages, no work, no anything. I lift the lid off the pot – nothing inside. I know the landlady will be by again soon, asking about the last two months worth of rent. Going to be another long day.

Suddenly there’s a knock at the door. I don’t really want to face her, but she has a key anyhow, and I’ll just look silly standing here not having answered. I prepare a conciliatory face and throw the door open.

It doesn’t take me long to realize that I’ve misjudged the situation. Leaf like this – she shouldn’t even be in this part of town. A gentle scent wafts to my nostrils. It’s going to take me a minute to bend down and retrieve my jaw from the floor.

When I finally manage to make eye contact, two things are clear. One, this is a reaction to which she is totally accustomed. Two, she has done a much better job sizing me up in the interim than I’ve done of observing her. Her eyes are penetrating, and she knows everything at a glance. Even more shockingly, she hasn’t cut and run.

“Are you going to invite me in?” she asks. I move out of the doorway and beckon her in, not trusting my voice yet. She makes herself at home, clearly in command of the situation. It seemed as if she would always be in charge, no matter what the situation was. But with that aura, men and women alike would follow.

“Did you make a wrong turn, Miss…?” I manage to choke out. She turns a wry smile on me that is clearly designed to turn off all rational brain capacity, and it’s working well. “Hugin sent me,” she said simply.

Ahhh, Hugin. Her name is legend around these parts. Nobody had ever made it out of this part of town – until Hugin managed it. Nobody seemed to know how’d she managed to break out of here, but rumors placed her in an impossibly nice part of town, drinking 88 Qingbing from a diamond encrusted gaiwan. An exaggeration, I had assumed, but if she could afford to pass something like this my way, perhaps I’d underestimated her meteoric rise of fortune.

“…and you are?” I probed, trying to gather necessary info without driving this opportunity away. “They call me the Ice Queen,” she said, gazing at me to judge my reaction. But I knew what had happened to my predecessor in this chair when he was unable to contain his mirth at a man who glossed himself the “God of Night Sweats”. He wasn’t seen for weeks, until the fishermen down at the bay started bringing him up piecemeal. I didn’t flinch or crack a smile.

“Shouldn’t you offer a lady a drink?” she asked, in a manner that answered the question. I decided I needed one too, to calm my nerves. I found in her presence that it went down immensely smooth, with a flavor that lingered in the back of the throat. After a few rounds it was becoming clear she’d still be going strong when I’d fallen under the table. It was time to cut to the chase.

Our discussions were lengthy, and frankly, none of your business. I was immensely comfortable in the lady’s company, but I didn’t have the resources to bring to bear for a situation of such magnitude. She left a memento “for me to remember her by,” and the taste even now lingers on my lips.

It killed me to watch her walk out my door, but I simply don’t have the assets to take care of a lady who’s grown accustomed to such a comfortable lifestyle. She’s totally worth it, but I’m just a man trying to make it in the cold, uncaring city.

If she knocks on your door, however, you should let her in. Treat her nicely, and you won’t regret it. As you sit in your chair, thinking of the unusually fine times in your life, if you don’t have riches or power, a day like that can bring a smile to your face when nothing else will.

And you can’t put a price on that.


Bravo! Nice review, fun story.


Loved it!


That was better than anything I could have said about the tea. Well done!


What great fun!


This is a fantastic note. I wish I had the eloquence for writing as this.


Thank you all – I do enjoy writing my thoughts on teas, and nice ones like this tend to provoke a more… unique reaction?

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Much like an octogenarian opera singer at the opening night of High School Musical, I’m pretty sure I’m not the target audience for this one.

The dry leaf aroma is superb, and the post-session appearance of the leaves is what I imagine Michelangelo or Rodin would have done if tasked with sculpting sheng leaf out of marble. It is decently long-lived, and boasts an impressive flavor profile, though greener than I am determining I prefer.

However, this tea was not well received by my innards in its current state. In a decade, it will likely be a thing of beauty (and long sold out), but I haven’t the proper setup for the care of feeding of tea over that scale of time.

I can only imagine how robust the spring iterations of this tea are – but for my own safety, I’ll leave that knowledge purely to my imagination.


diet tea: cleans ya right out!


2014 was a drought year and tea got fairly strong. I buy a lot of 2014 to store for posterity.


interesting. Theres a few 2014 teas that I like & its something rich in the flavour that I like about them


Hmmm, I do not believe I’d had a 2014 before this… I’ll keep it in mind and see if there’s a trend!


Cywn, are you referring to certain areas in china or across the world,certain teas etc? can you give us the lowdown


Yunnan’s climate is quite unique and diverse due to its inland location, southerly latitude yet high elevation, particularly in Lincang. I imagine one would have to look at the local weather forecasts for each respective county in order to know for sure.

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First, let’s address the elephant in the room right up front. You know it’s wrong, I know it’s wrong, and it’s high time somebody was held accountable. I want to make it clear however, that while this happened to come up on an EoT review, they are far from the only offender. Tea Urchin has fallen prey to this. Yunnan Sourcing, at time of writing, offers four cakes and five pieces of teaware flaunting this inequality. It’s high time we demand change for this injustice!

I’m talking, of course, of the amazing prevalence of peacock cakes, especially it compares to the COMPLETE LACK of peahen cakes. Hell, I’d even settle for a peafowl cake. Throw the ladies a bone here, vendors. I thought gender equality issues, at least in the states, were getting solved. I defy any one of you to press a Peahen in 2017 and state loud and proud that you support equal rights for Phasianinae!

static crackling

HI there, sorry I’m late to my own review, but the tea just wouldn’t quit. I left the radio dialed in to a talk station, hopefully they had something interesting to say.

This tea, if you will excuse the tortured simile, is a barbecue advertiser’s wet dream. It’s thick. It’s rich. It’s smoky. It’s bold. It’s every overused adjective for condiment manufacturers rolled up into one powerhouse of a package. I’m sipping in infusions 16 and 17 as I write this. They may not be quite as robust as the first 15, but the fifteenth was still lively enough to convince me the attempt was warranted, and that’s saying something.

In the early steeps, this tea is Smoky. I know they probably burn through a lot of unfiltereds during pressing and such, but Xiaguan probably called to ask how they got that much smoke in a tea. The truly impressive thing is that after one of two steeps, it manages to integrate nicely into a lovely overall flavor profile.

The soup is thick, and the flavors are long lasting. This is why your grandparents were always telling you they don’t make them like they used to. To get tea of this caliber today, I don’t even know what sort of immoral acts you’d have to commit to which Chinese government official. I dare not even contemplate it.

Still, despite its considerable highlights, it did not have the elusive “it” that would compel me to exhort all listeners to mortgage their homes and sell all their lesser teas to load up on this buy the jian. I’d happily drink it anytime… but I wouldn’t ecstatically drink it. I look for something ineffable in the very best teas, and this tea is totally effable.

Given that I’m never going to outdo that last sentence for sheer asinine potency, I think I’ve said enough.

Super Starling!

This sounds like the Guy Fieri of teas.

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This is a splendid tea with which to have a most relaxing session.

While often I look for more of an iron fist, this tea is the velvet glove. It retains enough bitterness to lend the tea character, but is resilient to steep variations, and good for ten steeps, just like it says on the box.

It would be ideal here to pontificate on the differences between this and other pure huangpian, and/or other DXS material. As I have no experience with either, my comparative uselessness renders this paragraph comparatively useless.

All in all, however, if this is what huangpian offers for the money, sign me up. It may have stayed past its welcome. it could have seen things you people wouldn’t believe, but in the end, it’s very much a comfortable slipper of a tea.


I have a sample of this I need to air out.

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Sometimes, when aliens are trying to build a hyperspace expressway, or your inevitable incarceration is looming, or the army besieging your castle has been there so long you’ve eaten all the food stores, dogs, cats, rats, and perhaps subjects named “Pat” that were available, the only remaining retort to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that have beset you is to gluttonously indulge in such hyperbolic excess that your successors will declare, “He was a right bastard, but he sure went out with a bang!”

But let us further suppose that, due to long and steady decline of your fortune, you need to find a way to do this in a far more fiscally responsible manner than you would prefer. This is where this tea comes in. I put so many leaves in my pot that deities looked down from on high and wondered who’d beset the land with a plague of tea. But it was glorious, I tell you, glorious.

Early steeps took a while to get going, but soon there were notes of canthol* and memphor*, and long lasting aftertastes. Soon, however, having completely overloaded all available receptors, I could only note the excellent scent of mauve coming from the mass of wet leaves and note that I tasted a hint of a month from next Thursday.

And all this at a low price! If you eschew sipping, scoff at quaffing, and consider chugging to be an unnecessarily effete manner of intake, I humbly suggest this tea might be for you.

Bring on your trials and tribulations, I’m caffeineted enough for anything.

- I realized I have no idea what differentiates camphor from menthol, really, so this might have been either, or neither, or both.

Bravo! Encore!


Now I want that.

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drank 2005 Rocket Yiwu by white2tea
64 tasting notes

An article for consideration, to the editors of Tea Chemistry Monthly

This tea starts off like a naked mole rat, in that you can’t be sure it’s seen the light of day or had any fresh air for its entire life. Also, they are both notable for their impressive longevity compared to their peers. I am not aware, however, of any studies regarding the incidence of cancer in the leaves of this tea.

After some initial steeps that bring the funk like a 70s throwback concert, the tea settles down and provide cup after cup of thick, tasty brew. Others (Proust et. al.) have remarked that it is somewhat drying, and leads to a desire to consume more tea, which I also experienced.

I did not, however, experience the same level of tea-drunkenness professed by OolongOwl in her seminal work on this matter. Due to inconsistencies in experiencing this phenomenon, I cannot consider this an experimental failure of my own making, though that possibility must be considered.

Owing to a shortage of supply from the one outlet which has heretofore provided all known researchers with the substance, further testing may prove difficult to come by. I do recommend, however, should you find a new outlet by which to experience the peculiar effects of this compound, you avail yourself of it toot-sweet.

Contact the author for a full list of supporting documentation and endnotes, should they be required.

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So there you are, minding your own business, when he grabs a sharp tool and comes after you.

Of course, you’d seen it before. Nobody spent much time around here without witnessing the like. You’re hanging out with your peeps, in comfortable digs, the next thing you know 10g gets hacked off into a baggie, crammed in a small box and flung out to who-knows-where.

They tell you it’s because they’ve asked for you. They want you. Really? 10g doesn’t sound like true desire, real passion. You can’t get to know each other that fast. The pressure is unreal – one shot, maybe two if you’re lucky. You might get to acclimitize, you might not. If you do, it’s probably with dozens of other cast-off shards in a box or a cupboard. They might not even pick you on purpose, when they do, they could just be reaching in and blindly grabbing. Nice to meet you too.

Water is the key, but they’ll have decided their favorite and you’ll have to deal with it. There’s no room to experiment when you’re only 10g. Climate, vessel, the mood they’re in – it’s a crapshoot. You’re only one in a series of unfair tryouts. Consider yourself exceedingly fortunate if they haven’t already got some half-baked idea about you before they’ve even begun. After all, they’ve tried dozens of your kind – once.

The worst – pray it doesn’t happen to you – is if, when the day has come, and you’re ready for it to be over, finally, they come and take 7 or 8g. Almost better to get tossed then, because otherwise they won’t notice you, won’t think about you, except to pick you up months or years later, when you’re dried up and so, so tired, only to look at you with sad eyes and put you down again.

I’m trying a new tea today. How about you?

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I’m not even going to attempt to justify or explain this.

Last night, I wasn’t feeling so great, so I took some laudanum* and lay myself down. In my dream, I saw this tea review appear before me, hundreds of lines long. When I awoke, I rushed to put it to paper, but before I could finish, a person from Porlock came to my door on business. By the time I’d ushered him out, I had lost the rest. So here is what I have of -

Qi Sheng Gu

A tea-dream. A fragment.

In Qi Sheng Gu did Nada-cha
Procure a most delicious tea
These tiny leaves, so fresh and raw
Were gathered up once Nada saw
And sailed across the sea.

This village, secret, none may know
Just where it is, or how to go
and take this treasure for themselves
Go raid the unsuspecting trees
Though through the hills the tourist delves
This land is not brought to its knees.

All right! Enough! I hear some cry
The background story’s great and all
But cease! It’s clear you know well why
We clicked this post; no more deny
You lured us with a siren’s call
Inherent promises were made
And debts incurred that must be paid
So trifle with our hearts no more
Be frank, and let us know the score
What, in the end, hath Nada wrought?
Is this a tea that must be bought?
Or sadly, market-speak, that ought
Be struck from our minds and forgot
So in his web we shan’t be caught
Tell us! is it good tea, or not?

Yet one more side note, if I may
My skills were not on par today
I measured tea with just my eyes
With no care for its dainty size
So in the end, rather a lot
Has found its way into my pot.
A sweat has broken on my brow
Describe the tea? I know not how!
What started full, yet smooth and light
Will keep me up now half the night
As all fatigue it doth erase
Across the halls I swiftly pace
But do not blame this on the tea
All fault, I fear, must lie with me

But hark! all hope is not yet gone
As steeps keep piling up
The brews just calmly soldier on
More clarity each cup
The bitterness can’t overtake
The floral, fruity notes
And sipping on my thirst I shake
More odd comparisons to make
My mouth the liquid coats
I soon grow happy, calm, serene
For in the end I’ve clearly seen
What a delight that this can be
The Qi Sheng Gu of EoT

- *No I didn’t. Do not take laudanum.


Awesome…love your reviews.


This is just fabulous.


I read way too much historical fiction trash and really enjoyed the laudanum reference. Yay!


This was a fun read. I’m also trying to figure out this tea. It’s been acclimatizing for sometime now and I need to revisit it.

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I almost certainly don’t know very much about all that I don’t know about tea.

But I’m trying!


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