14 Tasting Notes

Gah! I lost my review notes mid-review. Sooooo in a noob nutshell.

LP Dark Matter 2016
Full Sample – 120ml Gaiwan, boiling water
starting at 5 sec steep, then gradually ramping up the time
11+ steeps, I lost count as usual :P
Nice thick viscosity, lurve this
Taste – slightly smokey, thick fruitiness and a light tobacco finish. Reminds me of a few shengs that I have tried, but without the sourness that I associate with them. I quite like this and am considering getting more. Can’t wait to try the other two YS Tian Jian and get a better handle on this kind of hei cha.

This is the 5th Dark Matter sample that I’ve tried and so far its been fun and very educational, not only am I having the opportunity to try many different teas, this is really helping me to understand my own personal likes and dislikes. Also having so many people reviewing these samples and having different opinions REALLY underscores the importance of ordering and drinking samples, because while its fun to read reviews and see what other peeps think, it’s obvious that steepsterite palates are very diverse. :)


I’m definitely getting more of this!

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Hiya! Puerh Noob reporting in.. but in this case it should be Hei Cha Noob :P This is the first tea I chose to try from LP’s Dark Matter Group buy. It’s also my first Hei Cha! Whee! Excited and a little scared with not knowing what to expect other than it’s different from puerh.

7 or 8 steeps in and I know I’m going to have to revisit this tea, originally I didn’t think the flavor changed to big extent, but upon further reflection as I stare into my tea cup making mouth smacking sounds… I have to accept that this tea has just been very sneakily morphing it’s flavor profile through the steeps. I’ve noticed the change in scent more than in the flavor of the tea.. but it’s there… yes it is…

Scent wise my first cup made me think of a light roasted oolong – last cups the scent is much more marine like (meh, me no likey marine stuff).

Sooo this tea sorta confounds me (in a good way.) The first taste that i get is like the scent of fresh lumber from a hardware store, which in my book isn’t bad.. after all I’ve been drinking and liking puerh that tastes like dark damp wood and earth. What has COMPLETELY distracted me from the aforementioned subtle flavor morphing is how I’m experiencing this tea…Sounds crazy but this is a fast tea… It hits with the fresh lumber flavor and bam that gone and I’m hit with a really high pitched sweet experience, like an artificial sweetener, but then that disappears and I’m left with a pretty clean palette and my mouth is left salivating for more.. W. T. F???

10/11 steeps in – yes, I’m floating and starting to visit the bathroom alot.. gah.. I want a bigger bladder installed?? And I’m getting lazy soo other points of interest for me:

Steep 3 – added milk, was pleasantly surprised, milk goes very nicely with this, I’d do it again if I were in a milky tea mood. (I’ve tried to add milk to some shu and not been successful with that.)

The marine flavor is definitely getting stronger and deepening the wood flavor, so the flavor starts as a darker wood, super sweet bam and then a very faint nori end flavor that morphs into a lingering sweet/savory feeling in the mouth that lasts quite a while.

This tea is making me think waaaaaaay too hard, I’ve tossed the leaves that I’ve used into a mason jar since I think they still have alot of flavor to them and Life In a Teacup mentions that Tibetans like to drink the brew the next day.. not sure if they drink it cold or hot, but I like cold tea so I’m going to try it. :)

I’ve found that puerh lets me eat onions and things I’m not supposed to eat, without having to take an antacid with my meals… crossing my fingers that hei cha will do the same thing for my digestion and that I won’t wake up in the middle of the night in pain. Yes, I’m willing to live dangerously and be a guinea pig test subject. Will edit this with my results.

Would I recommend this? I think this is interesting, so yes. Would I buy it… that I’m on the fence about, only because I’m not a fan of marine-ish notes in my tea, though somehow I find this works and it’s not over the top. Based on steeps 1-7 or so? I was definitely interested, it’s the later steeps that are making me think harder about wanting more. Thankfully I can have another session with the sample I have to better evaluate how I feel. :D

Flavors: Marine, Sweet, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

Excellent review!

White Antlers

Really enjoyed this review. Made me want to drink this all day long. Thanks! :-D


Maybe I’ll visit this one next :) I had a similar experience with the 2010 Bai Sha Xi Tian Jian – First 7-8 steeps were awesome, then the last few made me think twice about whether I’d buy it.

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Puerh Noob reporting in. I’ve been feeling guilty that I haven’t been reviewing much even though I drink pu every day. But I came to the realization that most of my puerh drinking is in conjuction with eating… and that’s just not conducive to fair reviews. So I’m forgiving myself.

I got this sample with my order and I’m glad I did. This is my second taste of a Whispering Pines ripe. This is my second session with this sample.. the first was a few nights ago with dinner. :P 4 grams/1 cup, 1 quick rinse.

1st steep – Liquor is thin but smoothish. The taste for me is very minerally almost salty but not? Hard to describe… its not in my face woody or earthy.. the descriptions mention of merlot carries thru to the feeling and the sensation is dry and forward on the tongue, with a mouth watering feeling . As the liquor cools a slight nuttiness comes through. Cha qi is mild.

2nd steep – Liquor gets a little silkier, but it’s still thin.. The minerally flavor backs down which makes me really happy. I drink this faster than the first cup and suddenly I’m definitely feeling the cha qi. Yay! :)

3rd steep – Minerally backs off more, that front of tongue feeling is still solidly present. Flavor is something like very dry wood, which makes me think of paper bags? (sorry WPT)

There are more steeps to the leaves so I’ll continue drinking, but I’m getting tired of reviewing. :P Heheheh.

My Pu Journey:
This sample helped me confirm that I hate the combo taste of sweet/minerally ripe pu’s.. but if it’s just minerally, then I’m okay with it, but not necessarily a big fan. Overall I think this is very drinkable and I’ve just put in an order for an ounce. Right now I like this better than the sweeter 2013 Ontario 1357 (which I’ve only had one session with.)

Flavors: Mineral

Liquid Proust

Good notes! No need to be sorry, always report what you can describe a taste as. Some people say ‘old sock’ as a flavor :P WP has some rather solid shou so you’re in good hands there.

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Puerh Noob reporting! I got this lovely sample from Liquid Proust who included this as a surprise goodie from his 2016 Sheng Olympic.

This is very different from the shengs I’ve tried. Love the gorgeous leaf appearance and the sweet dill aroma of the dry leaves. Gave it a 3 sec rinse. Combined steeps 5/10 and then 10/15.

I was pleasantly surprised not to get that “sour” taste that I’ve come to expect from shengs. I quite like this! It’s got a very nice pine and dill flavor and the liquor has that silky smooth feel that I really like. Steeps 3/4 introduced a slight astringency that I’m sure will get stronger with later steeps. I’m interested in finding a way to bring out the pine.. it seems to be a flavor I crave! o.O I would keep brewing this but I started late in the evening and the 2 “cups” that I’ve just has just helped bring on that wonderful relaxed feeling .. so I think I shall pop off to bed and add to this review tomorrow evening. ;)

This is the first sheng that I want to buy more of! Thanks bunches LP! I would never have tried this one on my own… and it’s such a winner for me! :D

Flavors: Dill, Pine, Smooth


Pine is a great flavor!


I’m a big fan of pine notes with sencha.

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I grew up on this tea, it’s been in my cupboard for all of my life it seems. It’s a solid every day easy to drink green tea. I live in Hawaii, so I do a lot of iced tea. I love tossing a teabag into a bottle of water or a cup of iced water to steep and drink right away, I guess even though its in a teabag, I drink it grandpa style, adding water to the cup… 1 teabag can easily cold infuse 40-48 oz of water this way.. It’s very convenient and refreshing. :D

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drank Nahele by PONOinfusions
14 tasting notes

It’s produced on my island and I like to support local businesses so I was excited to see it in Whole Foods. Puerh/Cacao infusion.. The packaging touts that it will make 47 – 8oz cups…. But I’m sorry, this was bloody awful. It was herbal yucky bland water and I think even if I had upped the tea to water ratio, I would have just ended up drinking stronger yucky water. Didn’t get any cacao and I was looking for it! I do not recommend this at all.. it was a wasted $12.

~ that same evening I had picked up Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh tea bags .. which gave a MUCH more decent cup.
~ ~ I’m a puer noob, and I hate herbal teas… so take my review as you will.
~ ~ ~ color me surprised that LiquidProust had gotten his hands on this and reviewed it!! Hahah!

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I always suggest to individuals who are new to Pu-erh to try a Pu-erh with added flavor. Numi has a great selection of Pu-erh! And I’m sure the chocolate mixed pretty well, too!


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drank Cardamom Chai Tea by Teabox
14 tasting notes

I’ve been on a chai kick this winter and picked up the Teabox’s Chai sampler during it’s Black Friday Weekend sale. The winners that I’ll be stocking in my cupboard are Maharaja Oolong Chai and Assam Masala Chai.. but right now I’m working on finishing up the samplers. :)

Super cardamomy as expected and a very strong tea. Definitely requires milk and sugar to tame this beast! I’d say this is one of the strongest chai’s that they have. If you really like cardamom then I would recommend this to you, it’s very tasty but it’s not the blend that I was personally looking for.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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I received this sachet as a freebie with my order and this is not something I would have picked up on my own as I don’t really like flavored teas. Often, they taste artificial and don’t seem to be well balanced, and most times call for sweeteners, which I dislike using. Harney’s is changing my mind.

Small office cup (8ish oz) – 1 teabag sachet

Wow! This is an incredibly well balanced exotic cup of goodness! Because of the bag’s size and previous steeps with other Harney flavored teas… I know that my leaf to water ratio is high so I short steeped and tasted the cup until I felt it had a nice flavor. Maybe 1-2 min.

The first steep is incredibly silky and smooth.. the coconut is the main player beautiful and creamy.. I’m loving this. I’m not getting artificial vanilla or over powerful lemongrass.. This is darn good. I think this would be a beautiful exotic iced tea… who needs boring flavors, like strawberry, guava, mango.. etc.

2nd steep brings out the lemongrass making the coconut the supporting flavor.. I can’t figure out which cup I like more.

Conclusion: Must. Get. MOAR! Seriously, just this tea sachet is not enough! * looks sadly at the all gone tea, ponders a desperate 3rd steep.. *

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