Essence of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

6.5g/100 ml duanni, boiling, 2 flash rinses. clean, woody profile. day after thermos had some maybe date if you search really hard. very tippy and caffeinating the day of; couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am ish.

pretty decent for shou, though not in the dirt cheap range like purple mark or something. will enjoy the sample, but prob not repurchase. i have enough mediocre tea to last an average American’s lifetime since I can’t have an office set up and don’t get much except weekend sessions anymore.

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I can’t remember when I drank the rest of this pack (6/90, not cheap and not memorable, lost the notes) but the remaining 1.9g (stiffed .6g lol) in a Yeti mugged at work was acceptable, but mostly boring. I haven’t been super thrilled with any of the top-end EoT yancha I’ve tried. Maybe my water is off or something, but the “aftertaste lingering for hours” bit is far from what I’ve gotten. Were I to disregard the price, and assuming I had never read the praise-laden descriptions they include, I’d be ok with their pricey yancha. But overall, if I were to repurchase to scratch an occasional yancha itch (without breaking the bank for DXJD since I have bills to pay), my bets are on the higher end of what OWT sources, with the caveat that I only like the ones they’ve had with stronger roast than most of what’s there.

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Eh. Tasty and comfortable, but perhaps not terribly exciting to this betel nut chaser.

3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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Another shou-y Liu Bao. Basement and wet rocks, fleeting camphor. Pleasant enough, I just prefer raw aged. I didn’t get betel aroma, to be honest — I’ll have to focus a bit more next time and go hunting.

Flavors: Camphor, Forest Floor, Wet Rocks, Wet wood

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Ach. It appears my love for Liu Bao may be limited to raw-processed. This tasted like basement shou. Fine enough to drink, smooth.

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6/90. dry was raisin, a bit of sour, spices. wet leaf is woody, spicy.
1. medicinal, woody, cinnamon, raisin. mineral/celery coating on tongue.
2. smoky, roasty, medicinal, woody sweetness. aftertaste extends into throat
3. kind of one note. bright, something like clove

remaining 3.7 in a mug. got stiffed .3g lol. aroma is nutty and butter cookies. taste is roasty, minerally, and kind of sweet

It was okay. Not sure if I’d repurchase

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10/120 gaiwan with Brita filtered tap. Drank with a friend today and found this fairly roasty, some bitterness. Minerality is definitely there, but aftertaste wasn’t as present or strong as I was expecting. an okay experience, but wouldn’t repurchase. smell has a hint of smoke and chocolate.

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8.3g, 90 mL, Brita filtered tap. Again, ran through this with a friend over so no specific notes. Regret using a gaiwan for this, since it might’ve needed some extra heat that the gaiwan didn’t provide. It could be a number of factors, but this really didn’t blow me away during session (esp. given cost). However, the thermos of the remainder is pretty decent. Roasty chocolate-y in a cocoa sort of way, slight medicinal, a bit heady and fuzzy in that sense. Not particularly deep in the throat per description, nor was aftertaste particularly lasting or transformative during the session or in thermos. From session, I remember the roasty notes and a deeper medicinal taste that I associate with shui xian, as well as some of the minty aftertaste that seems to come with oolongs. Cold cup was pretty chocolate-y. This is above average oolong for sure, but wasn’t worth the price to me and I would not re-purchase. The TShop oolong and a few of the ones I’ve been gifted have been better.

Also just generally, re-evaluating my approach to having tea with others. Sure, blowing through over $50 of tea in three hours is nothing in the grand scheme of things and pretty cheap entertainment I suppose, but it still feels wasteful when the other party thinks nothing of it and then I was also not able to be as focused as I would’ve liked. Meh. Depends on the guest, but this afternoon felt like a waste of good tea.


I’d be tempted to save the good/expensive teas for those who can appreciate them and offer more affordable crowd pleasers to guests. However, it was nice that you got to drink tea with a friend.

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Not much has been said about this tea and the few reviews I’ve read have been rather lukewarm. These are my thoughts on this tea after consuming about half a cake and I’m having a session whilst writing this. Perhaps I’m off base here but to me this is one of the best performing moderate priced semi aged Yiwuish blends readily available on the western focused market. Many boutique teas from this era like YQH are showing that the light processing that makes them approachable when young can lead to a dull tea when aged. Conversely more heavily processed boutique teas like the BYH from this era may have a huge backbone and resinous quality that enables them to age well but with their dry storage still have another decade or so before they’d be something I’d reach for on a regular basis. I wish some of these teas would be available with traditional HK storage as I think they’d be perfect for consumption now.

Back to this tea. The processing and storage both strike me as moderate resulting in a tea that is great for drinking now. The body and bitterness are medium and there is a good balance of aged bottom notes (incense, tobacco, leather, dates) and original top notes (herbs, floral, tropical fruit in later steeps). These top notes remind me of some YQH I’ve had from the era that were sealed storage for most of their existence. There is also a whiff of cedar and some smaller leaves that make me suspect some Yibang in the blend. The tropical fruit notes remind me of Manzhuan while I’d guess the more herbal notes are indicative of Mansa. Just my speculation.

The stamina, huigan and price are moderate. The qi is a wild card. Sometimes I get very little from the session. Sometimes it knocks my socks off but it is always balanced. One of the interesting things about it is it often qualifies as creeper qi. During many sessions there was a building mild qi throughout the session followed by a huge wave of relaxing qi 20 minutes after the session was over. My dad, who is much less sensitive to qi than I confirmed this after leaving my house and having a huge burst of qi hit him while driving.

This tea is not as amazing as CYH teas from the era but it’s 1/3 the price and to me represents a solid tea of moderate age and price that is ready to drink now.


Very informative tasting note – thank you!


Sure. I haven’t posted a review on here for a while but felt the need to mention this one. Going to do a few more regarding some little hyped teas I think are worthy of trying


I have a sample of this in my cart. You review wants me to keep it in there.


You should try the 04 cnnp 7542 while you’re at it. Nice storage and decent material for the price

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