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Recent Tasting Notes
Easy-drinking with light, vibrant flavors and aroma. Delicate malt and florals with a fruity tone that leans citrus, like white grapefruit mixed with stonefruit. Tingly, never bitter or astringent. The fruit pops more when brewed around 200F versus boiling. Good for 2, maybe 3 steeps western. The spent leaves show the low oxidation with a palette of muted red, green and brown splotches. The leaf and bud usually destined for puerh production is healthy, thick and fuzzy. Thanks for the generous sample, Martin :)
Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Grapefruit, Malt, Mineral, Stonefruits
With my first Farmerleaf order, I got this mini cake for casual drinking. It delivers more or less what one would expect from a Jingmai plantation tea. It is tasty, pungent and not too complex with quite a floral profile. The aroma is green and grassy with notes of dandelion among other flowers. Taste-wise, I found the tea to have a good balance of umami, sweetness and bitterness. At this young age, it is still a bit grassy and a little salty. Mouthfeel is soft and drying, and I get a warming sensation spreading throughout the body after drinking.
Flavors: Bitter, Dandelion, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Salty, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
I rarely get to try a sheng this fresh, but after more than a month long journey from China to Ontario, I felt compelled to give it some time to rest and only broke into the cake I got today. Having been hit by a car while cycling earlier today (I came out lucky with no serious injuries), I won’t remember this day for the tea that’s for sure.
In any case, the tea didn’t leave a very strong impression on me in this first encounter of ours, I will try reserve my judgement though. It may need more time to show its true character. At the moment, it is quite crisp, grassy, sweet, and salty, with notes of seaweed and tropical fruits. The body is medium thick with a powdery and slightly astringent mouthfeel.
Flavors: banana, Grass, Green, Marine, Salty, Seaweed, Sweet, Tropical
I didn’t take as many notes on the session as I wanted, but I noted that it had ‘soft, creamy, sweet, honey’ notes. This is one of those young puerh teas that are just too complex to describe in full detail. It is one of those teas that bring you to silence, allowing the time to pass without words. It’s similar to an unwritten love poem, moving you to the point of stillness, which can be called a quiet love, I suppose.
Farmerleaf has a few teas that fill me with such stillness and calm, that I cannot simply spend the time reading, writing, talking, or gaming; rather, I sit in silence, musing only over the tea.
With that said, the tea lasts a short while—not as long as some teas that I typically drink—but it can take a hard hit with boiling water/steep time, without growing bitter, sour, or astringent. It’s light and pleasant, through and through.
I only wish that I was capable of making a better note on this tea. It’s a good one, that’s for sure.
Sample from Farmerleaf, brewed in gaiwan.
First 2 steeps unimpressive, it felt faded. It developed much better character in the following steeps once the leaves opened up.
Feels a bit younger than the age the tag suggests but is still interesting and not too sharp. Fruity, flowery, moderate bitterness that kicks back a nice huigan aftertaste. Comforting, tonic, mild cha qi.
This one leans to the delicate and balanced side of the sheng spectrum. Though generally speaking is a good tea I don’t believe I’ll be ordering a cake. I’d like to contrast it with a further aged version and see where it goes.
Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Lime, Melon
I am the first one to write a tasting note? And this tea is actually gone!
Anyway, quick (+- 10 seconds) rinse of 6 grams of tea in my 85 ml gaiwan. That is 1 gram for 14 ml of boiling water in thermos.
1st steep, as usual, was 15 seconds long.
It pours light brown colour. Rinse and first steep has got generic shu aroma, in taste mellow, not-metallic, rather sweet side of chocolate.
2nd steep, 30 seconds
Mellow, still sweet chocolate taste. Not very complex taste. But full-bodied for sure.
3rd, 45 seconds
It becames darker, so does in taste, more like dark chocolate now.
4th, 60 seconds
Full bodied, nice to drink. I do not think it will change flavours, so I will keep drinking. They claim it can be up to 12 steeps, so – I guess it can be true. But I would not write about every single steep.
It is good, but maybe I expected something bit more complex.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
15 seconds rinse
Floral, stone fruits, mineral. Not really bad. Probably stonefruits as apricot / peach, mentioned by others in previous years. Medium astringency.
1st / 30 seconds.
Quite mineral and astringent, not much of fruity notes. Quite drying and long mouthfeel.
2nd / 30 seconds.
As first 30 seconds were quite strong, I decided to make second brew with same time. Yep, it is milder. Bit fruitier. Good steep.
3rd / 45 seconds
This is really nicely balanced between astingency and sweetness. Finishing this steep awfully cold, because I was checking new cars with my dad.
4th / 1 minute
This is following previous note, that it is nice balanced. No cars this time :D
5th / 1:15
I will make more and more brews, but I guess it will be same. Maybe weaker, maybe stronger. Who knows… Just great amount of steeps, I do not want to count it. I am lazy man.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Drying, Floral, Mineral, Peach, Stonefruits
Summer 2018 harvest
Well, lazy morning again.
I do not want to do anything, so I decided to do a gong fu with another new tea. As I never had a compressed white tea, I took this one.
Clean up the gaiwan (oh, come on, I even left leaves in water and forgot it for two days). Dang! Clean up the cup. Boil water to thermos.
And 15 seconds rinse. 5 grams of tea.
It woke up some aromas. Hard to describe, but closest one would be probably raisins? Is it even possible? Certainly it is some sweet aroma.
1st steep is 15 seconds long (as usual for me).
In taste it is mild, but nothing really distinctive.
2nd, much longer – forgot about it a bit. Around 45 seconds.
I was counting and then I thought, oh I am already on fourty.
It won’t be bad, I was complaining it was not distinctive for first steep. It get some floral notes. More thick too. In aroma of wet leaf I notice something refreshing, like a mint.
Yep, it is floral and nicely round. Little astringecy is there, but not really making it bad.
3rd, 1 minute
Cake chunk broke completely. It is loose leaf now. Haha.
Pours golden, with slighlty woody aroma. In taste it is nice, thick tea, kind of honey smoothness.
4th, 75 seconds
It is really bold now. But still so nice smooth, little, almost unnoticable astringency. No bitterness.
And following ones (adding 15 seconds)
are quite similar. It is not very complex tea in tastes, but easydrinking, warming cuppa.
Food pairing: Vanilla yoghurt for breakfast, haha. Not enough. Bread with salami.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Mint, Raisins, Wood
I took this tea in my gaiwan today morning.
It was more vegetal than I remember from grandpa brewing. Grassy as well, little sweetness, bit of astringency. Brews easily, I did not care much about steeping times, just when I thought it will be ready, I spilled the tea into a cup. It was good. Nothing really fancy, or some scents or aromas development, just easydrinking tea with nice taste. Reminding me bit green teas, but that is probably bit expected.
Overall, it is nice tea (especially for the price).
Flavors: Astringent, Cut grass, Vegetal
Some dust from bag, grandpa, around 4-5 grams.
Why grandpa you ask?
Well, I am kind of lazy. And in Monday I should have exam, but I decided to prepare more – so, 19th August is new date. I still have two attempts remaining. So, I guess I need to study :P
Moreover, I do not know if I slept badly or what was wrong, but I woke up and everything hurts. Shoulders, arms, legs… weird start of the day.
Haha, okay lyrics do not really mean how I feel, but the name of the song :D
To the tea:
Liquor is green-yellow, bit cloudy. Lots of leaves actually, few stems too, I kept everything in. Oh, look at the size of the this leaf! That one particular was indeed quite big – 5×2 cm maybe? And so nicely green, no bites, not even too fried one.
It smells bit vegetal, mowed grass (I know how it smells :D) and tastes pretty similar. Grassy, easydrinking tea. And it was quite sweet, maybe kind of peas? Overall, I have enjoyed it and for the price! 3 dollars for 25 grams sample?
Flavors: Cut grass, Peas, Sweet, Vegetal
So nice, and easydrinking tea.
Prepared grandpa, one pinch and one smaller pinch, 300 ml glass cup.
Turned same as always. I guess this is my favourite black tea. I could drink it all the time. It’s nicely malty, but not just that, it doesn’t turn bitter and leaves are big and so nice to watch.
Upping a rating from 90 to 96.
Flavors: Honey, Malt
Weirdly, I have only half of this left and… one tasting note?
Well, and few hours backlog; I hate it. I could not go so much into details, because, I just forget them.
Anyway, prepared grandpa, two pinches of tea – no accurate measurment, just boiled water.
Turned out very nice, this time with some stone fruits notes, malty, but still very light tea! Typical black tea flavours appear there as well and what amazes me the most, is that I was steeping it for 45 minutes and it was still delicious without any bitterness.
Anybody wants to make New Year swap (I will include this tea :) )? Just for fun. First two come, first two seved basis. I could not afford more right now.
Flavors: Malt, Stonefruits
I have decided (same as yesterday morning) to make this tea grandpa style. So, four-five grams of tea, 300 ml of hot water (was boiling 3-5 minutes before I used it). So I guess it can have about 90°C.
Anyway, my cup is fulll of leaf now. It is making dark gold, of course bit cloudy – as no rinse was performed, with aroma of sweet malt, but bit spicy and bit of forest honey.
In taste it is light, but still somehow full-bodied tea. Nothing too much to write about, as it is just black tea :) but certainly it is smooth, enjoyable, easydrinking tea with low and nice price tag . Okay, it has got medium malty flavour with hints of spices!I bought it for 14 dollars per 100 grams, now it is 3 dollars more. But still I guess very nice price.
Edit: My Tasting note No. 200 !!! Woohoo!
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Spicy
Gong-fu time, I have not did it for long time.
4 grams, 85 ml gaiwan.
I was not very precise in steeping times, so it all was in 10 seconds – 90 seconds period. Spiciness was gone, it turned out very malty. But it was great. I liked the taste. Then some sweetness. And in the end, it was like red fruits tea. Interesting development, honestly I miss a bit the spices I had with first steeps in spring-summer, but the red fruits notes were interesting as well. Although I have not listened to it while drinking, here is a song pairing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q89Urbqe7QA – as it was stuck in my head.
Enjoy the song. Enjoy your tea. Enjoy the life.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Malt, Red Fruits, Sweet
I took it bit stronger today. 5-6 grams per 300 ml grandpa style.
My parents were enjoying the coffee, while I was enjoying great tea.
It is still same as previous notes I wrote. We were talking about lots of things. Some job is needed in garden, so – actually I am bit avoiding it by writing this tasting note. Meh, I really do not want to do anything, just staying at home, listening to music and relaxing. Not this time I guess.
And guess what! As we were sitting on the patio, we have a little bit of flowers there including few sunflowers. A goldfinch arrived and started to eat the seeds. He was there for 10-15 minutes and enjoying it apparently! It was so nice. So nice as this tea.
PS: I know this is rather diary entry than tasting note.
Flavors: Malt, Nutty, Tea
Grandpa style this time. 3 grams / 300 ml.
Battiling with my anxiety since yesterday. I don’t know who is winning. It is a tie. Tomorrow I am moving for a week to my friend’s place and honestly can not wait for it. More over I have today headache and upset stomach. Meh. I hope I can keep up my tea per day. Probably I will bring my DF boxes with me.
This tea – fragance is wonderful. Honey, roasted nuts. Just perfect. Looks perfect. Tastes perfect. Wonderful price!
Oddly perfect for that price tag.
Finally! My Farmerleaf order. I placed it 15th April and yesterday I got it. I had to go to only customs post office in whole country which is in Prague. So, travel there – I had about 2 hours extra for it, but no, the railroad switches were faulty and I arrived with delay approx. 40 minutes. So, from 2 hours I had only 1 hour before closing time. And guess what! So many people there. I did some small talk with others, while all of us were compaining there is no AC, weather was terrible (around 35 °C).
At first to postal part, where I got some papers, then to customs, where they do not know what Pu-erh tea is, if it is green tea or not (and I gave them my order which I of course did not remember). There is a tax 3.2 per cent for green tea in direct wrapping (maybe pu-erh cakes?), then there is some black tea too. So, by declaration I have “foodstuff suplement”, no tax, just VAT – so I had to pay VAT (of course different counter) return back to customs, where I signed that I paid VAT, return to post office, pay them they will give the parcel to me…
And then leave! About 45 minutes spend there (and it was rather quickly as I have heard). So, free shipping was not really free for me.
But as a logistics student it was good example how it does not work in this country.
Anyway to the tea:
I used 3 grams in ball strainer (meh I know), 4 minutes in boiling water.
This is one of the nicest colour I have seen. Bronze, but shiny, completely clear, just pure eye-candy.
The aroma reminds me roasted nuts a bit, some sweet notes like nuts in sugar.
And taste: chesnuts, I agree with previous rater. Smooth, honey, nutty.
Great tea with great price (if I do not count customs). I suggest getting it before it is gone!
Flavors: Chestnut, Honey, Nutty, Sweet
This is a very nice black from Yunnan and, for now, quite affordable. According to the website description it’ll keep the low price until the organic certification comes into place.
My tasting note would be: Very well balanced, earthy, no astringency, mild bitterness.
Flavors: Chestnut, Malt
This is my very first review in Steepster. I was impressed enough with this tea to come and start logging the experience.
It’s part of a limited batch that’s sold out, I got a 20g sample I’m splitting in 3 sessions. 125cc zisha and 95c-ish water, 20 sec first steep then adjusting as I progress.
It’s a fantastic young sheng as it is. Large, whole leaves that make for a light yellow honeyed translucid soup with noticeable viscosity.
Taste is sharp, with notes of citrus, bitter almonds, watercress, moss. Aroma is mostly orange skin. Aging should take the edge off of it and balance them, but not that I’m complaining as they are now… Controlled bitterness, a bit of astringency and a lot of body. Good huigan aftertase.
Qi: pleasantly stimulant. Drinking this one on an empty stomach may result in getting tea drunk.
Flavors: Almond, Citrus, Wet Moss
Teabox Tuesday! This is another of the old samples I snagged from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all those involved who were nice enough to share their teas! I decided to prepare the 3.1g sample I had gong fu style and sip on it while watching a movie I brought home from the library.
Apparently this is the summer 2016 harvest of this tea, according to the note I wrote on the front of my sampler packet. I do not drink white tea very much — most of the white tea I do drink are flavored blends that I prefer by and large to cold steep and drink in water bottles as refreshing iced teas — so pure white tea brewed warm is very much still in my realm of exploration, so I wouldn’t take anything I say too seriously. I’ve always brewed my whites warm in the 175-185F realm, but after reading the other reviews on this one that recommended bumping up the heat on this one, I just decided to opt for those suggestions and turned up the heat on my kettle from the get-go.
3.10g / 80ml (in a 100ml capacity shiboridashi) / 205F / 20s|30s|40s|50s|60s|75s|90s|120s
The wet leaves were very aromatic, smelling of damp autumn leaves, grapes, and floral perfume. The tea steeped a light yellow color, and the first steep had a soft floral and muscatel aroma. The flavor was very grapey, with strong muscatel and floral notes, and a more subtle leafy note in the background. It was a very sweet infusion! The second infusion brought out a more fruity aroma from the tea, and the flavor was less sweet, with a fruity flavor at the beginning of the sip with notes of grapes, berry, and currant, but the end of the sip was more of a vegetal note of autumn leaf and hay which settled toward the back of the tongue and left a mild astringent/drying after the sip. The third infusion brought out a citrus flavor in the fruity notes, tasting very much of orange rind; the vegetal notes were still quite strong in the third infusion, but the citrus note became more pronounced in the next two infusions, hitting its peak by the fifth. The fruity notes started to drop off quickly after that, and the rest of the session was mostly a soft but pleasant floral tea. By the eighth infusion the aroma on the tea was fairly weak; I was still getting floral flavor in the tea but it was noticably weaker, so I wrapped up the session there.
I really enjoyed this tea! It had quite a bit of variety in flavor and I was surprised by how much it had to give, especially for the age. Maybe I’ve been sleeping on whites for too long. Most of the ones I’ve tried in the past just tasted really strongly of autumn leaves, occassionally of florals, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong fruity presense. It was a fun exploration!
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Black Currant, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Muscatel, Orange Zest, Vegetal
Incredible example of Jingmai tea. Mouthfeel is light but full bodied. I taste well balanced flavors in here. From my experience with other teas, this is noticeably old tree material. The brew carries forth slow and steady cha qi and at its climax is floral and elevated with orchid flower notes. I described the taste of this tea to a friend while we were drinking: “This tea tastes like a bitter tree leaf that was dipped in orchid flower essence water mixed with coconut oil and then shaken off.” Great job Farmerleaf I’m continually impressed.
Flavors: Bamboo, Bok Choy, Cactus Flowers, Coconut, Grass, Marshmallow, Orchid