GOARTEA (Amazon)

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Recent Tasting Notes


This was kind of a mistake of a purchase for me. I bought a smaller quantity (100 grams) off of Amazon to see if I enjoy sheng puehr, in preparation for my next order of teas from Yunnan Sourcing. I have been suspecting that I might find very young sheng puerh to be enjoyable, because I absolutely love green teas and young sheng is perhaps similar to a green tea with something a little “extra” added. The problem here is that probably shouldn’t have purchased a 2010 aged sheng puerh to see whether or not young sheng puerh is something I would like. And furthermore, buying from Goartea I know I’m probably not finding the greatest example of a good tea, but I have purchased other teas from them before and I have generally been satisfied with the quality of this vendor’s teas. Wouldn’t expect them to be 100% authentic or top-shelf, but I find them to be not a bad deal for the price.

Anyways, experimenting with this tea, smelling the dry leaf I very much notice the “aged” aroma. Kind of the tea version of smelling old library books. I really like the “dragon ball” style of tea processing, and I think it is really convenient and makes more sense to me than buying teas in the larger cake format. For this reason, I have been eyeing White2Tea’s offerings as a possible alternative to Yunnan Sourcing – They seem to offer most of their teas as dragon balls, which is awesome. But Yunnan Sourcing has better taste in the artwork on the wrappers, so difficult decision, LOL. Also, I like how Yunnan Sourcing gives more details on the source gardens and picking season/grade of each tea, with the exception of “secret garden” offerings.

Brewing this tea, I drank the rinse a time or two (after a 30-second or even 1-minute rinse – leaves open up slowly and sometimes I used a lower 175-degree temp), and I was actually intrigued by a nice thicker texture and pleasant nectar-like sweetness which emerged in the very very light yellowish-orange liquor at that point. Almost what I was looking for in sheng puerh! Something green tea-like, but different. Alas, the intriguing sweetness and texture was there in these early steeps, but without much flavor or overall interest to back it up. Then when I give it a second, third, or even fourth brew (at varying lengths, but largely with similar results), I got something more akin to a very woody tasting black tea, with some mushroom earthiness. Not quite as much earthiness as the “cooked” puerhs I have tried, but it is there. The woody notes somewhat remind me of English Tea Store’s Scottish Breakfast blend I had years ago, in which the woody notes I understand come from Chingwo County orange pekoe black tea. There is also some sweetness, but definitely a bittersweet thing going on here. Sadly, not finding much in the way of florals or fruitiness. I especially enjoy floral teas.

I find this tea to be kind of lackluster, which isn’t surprising given I didn’t pay very much for it, and it is from a generic tea vendor. And it totally doesn’t answer my question for me, either, which is whether or not I might enjoy the world of young shengs. Doh!

Planning another Yunnan Sourcing order in about a month or so, and I will definitely buy a 2023 or 2024 young sheng or two to try – maybe a 2023 and a 2024? I don’t know.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This is a very mellow black tea and perfect for anyone who does not like a very smokey or bitter tea. It is good by itself or with milk and sugar.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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beautiful whole tea leaves without any stems. This is a lightly roasted oolong with notes of jasmine flowers.

Flavors: Jasmine

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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This is a roasted oolong. To the nose, it is sweet floral and light smokiness. On the tongue, the roasted leaves come through as char and earthiness with a touch of sweetness. I brewed this gongfu style with an initial wash. If brewed longer than 15 seconds, this tea will deliver bitterness and mouth drying astringency, bordering on a chalky dryness, but if the tea is brewed quickly in the 8-10 second range, the result is much smoother and wet mouth feel, but still will finish with a hint of astringency. Even with quick infusions, the resulting liquor is strong and leaning more orange than yellow.

Dark roast coffee lovers would probably enjoy this tea.

Flavors: Char, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Floral, Smoke, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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This is a really lovely and rather interesting oolong. It’s certainly complex and also somehow milder than most oolongs I’ve had. The tea tastes slightly smokey, but not overwhelmingly so. In fact, overall it seems more light than smokey. It tastes slightly of citrus fruit and, at times, is even a little bit floral. It does kind of have a “kick” to it while retaining its smoothness. It isn’t bitter at all. The taste of this tea lingers but it is pleasant. I wish I had a better vocabulary to explain this one. I’m looking forward to my second steep.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Honey, Smoke, Wet Rocks

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Chinese premium organic spike kuding ku ding bitter large leaf herbal green tea by goartea. Review.

This is the worst tasting tea I have ever tried. Extremely bitter! Bleh! Nasty! Unless you love bitter teas I suggest you stay away from this tea!

I must not waste. So I will give to a friend. I do have to give it credit for smelling like yummy pepperonies when dry so I rate a 2.

I hate this tea! This is the first time I’ve ever hated a tea :(


Kuding is more a medicinal item than a tea. Kuding is called “Bitter Needle” and is made from the evergreen family. You are spot on this stuff is reeeaallly bitter.


@mrmopar. i found out i used too much, (5-7 spikes). when i tried with just one spike, 30s, it was still really bitter and not enjoyable :(


Yah this stuff is STRONG!

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5.5 gm in 100ml gaiwan, water 208ºF, 30s/45s/1 min/1min/1:30

Good tea for red tea shots. I’m about done with this 50gm lot, and am thinking I will get a larger quantity of the vendor’s better grade. There’s a bit of stemmy stuff in this lot, and I’m hoping the highest grade one will have better longevity.

Cocoa, sweet aftertaste, a bit of tannins in the later steeps. Falls off pretty fast after 4 infusions.

Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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