Liquid Proust TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Haha! I misrepresented the number of teas in my cupboard the other day. I probably have another 20-30 from a Liquid Proust group buy in late 2018. Is this really the first one I’m sampling from the Aged Oolong category? I was going to post this under Random Steepings, but I figured Liquid Proust needs some more cred on this site, especially considering his devotion to the leaf and the enthusiasm to spread teas aimed for the Eastern market far and wide.
Dry, warm and rinsed leaf aromas are fairly strong with dark chocolate with raspberry filling, modest roast, caramel, brown toast, dark brown sugar, hints of cherry and red currant. Once brewed, the aroma is mellow with berries, spice and cocoa. The taste is mostly woody and somewhat drying but there’s more going on than I can articulate. Not much change throughout the infusions, of which I was able to pull eight or nine. Late in the session I let a cup cool and a pleasant mineral sweetness came forward with salivation. The spice tone was also more noticeable, while a light unripe peach aftertaste did its thing. Roast notes were not at the forefront with this tea, more of a muted background deal.
I like it even though nothing about it stands out in particular. It’s mellow and calming enough to be a daily evening drinker without much attention having to be paid.
Song pairing: David Bowie — Heroes
Exquisite Poetry is a nice complex blend with that’s predominately bitter, savoury, and fruity with flowery undertones. As is the case with many raw pu’er teas made from the Ye Sheng variety, the bitterness is not very well integrated in the taste. Since I didn’t have quite enough for two proper sessions, I used an unusually high amount – 10g – but extended it over the whole afternoon. Still, the cha qi was pretty strong and fast. I found it heady, rushy and somewhat ‘hair-raising’.
Now for particular notes – the aroma has strong stonefruit character (mainly apricot) with sweet florals, rust, and laundry detergent in the background. It somehow reminded me of walking through evening streets of some Mediterranean town, but I couldn’t recall which one :D
The taste starts strong and bitter with notes of fruits, nuts, orchid, and allspice. The Ye Sheng character comes out strong in the early steeps. The bitterness weakens a bit after 4 infusions or so, but never quite goes away. Further flavours of courgette, peas, celery, and quinoa emerge throughout the session. Late steeps are quite tart and have a sort of coffee acidity (without the coffee flavours).
The aftertaste is cooling and presents flavours such as those of roasted grains, rice, and green grapes. I quite enjoyed the mouthfeel of this tea, which is viscous, slightly gritty, and numbing. Thanks for the sample tperez :)
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Celery, Flowers, Fruity, Grain, Nutty, Orchid, Peas, Rice, Sour, Spices, Stonefruits, Tart, White Grapes, Zucchini
This one’s heavy on the chocolate. Heavy, heavy deep dark chocolate. I had to go out and abandoned a 50ml cup on the table for hours. Took a tiny sip out of curiosity before discarding. It tasted so much like chocolate milk I ended up drinking it all mostly out of shock. It’s delicious if this is what you’re in the mood for. I don’t crave this flavor from tea often enough to stockpile relatively young LCT of this sort. But I could see myself virtuously choosing this over a slice of chocolate cake. It feels far too indulgent to have on a daily basis at any hour. If it was a beer it’d be a thick chocolate stout.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
This will be more about naka generally than this specific tea. This tea seems like what is probably a perfectly drinkable naka from 2013. But I’m a strange one who has sadly not really enjoyed like 95% of the nakas that I’ve tried. There are many other teas I’ve enjoyed, and many other raw pus I’ve adored, but naka.. for some reason.. just doesn’t do it for me. The exception is when it’s so damn old that I can’t taste it and the energy’s super mellowed out. And 6 years is evidently not old enough for that to be true.
I really thought I’d enjoy the naka region more when it is younger because the 2005 w2t naka was not a bad experience (though price-y). I am also aware that many people do not drink pu for the taste or smell but the body feels. But I kinda do sometimes – care about taste and smell – and what I’ve learned is that naka, though it doesn’t smell terrible to me – doesn’t taste or feel nice to me when I can taste it.
For example, the mystery naka tasting set that LP sold earlier this year (https://www.liquidproust.com/listing/695708083/in-search-of-series-naka) just was not my style. Basically, I dislike the young naka taste and energy so much that I only ever want old stuff from there where the vast majority of the taste has dissipated and the energy (that is always uncomfortably rumbly for me) has had the time to truly mellow out. Maybe I don’t mind it so much if and when it’s blended with other things also. But with the young single region naka, I’m like… thank you, but not really, no, thank you, you have it. I am grateful to have had the opportunity in 2019 to have tasted a handful of nakas of various vintages from various vendors and collectors, but naka that is old enough for my taste is probably way out of my everyday price range. So you know, uh, more for you all who are probably big fans of naka anything.
Luckily, there are plenty of other regions where the young leaves are pleasing to me in multisensory ways (and also less popular and thus more affordable). I have some very young sheng cakes that are already mellowing out too much for my liking and I wish I had drunk them the previous year.
Let me see if I can describe what I personally find off-putting about younger naka. It always tastes like… ever-so-slightly sour or unpleasantly stale old book pages to me, even though it doesn’t smell that way. Isn’t that weird? And in the tummy I always get this vague sense that I’ve poisoned myself, seriously which is such an odd but specific feeling to get every time I have naka but not other pu’s. It would be interesting to organize a blind tasting lol to see if this sensation can be reproduced.
I mean, I’ve never tasted old book pages. But I’ve been around enough old ass books that are nearly disintegrating and know what they smell like. Sometimes they smell great, but sometimes they smell sort of awful, and younger naka apparently for me just veers too closely to always tasting like bad-smelling old books, somehow without smelling the same. I know that will make no f-ing sense to most people, but every time I taste naka I’m like… oh… this again. Unhappy library. Unhappy tummy. Rummmmbles. Bye.
It’s okay, though. I’ve just mailed almost every last bit of naka I have to my mother to try. Maybe she will love it.
I really liked the maocha from earlier. Need to find out what it was.
So now we’re brewing these mystery stems. I’m a little scared. Not as scared as I was with the fu zhuan cha, but still. I also know better now than to brew 7 grams of mystery stuff. We are going with 4 grams.
Rinsed once. It came out red. Oh, didn’t pay attention and had thought these were older raw stems. But looks like shou. Smells like an old shou. Tastes like shou. Vanilla-y. Smooth. Mouth feels buzzy on first sip. Reminds me quite a bit of the clt shrooms.
This is nice, though I was obviously not prepared for a shou atm.
Getting kinda giddy on stem juice. STEM JUICE! lol they should serve this at STEM schools. omgomgomg. See? Whoa maybe I had too much tea today.
Okay this stem stuff is delightful. Heeheeheeheeheehee. Woody, too.
I would like a small cardboard box stuffed full of this stuff, please. It is yumzors.
dry leaf: faint sweet smell
wet leaf: steamed peas or beans
soup tastes hella crimson lotus-y. reminds me of some teas from their massive sample pack. pleasantly bitter. nutty. bean-y or lentil-y. vegetal. earthy. low key mouth tingles. i like it! it creates a bright happy energy.
music: trace – roary; forza – kollen; ross – model man
perfumes that could be affecting this session but prolly not cuz they’re faint:
juliette has a gun – not a perfume; ellis brooklyn – myth
To me this didn’t taste or smell like Yiwu. It could just be so muted that I can’t tell. Either way, I did not like it. No energy felt. No good taste. No good smell.
Oh, to be fair, I got lazy and used water that had been sitting in my Zoji for several hours. It was still hot but not quite at my usual steeping temperature. Will try again at some point with water just off boil.
No dry leaf smell. No noticeable flavors. Does have the emanating from the pit of your stomach sort of soft but forceful energy you’d expect from an 11yo tea. I didn’t like the afterfeelings of the first few steeps -was a little queasy – but now I’m into it. I was not having a very good day and now I feel zen. #teamagic
Couldn’t find any info on this at all but I’d buy more of whatever this is.
Dry leaf smells good through fresh smoke. Tastes basically the same as it smells – complex rugged fragrance wafting out past a thick haze of campfire smoke/smog. I just dragged 2012 impression because it tastes like ashtray water to me. But this mystery sheng delivers a heady sort of smokiness that is temporarily forgivable because the rough flavors of the base material are interesting enough. I think it would have been better to process the material to be smoke-free. But in colder weather with certain kinds of cheap greasy meals, this could be the sort of thing people (boys who want really badly to prove that they’re men) develop a taste for. I don’t care for it. I do feel transported to some foreign hut where there might be yaks tied up outside, though. I would never buy this, but it’s an interesting tea to try, for sure. It is like the sheng version of mezcal.
Made this as my Halloween tea in my Halloween mug because (1) Mordor is scary and (2) pu’erh is scary to me. So, it’s all sorts of festive.
After a couple sips, I will say this is alright. It doesn’t really taste like to pu’erh to me which is a big plus. However, it also doesn’t have much more than malt, which is bad. Maybe a bit leathery, which could be the combination of the two.
It’s fine but nothing special. Nevertheless, I am always happy to try something new so thank you Arby for sharing!
An interesting tea that I guess I haven’t logged before. I didn’t buy this one specifically, but received it in lieu of a different tea I’d ordered, that was out of stock.
Due to the size of rolled oolong balls, this tea is a bit of a different experience each time (especially when brewing by the cup), which is kind of neat. Today, it’s obviously leaning towards the creamy and floral green side of things, which is a refreshing change from what I’ve mostly been drinking lately. I believe I’ve had a few less-than-stellar cups, but it’s a bit of a fun idea. Perhaps something one could do with the remnants of sample baggies? Although these 7 oolongs may very well have been carefully selected to complement each other, in which case all one would end up with would be a muddled mess. Hard to say!
In other news, I have been absolutely wiped the past few days. I slept much of Saturday, and a decent portion Sunday, and I’m currently counting the seconds until I can put the baby down for his second nap, at which time I’m going to try and have a nap myself. (He probably won’t cooperate, though – whenever I am in need of a nap, he decides he doesn’t need one.) Not fun. I’m trying to work on eating somewhat better, but am not really restricting calories, just taking them to an appropriate level and trying to make more nutritious food choices, so you’d think if anything, I should be feeling better….
Browsing a new tea shop in my city and this little fella caught my eye. The first brew after rinse, has me topless and considering taking my pants off. I am literally sweating out of almost every pore in my upper body. I made it in my Puer Yixing (roughly 180ml size) 5.5g of tea and set the temperature (as usual for these Raw Puer’s at 90 degrees C). It’s refreshing, has a subtle molasses flavour and you can tell a decent quality raw puer (which this is) from their cheaper counter part by how smooth and balance that molasses flavour is. Really enjoying it, I have definitely been more “drunk” on other raw puer’s but I would definitely consider going back and buying a bigger cake of this when my Imperial raw Puer tea runs out.
Flavors: Anise, Metallic, Molasses
Picked this one up from Liquid Proust maybe a month or so ago!?
Brewed it up Gongfu last weekend, and had a very lovely experience with it. I think I was around steep twelve or thirteen when I realized I needed to be wrapping things up since I had prior plans, but it was a really nice and extended tea session.
Delicious from start to finish; deep roasted notes which exaggerated the nuttier elements of the tea, mineral notes, a subtle herbaceous quality in early on infusions, and a sweet raisin/prune note throughout!! Settled into something a little greener with higher/sharper fruit (raisin/apple skin) notes, but with the warmth and coziness of the roast…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ycmFjq0tKY
The last few steeps of this went better than my initial review. It’s still not one that I would want to buy again. It was a weird tea overall. I didn’t care for the edible silver – it didn’t add anything to the experience and the silver leaf got everywhere! The pine flavor mellow out some (or I got better adding less).
I didn’t get any of the white tea flavor from this. It was drowned out by the jasmine.
Apple, pine, jasmine, glitterfest = silver everywhere in the tea, stuck to my strainer, in the cup, etc…
I bumped my rating a little as it was a little better flavor blended in the following cups.
Flavors: Apple, Jasmine, Metallic, Pine
This tea is messy. Jasmine scented. Why do these apple pieces have silver stuff on them? and in the brew?!
jasmine, apple, pine, metallic
I really don’t like the pine taste. I don’t like the silver stuff. I don’t like this tea at this temp. Should I try this at a lower temp? Is it worth it? A miss for me.
Flavors: Apple, Jasmine, Metallic, Pine
Backlog 5/28. Sipdown
2min, 205F, western X3
pean, cocoa, vanilla, sweetness
2 min, 212F, western X3, overleafed
pecan, cocoa, rich, vanilla, malt
This tea goes on and on. Well balanced, but a lot of different flavors. I’m glad I picked some up while I could. Caramel pecans were a great snack too!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Pecan, Sweet, Vanilla
Man this site is jacked, can someone drop a comment that Liquid Proust Teas will be at the first Chicago Tea Festival → https://steepster.com/discuss/31512-new-tea-festival-chicago-nov-1-3-2019
I cannot comment on a thing.
No notes yet. Add one?
My 1000th reflection/post! Gah, that’s a lot of drinking and thinking, or not thinking. :)
Opened packet for the first time today.
The vanilla bean plays nicely against the roasted oolong, which looks to me like a really dark roast as the appearance is that of black charcoal nuggets which barely barely open throughout the early steeps.
Perhaps I should use boiling water rather than my usual slightly cooled boil approach.
Nonetheless, the vanilla becomes more prominent in later steeps, perhaps it needs softening for the taste to fully bloom.
With a roast this dark, I expected it to be harsh, but it is not, not at all.
Also, I miss Liquid Proust and his insights and his experiments and his kindnesses. I hope you are well, LP!
On the nose, spicy sweet notes are noticeable: horehound, sassafras, cola, and root beer. Dark molasses notes with hardwood and peanut shell rounding it off. In a preheated gaiwan, dry leaf emitted notes of ripe stewed plum, gummy fruitiness, and sweet hay.
On the palate, arrival is pinewood – soft, sweet woodiness with resinous notes. Body is relatively thick, but overall flavor is muted, developing hay, wood, and resin flavors. Gummy fruitiness starts to pop after sappy astringency arrives and dissipates. Aftertaste has nice plummy fruitiness. A little cocoa powder shows up well into the aftertaste.
A good experience; one that needs your full attention to appreciate.