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Recent Tasting Notes
Such interesting flavors going on with this tea! Definitely getting a steamed milk aroma that translates into an almost Samoa cookie experience. Not getting any of that in the flavor, though. Flavor-wise, I’m getting a bit of honey, some cinnamon, and an intense minerality. There is a fair amount of astringency that I could do without.
Flavors: Astringent, Cinnamon, Honey, Milk, Mineral
I finally cracked open my brick of this lovely sheng a few days ago, after several years of it sitting happy and tightly wrapped in my sheng-box.
The leaves smell really quite lovely and the brick is nice and easy to prize apart into good chunks for the pot. It has that lovely forest aroma that sheng puerhs usually do, with a slightly musty undertone.
The brew is absolutely delicious. It’s sweet and refreshing on the palette, with lovely notes of honey and marmalade. It steeps out well, producing a golden-brown/light orange tea. It never becomes too astringent or bitter but has enough body and character to make it an interesting brew.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Honey, Orange
This was received in a swap with Jennkay a while back, and for some reason I never added it to my cupboard. The sample wasn’t quite enough to make a flavourful cup, so I stretched it out as best I could and will be leaving it on my wishlist until I’m able to try enough of it to give a fair review. Though mild, toasty rice and hay notes are quite forwardly present, with a whisper of chocolate in the background, followed up by a prominent bean-like note which lingers on the palate after the sip. A pinch of sugar brings out the chocolate more, and the bean note seems to take over the sip. It’s a very comforting cup with an almost starchy presence even when significantly underleafed, and I imagine it would be a real treat when brewed using the recommended amount.
Thank you for sharing, Jenn! Sipdown, 223/400.
Brewed up about half of my remaining supply of this lovely black tea yesterday. My boyfriend and I shared the steeps and it remains as lovely as it always did. Lots of sweetness, smoke-tinged flavours, and lovely sweet, biscuity notes. It drank merrily for 2-3 steeps in my teapot before I had to take a break.
The rest is still sitting in my lovely little acorn teapot, so maybe I’ll try to steep it out this afternoon.
Sad sipdown. This is one I will be picking up in a larger amount once my cupboard is under control. It’s just as rich, malty and chocolatey as everyone says, but it’s also insanely smooth with a sour edge and a bean note that adds something a little different to it. There are hints of smoked caramel in the aftertaste, and the lingering impression it gives me is like somebody added cocoa to bread dough before they baked it, and now that bread is fresh out of the oven and you just took a big bite. This will one day be a staple single origin black in my cupboard, I think.
I bought a few different aged Tieguanyins from Verdant so that I could compare. It’s just been too hot for hot tea this week. Some truffles that I ordered arrived today, and I thought this would be a nice pairing. I never would’ve guessed it’s a TGY. Very charcoal forward, with some sandalwood and wet rock minerality. A bit sweet, and an incredibly silky mouthfeel. My favorite part about it was actually how soft and silky it felt as I sipped it. That silkiness was an interesting contrast to the predominant charcoal notes.
Yet another of my Spring 2020 clearance sipdowns!
This is a really lovely, quite special sheng puerh. I wish I’d bought a little cake of it, back in 2016 when I got the tea club delivery of it. The leafs smelled great, with those notes of forest floor and gentle floral undertones.
I brewed it up in my little flat Yixing pot and probably got through a good 8-10 infusions with it. The early steepings were rich in woody, herbal notes, with a clear honey-note that faded into a more muscular forest-floor flavour in the mid-steepings. As we carried on drinking, the honey note seemed to gently re-emerge and the tea continued to produce refreshing, slightly minerally, herbaceous cupfuls.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Herbaceous, Honey
Did a sipdown session with my last few nuggets a few days ago over a few games of Splendour. This remains a very smooth, easy-drinking puerh, with lovely notes of caramel and chocolate. It brewed out well over around 8-9 infusions (and, to be honest, probably could have carried on going), with those lovely warming camphor notes just started to creep in as we carried on drinking.
I always really enjoy the Dongsa Coops teas and this one has proven no exception. They’re lovely, refreshing, easy-drinkers that offer a well balanced flavour profile and a stimulating, satisfying drink.
Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Mineral
I did a session with this lovely old tea yesterday. I’ve had a sample from an old Verdant tea of the month club – possibly from 2015 or 2016? – but never got around to drinking it and figured that, as it was shu in a sealed packet, it would probably be fine to wait for a little while.
On the nose, the dry leaves are just wonderful. They gave me and my boyfriend a really strong hit of wet woodland or of the hold of an old, wooden ship – that sort of slightly dank, nostalgic smell of an old children’s adventure playground in a forest, or a tropical enclosure at a really good zoo. The pieces of leaf were quite large and flat.
I brewed the packet (5g) in my porcelain gaiwan. I preheated it and then left the leaves inside briefly to start opening them. I then rinsed the leaves at around 95C:
- the wet leaves smelled even more potently of the same kind of dark, humid woodland/enclosure. It was a surprisingly nostalgic smell; I just couldn’t shake the way it transported me back to (very fond) childhood memories of walking through the tropics house at Chester Zoo.
- the rinse was pretty mild on the palette, to be honest. I didn’t get much from it, but it also carried the smell of old wood.
Further infusions (at increasing increments from 5s up to around 30, all with 95-96C water) held much the same; the tea was surprisingly mild but the aroma was lovely and nostalgic.
I’m not sure what to make of it, overall; it was such a mild drink, despite the incredibly powerful aroma. I think I still enjoyed the overall experience but probably wished the liquor itself packed a little more of a punch.
Flavors: Rainforest, Wood
Is this actually a black? Or is it an herbal? I don’t remember.
Anyhow, it’s a nicely sweet sort of black tea – it’s the tea I confused with the Osmanthus Laoshan Black, until I came to my senses. It tastes nothing like LB, but does have a lot of floral qualities. It’s unusual, and I enjoy it.
I haven’t been drinking tea much over the last week. My 2 year old cat very unexpectedly went into the hospital, and in a matter of days passed. She hadn’t had any other medical issues, and suddenly lost her appetite and became lethargic. What I thought would be a pretty routine trip to the vet, revealed a mass in her abdomen. Exploratory surgery revealed one of her kidneys was completely destroyed, and had to be removed. Everyone thought she would recover, being only 2. However, her body slowly failed over the course of a few days. She was put on oxygen, we were called, and she passed within 15 minutes of us being there.
Everything seems pretty empty and sad. My cats are my world, especially my baby Remi. She was so happy, so loving.
Apologies for the personal tangent, I’m trying to get back into doing things I enjoy (like being on Steepster).
This tea was really satisfying. Really deep cherry notes, and some chocolate maltiness. I only got 3 steeps out of it, before it turned a bit more leathery than I wanted.