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Recent Tasting Notes
captain’s backlog teadate 27-may-2020
via ashmanra. much thanks :)
A mellowing, very natural feeling tea. Aroma of bitter white florals that are very perfume-like and incense along the line of myrrh transfer into the mouth and meet with hay-dry grass and floral-incensey bitterness, hints of leather. Smooth and savory. As steeps progress, buttery caramel begins to appear in taste and mouthfeel. Light oats and unripe apricot also come out. Slight tangy and mineral finish with some mouthwatering precedes a short unripe apricot aftertaste. Huigan arrives late but isn’t shy, followed by menthol and camphor. I’m digging this one. I never felt like this tea fell off quickly and it changed ever so slightly with each infusion.
Flavors: Bitter, Butterscotch, Camphor, Caramel, Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Leather, Menthol, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Peach, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy
Yay, my first sheng pu’erh or young pu’erh. A beginner tea for a beginner. After “waking up” the very sleepy leaves with the recommended 3 steeps, I got a wonderful floral (jasmine, as described) aroma off of the cup. I then burned my lip trying to taste it too soon. All in the line of duty.
Flavors: Delicately sweet fresh green pea, soybean, jasmine, wildflower honey, caramel…
Taking a break to smell it again. Ack! Smells so good.
Ok, more flavors: Daisies, white grapes, hibiscus … I don’t even know. I’m making it up now based on things that are also this delicious.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Peas
Food pairing: chicken nuggets (kid wouldn’t finish hers)
I strained in a tea basket and it’s fun to watch the residue the thick, early steeps leave in the lid/coaster. It’s quite viscous and slides around leaving behind a LOT of color. This is a dark and long-lasting tea, almost opaque. Despite that the taste is gentle. I get the rice note and also a powdery storage note, as someone said, like dough. The sensation of the liquid is like honey or very good whiskey. I don’t get a lot of sweet smells but just the impression of sweetness from how smooth the liquor is. Maybe there is a slight scent of corn husk or something kind of vegetal-sweet like potato.
Continuing on my pu’erh journey with the rest of Sample Set A…
Flavors: Corn Husk, Creamy, Rice
this was a yummy black tea woven with golden leaves. the broth was both floral and fruity with rose and jam notes and a very honeyed taste, by that i don’t mean level of sweet but if you think of the flavor of honey, yeah that and cocoa very pleasant nose and many steeps. loved it. started at 45 second brewing, increased as time went on.
I finished this sample, I drank half of it and used the other to season a lower grade pot I got and since I think I Shengs will have to grown on me I’ll use that pot for them. I have fancy pot for my cooked Puerhs. Anyway for me this was bitter, tasted like creamy Hay with a cooling feeling. and a bit of funk. Not my ‘cup of tea’ but since so healthy I drank so many infusions I lost count, it does go on and on. I’l give the others in the order a try as well as ones from other vendors in my stash. Perhaps It will grow on me. I’m going to reccomend it anyway because this is just my taste, the tea was tolerable and others seem to like it. This was my Cherry breaking Sheng.
Note: this feedback is taken directly from the review on my tea blog.
The 2014 Mangnuo Tengtiao is a beautiful tea. And the leaves kept delivering delicious bowls of liquor. I used water that had been boiled then cooled. The first infusion was 30 seconds and I added 10 seconds for each subsequent steep. The color of the liquor progressed from a pale green to a deep yellow, even darker than the liquor pictured on the right, then gradually lightening to a pale yellow. And what of the flavors?
The first infusion yielded a light green color and a licorice finish. The second infusion dry like minerals and rocks and sweet like cassis. The liquor was noticeably darker at the third infusion. The flavors were more intense and raisin was a dominant flavor. I thought, “Boom!” after sipping the liquor from the fourth infusion. The astringency kicked in; there was a lot of fruit flavors including a bitter note like a grapefruit peel. The fifth infusion produced a dry liquor with apricot and stone fruit, raisin, and grapefruit flavors. The liquor smelled a temperate rainforest or a wet woodland. By the sixth infusion, the liquor had begun to lighten in color. The dominant notes became wood and raisin. I would definitely drink more of this pu-erh!
I received this free sample in my last Wymm tea order. I think of them as a puerh tea company, but I guess I should expand the definition to Yunnan tea company. This tea has obvious yunnan character: leafy with just a hint of chocolate. The try tea shows a fair number of golden buds. Good nose and finish.
I enjoyed the tea. There are no obvious flaws and it is interesting enough to hold my attention. It is above-average for a Dianhong, but I have other Dianhongs that I prefer, so probably won’t be buying.
I recently ordered a bunch of puerh wrappers from Wymm tea, and wound up spending more on add-ons than I did the wrappers. This sample was one of the add-on teas.
The dominant feature, at least for me today, is the strong cha qi. It makes it hard to focus on the tea, so my comments will be general rather than detailed. The tea is well-balanced with no obvious flaws. Taste is a straw/wood blend, with no off-flavors or bitterness. I have a fuzzy feeling at the tip of my tongue that suggests acidity, but otherwise not a significant amount of astringency or bitterness. If I had any complaint it would be that there isn’t much aroma. It’s more of a daily drinker than a special occasion tea, but it impressed me since most bricks aren’t this nice.
I had a second session about 3 weeks later in which I noticed an odd vegetable flavor in the second steep. Reminded me of a turnip. This only lasted one steep and otherwise I liked the tea pretty much as well, but I revised my rating downward slightly to account for this flavor. Also, the cha qi seemed a bit less strong that I said in my first review.
Another lovely sample from Wymm Tea. :) 6g in the 4oz gaiwan, 2 rinses with boiling water then steeping at 90deg, quick steeps (5-15sec). I really love the scent of the wet leaves of these past couple of shengs. I can’t really describe what it smells like, but I keep sticking my nose into my gaiwan after pouring to get another whiff of it. Clear light golden liquor, not much aroma to it. Wow, the mouthfeel of this tea is amazingly thick, almost syrupy. Intial steeps were very sweet, like honey-soaked apricots. Then later I started getting a sweet grassy flavour, like fresh hay. You can tell there’s a little bit of age on this, since the flavours are rounder and smoother, less of that bright zippy bitterness you see in the fresher shengs. Just a hint of that leather/old book note, and in later steeps a mineral flavour is really coming out. Nice aftertaste, with a lingering sweetness in the mouth and throat, and a slight drying sensation. I really like this one, the complexity of the flavour is quite lovely.
Finally trying some more of my Wymm Tea samples! 5g sample in my 4oz (ish) gaiwan, steeped at 90 deg – very fast steeps initially, then gradually adding some time. This was a very nice sheng, especially in the earlier steeps. The scent of the wet leaves was this amazing spicy tobacco-y freshness, and the flavour was quite complex, with a really prominent sweetness both in the back of the throat and on the lips. As I kept steeping, more of a grape skin bitterness and astringency came to the forefront. And then it eventually just ended up in bitter greens territory, which is when I lost interest. :)
With the most recent Minecraft update we got bunnies, oh so adorable hoppy fluff balls of happiness. I love them so much, though along with this addition we got a change to wolf mechanics, that change is they attack skeletons and bunnies, along with sheep from previously. I don’t care about the sheep, the skeletons being attacked is hilarious, but I hate how I am watching a bunny and a wolf comes out of nowhere and eats it. It just makes me so sad! I built a bunny sanctuary to keep at least some of them safe from the ravenous wolves, nature you so cruel sometimes.
Recently on Instagram WymmTea had a little giveaway for a sample of their new Tengtiao Dian Hong Black From Ancient Tea Tree tea, and I was selected as one of the winners. If you have even a passing familiarity with my tea rambling or my Instagram, you probably know I have a serious obsession with Dian Hong, I love Hong Cha in general but Dian Hong is like a drug to me. I just can’t help myself from guzzling it in enormous amounts. This specific Dian Hong comes from Mengku, and is made from the same Maocha that if processed differently, would be their Tengtiao Cane Sheng Puerh. The aroma of the pretty curly leaves has a lot going on, it is malty and sweet with notes of molasses and sweet potatoes, a touch of camphor, black pepper, distant rose, roasted acorn squash, and a finish of myrrh and peanuts. It has some very iconic notes of a Dian Hong, which I like, smells very classic to me with a few added bonuses, specifically in the myrrh and camphor.
I had enough for several steepings, and tried it both in my duanni yixing gaiwan and fancy new teapot, in typical me fashion I have already motored through my sample, because I chug Dian Hong like crazy. The aroma of the soggy leaves is quite rich, notes of cocoa and malt with honey and underlying squash and pepper with a slight resinous myrrh undertone. The liquid is malty and sweet, with cocoa and honey, roasted peanuts and yam, and a slight undertone of myrrh. It is not terribly nuanced but it does smell nice.
The first steep is mild and sweet, with a very light mouthfeel. It starts with sweet potatoes and roasted peanuts with undertones of honey and cocoa. At the finish there is a gentle rose nectar that lingers into the aftertaste, sadly the aftertaste does not last overly long. This is a very light first steeping.
Second steep, the aroma is very sweet and rich, strong notes of sweet potatoes and brown sugar with molasses and peanuts, kinda reminds me of baked sweet potatoes with extra honey, yum! Like the first steep this one is light and has an incredibly light mouthfeel, it seems to lack body. The taste is malty and sweet, with notes of molasses and sweet potatoes with an accompaniment of honey and pepper. At the finish there is a mineral note and an aftertaste of cocoa.
Third steeping, the aroma is still pretty sweet, with honey and sweet potatoes, nuttiness and molasses, again it makes me think of baked sweet potatoes (just without the marshmallows because no, just no) and to be honest I really want some of that now. The taste is still light and still sweet, with very little body. It has notes of sweet potatoes and roasted peanuts with gentle cocoa and black pepper. At the finish is a bit of rose that lingers. What this tea lacks in body it does make up for in staying power, it just does not quit. The other night I pushed it past ten steeps and even though it was light and did not really evolve much, it was happily chugging along, so I definitely give it that. I have mixed feelings overall on this tea, I liked the taste and the staying power, though I wish it had more of a thick mouthfeel and richer flavor. I tried upping the leaf amount and that made it way too astringent for my liking, and Grandpa/Bowl steeping it was a disaster, so it is a bit limited. To be a favorite Dian Hong it has to hold up to Grandpa/Bowl steeping so I can take it with me in my travel infuser.
The dry leaf for this one smelled intensely sweet. The main chunk of leaf was a murky tangle of dark green and brown, like camouflage. The rinsed leaf smelled creamy, sour, sweet and smoky — a combination of tobacco, prunes, and cheesecake that I found quite compelling.
The first and second steeps were similar in flavour and colour, with both being a pale gold. However, the second steep tasted more intense, with a smoky flavour that had a dry, sweet aftertaste similar to licorice. (That I kept on drinking this tea is amazing, because I absolutely hate licorice.)
The third steep was a rich golden colour and the brew smelled like tobacco. I liked this a lot, especially with the sweet aftertaste. The sweetness was dry and herbal, like stevia or dry wine, rather than being fruity, juicy, or honey-like.
The fourth, fifth and sixth steeps were similar: I got a deep golden brew, but the sweet flavour morphed to both metallic and fruity. I also noticed some nuttiness, like walnuts.
Where this tea really shines is in the mouthfeel, though. As I was drinking it, it felt like my mouth was full, like the tea was taking up more real estate than it had any right to. I could feel its warmth and lingering flavours inside my cheeks, on the sides of my tongue, and even on my hard palate. There was a roughness, too, to the tea in my mouth, like construction paper was sliding over my tongue.
The tea smoothed out by the sixth steep, but by then I had also started to notice a warm tickle at the back of my throat. I let the tea run its course over a few more steeps, but by then I was all tired and I could feel the liquid sloshing around in my belly. Not a bad way to end the evening!
The dry tea leaf looks dark and spindly with the occasional silver tip; its smell was fairly neutral — sort of an earthy forest floor note. After the rinse, the tea gave off a really strong funky, fermented smell, followed by a fruity finish.
I didn’t time the steeps too much, but I tried to keep them under 10 seconds. The first steep resulted in a pale gold liquor that tasted smooth and mild with no astringency. The flavour hadn’t woken up yet, but I could taste minerals and pale wood, like birch. What’s really cool is that after the first steep — and throughout the rest of the tea session — the leaves themselves smelled like sultana raisins. Raisins! Hell yeah.
The second steep resulted in a cup of tea that was deep gold edging into amber. The flavours were still very mild, but stronger than the first steep; I tasted metal, earth, wood, and autumn leaves. There was a little bit of astringency starting to peek through — on the back of my tongue I sensed a sharp aftertaste reminiscent of chewing on grapeskin.
The third steep was a deep goldenrod yellow. The wet leaf still smelled like raisins, and there was still a strong mineral/autumn leaf/wood note in the taste. However, I didn’t go much further beyond this point. I only did about 5-6 steeps in total because I was starting to get a headache.
This tea brewed up persistent dried fig flavors and a light acidity that grew into a tangy, relaxing soup with light buttery sweetness. The flavors were delicate all the way through the session, almost as delicate as the tiny unfurled leaves. I took the leaves to 14 steeps before they quickly dropped off but each brew before then had great quality.
Flavors: Butter, Fig
This huangpian began with a buttery steamed artichoke flavor and a both drying and cooling mouthfeel. Peppery notes started to develop and soon I had a mouth watering soup with the flavor dichotomy of a raw almond -peppery like the skin, bread flavors as in the meat of the nut. The big leaves kept giving cooling and complex flavors until I had to stop at 14 steeps. I’m very eager to get a hold of more!
Flavors: Almond, Pepper, Sweet
I’m finally breaking into the Wymm Tea samples I got a while back. :) I have to agree with everyone who has complimented the packaging – it’s just lovely. 6g in the gaiwan, one rinse with boiling water, and I think the first steep was boiling too, then 90 degrees after that. A whole bunch of roughly 10 second steeps, and now I’m up to about 20-25 seconds.
This is a lovely clean and fresh-tasting sheng. It causes a bit of tingling on my tongue, maybe a slight bitterness that’s more of a refreshing feeling than anything unpleasant, and then gradually a sweet aftertaste has been building up in the back of my throat. I’m having trouble identifying any specific flavour notes besides “delicious sheng” but I’d say there are definitely some grassy and maybe some fruity notes in there. I’m pretty sure I’m at least 8 steeps in and this is still definitely going strong. Yummmm.
What caught my attention first was this shengs beautiful dry leaf! My tightly compressed sample was a few pleasing shades of green and brown with beautiful white buds, looking slightly blue under the down. The dry leaves had the aroma of clover honey or very ripe apricots, transforming into steamed dark greens with sweetness after a few rinses.
The soup started off sweet, with a woody tobacco flavor mixing with grape seed and stem bitterness and a vegetal ‘collard greens’ aftertaste. The body started off heavy in the mouth with a dryness that gained momentum with each steep. The sweetness disappeared after four steeps leaving tart apple and stonefruit flavors that lasted for many steeps.
In the middle of the session the mix of sour, sweet and woody tobacco flavors reminded me of a local upland meadow coming to life after fall rains; the sweetness and tobacco from the woody twigs rehydrating, and the sour from the microbial rich soil coming back to life.
Flavors: Stonefruits, Tobacco
Receiving this tea with the Wynn Tea Sampler -D, it was one of the first shous I’ve had in a long while. Though shous are not my bread and butter I really enjoyed my experience with this offering, and it was great to change things up.
The rinsed leaf held the aromas of wet leather, and sour grain – not unlike a buckwheat pancake; sour, rich and malty. This pancake aroma carried into the brew many times during my sessions.
The body of the tea was round, slightly tannic, and silky smooth. The soup kept its smoothness until about the seventh steep, when my mouth began feeling slightly tacky.
The wood/forest flavors reminded me of the wet inner bark of a fallen Cottonwood tree – pleasingly sour and microbial. I also tasted sautéed mushrooms in butter, and wet oak heartwood in the later steeps.
This sample’s energy was very calming, a perfect tea before bed. I’m use to the heating aspect of a sheng, and was surprised by how cool I felt after my session.
For someone not used to shou, this tea was a real treat. I was impressed with its calming energy and how its aromas brought back memories of times in the forest and all its joys.
Flavors: Leather, Malt, Oak wood
reposting this under the correct tea sorry about that Wymm!
sooo thank you Wymm tea for this sample! Sadly my other half thought he was being nice when he cleaned up the kitchen along with two of my samples from wymm tea. Luckily i had at least had a couple steepings of them. So without having run through the full round of this one – i found it to be a really pleasant puerh. It had a really nice sweet smell to it and the overall feeling while drinking this was that it was light, refreshing, not vegetal…slightly sweet with a slight edge to it that i was really enjoying. thanks so much wymm!
I was a little disappointed in the Mangnuo Tengtiao so I decided to try this because it’s my last Wymm sample, I don’t feel that great today, and I wanted an enjoyable if not comforting sheng session. The verdict is that I saved the best for last! This sheng is definitely spicier and less sweet than the Mangnuo, but also more complex and (thankfully) less floral too. When I have to really think about a tea, and struggle to figure out what exactly it is I’m tasting – that for me is a sign I’ve got a good one. It’s lively, slightly sweet but also spicy/peppery, but not bitter. The energizing qi hit me right away whereas with the Mangnuo, there was none at all. The only downside to this tea really is that it doesn’t last very long (less than ten steeps) but otherwise it was enjoyable for me. As for whether or not I’d buy it again, I’m not sure. There is such a huge world of pu’er out there to discover, but I also have about another 20 grams of this to enjoy, so who knows?