107 Tasting Notes
It’s not too often that I get teadrunk off of an oolong, but 47 Instagram photos later, here I am. The first time I had this tea, I used 4g in a 100ml gaiwan (actually, the 100ml gaiwan that Joseph Wesley so generously gave away, which was to me :-) and it was just ok. Both Cwyn and Boychik have both recommended not to skimp on the leaf, and they were right. So this time I crammed about 7g into my tiny little 100ml yancha pot, which was as much as it would hold, and used boiling water and short steeps. The result is a tea that is nothing short of fantastic. Sweet, roasty, nutty goodness, with a lovely mineral aftertaste and lingering mouthfeel. My only regret is that I bought only 25g.
From LP’s Aged Oolong group buy. Used all 5.5 (give or take) grams in my new Taiwan Tea Crafts stubby pear pot. I must agree with what others have said about this tea, particularly one reviewer’s observation that this is reminiscent of the DHP brick from White2Tea (I think it was the Sept. club). It’s interesting to compare this to an inexpensive aged 2008 DHP brick I got from a vendor on Aliexpress; this tea is much more subtle, gentle, refined even. Lovely mineral/wet rock sweetness, well roasted and I would guess the aging has smoothed over the sharp edges. The Aliexpress tea is decent, but much more harsh and can get bitter when pushed. One of these days I’m going to try Bana Tea’s DHP brick and see how it compares to these. Overall, a very enjoyable DHP.
So first I tried some of the Lapsang Souchong that was generously provided by Joseph Wesley Teas, with the lovely porcelain gaiwan that I won. I’m not going to review it, because it wouldn’t be fair. This is the second Lapsang I’ve tried and I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply hate this kind of tea. It will need to be rehomed.
Anyway, I moved onto my old weekend winter standby, shupu:
From the Puerh TTB:
Liquid Proust’s “Puerh Frisbee.” What is it? Some kind of ripe. Beyond that, I have no idea. It was really good though. It needs about three good rinses to be rid of the pile/dirt flavor and aroma , but afterward the brew is deep, rich, smooth, sweet red, like wine grape skins, with minimal fermentation flavor. Got about ten nice steeps out of this before it quit. Very enjoyable. I’d recommend it if I knew what it was!
First tea (for me) from the aged oolong group buy. 4.5g in my 100ml gaiwan. Predominant flavor and aroma is roasted corn. The tea has a very nice mineral finish and pleasant aftertaste. First three steeps of 30 secs; 3rd was a little weak so bumped it up to 1 minute for the fourth steep but the roast was so heavy that I went back to 30 seconds for the next couple of steeps.
The first two steeps were the best, after that it’s a little disappointing for me. The roast really overshadows whatever else might be going on with this tea. I absolutely LOVE a roasted oolong, but I’m missing the fruity/plumy sweetness I normally associate with the good ones. Glad I tried this one because I had been curious about it, but I will probably not purchase more.
I’m going to do a longer and more well thought-out review another time, but I just wanted to pop in to say how much I am enjoying this shu. It’s so different from others I’ve had. It’s sweet, thick, and rich, but there’s a note of pepper that hits the back of the throat much in the way a good olive oil does, and I just love it. I guess that’s a Bulang? There’s also a nice energizing buzz (qi or just caffeine, I don’t know which, maybe both). Anyway, I will probably end up ordering a lot more of this – I can see the 25g sample going quick!
It’s a chilly day here in NC. Well, it’s under 65, so to me that’s chilly. Anyway, I was finishing up some Naka sheng from last night and not really feeling it, so I switched to ripe. I finally decided to break out the 2006 Gongting Shu cake from the October White2Tea club. It’s been airing out for a little over a month in the pumidor (aka “cabinet with all my tea.”) 5g in my 100ml gaiwan. Despite the cake being extremely compressed, I had no problem breaking it up with my pu needle. I could see where a more blunt ended pick or knife might be a problem, but my needle is flippin sharp because it isn’t actually a pu knife but a very mean looking pick I got for under $10 from a hardware store. I have a whole set actually, different angles and such. But the straight one works like a charm. And yes, I have stabbed myself with it and made a blood offering to the pu gods (not on purpose).
Back to the shu. I did not find this shu to be fishy or fermenty or gross in any way. I find it quite tasty actually. Now, I do have to admit that my palate might be weird where it comes to shu; other reviewers have not liked this one and my wife exclaimed “what the hell is that you’re drinking, it smells awful” when she walked near me. So, maybe it’s just me but I think this tea is very nice. Dark, rich, thick red/brown soup coats the tongue and throat. Earth, loam, peat, wet forest. It has a pleasant sourness reminiscent of Delirium Nocturnum, which is one of my favorite Belgian ales.
If you can make it past caffeine tsunami into later steeps, the sourness of the tea calms down a bit, and the flavor becomes mellow and smooth, with a touch of sweetness and yeast bread. But the caffeine… crikey I don’t know if I’m going to pass out or run a couple of miles and then pass out. 2Dog should consider renaming this tea to “Caffeinated as #$&%.”
First review, yay! I was going to go with a familiar ripe b/c something warm and comforting seemed in order after two days in a row at the dentist. But then I changed my mind and went with this tea because I’ve been curious about Huang Pian for awhile and it smelled really good. Wet leaf aroma is sweet fruity grassy spinach & hay. The liquor is a pale yellow; the flavor is wonderfully light and sweet, with a pleasantly light kuwei (I learned that term from Grill, thanks Grill!). It’s floral but not obnoxiously so. After several steeps I’m not feeling much in the way of qi. My sense is that this is a lovely tea for a summer day… too bad it’s November, lol. This is also a lovely tea for the commitment phobic, because after 7 or 8 steeps it’s pretty flower water/done. There is some magic in those first few steeps though. And I think when I have this tea again, I’ll up my leaf to water ratio a bit from 4.5g/100ml and see what happens.
Earlier today I spent two hours in a dentist chair enduring the replacement of four fillings and a new crown. The numbness encompassing the right side of my head has worn off, and the 600mg of Motrin might as well have been a handful of Skittles. Two hours in that chair I sat, listening to the drill, feeling my head rattle, smelling the smoke, and straining to keep my jaw open for way more time than the human jaw is meant to stay open. Not unlike Patrick “The Hooligan” Holohan after an epic beatdown, my mind was set on one thing and one thing only:
Now that I can finally drink without dribbling the contents of my cup down my chin, I have chosen to enjoy an inaugural steep of White2Tea’s 2005 Naka. I know that because of the issues going on with my mouth that I’ll have to drink this tea again to get a true sense of it, but because I’m still feeling that post dental appointment crappiness, I suspect this tea will hit the spot once I get going.
Tobacco is the predominant aroma I’m getting from the wet leaf. It’s incredibly smooth and not what I consider to be bitter, but I am getting a fair amount of mouth puckering astringency. Lots of pipe tobacco in the flavor too. I bet a pipe smoker would love this tea.
By the third steep I am starting to feel funny. Like my head is floating above my body like a balloon. I’m over ten steeps now I think (once again I suck at keeping track of that). I feel pretty warm and mellow at this point. Like I’m wrapped in a fleece blanket. All I need are those little hotdogs, like maybe 25 or 30 of them. No no no no no. Not hotdogs. I’m going to have stop this review right now and head out to the Dank Burrito for some pork belly tacos. Later!
Lately I’ve been on an aged sheng kick, drinking several aged sheng from YQH and some from Chawangshop. So while I’ve tried several different kinds, other than how a tea actually looks, it always seemed to me that the difference between aged sheng and shu was a chasm in terms of aroma and flavor. Until now. This is the first aged sheng I’ve tried that really seems very much like a shu to me. It certainly bridges the gap between sheng and shu in a way that no other aged sheng I’ve tried has done. I’ve only been at this pu thing for about seven months, and while I’ve drunk a whole lot of tea in that time, I’m probably still a newb. And if you’d have served me this tea and told me it was a shu, I’d have believed you. The aroma is something I can only describe as storage and maybe a little bit of dirt. The flavor is much better than the aroma though; it’s smooth and pleasant enough I suppose, but the effect is incredibly drying. Have you ever gotten thirsty drinking tea? Yeah, me neither… until now. Anyway, I am glad I tried this tea, I had been curious about it for awhile. But I’ll take a pass on ordering a cake.