107 Tasting Notes
Another reviewer said that this is the much better version of that not so great teabag tea you grew up drinking, and that is spot on. This is a very smooth black tea. It’s sweet, malty, not overly tanniny, and generally a pleasant way to start a morning if you’re just looking for a caffeine boost from plain black tea that isn’t trying to be anything other than that.
Purchased as part of an “Intro to Pu’er” set, along with one other sheng and one other shou. This is the first one I am trying. About 7g of tea, boiling water, two rinses, starting with 5 to 10 second steeps. Interesting. Reminds me a lot of the shou I had last night (2002 Gu Fo Aged), maybe not as sweet though. It’s really dark, definitely the darkest sheng I’ve ever seen. Grassy, but also a bit peppery in the back of the throat. Interesting, I’m about 9 or 10, or maybe 100 steeps in, and my mouth is getting reaaaally dry. So bizarre. It’s like drinking grass, and then suddenly hey, I taste hay. HEY! Is this what tea drunk is? The brew is so, so pretty. Hay, I bet I will not be sleeping tonight. Changtai: 1, Curly: 0. BOOM.
My first shou, after trying about 9 or 10 shengs and not being overly thrilled. 6g of tea, boiling water, gongfu. Two short rinses, ten second steeps to start. Grassy notes, but there’s more, and here’s where I suck at pulling out aromas and flavors but suffice it to say, it’s more complex than expected. And wow, so much more pleasant than some pu’ers I’ve had lately that just tasted of lawn cuttings to my unsophisticated little palate. Considering how dark this brew is, the mild and somewhat sweet flavor is something of a surprise. This is really a very pleasant brew, which makes me wonder if perhaps shou is more my thing. I have a few more to try and then I guess I’ll know!
EDIT: I drank this tea again last night (7/7/15), and I am addicted. This will probably be the first whole pu’er brick I purchase, as soon as YS has a sale.
190, 1 tsp, gongfu. 30 second rinse followed by 30 second steeps. As far as greener oolongs go, it reminds me a lot of Jin Xuan, more so than Golden Turtle, which was extremely floral. This tea is floral but not overpoweringly so, with a delicate fruitiness and buttery mouth feel. I lost count how many infusions I’ve done, but you can really steep the hell out of this tea. I like it.
4g, 200 degrees, gongfu, two short rinses, ten second steeps. I smell the tobacco aroma like I do with most shengs, but there’s something else there too. Definitely a fruity sweetness. OMG… this is the first sheng I’ve tried that I actually like. It’s mild, sweet, fruity… I get no grass, no seaweed, no tobacco. It’s bright and crisp.
The dry leaves do smell of cocoa. I got this in a mystery box from Oolong Owl, there were six balls that weighed 4g, so I put them all in my little cast iron pot with about 9oz of just about boiling water and let them steep for four minutes. Wet leaves still smell of cocoa. The brew is very dark, like coffee. The taste is hard to define, but it’s nice. I expected a bitter brew, but it wasn’t bitter at all. The flavor has the faintest bit of cocoa to it, and malt. I am terrible at finding flavors in tea, so all I can say is that this is a nice, smooth cup of black tea that I like and I would consider purchasing in the future. This could definitely go into my morning rotation.
EDIT: Just for the heck of it, I decided to give the leaves another go, and steeped again for about five minutes. The second brew was just as dark and fragrant as the first, but the flavor was what I imagine bongwater tastes like. So I’m not going to do that again.
Got this as a 10g sample from What-Cha. This is the first pu’er I’ve ever tried that didn’t smell like tobacco and/or seaweed. It smells like wet grass. Just shy of 5g of tea, gongfu, 200 degrees, two short rinses. First steep 10 seconds. Deep amber liquor. Aroma is moving beyond wet grass into something else. Hay maybe. I taste grass, hay, kale, greens, and pepper. Well, at least I can now say I tried a pu’er that didn’t taste like cigars!
So I am brewing this tea in less than optimal conditions, at work, with hot water provided by my Keurig (192 degrees I think) and steeped grandpa for 3 minutes. The dry leaf smells of cocoa, which is quite pleasant. The liquor has a lovely amber color and the cocoa aroma is still there. After 3 minutes the flavor is weak, so I’m turning over my hourglass brewer for another 90 seconds. Much better. Very robust, sweet, smooth, chocolatey, and not a hint of bitterness. Lovely! Will have to try this gongfu style and see what the tea reveals.