649 Tasting Notes
Spring 2018 harvest
This tea feels like summer in this region of California, maybe an hour north at a friend’s place in Hopland where it’s hotter and drier. Early afternoon, sitting in the shade of a large, gnarled oak, looking out from the mountainside, the remnants of a recent grass fire on the mountain opposite, sun-scorched fragrant wood and crunchy oak leaves lying in the dry grasses at my feet.
A full, slick body with light honeyed pear sweetness carried on the breeze. Almost floral with hints of citrus blossoms. Hops and grapefruit zest, mineral water, hints of muscatel and woody almonds from the vineyards and plantations in the valley below. Aftertaste is smokey-savory, at first paired with florals that later turn fruity. Kind of like grilled pork with a blackened peach glaze.
The tea is a bit drying but leaves a thick, oily coating on the tongue. Pleasant menthol cooling in mouth and chest. Spicy in a woody way. Clean and cleansing. It’s a beautiful tea.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Citrus Zest, Dry Grass, Grapefruit, Grilled Food, Herbs, Honey, Hops, Meat, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Pear, Smoke, Spicy, Tannin, Thick, Wood
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. Rather elusive qualities, in a good way.
Flavors: Bitter, Butterscotch, Camphor, Caramel, Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Leather, Menthol, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Peach, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy
captain’s backlog teadate 26-may-2020
dry leaf smells like strawberries and chocolate with an undertone of apricot
warm leaf has a deep fruitiness like overripe strawberries mixed with syruped apricots
rinse is the same with the addition of forest floor
the tea is difficult to describe beyond being smooth, mellow and bitter. alkaline with a light sweetness and a light fruity finish.
third infusion: MEL-LOW. light menthol in chest
fourth infusion: properly zoned out
Smooth and settled but obviously not in an aged way, maybe a bit muted, deceptively heavy, savory and alkaline. Moderate young bitterness and mild green astringency are there, increasing with each steep after maybe the fifth. Didn’t brew this one out due to the combination of total relaxation and growing astringency.
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I’ll be coming back to this cake very soon.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Chocolate, Forest Floor, Fruity, Heavy, Menthol, Smooth, Strawberry
captain’s backlog teadate 25-may-2020
i was spotted in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest by my friend
but it wasn’t me
i was drinking tea the first night at work father’s house
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[7g, 110mL clay pot, boilingish]
Super floral wet leaf! The tea has that wild profile with a clear bitterleaf-hay base accented by light woodsy, musky and grape-berry fruity flavors. Turns sour later. Light, buttery mouthfeel early. Good thing I’m drinking right after dinner. The heavy alakalinity hit my body hard. It took a while but that chest-thumping energy finally hit. Not finding it to be heady at all.
Like some other Chinese wild teas I’ve tried, I’m not finding this favorable in terms of body effects. I’m hoping to one day find one that works for me.
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tonight i had a modest 4g in a 60mL gaiwan while cooking fajitas
i recently finished off a bag of Whispering Pines’ The Ranger, a blend of yesheng hongcha (wild tree black tea) and lapsang souchong. what a bangin’ tea. it got me super pumped to drink through the variety of yesheng puerh in my collection, which is what i’ve been doing this past week. i’m awake and feelin’ just fine. Slumbering Dragon and other yesheng are very kind to my sensitive nature when i listen.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Blueberry, Cream, Floral, Forest Floor, Hay, Herbaceous, Lychee, Mineral, Muscatel, Tart, Vegetal, Wood
Breaking into a Simao tuocha raw from Tea Urchin, Spring 2003. The paper has printing and branding but I can’t read it. Received as a freebie when I bought some cakes last year. Haven’t seen it for sale on their site.
The first several cups have been all creamy fluff and whispers and silk. The tea just disappears. Instant mouthfeel association with the 2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian from Crimson Lotus. Mellow, aged tonal taste with nuttiness, leather?, apricot with herbs and perfume. A big punch of bitterness disappears quickly after the swallow. Kind of a milky honey huigan. Woody incense smoke and rose perfume aftertaste. Warming before a light minty cooling appears later. Small healthy leaf, lots of buds, more brown than green.
Good freebie, I’m very appreciative :)
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Citrus, Forest Floor, Herbs, Honey, Hot hay, Leather, Milk, Mint, Nutty, Perfume, Raisins, Rose, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
Leave it to tea-sipper to both perplex me and brighten my day :)
First cup gone. Steep second for 5 minutes or so. After I pull the basket strainer from the cup, little oil blobs rise to the surface of the tea, burst and spread into iridescent splotches. When I take a sip, they disappear obviously into my mouth. Set the cup down, the blobs rise again. bloop.
By the way, this is stuff is really quite nice. Prettiest blend I’ve ever seen. Soft and flowery taste. It’s almost like a glazed lemon loaf. Probably the only Butiki tea I will ever get to try.
Flavors: Almond, Cake, Floral, Frosting, Hot hay, Lemongrass
Squeaky clean tea! The floral and vegetal flavors are in great balance with the overall profile leaning toward bright citrusy tones, sugarcane sweetness, alpine air and cooling fir/pine. Balanced body, minerality and astringency, some returning sweetness. In each session, I’ve brewed the leaf with longer steep times, something like 30/20/20/25/30/45/60/etc and it doesn’t want to give up. The tea is consistent; it isn’t highly complex nor does it have a lasting aftertaste but it does shine in its balance and longevity.
Flavors: Butter, Citrusy, Cookie, Fir, Floral, Flowers, Garden Peas, Gardenias, Grass Seed, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mineral, Peach, Pine, Plant Stems, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vanilla
This blend of wild purple black tea and lapsang souchong has a character that is deliberate —purposefully rustic yet refined. It reminds me of a gentleman from a world forgotten sitting in leather saddle in command of his horse. The lapsang souchong pulls the reigns on the wild purple black tea’s unrestrained energy and guides it into a respectable trot. There is a full flavor and body in the sip followed by cleansing tannins on the swallow but it seemingly cannot be oversteeped. Intriguing, buoyant mix of flavors with campfire, jerky, leather, wildberries and muscatel, dry grass, cocoa/cocoa butter and lemon-citrus. There’s certainly a lot I’m missing, like once I think I have a grasp on a certain flavor, it gets pulled back into the fold. The smokiness is moderate. It feels like that found in wild teas, rather than a heavily smoked lapsang souchong. The aftertaste lingers and I think that is where my imagination begins to unfold.
I like when a tea can both prod at my mind’s eye and be a functional, energetic brew.
Flavors: Berries, Campfire, Camphor, Citrus, Cocoa, Dry Grass, Leather, Lemon, Meat, Mineral, Muscatel, Nectar, Oak wood, Rose, Tannin
Somebody got her work father drinking Sleepytime every night.
This stuff is great when fresh. It’s predominantly spearmint and lemongrass, two ingredients I don’t care for in combination but when combined with linden, chamomile , rose and orange blossom, creates a soothing balance. There is a modest spearmint and blackberry leaf sweetness if the bag is taken out in a timely fashion. Otherwise the lemongrass dominates and a drying quality develops when the bag is left in the mug until last sip.
Lazy, so copying my post from the pu-erh of the day thread, with a few modifications.
Still early into it (ended up not brewing it out). I can’t smell anything right now, so no idea about aroma. Full sweet flavor and body, oily, cooling in throat, brassy metallic, plenty of green bitterness like dandelion greens, some astringency and huigan, Not picking up an aftertaste. It reminds me of the 2018 Flapjacks raw mixed with a drop of strawberry preserves. Fairly smooth, eye-opening caffeination.
I’ve never tried to purchase this cake since I don’t tend to hop on hype sales. From what I know, this goes for a low price and it’s probably worth it for those that like an initial hit of syrupy sweentness with subsequent bitter brews. So thanks, Togo, for providing me the opportunity to try one of the Snoozefest pressings :)
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Dandelion, Flowers, Grass, Green Beans, Herbs, Honey, Jam, Metallic, Mushrooms, Nutty, Pancake Syrup, Stonefruits, Strawberry, Sweet