338 Tasting Notes


Ok, another from my YS monthly sub.

really thin perfect needles, not a single one unbroken, and really heavy on the scales! i always pick out a lot more than i think is right.

flavour wise, its like varnished wood, malty, strong, almost ‘brassy’ (?) if thats a thing. like a slight astringency going on, but that is balanced by the heavy strong malty note. A bit of tobacco & wine notes in there too. Classic Yunnan red/black, but a bit lively with it. Not as heavy as others ive had. but not sweet either.

Ive only been drinking it grandpa style as im out of town at the moment, but its been doing that nicely.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Red Wine, Tobacco, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I decided to try the premium YS monthly tea box; to get some variety in the teas which I drink it seemed a good choice. This was part of my first shipment. (although I subscribed at the end of the month, I might cancel and rejoin at the start of the month so i dont have to wait into the next month before i receive last months!)

It is very similar to my experience with DHP. Roasty, mineral tastes, slight floral thing, although to me a very ‘grey’ tea. Not saying thats bad, it just is what it is. ‘Iron Arhat’ is a good name for it. Very mineral. More rock than roast.

Definitely drinkable straightaway, roast was never overpowering. Really long pleasant mineral huiguan, quite sprightly on the tongue really!

This is a nice example of a good rocky Oolong that (for me) can be drank alternating with the more oily, woody or floral ones. I dont want that full on oily mouth all the time. Need to let it calm down a bit before the next explosion, right?

A nice solid drink. With this the mineral taste is forward and lingers for ages, and overall you can really taste its character. I liked it.

Flavors: Char, Mineral, Roasted, Wet Rocks

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Another sample (Thanks Sanne!)

Steeped leaves smell to me like bai hao/Dongfang meiren/OB (A favourite along with with various dan cong, so scores will be skewed in its favour, haha). Liquor smell similar, but with something darker running through it.

Obvious Cicada’s trademark has been left, that lovely thick ‘honey’ swish with ‘cinnamon’ aroma, wood & so subtle menthol something-or-other. But darker, more dark treacle than light honey? A slightly bitter/dry aftertaste, but oh so worth it for the initial complexity. subsequent steeps trail off. Next time I will try western style, as I sometimes prefer a big cup that changes. (I also like a big gulp with my eyes closed when the tea is complex like this)

A quick check on the website, and yes, wild tea, left to its own devices and harvested after Jacobiasca formosana has had their share. I had always thought ‘wild’ tea would somehow be inferior to other tea. Oh how wrong I was.

I must say there is a slight lip-chapping bitterness going on. But I did hit it with the recommended 100c, I think slightly off the boil and longer steep might do it for me.

this one gets a win.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Honey, Menthol, Molasses, Spices

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Jin Xuan by Sanne Tea
338 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea sent as a sample from Sanne. I dont usually go for anything too vegetal or green tasting. so here goes:

The aroma from the steeped leaves is a roast oolong smell but with a pungent veg coming through.
Initial steeps (50s,50s) are dark green cooked vegetables, but nicely done. nothing bad in there at all! and with a nice sweet aftertaste aromatic thing swirling round in my mouth. Its not bad, interesting as this wouldnt usually be the sort of tea I go for. The flavour thins out a bit as I went through the later steeps.

I like that Sanne have very clear brewing instructions on their packets. Makes for an enjoyable sample.

Again, not the sort of tea I usually go for but it was an enjoyable experience. Im guessing if you like vegetal teas, and darker green tasting ones appeal, this could be a nice one for you.

Flavors: Asparagus, Kale, Sweet, Vegetables

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Ive got insomnia. Its a lovely milk Oolong. Nom nom nom.

I suppose I should say something. its thick and milky. the fragrance from the bag is amazing & sweet, and the taste & aroma from the liquor is a lovely balance between the sweet milkiness & the calming vegetal. Hints of floral in there.

Really very nice. Drinking it grandpa style because im insomniac’d out, but was lovely gongfu as well. I cant remember for how many steeps though.

Flavors: Floral, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Well this is a weird one to me. The steeped leaves smell like puerh. Im guessing this is part of the age/storage/fermentation process. I dont know enough about Puerh to comment what type of storage or fermentation it is there, (to me its just a pu smell) but it is there. Not in a great deal, and adds a nice old character to the tea.

Its very mellow. Im not getting any plum yet, but its a pleasant flavour. light-medium thickness. There is a dry wood thing going on, and an aftertaste which is again dry and woody. The aroma from the leaves and liquor has a short sharp tail which is interesting. cant work it out, but never had that before. some chocolate.

As this was my first taste of this im still getting my head around aged oolong, and will score and add to this review when I have drank & understood more when the winter 2015 group buy gets underway.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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This tea is delightful!

I really like the balance of the sweet, floral and vegetal. When a tea strays too into that green/veg taste, or maybe too umami its generally not to my liking. This was balanced with a thick almost pearlescent petal taste & aroma that really tasted good to me. With perhaps just a hint of soft nuts over the top of it, culminating in a very beautiful experience.

Multiple steeps were rewarded well, and the (half of a) cake unfolded nicely as I progressed, It never veered into ‘too green’ territory, was always soft and lovely. slight creaminess.

Really very nice. The balance is extremely well done. If there was a tiny touch more nut it would be incredible, but the fact it was there in the first place made it extra enjoyable.

pearlescent pink & soft green loveliness.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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Tried this on LP’s recommendation, and yep, its a nice sweet tea. less of the malt and more of something a bit like raisins. reminded me of an alcoholic drink. I cant remember which, but one of them.

smooth, sweet, perhaps not as much like a warm blanket as, say, a yunnan gold, but clearer & more spritely, while also being relaxing. I tried overbrewing it and it took it well , where other golds would become bitter or over-malty. Goes down very easy. I could chug on it all day.

Amber goodness. Simple but effective!

Flavors: Malt, Raisins, Sweet

Liquid Proust

Only 15kg total… I need me 500g


I’ve also got a what-cha linking wild arbor assamica from 200km north of yi wu, it’s very similar. I’ll review them head to head for some comparison next.


Lincang* damn spellchecker

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Artist, electronic musician, photographer, asian food, vinyasa yoga, chemistry, biology, physics, spirituality, mind expansion, scifi, Comics, Books, computers, tea.

Basically loads of Fenghuang, jade oolong & sheng puerh.

90+ is godly

80-90 is something i would buy again.

60-80 ok, but probably more bland or basic in their flavour.

0-60 something tastes wrong with this one.

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Black Dragon st, UK.



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