143 Tasting Notes
Not bad, this one. Quite powerful from the 2nd steep onward. Dry leaf has a scent of caramelized sugarcane and grass. The brewed leaves are largely intact. Nice aroma of ripe plums, tropical flowers, brewed mint tea, nutmeg, and sweet steamed Chinese greens.
The tea brews a deep golden hue and with good clarity and viscosity. This is strong tea that can hold its own. I was drinking in the presence of my loud family, but the cha qi was what won my attention! Nice cooling effects going on here, too. There’s a good earthy-bitter base here, with notes of sweet grass, canned pineapple, dark fruits, gasoline, brown sugar, spicy arugula, green apple, forest moss, and minerals. Huigan is nice and the aftertaste lasts for while after drinking, especially in the throat.
I’ve noticed a certain metallic aspect in some of W2T’s young sheng about which I am undecided. It’s definitely present here, but for now the awesomeness of the Colbert’s cha qi makes up for it.
This is potent, viscous, sweet, and spicy, with underlying bitterness. Nice light compression on the leaves, as all of Scott’s recent cakes. The steeped leaves have a nice sweet fragrance of grain and honeysuckle. The tea soup has a deep golden hue—borderline orange, something I hear is typical of Jinggu. It’s possible I added more leaf than usual, but I still don’t get that color using similar brewing parameters with other new young sheng.
It steeps consistently musky sweet roasted grains, spicy rosemary, savory mushroom, and roasted zucchini. I noticed over several sessions the nice cedar base in this tea. Very nice qi in there too that is evident from the first steep. These leaves are reportedly from tea trees plucked only twice a year, which I think explains the impressive viscosity and potency of this tea. I’ve had most of Scott’s Jinggu teas and this seems like a cousin of the Bai Ni Shui, but more potency and sweet grain notes.
Compared to the Da Wu Ye I’ve had from ESGreen, this one is a lot more subtle and thick and possesses less upfront gardenia and candy sweetness. Instead what I get is sweet roasted barley, honeysuckle, and a more up front mineral base. It’s more throaty and active in the mouth too. In fact, I find it to be quite similar to YS’s Bai Ye from the same year. I actually enjoyed this more during the 4th and 5th steeps which I found were more vibrant and active in the mouth. It can go for at least 7 steeps before petering out.
Edit: YS’s 2015 Bai Ye Dan Cong from Ling Tou Village wins. Just needed to add more leaf the second time.
The change in seasons really allows me to appreciate how the comforting, roasted, and mineral elements of Wuyi teas contrast with the often floral/honey-sweet, powerful, bitter, earthy, and vegetal aspects of sheng pu I typically drink.
The first thing I notice about this one is its sheer viscosity and smooth texture. It coasts the cup and the tongue like extra virgin olive oil. Beginning from the first few steeps, it’s complex in an unassuming way—roasted acorn and almond are accompanied with florals in the background and a nice mouthfeel. Mid steeps give way to more roasted almond, hazelnut and acorn, orange peel, bay leaf, leather, brown sugar, and molasses with persistent lingering florals.
There is less qi, mouthfeel, vibrancy throatiness, and floral sweetness than the Ai Jiao and Tie Luo Han—so far my favorite Wuyis, yet more comforting roasted nutty notes which is perfectly suited for the seasons here in the Northeast. This one yields around 7 tasty steeps and perhaps one or two more if pushed hard.
I grabbed a bag for the price per gram and, admittedly, because the name suggests that it came from un-managed tea bushes on some mountain. It’s better than I expected. I could tell this would be good once I opened the bag and inspected the long, black tendrils of tea leaves that exuded a lovely scent of dark chocolate and pine forest after the rain. The brew has a nice viscosity and orange hue. Lots of sweet citrus with hints of roasted pine wood in the aroma and flavor. One of my favorite aspects of heicha is how good it feels going down. I’m excited to see this age.
This is my first session with Tie Luo Han Wuyi.I started the session yesterday and am finishing the remaining steeps this morning. Perfect companion on an autumn morning. Dried leaves have a refreshing, layed roasted scent. Wet leaves reveal a combination of subtle aromas—roasted sweet grain, Sumatra coffee grounds, wild blueberry and leather. The tea soup is a deep orange and very clear.
Flavors mirror the aroma with perhaps more molasses and mineral sweetness. What makes this tea a treat is its fullness in the mouth and throat—it’s very throaty! The sweet mineral aftertaste lasts for a while.
It’s quite complex to say the least, almost seductive. YS description says the leaves are lightly processed, but I’m seeing very dark roasted leaves in my gaiwan even after the 9th steep. I’m storing this tea in a yixing jar I brought back with me from Ma Lian Dao in Beijing (China’s Disney Land for tea lovers).
I am so enamored with the aroma on this. When I first opened it I was met with prominent notes of dark chocolate and hints of charcoal, but now it’s dark chocolate with black cherry!
True to its description, it looks and tastes like a complex wuyi, only that its storage and aging methods are much more straight forward. There is good body and mouthfeel here. It has a crisp and refreshing texture that is thirst quenching. Lots of dark fruity notes (plums, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries) dominate this one with cherrywood, dark chocolate, and high-end coffee grounds in the background.
It’s a no-brainer to brew, as well. Steeps are pretty consistent and peter out at 9 or 10 (maybe more) if the initial infusions are flash steeps and the last go over 2 mins. I just ordered 100 grams more, but now regret I didn’t the 250g bag. Unfortunately, I don’t have budget for an entire basket. :(
I’m a bit late getting into wuyis. It’s taken time to appreciate their subtleties, but YS sales made it easier for me economically to take advantage of their decent selection. This is the 3rd wuyi I’ve tried so far and I like it much.
The dried leaves have a deep, slightly sweetened mineral/autumn leaf and charcoal roast aroma. Their curly shapes remind me of crispy bacon strips. The tea liquor is a lovely Halloween-y orange (I don’t even like this holiday, but it’s always fun to be festive).
Among the first things I noticed were that the roasted flavors were beginning to wain and its subtleties were coming to the fore. There were pleasant notes of cherrywood, dried mint (the kind you get from celestial seasonings’ mint teas), classic wuyi mineral sweetness, caramelized brown sugar, and some dried fruit in the background which became more prominent on the 3rd and 4th steeps. Vibrations of the tea soup spread throughout my mouth and lingered for some time. I’m a happy man this morning.
I pushed the later steeps for 45 seconds to 1.5 mins each revealing more notes of brown sugar and mineral sweetness. These later steeps were felt particularly in the throat. It went for about 8 tasty steeps, but could have gone more had flash steeped the first 3. The cha qi is powerful and is causing a bit of a buzz.
I had the pleasure of trying this tea with JC this afternoon, along with several others. The leaves were a nice olive green and had those typical fresh sheng pu notes of fresh sweet grass, light floral, and something almost metallic. Early steeps had a soft texture, but revealed pleasant bittersweet grass and floral notes with some stone fruit and nice cooling effects between each sip. This tea is thick and has good cha qi, both of which along with kuwei and mouthfeel increase with each steep.
This is powerful stuff. Definitely not for someone with a gentle stomach. I am happy I tried this tea, but like many new shengs I think it needs time to settle into its own. Right now, it’s a very typical Mengku tea and not super outstanding yet. I can see its fruiter and cooling aspects shining through after a year or so. Definitely worth getting a sample of before the price goes up.
I’ve had a hard time gauging the Wu Liang region. I’ve enjoyed several of YS’s Wu Liang green teas, but found Scott’s 2013 and 2014 Wu Liangs sheng pu’ercha to be too candy sweet for me to enjoy these teas’ other attributes. This year, I gave the region another chance, and I was pleasantly rewarded with something special.
This is one of the most elegant and unique sheng pu’ercha I’ve had yet. The dried leaves are of the primordial middle-small leaf varietal from that region and they have a sweet grass and orchid-like sent which is greatly amplified and accompanied by sweet butter after the first rinse.
To get a better sense of the tea I drink the rinse. The tea soup is so clear and pure tasting, my eyes get wider in anticipation for the awesomeness that is about to unfold. My initial thoughts were “pleasant old tree green tea”, but that changed once the tea revealed a thick viscosity, luxurious mouthfeel, powerful qi, and complex notes of chardonnay white grape skins, sandalwood, tobacco, dandelion greens, wild orchids, and sweet butter.
There’s great mouth activity and vibrations that extends to the throat. It’s a very pure, concentrated, and vibrant tea that should gain complexity with time—-and I think the best value per dollar among all of Scott’s 2016 line.