317 Tasting Notes

82

A black tea cake made by Xiaguan? I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

Comes in a nice box, cool wrapper, good looking leaves.

In the cup it’s a good quality, strong, pretty “standard” example of a Yunnan black tea with malt, cocoa, and sweet potato notes with a hint of Xiaguan smokiness. Nothing super special, but it’s a solid, affordable daily drinker black, especially for those who like a bold brew in the morning.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
Sqt

I have had my eye on this for a while. Good to see someone try it. I’m generally not a big fan of black tea cakes as it leads to unecessary leaf breakage, but this would be handy for a longer trip in terms of saving space while packing.

tperez

Yeah I hate tea waste/dust. Luckily it’s pressed on the looser side, definitely not like Xiaguan’s tuos haha.

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98
drank 2018 Arbor Red by White2Tea
317 tasting notes

“I’m not dead yet!” -me, not having posted on Steepster in the past three months

I find myself drinking a lot of Yunnan blacks lately, lots of pu and other things as well, but I think i’m probably drinking more black than anything else at the moment. I ordered a sample of this one from W2T, kind of secretly hoping that I wouldn’t like it too much since it’s a kind of pricey for Yunnan black. Unfortunately it’s excellent! Had to order a cake of this one as well as Censers.

It’s moderately bold and malty, has a fairly thick body, and tastes and aromas of good tobacco, dry herbs, leather, and sandalwood incense. A lot of complexity, holds up to a lot of infusions, and doesn’t get bitter easily. If I could “customize” or describe my “ideal” Yunnan black, this would pretty much be it!

My high view of this tea may in part because I’m partial to of the kind of flavor notes found in this tea, and it might not be for everyone, but I would say that it’s objectively a very high quality black. I’d strongly recommend it to those who like black teas, but also to fans of aged sheng and cigar/tobacco aficionados.

Flavors: Herbs, Leather, Malt, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
derk

Ahoy!

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92

Very tasty green, similar to the Sichuan greens in the White2Tea club a few months back, but much more affordable. Savory and sweet, tastes of chestnut, sugarcane, and green vegetables.

Flavors: Chestnut, Green, Sugarcane, Umami

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
ashmanra

Sounds divine!

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98

Very unique and refreshing white tea with strong notes of licorice and mint.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Floral, Licorice, Menthol, Mint

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
apefuzz

Wow, interesting to see that those notes are present even when processed as a white tea. Do you think it is more successful as a white, or would black tea processing carry those flavors better?

Great to see some innovative stuff happening.

tperez

Hmm I don’t know, it’s really good as a white but I like the black a lot too. Definitely interesting!

Leafhopper

There seems to be a trend of making this type into a white tea. I have one from TTC that I’ve yet to try.

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94

Very tasty high quality ripe! Snooth and full bodied with flavors of dark wood and earth with a slight dried fruit sweetness. Very infusible and fairly clean tasting.

Full review: https://themellifiedcup.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/im-back-2017-yunnan-sourcing-yiwu-rooster-ripe/

Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Clay, Dates, Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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68

I’ve been exploring big factory teas a bit, especially the premium productions, and this one sounded interesting and reasonable priced so I added a sample to my last YS order. Opening the sample there is a pretty big intact chunk, and compression is on the lighter side for a factory cake. There’s a good bit of smoke in the dry leaf aroma, and it carries over into the taste. The taste is moderately bitter, but also on the lower side for a factory cake. Tastes of green wood, smoke, mineral water, and slightly vegetal, I’d say artichoke. Mouthfeel is clean, but not thick or lingering. On the first two steeps I though “do I really want to waste my time drinking the rest of this?” but I kept going and it became smoother and more enjoyable. It’s an ok young sheng, but definitely doesn’t stand out to me.

Flavors: Artichoke, Green Wood, Mineral, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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92

I was excited to find a sample of this out of the Sheng TTB. I’ve only tried one YQH tea before, and I greatly enjoyed it. This one is quite tasty too! It’s yeasty/funky in a Belgian ale kind of way, pleasantly tart, reminding me of red apples and cranberries. It’s just lightly earthy with a bit of leather and old book smells.

Flavors: Apple, Leather, Red Fruits, Tangy, Yeasty

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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90

Very clean shou, I even took a sip of the rinse and it was perfectly drinkable. Tastes of petrichor, mineral, decaying wood, and leather with a little bit of cocoa. Not super complex, but tasty and super clean. Also it got me feeling tea drunk which is unusual for a shou.

Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Mineral, petrichor, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
tanluwils

petrichor?

tperez

It’s a word for the smell after it rains

tanluwils

i didn’t know there was such a word. I’d say it’s an apt descriptor.

teepland

I am so glad you used this descriptor (petrichor), @tperez! I have wanted to use a word for that scent with a number of teas and never knew there was a word for it! I always resorted to using “wet stone” as a descriptor, which is similar to petrichor, but not exactly it. I am going to have to remember to use petrichor when appropriate!

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72

I bought this tea last spring and was very unimpressed with it. It was relatively flavorless, just slightly sweet, slightly astringent red water. It’s improved quite a lot over the last year, it now tastes like a fairly standard Yunnan black, but still fairly unremarkable. Tastes of malt and yam with maybe a touch of maple or cocoa.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Maple, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 tsp 5 OZ / 160 ML

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Profile

Bio

Tea addict since around 2011.

My favorites are pu’erhs, blacks/reds, and roasted oolongs, but I have a growing interest in good whites, and sometimes enjoy greens.

Currently trying to get an education, working a part time job, expand my ceramics/pottery skills, and trying to make the best of existential crisis.

Other than tea I love the outdoors, ceramics, guitar, and diy/building things.

I started a tea blog in February 2018, though admittedly I haven’t updated it much lately.
TheMellifiedCup.Wordpress.com

When I give a tea a numerical rating it’s simply meant to reflect a balance of how well I enjoyed the tea and how it compares to others of the same style. I don’t follow any universal rating criteria, and my ratings are mainly meant for my own use, to remember what I though of a tea and if I want to repurchase.

Location

Clearwater, FL

Website

https://themellifiedcup.wordp...

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