400 Tasting Notes
Given to me in a tea swap by Kirkoneill1988.
Man, I love this tea. I’m currently on my 16th pot. It has nearly lost every bit of the tobacco flavors in which it started out with, until the past two steeps, but it’s still going. There’re some astringent notes to the tea, but overall, not too overpowering. I like a little bite to my Sheng pu-erhs, though. I will be adding this to my wishlist. I’m glad that I was able to get this much (Thank you again, Kirkoneill1988).
From Dark Matter 2016
I wanted to write a second review on this tea because I’ve spent the past two days drinking it (approximately 25 cups). As I mentioned in the previous review, this tea didn’t come to life until the fifth steep, with the help of increased water temperature/longer steep times (15s, 30s, 45s, 50s, 60s, etc). Once the tea was able to open up, though, it was so complex and delicious. It had that nice deep earth flavor that I enjoy in a ripe. A bit of a wet moss, “dirt,” slight mushroom, wood, and various minerals on the tongue. I rated it too soon before I was able to really hit the tea much harder than I had. Overall, I’m impressed, and will probably add this to my increasing wishlist.
Side Note: Finally finished with the first half of school….It only took 5 years…Anyway, I have two semesters left until I completed the History/English part of it all. However, considering that I am hopefully going to get my MA at UNC in the next two years, I wanted to start working on my entry level “Historical Account” of an era that most suits my interests; therefore, I’m researching topics about the American Civil War and 20th century. Just so that you’re aware, I LOVE writing research papers…So, there’s the most recent update in my life.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Mushrooms, Wet Moss, Wood
Dark Matter 2016
Pretty good. Deep Earth. Really picked up after steep 5 (increased temperature to near boiling, longer steeps at 20 seconds). 80/100.
PS. Got pretty tea drunk.
Sample generously given/swapped by Kirkoneill1988. Thank you again!
Slowly but surely, I’m working through this tea. I have one more assignment to do, and then I’ll graduate with my Early Ed. certification on May 22nd. However, I have to add an extra year to become an “official” Middle Grades Ed. English/Social Studies educator, so I won’t be completely done, yet (but the school with still hand me the certificate so that I can get a teaching job). It is exciting to be nearly finished, and closer to teaching the grade level that I want…It has been a long journey, that has had plenty of unexpected turns and twists, and led to some pretty heavy bank loan debt; however, it has worked out O.K. thus far!
Now, for the tea. It is pretty unique. I enjoy unique teas. In fact, I often go out of the way to acquire them….Or swap for them….
Anyway, the first steep offered a nice sweet honey, slight tobacco, and mineral flavor. The second steep changed a lot—the honey seemed to have left the tea—there was a loose cut pipe tobacco (English Luxury) flavor instead (which was my tobacco of choice when I was 21). Fortunately, I’ve given that up.
The fourth steep offered an astringency that I often enjoy in Raw pu-erh, still had a touch of tobacco on the tongue, and the honey flavor had returned. Very dry mouth-feel, but pleasant. Overall, a great cup. Maybe not the cup I’d choose often, but still pleasing.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Tobacco
From Dark Matter 2016
1st steep: Very rich chocolaty notes, with a hint of floral undertones. The mouthfeel is slightly drying. These flavors linger on the tongue whilst brewing a second cup.
2nd steep: There seems to be a honey note to the second infusion. A little bit of malt and hay as well. Still sweet, though.
3rd, 4th, and 5th steep: On the go…I’ll add a comment later…..
Note: My mother’s cousin passed away this week (Thursday). I didn’t know him that well, but my mother is taking it kind of hard, since they were close and he was the same age as my dad. The tea is mostly for the drive there…Anyway, sad day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Honey, Malt
Dark Matter 2016 session
Before I decide to take the remainder of the tea session outside, I wanted to write a quick review from the first 4 cups. Altogether a great tea. It’s a dark oolong (which are always a delightful treat) that has quite a kick to it.
First steep: 15s. Rice (which was overcooked and left on the bottom of the pan), wet rocks with mossy undertones, minerals, and slight char notes. Pretty “meaty” aftertaste, similar to the dark crust left on an overcooked hamburger.
Second steep: 45s. More char. The aftertaste is all char/overcooked crusty meat. I don’t mean that it IS meaty, but it definitely is thick. Has that charcoal-esq flavor to it.
Third steep: 60s. Loses that heavy charcoal flavor. Kind of mellows out at this point. I have a slight char flavor, but there seems to be more of a mineral bite to it. Slight astringency, but nothing too serious.
Fourth steep: 80s. I’m getting a floral-tobacco flavor. Rich dark tobacco. The floral undertones sweeten it up quite a bit. I’m really liking where this is going. I think there may be a few more steeps to go, but I’m feeling tea drunk at the moment, considering I’ve had a lot of tea within 30 minutes….Ha-ha. I give this the thumbs up.
Flavors: Char, Mineral, Rice, Roasted, Tobacco, Wet Rocks
I’m not sure if this sample that I received from Liquid Proust reads “2009” or “2007” Mengku. However, I wanted to have a cup of raw pu-erh for my post-Statistics final, so I grabbed the rest of this out of the cupboard.
Now, I like the astringency of a raw. The first two steeps offered none of that, rather, I had nice mineral, smoky, and wet moss flavors to it. However, after these two steeps, I started to taste the astringency that I prefer when drinking a Sheng. The smokiness of the tea disappeared rather quickly, but the mossy/mineral notes stayed with this tea…Until steep 6.
Somehow, unbeknownst to me, the smokiness returned. I like to remind you that I’m new to pu-erh tea (3-4 months now, but still moderately unfamiliar to understanding the flavor, etc.) Anyway, I think it went well with the bitterness of the tea. It gave it that sort of burnt leafy taste, which reminds me of old leaves burning in a large field in the country during the Fall months. It also reminds me of walking in the woods as the snow melts, and the leaves have that old wet smell to them. That is what I enjoy about a majority of Raw pu, and this one has no exception.
Side Note: I think I used too much leaf in general (10g for 150ml). That, and I used overly hot water because I was distracted and allowed it to boil…..Prior to, the bitterness was subtle and still sweet (the water was 170F during the first few steeps). Anyway, I still enjoyed this.
Backlog 4 March 2016 from Dark Matter 2016
My wife just asked whether I was drinking pickle juice or not….The aroma DOES have that dill pickle smell, as well as the flavor of the tea. However, it’s satisfying. Nice sweet-wood-dill flavors. Fortunately, I like the flavor of this—and I like the flavor of pickles, too. So it works. Not recommended for someone who doesn’t find those flavors appealing.
Flavors: Dill, Wood
I received a sample of this from apieceofquiche yesterday (Thank you again). I figured that I needed a boost this morning, and that I might as well try something beyond my usual preference, in both flavor and tea.
Aroma: I must admit that there’s quite an unusual aroma to the dry leaf and liquid. The dry leaf reminds me of an old spice rack that had leaked out some of it’s contents; which then was mixed somehow by water, giving it that Cajun seasoning vibe. The tea in the cup reminds me of a Lapsang with a splash of orange and tomato juice.
Flavor: BBQ sauce. Or as apieceofquiche had written, “BBQ sauce or liquid bacon.” I’d find this tea to pair well with various meats you’d find at a cookout. Instead of pre-soaking your steak in some oddball bag of sauces, steep a cup of this, soak the steak in your tea, and there you’ll have a delightful BBQ steak. The citrus only sweetens that smokiness, but it also gently adds a tomato bite. I guess you could give this tea to an everything-bacon kind of person, and they’d enjoy it; however, it’s not quite what I’m looking for in a tea.
Thank you again, apieceofquiche. Unfortunately, this isn’t my cup of tea either. Ha-ha.
Flavors: Citrus, Smoke