167 Tasting Notes

drank Keemun black tea by Yunnan Craft
167 tasting notes

A nice go-to daily drinker. Dark caramel with tart berry sweetness. Some nuttiness in the body. Lingering minerality in aftertaste. There is also a little horehound or sassafras in the nose of the dry leaf that I thought made an appearance on the palate.


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A really satisfying black tea that has a balance of all your favorite hong cha flavors. An assertive dark caramel sweetness, stewed fruit sour-sweetness, and a little roasted nuttiness. Noticeable spice notes of white pepper and maybe a little horehound. Very dynamic on the palate. This one just jumped to the top of my repurchase list.


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A green ya shi xiang with notes of honey, canned pineapple, buttered yeast roll, and fresh mint and cilantro. Aftertaste is fresh and longlasting.

I’m not a huge dancong guy – it has just never resonated with me. I also am fairly inconsistent with brewing parameters – let’s call it “intuitive”! That’s not a great combination with dancongs. But I have to say, this one is very good and dealt well with my nonsense. The flavor in-mouth can sometimes be lacking, in the sense that body and mouthfeel is there, but there are no strong flavors coming to the forefront. When it is strong, there is a really tasty buttery yeast roll flavor complemented by a subdued nuttiness. But again, this inconsistency is likely my fault.

Lots of tasty florals and fruit flavors in the aftertaste, which – in my opinion – is the best part. There are sweet and refreshing flavors – peach, fruit blossom, pineapple, fresh cilantro and mint. A really nice tea, particularly if you slow down and really allow the aftertaste to open up and develop.

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drank Huo Shan Huang Ya by Yunnan Craft
167 tasting notes

This is a great experience for green tea lovers looking for some new, interesting flavors. Yellow tea is a great opportunity to explore. The base of this tea provides notes of sweet corn, corn husk, and honey. Not unlike sweeter green teas.

It gets interesting with notes of honey roasted peanuts, mint, and even hints of lemongrass and coconut. There is also a consistant sweet note that I can only describe as cinnamon pastry. Complex and delicious.


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A nice nutty sweet hong cha. Savory notes of roasted nuts and pleasant woodiness give a backbone to sweet notes of dark caramel, toasted marshmallow, dark honey, and blackberry syrup. Even hints of toasted coconut.

Great daily drinker. Be sure to use lots of leaf. My first few sessions turned out a bit thin because I was underleafing (which is very rare for me!)
Dry leaf – blackberry syrup, raw almond, bitter dark honey, pine wood

Smell – woody, toasted marshmallow, hints of toasted coconut, honey roasted nuts, dark caramel

Taste – roasted nuts, honey roasted nuts, toasted marshmallow, some light blackberry syrup fruitiness and toasted coconut

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This is a nice hong cha for those who like them fruity and sweet. This guy has very prominent notes of dark caramel and blackberry syrup from nose to aftertaste. It also has a very solid body, with woodiness, minerality, and nuttiness to balance the overt overall sweetness to the tea. There is a hint of smokiness, which manifests itself through the dark (maybe slightly burnt – but not bitter) caramel and roasted nut flavors. Very tasty.

Dry leaf – dry chocolate and cocoa powder, red currant, waxy fruitiness, blackberry syrup, notes of roasted peanut. In preheated vessel – dark caramel and blackberry syrup.

Smell – dark caramel, blackberry syrup, roasted pecans, woodiness, sweet smokiness, hint of toasted coconut

Taste – caramel, blackberry syrup, roasted pecans, woodiness, minerality, sweet smokiness, hint of toasted coconut.

Interesting to note that jian shui clay cup brings out more smokiness and English breakfast tea tannins. Porcelain cup has fruitiness on palate, continuing through aftertaste; clay cup cuts through it and adds woodiness and minerality.


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This tea has aged well. Great fruitiness with solid tobacco and hay notes backing up the whole experience. The quality of the body of the tea is shown in later infusions, when, despite losing some of its initial top notes, retains a buttery and satisfying flavor and texture. A very nice tea at a very nice price.
Dry leaf – stewed prunes, dried dates, sweet tobacco, hint of pond flora and pencil shavings. In preheated vessel – blackberry syrupy sweetness

Smell – prune and date, pencil shavings, funky gummy sweetness, sweet tobacco, mushroom broth

Taste – sweet tobacco, date, prune, gummy sweetness, mushroom broth, hay and straw. Becomes very buttery in later infusions

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The first thing I noticed when opening the 25g sample pouch was a fairly pungent aroma that immediately reminded me of mesquite wood. I’m not a huge fan of barbecue-esque smokey teas, so I was a bit taken aback. My other experiences with Bang Dong have been noticeably sweet, and this was at the other end of the spectrum – burly and savory.

It does carry over into the flavor of the tea, although it is much more muted. Overall, it is a savory pu’erh, whose primary flavors are mesquite wood and mushroom broth. Its sweetness comes from hints of horehound or sassafras and some sweet tobacco notes in the finish.

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drank Liu An Gua Pian by Yunnan Craft
167 tasting notes

This is my first experience with this type of green tea. I was surprised at how much it reminded me of the few Dragonwell greens I have had. Prominent notes of chestnut and some savory green herb notes of dried parsley. Also noticeable were hints of cinnamon, cherry, and other sweet notes that really reminded me of pastries. In fact, I would be much more likely to pick up this again than a Dragonwell. The price is unbeatable as well.

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of parsley flavors in teas, which have popped up in green teas, green oolongs, and young raws – particularly from Menghai. But, that said, these flavors in this tea were very pleasant, and quickly transformed into spiciness and then sweetness.

I highly recommend any green tea lover to try this. A high-quality tea at a great price. Complex flavors and development.
Dry leaf – vegetal and nutty chestnut, dried parsley, snow peas, peanut shell; cinnamon pastry, maraschino cherry, sweet corn. In preheated vessel – roasted corn notes dominate

Smell – chestnut, dried parsley, cinnamon pastry

Taste – chestnut, salted edamame, dried parsley; development finds cinnamon pastry; finish has lemon curd, cinnamon pastry, hints of maraschino cherry, fresh parsley and lemongrass

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This is a really nice Mao Feng. My personal experience with Mao Feng is that it is a light green tea with subtle flavors. I would say that this tea in particular does still have somewhat subtle flavors, but they are still quite noticeable and defined.

The body of the tea is brothy and thick, and the flavors that it presents are a bit light, but not at all weak. Just subtle, calm flavors that are complex and tasty. Nice combination of savory, sweet, and even fruit flavors.
Dry leaf – sweet corn, peach gummy candy, coconut, sweet floral like lily of the valley; heat has corn and roasted nuts, peaches and cream

Smell – light honey, sweet corn and edamame, hints of peaches and cream

Taste – sweet corn and hints of salted edamame, light honey, lemongrass, very light dewy grass; aftertaste of roasted corn, mint, light honey, pineapple-coconut

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Rating info:
100 – I haven’t found the perfect tea yet!

92-95 – So good that I will purchase this tea again, guaranteed. Excellent flavor and value.

88-91 – A tea that I would consider purchasing again at some point. Great flavor and value.

85-87 – Tea that was worth the purchase and that I enjoyed drinking, although I probably won’t be purchasing it again any time soon. Flavor may have slight drawbacks, or the price might be a little expensive.

80-84 – A tea that has some good points, but falls a bit short on its price:quality ratio. Flavor is a bit mediocre.

No rating – I did not like this tea and would not drink it, given other options.


Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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