Liquid Proust Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

2017 樟香春韵 is the Chinese name for this one, or 2017 Camphor scent/flavor Spring Yun (Yun as a concept sort of eludes me, so I won’t try to translate it)

Bought from LP. Broke it up and stored in mylar a couple days ago to force myself to bring shou into the daily rotation, as a way of being nicer to my stomach and wallet. Started charting my tea consumption lately along w/ costs, and it’s a little scary how fast cost adds up (without this, cost is easier to ignore post-checkout).

20s rinse with boiling, 8g, mug after rinse. Apparently it’s a common thing in Asia to do longer rinses (20s-30s, twice) with shou, especially trad stored (though this isn’t), and I guess this did make a difference. Upfront is a woody medicinal and bitter taste, which I guess is camphor or whatever, but I really still have no idea what camphor is. Later steeps sweeten out a bit, and there’s a nice clean finish.

It could also be the 3-4 years it has had to air out a bit, but it definitely tastes less like dirt than some other shou. I didn’t take notes, and I was thinking earlier in the day something like “boy this is not too memorable, not sure I could distinguish this from a sea of shou” but then again, at 19c/g, it’s a little unreasonable to demand stand out and memorability. it’s alright, quite drinkable, which I can’t really say of every shou I’ve tried. Once my ‘03 phoenix tuo from Yee-on has rested a bit, we’ll see how that compares, since at 16c/g for that, it’s similar in price. Wish I’d grabbed an ‘06 phoenix tuo which was half the price/g, since I can’t imagine the ‘03 phoenix can be twice as good considering they’re both ripes with the same recipe. anyway, lack of foresight… awaiting Yee on black friday sale, and we’ll see what happens then.

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I bought a sample from when LP put up some during his birthday sale but couldn’t find the listing so used the original listing in the description.

2019 Bubble gum
LPT
5.7g, 100mL gaiwan, Poland spring bottled water, 212f
5s rinse
First time trying a yesheng. Dry leaf has nothing particular in the smell, just the classic dried fruitiness of shengs.
Wet leaf has a light fruity smokiness
5s: a light floral, somewhat pea like. A mellow honeyed sweetness.
10s: tiny hint of bitterness and astringency creeps in, but otherwise similar to before. Somewhat lighter. The aftertaste is subtle and doesn’t bowl you over, but I do understand why LP called it “bubble gum” now. Fruity high notes in a bubble gum sort of way.
2 days later… (story time: skip past parentheses if no interest. campus security likes to do this thing every once in a while where they trigger the fire alarms in every building and go through people’s rooms for contraband. I usually stuff my kettle in a drawer, but just so happened to have to run to host a TA session beforehand and had my kettle taken. long story short, I had to borrow a friend’s kettle two days later once the caffeine withdrawal effects started getting really bad to finish up this session. Not sure if that’s affected anything here, since I’ve long since had a bad habit of taking multiple days to finish up notes when busy, but thought I’d make a note here. My new kettle won’t be around for a few days, so I’ll have to stick with cold brews in the meantime.)
14s: a sort of almost soapy floral in that green oolong sort of way. A wisp of bitter that disappears quickly.
18s: soapy green oolong all the way.
30s: similar to before. Maybe it’s bc I’ve been drinking too much aged puer lately, but this tastes to me more like a soapy floral tea that you might get with some dimsum rather than a young sheng. Light sweet aftertaste, with a hint of mint, reinforcing my green oolong associations. So far, 2nd steeping was nice, but these ones were underwhelming. This tea feels too delicate, when I suppose my tastes have shifted towards stronger aged woody, medicinal profiles.
1 min: kinda flat. Nothing exciting.
5 min: astringent, a little sharp. Like if you slightly oversteeped jasmine tea w boiling water
Calling it quits here. Will toss the rest into cold brew, since if a 5 min brew couldn’t coax anything, I wouldn’t bet much on subsequent steepings.

This was the first yesheng I’ve tried, so if this is representative of good yesheng, I will probably avoid yesheng in the future.

edit: stomach pains. Continued the session right after eating lunch, but this is another reason why I’ve had to limit young sheng consumption lol. my stomach is pretty weak and can’t seem to handle younger stuff lately, even when this brewed seemed pretty delicate to me.

mrmopar

I have to be careful with young stuff as well. Has had me sourcing older stuff myself.

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LME Old Tree Shou HCH via Liquid Proust Teas
5.7g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita filtered tap

dry leaves have a standard shou profile, nothing distinct

10s rinse, waited several minutes for leaves to decompress before separating in full w puer pick

wet leaf: some odd combo of cinnamon, caramel, and a light shou fishiness

5s: wet leaf smells of a light smoky toffee. Tastes of a very muted wood, with a slight cooling, sweet aftertaste characteristic of young sheng. The immediate taste is not strong (doesn’t taste like much really), and yet is incredibly pleasant. Mouthfeel is decent, even with water that makes basically every tea taste thin. A slight bready aspect.

8s: wet leaf smells of more of that dark caramel/butterscotchy sweetness, though muted. Again like previous cup, taste is a very muted woodiness, but a hint of bitter that disappears into the cooling aftertaste brings a hint of the pill-like bitterness that was also present in the CLT LME I tried before. Again, mouthfeel is incredible given this water. Some of this steep I drank while cooled, and bitterness is more present, but likewise does not linger.

10s: bitterness more apparent in warm cup, though still light and aftertaste rounds out overall a soothing light tea. Some warming feeling.

15s: similar. A medicinal aspect, woody and cooling, w/ sweet edged LME aftertaste. something syrupy about the taste.

25s: stronger undertones of bitterness, underlying dried fruitiness as well, though slight.

37s: just that muted woodiness. An edge of vegetal greenness in aftertaste, though slight. leaves tongue a bit dry.

1 min: stronger bitterness. Not much in aftertaste

2 min: light woody bitter. Something like if you mixed coffee and TCM lol

I didn’t have time to continue, so I tossed the leaves in the thermos. Think they’ve still got something left, so we’ll see. As usual, I will probably not update with thermos results since the thermos is definitely influencing final taste from all the teas I’ve overnight steeped at this point and usually thermos brews are merely decent at best

overall: great mouthfeel, some burps throughout. Slight warming qi, which I haven’t felt from ripes before (though tbf I was not drinking ripes at this price point…past me would be shocked). Definitely the best ripe puer I’ve ever tried so far. Wish I’d grabbed a cake back when it was in stock, though $200 wasn’t something I could gamble on a category I am generally ambivalent towards. Because of the taste and price (considering it’s a ripe), probably not a daily drinker, but certainly worth trying, and much to my surprise, I enjoyed it.

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2006 Dayi Classic 66 (sample purchased from Liquid Proust Teas)
5.2g, 100mL gaiwan, 212f, Brita filtered tap
1x 5s rinse
dry leaf has clean woody smell
wet leaf is the dark spices & shou kind of smell
5s: tastes like it smells. Classic Shou profile & taste
10s: stronger woody taste. Just the barest touch of sweetness. Less of the light peppery shou note than previous cup
18s: basically the same as before.
20s: stale bread and woodiness. I don’t dislike, but it’s not like I’d be fighting to have this
in my collection or whatever either… Also a bit of shou peppery note, and just the barest hint of sweetness
30s: Lightening in depth, but noticeably sweeter, perhaps because other notes are gone.
40s: same sort of muted sweetness.
1 min: sweeter again, sort of in a papery sticky rice sort of way. Improved thickened mouthfeel.
2 min: Same bready Shou taste, almost a hint of sour too.
2 min. 30s: A sweet medicinal that leaves throat a bit dry.
3 min: similar to before, but less medicinal so sweet is more forward
4 min: very light medicinal sort of taste, again leaving mouth a bit dry. Slight hint of some dried fruit that I can’t place in aftertaste, maybe dried persimmon?
overall: some burps, but nothing else too noticeable in terms of body effect. If slight warming, hard to tell if it’s due to the tea or just how warm it is inside rn since the dorm traps a fair amount of heat. Tried this since LP mentioned it was a shou w/ lighter fermentation. It still has that distinctive shou backbone, but it’s definitely lightened in comparison to most shou I’ve tried before. Was this alright? Yes. Would I repurchase? No. I still don’t love shou in general, and a cake of this being 660g just sounds painful. That being said, I’m starting to appreciate shou more on its own merits as it’s meant to be. Shou is a different game/ballpark than Sheng, and trying to evaluate them on the same playing field like I had generally in the past is just invalidating, so I will admit my own mistake in that aspect.

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drank Trust #2 by Liquid Proust Teas
96 tasting notes

2g in a small mug, grandpa steeped over the course of a day, mix of Poland spring and Brita filtered tap water at boiling

First aged oolong I’ve tried. infusions turn from woody, medicinal, and lightly bitter to stronger woody bitter and then to a strong plum (and that I’ve never noticed from any ripe puer before, so to have it confirmed as a note in an oolong was exciting even though I know this can be a distinct note in aged oolongs) before fading. Slight warming feeling, some burping. Smells sweet overall, with the occasional sweet (but not very long lasting) aftertaste. Wish I’d bought more; will have to savor the remaining 12g.

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65

Got a big chunk in an LP Hookup when ordering some of the bourbon barrel shu.

1st thoughts: Not puer. It feels like a heavily browned roasted yellow tea that has that gaba sourness. Not really sure what the processing here is, but it is very far from what you find in yunnan. I get peanuts, roasted corn, cheap cocoa powder, hong cha. Some bitterness and astringency right from the start and the slightly sour aftertaste people talk about with gaba teas.

Drinking it down: The leaves are fully brown a la black tea, but not quite as dark. The liquid itself is the color of a middle aged (5-7 year) old sheng. On the golden side of orange. The peanut note is really the primary flavor going on here with that slight acrid bitter/astringent coming second. I’ve got the burps by the 4th cup. 5th steep I’ve got some tomato umami coming in. Some huigan kicking up on the 6th. As it steeps out it becomes more and more like a black tea.

I’m not usually sensitive to “qi”. It may just be that I’m on day 2 of a fast, but this thing hit me pretty hard around the 4th/5th cup. Warmth in my stomach, slightly floaty sensation, a strong desire to nap.

This tea is not puer. It is interesting. I’m not big into the sour notes in my tea. I’ve certainly had nothing like this before. Don’t anticipate having anything like this in the future either.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Malt, Peanut, Rhubarb, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 7 tsp 115 OZ / 3400 ML
VAZach

In full fairness: When pitching the leaves I finally found some green on a few of them. Generally if it looks like hong cha, smells like hong cha, & tastes like hong cha…

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85

So unusual. I don’t have a good basis of comparison for this type of oolong. For all I know, this could be a common profile.

Strong scent of a charring onion over a flame, burnt rice. I initially recoiled at the smell of the wet leaf but sipping it was fine, the sweetness took over. I get a charcoal mustiness throughout. Transitioning to a deep dark chocolatiness in later steepings. I like it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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90

Wallowing in my emotions today. Better to have this than actual bourbon. Threw into a mug to refill. Sidenote. It feels kinda weird for me to use the phrase grandpa style when both my grandfathers were dead before I was born. So I’ll just say “threw into a mug to refill.”

Anyway I like this a lot. It works. Tastes like I imagined it.

Some body-tingling energy for just a couple of minutes that prompted relaxation. Nice evening tea.

I took a photo for the cover image, hope it’s okay! Tried my best with the color grading.

Listening to So Real by Jeff Buckley.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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86

One of many samples that was kindly shared with me by Togo this past week!

I actually got very close to ordering this for myself last year when LP first listed it because I was very curious about what this might taste like, and I think insect poop tea is one of those “bucket list” type of teas that everyone should try at least once. However, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it and because of that I couldn’t commit to ordering a bigger amount of it blindly. So, suffice to say I was stoked by the inclusion of this sample!

I steeped it up over my lunch break on one of the days I was in office this week. I had a few coworkers who tried it with me, and I really appreciated having someone else sharing in the experience with me – it was the sort of moral support I needed to drink poop tea. As i was steeping, I definitely had the realization that even five years ago this would have seemed revolting to me, as well as how lucky I am to be working with the type of people who are equally as curious and enthusiastic about tasting insect poop tea as I was. I think, even within my office at a tea company, were I to explain what this tea is to any of the coworkers outside the tea department, no one would get it.

All that said… I actually really enjoyed this.

I honestly have no clue if the age of this type of tea affects the taste in any sort of significant way – if anyone knows one way or the other, I would love to hear! I also expected the little CTC looking pellets to sort of “dissolve” (rather, suspend) similar to matcha but they really didn’t lose their shape at all.

Taste wise, I found this deeply earthy and smooth with pleasant camphorous cinnamon notes! Not really a “thick” liqour but somewhat coating, with a surprisingly clean finish to it. Also just a smidge sweet. I definitely definitely feel like this is one of those things that everyone should try at least once!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTAXRIcLXFU/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i_8FlBmJcQ&ab_channel=DavidDeanBurkhart

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Classical version of a dry stored tea. There is smoke in the cup and a bunch of the youthful notes still alive and well in this one. The later steeps mix the smoke and wood along with the sharper green notes still left. If any of you can separate the leaves in these Dayi cakes my hat is off to you. I just can’t seem to do it without breaking a bunch.
Still a good one to experience a storage that doesn’t take as many youthfulness of the tea away.

Hope you all have been well. Has been a crazy year and a half for me. I am finally able to unplug from work for a week and not have both jobs going. A bunch of people seem to be mia on here and I hope they are all well as anyone reading this is I hope to be as well.

Flavors: Bitter, Hay, Herbaceous, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
ashmanra

Hello, Cuz! Good to hear from you!

tea-sipper

I hope you enjoy your time from work!!

mrmopar

Hey y’all good to see ya! Yeah tea-sipper I have needed a break. Still need to find some people that seem lost to me at the moment. Rich, how is the kitty doing? I am working on a chairman junior at the moment.

mrmopar

ash, we are heading to healing springs in October. May be a side trip if all eases up with this covid mess.

ashmanra

Sounds like fun!

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82

I got this a long time ago from Jake B!  Thank you!  This isn’t really labeled other than ‘chocolate oolong’ but I’m pretty sure it’s from Liquid Proust because I recognize his style of packaging teas.  And there are only 13 search results here for ‘chocolate oolong’. It looks like the photo too – a mess of chocolate colored everything.  I wish there was an ingredient list with this, but it looks like dark big leafed oolong with rooibos, assorted chocolate ingredients including flat little squares.  I wouldn’t say the flavor is drenched in chocolate – it’s almost like a berry flavor to me.  Probably the oolong coming through mixed with the rooibos tastes like berry to me? With an acceptable hint of roast from the oolong.  It is sweet though.  On the second steep, much more of the roast comes through.  With hints of rustic cocoa here and there.  I notice a few bits of apple in the steeped leaves now.  Third steep, not noticeably stronger flavor other than more flavor from the oolong.  It seems like a distant memory now that I was tasting berry in that first cup.  I definitely think using two teaspoons was the right idea. And it looks from other tasting notes this might be SIX years old now. I wouldn’t think this tea was chocolate focused during any of the steeps, but I do love Liquid Proust’s experiments. :D
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  14 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 6 minute steep

Flavors: Berry, Cocoa, Roasted

tea-sipper

ah, listening to the new Lord Huron album now and it’s the album necessary for Pandemic Year #2. Soso good.

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2008 Xiaguan Tian Shun
2008 下关天顺

(fyi: typo listed by LP Tian Shan, but wrapper pinyin is Tian Shun)
Taiwan stored
-ordered as part of LP Spring Sampler

6.2g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita filtered tap (more on this later…), 212f

dry leaves just have something of a dried fruit smell

1x 5s rinse

wet leaves smell smoky w some dried fruit

3s: faded smoke and more fruity. light mushroom and slight vegetal initially that turns into a strong fruity note. Light aftertaste on tongue and in mouth.

5s: pretty standard cooling sheng taste, light hint of smoke and lightly sweet on aftertaste

10s: sharper bitter and medicinal note that turns into a refreshingly sweet aftertaste. Also a hint of something lightly vegetal in aftertaste

15s: similar to before, but less sharp upfront.

20s: lightening in taste

put into thermos (had to run off to other stuff, not necessarily bc this was a bad tea) and brewed overnight: a nicely shifting mix of strong florals, some smoky, light astringency/bitterness, and something in the background adding a soft, honey like sweetness. Overall very pleasant, and very different from the standard sweet, grainy taste of most thermos’d aged shengs.

LP is out of stock on the cake for this now, but I don’t know if I would’ve bought a full cake if it was still available, and this is even considering the very reasonable price point of this when it was listed. I’ve tried too many samples at this point, and they’re all starting to blend together in my memory (tbf, exploration of aged factory shengs a la 7542s and the like largely seems to target the same profile, taste-wise), so much so that I’m not sure what I’m really looking for anymore.

On water: I have finally noticed that my water here at college is affecting my notes to a large degree, at least with respect to mouthfeel. I’ve ignored it for a while, since there was one time I brewed something that it did turn noticeably thick, so I thought it was just the teas themselves. I realized going back and reviewing my note on that tea specifically that I was using Poland Spring bottled water at that time. All this is to say that I suppose any of my school year notes shouldn’t always be taken face-value for description on mouthfeel and body, because I’ve definitely complained about thinness in many of the teas I’ve tried over the course of the school year, and that’s likely due in large part to the local water, which is not as hard as my water at home to begin with, and which I filter again with the Brita. Unfortunately, most of the teas I’ve reviewed are teas I’ve ordered samplers of, and not all of which I necessarily would willingly repurchase, from a standpoint of price vs. subjective determination of value (especially given how much I’ve overstepped whatever semblance of a budget I had painstakingly crafted…), so I don’t plan on going back and rewriting reviews. Come summer (and more spare time), I hope to mess around with different waters and note any observations and deviations then. Thanks for reading!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Dried Fruit, Floral, Medicinal, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2005 Spring of Menghai Dayi (HK Dry)

ordered as part of LP spring sampler

6.5g, 100mL gaiwan, Brita water, 212f

1x 5s rinse that smells slightly mushroomy (but have picked this note a lot in cha hai, so maybe just that lol)

dry leaves smell of smoke and dried fruit

wet leaves are smoky! a bit of sharpness, some dried fruit, and something oddly reminiscent of gasoline. Thought I also caught something like meat, but I had a bacon egg bagel for breakfast at this same desk earlier, so it could just be that.

consistency is thin throughout.

4s: sharp and slight medicinal that turns into a brief celery tinged sweetness on tongue before fading. light smoky aftertaste that lingers.

7s: less sharp. bit of mint, cooling, and medicinal on aftertaste.

8s: similar. itchy feeling in throat, but slightly fruity sense upon exhaling in throat/back nasal area. a bit hard to describe.

11s: not as harsh upfront, but lingering sweetness on aftertaste remains.

23s: lighter on taste. slight mushroom notes on initial that fade into fruit almost immediately.

25s: slight sharp + smoke that turns into similar aftertaste as before. slight aroma in throat.

30s: fading

1 min: similar to before

thermos: bit bitter, but not undrinkable. Nothing special to note. Unlikely to spring for a cake.

Flavors: Bitter, Celery, Fruity, Mint, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Tea Seeds - C by Liquid Proust Teas
1103 tasting notes

So I simmered some seeds for maybe 30 minutes in a small saucepan full of water. Boiled down halfway and left to sit for an hour, this is a lot darker than the earlier steeps in my teapot (I think it’ll take me into the night to steep out the teapot). This is absolutely the essence of tea. Chinese white and black teas at least.

I bet this would be lovely in a medicinal elixir or as an iced tea concentrate. I’m going to take what I have and make a simple syrup, though. I’ll figure out what to do with it later. Baked goods, whiskey cocktail, idk. Oh boy, now I’m thinking about baklava. Or glazed shortbreads. Maybe added to plain chamomile tea. I wonder if the hummingbirds would love it? Ha!

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drank Tea Seeds - C by Liquid Proust Teas
1103 tasting notes

I have an unlabeled packet of tea seeds from Liquid Proust. This came as part of an LP group buy in 2018. Is that your photo, Roswell Strange? And do the 3 dishes of tea seeds correspond to A/B/C? The ones I have look exactly like the third dish, so I’m dropping a note here.

These little clove-looking seeds are from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Some have fuzzy little buttons in the center so I was thinking maybe they’re flower buds and not seeds? What am I doing…

My first attempt is brewing several teaspoons in one of my clay teapots, long and hot because they are as hard as cloves. When I opened the bag, there was a high aroma of spicy, woody geranium and tea rose. When I cup them in my palm they smell yeasty, twiggy and tangy-musty. I did rinse them briefly and let them steam for a while. They ended up smelling like the tea-in-hand aroma though more like a yeast roll and peppery-airy, aged wood and forest floor. I feel like I can smell a living tea tree typing that up :)

I’m just sitting here doing my taxes and brewing these however long. The aroma is sweet honeysuckle, woody and spicy. Roswell Strange said “Tea Seeds – A” tastes similar to an aged white — while not the same seed, dang right do these have that similarity. But it’s different somehow. Light, sweet, floral, refreshing, soothing in a gentle viscous body that swallows a touch dry. The essence of tea. The aftertaste is like yeasty baked goods. The first thought that popped into my head will probably not be understood by many people reading: Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The bottom of the cup smells like warm, golden spun sugar. I’ll see what later steeps turn into, if they turn more concentrated in flavor.

I have a pot simmering on the stove right now with the rest of the sample. Going to taste it as it reduces.

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Forest Floor, Geranium, Honeysuckle, Musty, Pastries, Pepper, Rose, Spicy, Spring Water, Sugar, Summer, Sweet, Tangy, Tea, Wood, Yeast

Roswell Strange

Not my photo – I pulled it from LP’s website when they were still listed. The seeds (A/B/C) did correspond to the dishes, though!

tea-sipper

Aw. just thinking of those big ol pretzels yesterday. I only tried the pretzels with the dippy cheese.

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94

I found a surprise hidden amount two months ago. I finished it quickly.

Sip down!

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94

Late post after LP stopped selling it and it’s something I hoarded from last year, and what Whiteantlers added further to this year. Thank you!

I was excited that Andrew started selling more oolong on Liquid Proust again after he procured some good ones. This one was not super expensive, so I thought it would be a run of the mill oolong that he sourced.

I was pretty ignorant when I first had it. The leaves are huge, even being close to the size of pennies rolled up. So a slightly better than usual Alishan? Trying it out, this tea was immensely creamy and aromatic with soft lilac and hyacinth florals and delicate fruits. The tea was prominently sweet, floral, and buttery, and milky.

As I’ve had this over time and opened up the bag a few more times, it’s become more fruity in the last year. When I opened up the bag today, it was floral galore and intensely buttery. Corn, and other fruits and florals mixed in with it. Some honeydew, a slight stonefruit note, coconut, and subtle pineapple too in the second steep western. Florals were more dominant but balanced out. Nuttiness hinted in steep three, though the tea is obviously creamy and floral Alishan with some fruit hints peaking out as the occasional flavor.

Then, I look up the name of this, and apparently, it’s a Stone Table Alishan. It reminds me of Beautiful Taiwan Tea’s Stone Table now that I think about it…

Anyway, this one works better for me western and grandpa. It does very well gong fu to break up the individual notes, but they are fully realised together with a thicker body western. I deeply enjoy this one, and though I’m not sure if Andrew’s going to sell this again, it’s a testament to the fact that he sells some unique and harder to find teas on Liquid Proust.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Green, Honeydew, Kale, Lettuce, Nuts, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla

Leafhopper

Yum! I definitely didn’t notice this tea on his website during the Black Friday sale, though I did get his Bai Hao cake.

Daylon R Thomas

This one was on there for a super short time last year. I think it was gone in three weeks. OOooh he was planning on that one for a long time. The Art of Tea cake really sold him on the idea of a pressed Bai Hao.

Leafhopper

Yes, I thought a pressed Bai Hao was an interesting idea, and the price was reasonable for 200 g. I saw a similar cake on Mountain Tea Co’s site a while back. I’m not sure whether I’ll break into it now or let it age.

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I think Andrew might have given this to me years ago during his oolong mentorship with me.

I’ve got mixed feelings about Aged Teas, and I only get them from Andrew or if it’s from a vendor I trust. I am a basic tea drinker in that I look for teas with decent energy and a tasting profile that lets my brain imagine flavors akin to dessert so I don’t have to eat or drink said dessert. Sugar is bad for a type one diabetic. Tea is good for health, therefore good for a diabetic. Aged tea…is mummified tea. I need some flavor when I resurrect it from the dead, and this one does have flavor.

The description is fun with this one since I remember his quest for finding the smoothest aged tea possible. Unlike a lot of other Aged Teas, it doesn’t have the paint stain funk most do and has qualities very similar to an actual rock tea. Andrew pegged the profile is being like Rolo Candy, and I can see it. The dry leaf reminds me distinctly of coffee and caramel without bitterness or harshness. Drinking it up, caramel, roast, woodiness, and a little bit of nuttiness are prominent. Some notes that remind me of a lighter roast coffee, but incredibly smooth. The second steep gets out a little bit more dark chocolate/cocoa, though not as strong as the caramel and coffee notes.

Later notes have some florals, but in the way that coffee is “floral” with some light acidity. It’s age and char are more prominent in the later rebrews, getting woodsier into dark oak, some cedar. Here comes the woodstain resin and paint notes. The later brews are also a lot more drying with some bitterness.

Getting to the point, Andrew found a tea that’s aged particularly well and one that I can enjoy in my basicness. I’d recommend this to Wuyi fans and Tea nerds looking for some aged tea that is feasible in a heartbeat, but I can still see some people being detracted by the woodiness. Again, aged teas are bit of a niche thing that mega tea nerds invest a lot in, but I do think this one is a lot more approachable for intermediate drinkers than most.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cedar, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Wood, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Oak, Resin, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth

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85

This one and the next few notes are going to be quick (after reading the length I wrote-LIES), as they are late submissions of teas that were released and out of stock last year.

First of all, this one is a bit unusual. It’s a Chinese Meizhan varietal processed as a greener oolong, and it’s very comparable to a Baozhong in its buttery body and array of florals. I’ve had it grandpa, western and gong fu. Gong fu would give me 5-7 servings using 20-30 second increments, Western 3 brews with a 2 minute beginning, and grandpa 2 rebrews in the tumbler. Gong fu is best to pay attention to the nuances in the tea, but it can do well with the other two styles as well since it’s fairly forgiving.

Like most of the green oolongs and Baozhong like teas I’ve reviewed so far, honeysuckle, orchid, and butter notes stands out. Some osmanthus, but it’s mixed with something softer I can’t quite pin on. There’s something kinda tangy I can’t put a word on yet, which contradicts the overall soft profile. Gong fu, there was more hyacinth than I anticipated. I could see some people using vanilla as a note, maybe coconut (texture, NOT FLAVOR) due to the creamy texture. Some grass, but more floral and creamy than vegetal. Soft sensation on the tongue, but thick enough to be viscous. There’s also a little bit of fruitiness, but it’s faint, and likely my brain telling me it’s a little bit sweeter when it’s probably just floral.

I probably would have guessed this was a Baozhong blind, yet the overall profile is a different direction with its softer florals and flavor. It’s not as vegetal, “tropical” or “acidic” as a Qing Xin oolong, and bears a lot of similarities to several Zhangping Shuixian I’ve had in its softened floral quality. I feel like I’m missing something in my description. I know it’s due to me constantly reviewing green oolongs, but I feel like there’s more to this one than its similarities to other teas.

Either way, I was really happy to get to try a greener version of this varietal. Meizhans tend to have a lukewarm reception on this site, and even when they’re darker, I tend to really like them without prejudice. Liking this tea was a given for me. I know that traditional styles of oxidation and roasting are better to preserve tradition and prevent a nuclear wave of green monotony from happening, but I like being able to try teas in different forms. Most of my 2020 tea selection were experimental teas that I really enjoyed, and some of which I’m excited to see again in the future.

I’m not sure if this one will come out again, but I do recommend Liquid Proust for unique developments for Tea Nerds.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Orchid, Osmanthus, Vanilla

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96

Western is the way to go. It works as tumbler fuel nicely, and it can work gong fu if you are very generous with the leaf. I’m rating it a 96 for now because I unapologetically like this one. I might rate it higher-who knows. I’m very happy finishing this one off, or keeping some to share. I was glad to get some from Andrew because he goes through phases with the black teas. They almost always sell out quickly, and this was not cheap for him to make. He also is very picky with black teas himself, and has never been enamored with the idea of selling blends, so I am very happy to have had the opportunity to hoard it while it was still available. I know he’s going to experiment further with the barrels, and there was a vanilla added version of this same tea for a little bit, but there is no more hong cha on his site for… now.

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96

Notes are still the same, but it’s faded a little bit. I thought it would hold up since it sat in rye and it’s newer, but it’s lost some lustre. The flavors are still there, but I had to amp up the leaf a little bit to 6ish grams. One of the sessions had lingered a little bit too long at minute instead of 35 sec like I intended, but good. I’m not ready to rate it yet since I’m hovering between 90-100. I am a little disappointed it faded somewhat-still good.

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96

Holy crap-a scented Andrew Liquid Proust Black! I was stoked for this. It’s been a few years since he’s barrel scented some stuff, the last being Rummy Pu which was so good. I was also stoked it was a Laoshan-I haven’t had these in a while. I’ve skipped them for a few seasons since the last batch I had from Verdant wasn’t as good as other years.

As for this lovelyness….it’s good and it drives me nuts that it’s going to be a limited release. I got two oz when I should have gotten more. Cherry Cordial Chocolate is what comes to mind, and it’s sooooooooo good. You can smell it from the bag, and then taste it from the tea.

I was going to do it western, but ended up gong fuing it because I used too many leaves by accident. 15 sec, and it’s boozy heaven. Later steeps lasted between a minute and 4 minutes. The alcohol is present, but it’s not overwhelming or overly flavored. Again, smooth chocolate, cherry, rhubarb, vanilla, scotch, and a little bit of sweet lingering taste with the perfect amount of drynesss and slight bitterness to off set the sweetness. Like many Laoshans I’ve had, it’s also buttery in texture. The rye fades in the rebrews, but the overall flavor profile remains as this tea gets more buttery.

Either way, I frickin love this. I’m holding off rating it before I jump to an immediate 100 due to my basicness when it comes to chocolaty black teas.

Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Rhubarb, Roasted, Rye, Scotch, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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drank Mordor by Liquid Proust Teas
1270 tasting notes

After several days of blueberry and coconut, I wanted a straight black. Somehow, I pulled this one out, thinking that the Jin jun mei here would be more prominent with the ripe puerile acting as a delicate accent. Nope, in this cup, the puerh is right in your face.

I think I will add some Jin jun mei to my next cup of this to tone it done.

Note to self—When you crave a straight black, do not steep something with a good dose of ripe puerh.

I miss Liquid Proust and his presence here. And his experim-ents.

Evol Ving Ness

This auto correct is killing me. killing me.

tea-sipper

White Antlers says he does virtual tea events on Sundays or something! I don’t know more than that though…

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, tea-sipper!

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drank Unknown Oolong by Liquid Proust Teas
1103 tasting notes

Another mystery oolong from Liquid Proust group buy 3 years ago. Black and gold packet says “Tan Bei.” If I weren’t so exhausted, I’d try to look up the characters. My Chinese skills are still very elementary. It’s a roasted tieguanyin. That’s about as much as I can gather.

The leaf has a mellowed roasted woody-flowery aroma with bolstering notes cacao, osmanthus, sour plum-redfruits and almond skin. The warmed leaf showcases a strong and warm dark bittersweet scent.

It is fairly smooth and easy to drink with sweet and woody notes, a hint of smoke, but nothing special to me. Then again, I am not in a state of being to sit with a tea. As far as roasted oolong go, this one is pretty neutral. Decent strength, lacks complexity of feeling.

Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Cacao, Charcoal, Dark Bittersweet, Flowers, Osmanthus, Plum, Red Fruits, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth, Tangy, Wet Wood, Wood

gmathis

Rough week? Hope you get some silence this weekend!

derk

Rough week. And starting tomorrow I’ll be house-sitting again. Not the place with the sheep friends, though.

gmathis

(Hugs. Quiet gentle ones so as not to muss you up further.)

Martin Bednář

I feel you. I am going to have a few rough weeks in work, as, of course, all containers will come in short period of time (approx. in two weeks, 4 containers).

And of course, other branches are still sending their orders and I don’t have much time to rest, more so I am still learning how to manage the reclaims.

Sorry, I just had to rant a bit. I wish you a calm days!

derk

(Thanks g.)

Martin, there is no room for ‘sorry’ here, but there is room to vent. Don’t let what’s important in your life rush by now that you’re working.

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