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Recent Tasting Notes
Brewed gong fu style in a gaiwan with boiling water. Yuzu forward, as you might expect from a tea stuffed into a yuzu fruit. Longer steeps toward the end of the session are like drinking orange marmalade. Drink it with some citrus flavored cake or gift it to someone who enjoys earl grey and blow their mind. I might drink this every morning if I could.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Malt, Orange Blossom, Winter Honey
This is my first time tasting an aged oolong — it’s very comforting. Like putting on a warm blanket and settling in next to the fireplace. Cocoa nib is the dominant flavor, with a nice rounded malty sweetness and just a bit of tartness/astringency on the finish.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cacao, Cherry, Dates, Leather, Malt, Roasted Barley, Walnut
If I hadn’t known this was a first flush Japanese black tea, I’d call it a second or an autumn flush Darjeeling.
It’s very aromatic. The dry leaf smells so much like a Darjeeling even down to the musky, green chillies/leaf, desert earth/incense descriptions I tend to give to those teas. Very floral in the nose and mouth. Lots of smooth and rich grain-malt and muscatel (plus some other fruitiness I can at best guess say is passionfruit) in the first two thirds of the sip, then in the back of the mouth it flattens out. I had Keak da Kook take a few sips this morning. She said when she swallowed it was like toilet water in the back. Ok, Keak. Other than that she enjoyed the flavors and aroma and so did I.
Thanks for sending my way White Antlers! I think I shipped some off to Leafhopper. If so, I’d love to see that tasting note :)
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Malt, Muscatel, Passion Fruit, Round , Smooth, Spicy
This is the kind of white tea I think of when various companies or tea drinkers say that white tea is light in flavor. That hasn’t been the case for me with most types of white teas I’ve had, so I never fully understood that notion. I wouldn’t commit to saying this tea is light in flavor, though. What it is is gentle and refreshing. Wait, so how do these silver needles differ from others?
In comparison to other silver needles these aren’t exactly complex. The main taste is of sweet nectar and mineral water, but where these buds differ from others is in the general flavor profile. Others can be fruity, spicy, musty. These, though, have the distinct taste of the Taiwanese high mountain oolong composed of the Qing Xin cultivar (typing that makes me feel like such a snob haha!) — sweet vegetal and heady floral (sweet pea and gardenia) characteristics along with the rather strong fir-like cooling refreshment I’ve found in Shanlinxi oolong and later some lemony-citric tang.
I was trying to think of how this tea differs from the one or two Taiwanese green teas I’ve had. I can’t say for certain but it seems less pungently vegetal, more floral, sweeter, fuller bodied. How does it differ from the green high mountain oolong? It’s not fruity at all except for a once-found note of overripe honeydew which is actually more savory than fruity. It’s as thick as an oolong but gentler, like a sweet, soft soup. Less heady floral, more vegetal, mellower, less potential for astringency. What do I know. I like it, a lot.
While I adore this tea, I can see it not appealing to other people, namely for the vegetal character and the lack of fruitiness. Maybe even its lack of caffeine and cha qi, which means I can drink it at night without consequence or I can drink it in the morning as a refreshing and soothing preamble to the day.
I see I’ve gone on about this tea too long. If Wang Family Teas produces this again, I will certainly be buying more. Taiwanese white teas are not often found (the only ones I have experience with are of those leafy Ruby 18 cultivar teas). They tend to be delicious though and underappreciated due to their lack of availability since the majority of tea leaves are processed as oolong. When have you ever seen a Taiwanese silver needle?
Thanks, Liquid Proust, for making a tea like this possible!
Oh, one more thing. I had been brewing these as mini-bowl tea with a pinch of leaves in a 100mL teacup and water of unknown temperature (not boiling). My last session I dialed in the temp to 85C. That produced results consistent with all the other times. I suggest brewing these buds either as bowl tea (grandpa basically) or western 1+g:100mL. Brewing them gongfu with shorter steeping times didn’t bring out as much flavor, sweetness or silkiness. Daylon says they were good with longer gongfu steeping times, though!
Flavors: Broccoli, Fir, Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Honeydew, Lemon, Mineral, Nectar, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Tangy, Thick, Vegetal
Another share from White Antlers :)
Smells kind of fishy from the shou when brewing but that does not come through at all in taste. Kind of thin but lots of sweet notes. I mostly get caramel-honey mixed with redfruit syrup and liquid vanilla marshmallow cake if that’s possible. Some wood, cocoa and pecan in the mix. A gentle bite in the throat. Plenty flavorful when cold but does turn a little toward bitter earth.
Flavors: Cake, Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Honey, Marshmallow, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Complex, deep. Rich, round and brisk. Illusion of sweetness? Interesting.
Sultry pralines with a kiss of lipstick.
I didn’t have the pleasure of trying this fresh, but it seems like it’s held up well even with nuts in the blend!
Thank you for sharing, White Antlers :)
Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Honey, Licorice, Lychee, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Vanilla, Wood
Sadly haven’t written anything for this yet. It’s winter! It’s time! The leaf here is HUGE and very dark. I like the addition of subtle mint and cinnamon. The mint is more noticeable than the cinnamon. But it’s a smooth, creamy mint. I can’t really taste the oolong, though the brew color is quite dark for an oolong… but my tastebuds have seemed off lately. Second steep: peachy which seems a bit odd with these ingredients. Third steep: hint of roast. I really liked the first two steeps… I should have kept going with some short steeps rather than killing it on the third steep for five minutes. Surprisingly little roasted flavor even while overdoing it. The perfect blend for today anyway. I would definitely use two teaspoons in the future. It slightly reminds me of the mint in B&B’s Brighton which can only mean awesome. I have also been enjoying other holiday teas: S&V’s Sugar Plum, 52Teas Rumchata and Angry’s Candy Cane.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 3 minutes after boiling // 5 min
I wonder if I get this gourd directly from derk or it is from White Antlers? But that’s not important, just thank you anybody I got it from.
It is my first stuffed fruit/vegetable tea. It says that gourd translates to “pumpkin”. While I think it is rather far from it, especilly seeing the shape; I was very curious to try it out.
I don’t want to break gourd completely, so I was prying the stuffed tea with sharp knife, and managed to have 4 grams in my gaiwan saucer that I then emptied to my cup. Yep, grandpa brewing.
At first sips went through, it was pretty much okay. Maybe vegetal, but just a little. I would say it is even quite boring. The aroma was quite roasted and bitter, but…
the taste wasn’t. It was mellow. With more and more steeping, the roasted notes were more pronounced and in the end of cup I get mostly nutty and bit of peanuts notes. It was so yummy! I need to explore it more. Gongfu to come for sure.
Food pairing: Store bought Tiramisu I get for my name day (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_days_in_the_Czech_Republic). Thank you Grandma!
Flavors: Nutty, Peanut
Tried something really cool a few nights back; Camellia Sinensis Seeds!! I got these from Liquid Proust & couldn’t resist the novelty of them!! I wasn’t sure how many to steep, so I went conservative but I think next time I’ll use more. Despite an appearance that reminds me a little bit of cloves, I found that they had a flavour almost comparable to an aged white tea with a bit of a chrysanthemum note as well. Very unique!!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfu101Rg08Y
In the quest to sample all my Menghai Tea Factory/Dayi sheng puerh, I’ve met this tea again.
Not much has changed in the 9 months since last brewed. It is smoother, not quite as biting but still bitter mid-mouth, resinous, then most notably lingering low in the back. I notice now an oiliness giving way to that full-mouthed astringent-drying quality. Ashy damp stone fireplace and peat, a little dry smoked meat, cranberry-currant fruitiness maybe even a little tropical fruit, butter now, baked bread hint, rocky crag again. Camphor King. Aftertaste is dry and moves between fireplace and buttery tropical fruit. This tea absolutely glows in the cup! Th8nks again, mrmopar! I’m looking forward to comparing this to Camellia Sinensis’s supposed 1998 Menghai 7542.
Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Black Currant, Butter, Cranberry, Drying, Fireplace, Meat, Peat, Resin, Smoke, Tropical, Wet Rocks
Dropping this here. The handwriting of a special tea friend is difficult to read ;-P I thought the label said ‘2003 Mengku 7542’ but Steepster came up empty. With some knowledge of who this came from and a quick internet search, I’m almost positive it’s ‘2003 Menghai 7542.’ If my assumption is incorrect let me know. Somehow I’ve managed to drink through a whole bag of this pu without logging it. Sipdown it is.
Red-orange-gold-hay tea, not muddy dark. The lightness of the body took several steeps for me to register. Very clean taste with subtleties that lie beyond the smokey fireplace and a dry peaty, woody bitterness that leaves my tongue tingling. The feeling is almost effervescent in its prickliness, like tiny pop-pop-pops. The tangy/acidic fruity tone of this tea reminds me of currant jam and cooked cranberries. Very light baked bread, rocky crag and clean storage flavors. The camphor hints at its cooling presence in the back of the mouth before making its strength known in that lovely warming/cooling sensation I love in my ears. Each inhale cools my whole mouth and I’m left with that dry smoke and bitterness. Lacks pronounced cha qi but makes up for it in its aged profile.
I get it. This tea is nice. I would guess more years of storage will smooth out the acidity and tannic drying quality. Gonna need some water after this, though.
Thank you <3
Song pairing: Sierra Ferrell — In Dreams
Flavors: Baked Bread, Biting, Bitter, Black Currant, Camphor, Cranberry, Drying, Fireplace, Peat, Tangy, Tannic, Wet Rocks, Wood
Andrew did a good job with this tea. I don’t usually drink autumn harvest sheng, for they sometimes tend to upset my stomach. This brew was an exception. The cake is beautifully woven with a mid-point of compression. The leaves are subtle scented and when warmed show their fruity colors! You can easily pick up the iconic autumn scents of brown sugar, apricot, and dark wood. The liquor has an awesome thick body and begins with sweet and fruit notes, but it quickly moves to that LaoMan E bitterness. There is a base of astringency that fades to stone-fruit and resin. This is a nice tea, but it demands attention and a certain atmosphere. Cheers to Andrew and crafting new puerh cakes and bonus for the awesome neifei!
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Grass, Peach, Stonefruits
A tea I have received from derk, apparently quite a long time ago. Thank you! And what a sad sipdown. Aged oolong isn’t something I drink daily.
I noticed year ago some raspberries… maybe they were there. Today it roasty, mellow, sweet, molasses, a bit of chocolates, and overall very pleasant.
I did first few steeps quite carefully, but then I lost track, as I was writing notes to my Wednesday exam, so I was just keeping it in gaiwan for random time; and well it wasn’t a bad preparation method, I felt free about it… and got a lots of interesting and all tasty steeps. There weren’t some steep I would say… this is a weird, undrinkable, awful or whatever.
I guess it was better prepared for first time… but as I wasn’t paying attention to this session, I am happy it went that well.
derk wrote as well: “I like it even though nothing about it stands out in particular. It’s mellow and calming enough to be a daily evening drinker without much attention having to be paid.” I have to agree completely. It’s 9 pm here; and indeed it works well for that purpose. Evening drinker with mellow and calming qualities.
Flavors: Chocolate, Raspberry, Roast Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet
Thank you derk for this tea. Aged oolong? Well, I am interested in!
I made quite fast rinse, but not so fast to call it flash. Then I let the leaves rest, for maybe 5 minutes. And then first steeps. First one was 30 seconds long and… yeah it brought dark chocolate notes. And raspberry jam. Both pronounced in aroma as well in taste. There is as well roasted flavour, some sweet – almost sugary notes (but not white sugar), little bit of mollases. Smooth, no astringency there.
2nd steep was 45 seconds long. It was very similar, maybe the chocolate was bit stronger.
It is nice tea, although, probably, not my most favourite.
3rd, 50 seconds – roasted nuts aroma came. So does roasted taste. It’s nice!
I stopped counting time. But made several more steeps. Not a single one was bad. All of them. Wonderful experience. No rating so far.
Book pairing: Kalsarikärni: The Finnish path to relaxation. Here, a Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Pantsdrunk-Kalsarik%C3%A4nni-Finnish-Path-Relaxation/dp/1982528990
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Molasses, Raspberry, Roasted, Roasted Nuts
Haha! I misrepresented the number of teas in my cupboard the other day. I probably have another 20-30 from a Liquid Proust group buy in late 2018. Is this really the first one I’m sampling from the Aged Oolong category? I was going to post this under Random Steepings, but I figured Liquid Proust needs some more cred on this site, especially considering his devotion to the leaf and the enthusiasm to spread teas aimed for the Eastern market far and wide.
Dry, warm and rinsed leaf aromas are fairly strong with dark chocolate with raspberry filling, modest roast, caramel, brown toast, dark brown sugar, hints of cherry and red currant. Once brewed, the aroma is mellow with berries, spice and cocoa. The taste is mostly woody and somewhat drying but there’s more going on than I can articulate. Not much change throughout the infusions, of which I was able to pull eight or nine. Late in the session I let a cup cool and a pleasant mineral sweetness came forward with salivation. The spice tone was also more noticeable, while a light unripe peach aftertaste did its thing. Roast notes were not at the forefront with this tea, more of a muted background deal.
I like it even though nothing about it stands out in particular. It’s mellow and calming enough to be a daily evening drinker without much attention having to be paid.
Song pairing: David Bowie — Heroes
Exquisite Poetry is a nice complex blend with that’s predominately bitter, savoury, and fruity with flowery undertones. As is the case with many raw pu’er teas made from the Ye Sheng variety, the bitterness is not very well integrated in the taste. Since I didn’t have quite enough for two proper sessions, I used an unusually high amount – 10g – but extended it over the whole afternoon. Still, the cha qi was pretty strong and fast. I found it heady, rushy and somewhat ‘hair-raising’.
Now for particular notes – the aroma has strong stonefruit character (mainly apricot) with sweet florals, rust, and laundry detergent in the background. It somehow reminded me of walking through evening streets of some Mediterranean town, but I couldn’t recall which one :D
The taste starts strong and bitter with notes of fruits, nuts, orchid, and allspice. The Ye Sheng character comes out strong in the early steeps. The bitterness weakens a bit after 4 infusions or so, but never quite goes away. Further flavours of courgette, peas, celery, and quinoa emerge throughout the session. Late steeps are quite tart and have a sort of coffee acidity (without the coffee flavours).
The aftertaste is cooling and presents flavours such as those of roasted grains, rice, and green grapes. I quite enjoyed the mouthfeel of this tea, which is viscous, slightly gritty, and numbing. Thanks for the sample tperez :)
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Celery, Flowers, Fruity, Grain, Nutty, Orchid, Peas, Rice, Sour, Spices, Stonefruit, Tart, White Grapes, Zucchini
This one’s heavy on the chocolate. Heavy, heavy deep dark chocolate. I had to go out and abandoned a 50ml cup on the table for hours. Took a tiny sip out of curiosity before discarding. It tasted so much like chocolate milk I ended up drinking it all mostly out of shock. It’s delicious if this is what you’re in the mood for. I don’t crave this flavor from tea often enough to stockpile relatively young LCT of this sort. But I could see myself virtuously choosing this over a slice of chocolate cake. It feels far too indulgent to have on a daily basis at any hour. If it was a beer it’d be a thick chocolate stout.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
This will be more about naka generally than this specific tea. This tea seems like what is probably a perfectly drinkable naka from 2013. But I’m a strange one who has sadly not really enjoyed like 95% of the nakas that I’ve tried. There are many other teas I’ve enjoyed, and many other raw pus I’ve adored, but naka.. for some reason.. just doesn’t do it for me. The exception is when it’s so damn old that I can’t taste it and the energy’s super mellowed out. And 6 years is evidently not old enough for that to be true.
I really thought I’d enjoy the naka region more when it is younger because the 2005 w2t naka was not a bad experience (though price-y). I am also aware that many people do not drink pu for the taste or smell but the body feels. But I kinda do sometimes – care about taste and smell – and what I’ve learned is that naka, though it doesn’t smell terrible to me – doesn’t taste or feel nice to me when I can taste it.
For example, the mystery naka tasting set that LP sold earlier this year (https://www.liquidproust.com/listing/695708083/in-search-of-series-naka) just was not my style. Basically, I dislike the young naka taste and energy so much that I only ever want old stuff from there where the vast majority of the taste has dissipated and the energy (that is always uncomfortably rumbly for me) has had the time to truly mellow out. Maybe I don’t mind it so much if and when it’s blended with other things also. But with the young single region naka, I’m like… thank you, but not really, no, thank you, you have it. I am grateful to have had the opportunity in 2019 to have tasted a handful of nakas of various vintages from various vendors and collectors, but naka that is old enough for my taste is probably way out of my everyday price range. So you know, uh, more for you all who are probably big fans of naka anything.
Luckily, there are plenty of other regions where the young leaves are pleasing to me in multisensory ways (and also less popular and thus more affordable). I have some very young sheng cakes that are already mellowing out too much for my liking and I wish I had drunk them the previous year.
Let me see if I can describe what I personally find off-putting about younger naka. It always tastes like… ever-so-slightly sour or unpleasantly stale old book pages to me, even though it doesn’t smell that way. Isn’t that weird? And in the tummy I always get this vague sense that I’ve poisoned myself, seriously which is such an odd but specific feeling to get every time I have naka but not other pu’s. It would be interesting to organize a blind tasting lol to see if this sensation can be reproduced.
I mean, I’ve never tasted old book pages. But I’ve been around enough old ass books that are nearly disintegrating and know what they smell like. Sometimes they smell great, but sometimes they smell sort of awful, and younger naka apparently for me just veers too closely to always tasting like bad-smelling old books, somehow without smelling the same. I know that will make no f-ing sense to most people, but every time I taste naka I’m like… oh… this again. Unhappy library. Unhappy tummy. Rummmmbles. Bye.
It’s okay, though. I’ve just mailed almost every last bit of naka I have to my mother to try. Maybe she will love it.
I really liked the maocha from earlier. Need to find out what it was.
So now we’re brewing these mystery stems. I’m a little scared. Not as scared as I was with the fu zhuan cha, but still. I also know better now than to brew 7 grams of mystery stuff. We are going with 4 grams.
Rinsed once. It came out red. Oh, didn’t pay attention and had thought these were older raw stems. But looks like shou. Smells like an old shou. Tastes like shou. Vanilla-y. Smooth. Mouth feels buzzy on first sip. Reminds me quite a bit of the clt shrooms.
This is nice, though I was obviously not prepared for a shou atm.
Getting kinda giddy on stem juice. STEM JUICE! lol they should serve this at STEM schools. omgomgomg. See? Whoa maybe I had too much tea today.
Okay this stem stuff is delightful. Heeheeheeheeheehee. Woody, too.
I would like a small cardboard box stuffed full of this stuff, please. It is yumzors.
dry leaf: faint sweet smell
wet leaf: steamed peas or beans
soup tastes hella crimson lotus-y. reminds me of some teas from their massive sample pack. pleasantly bitter. nutty. bean-y or lentil-y. vegetal. earthy. low key mouth tingles. i like it! it creates a bright happy energy.
music: trace – roary; forza – kollen; ross – model man
perfumes that could be affecting this session but prolly not cuz they’re faint:
juliette has a gun – not a perfume; ellis brooklyn – myth