133 Tasting Notes

Got another of the same sample from YOT, which has been resting for a month. Not sure if this was too dry or what, but much less enjoyable. Same parameters as last time, except this was brewed in a 100 mL duanni pot. Didn’t take specific notes, having learned from last time that this isn’t a very dynamic tea. Something cheesy persisting about the wet leaf aroma, and somewhat in taste too during the intial steeps, but not in a pleasant way. My sample this time was less frosted and had less specks than last time, so I’m not altogether sure why this is. At any rate, more woody, slightly pepper-y, and bitter-edged today, rather than the aged, comforting, and dried date profile of last time. Has slight hint of the date, or else it’d taste the same as one of the random shous I’ve been gifted before. Meh.

derk

In some shou, albeit much younger than your sheng, I do get a cheesy, or nutritional yeast, type of taste and aroma without any visible fungal growth. I think it might be related to post-processing moisture content of the cake and/or to humid storage. With time stored in my dry climate, I think this cheesy business transforms to a mushroom flavor. My experience with shou and humid stored pu’er is inadequate enough to make such assumptions, though.

m2193

Interesting. It is not something I’ve noted before in any of my puer (though I have only fairly recently gotten into shou), so I was also put off by the strangeness of it. I remember seeing a different note on a Yee-on sample of the 8582 elsewhere mentioning a cheesy note too. Some others are lucky as I was the first time, and got a nice chunk; still others received sample chunks with yellow mold spores. Seems to be a gamble, and Yee-on might just be pulling samples from heavier stored cakes.

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2005 LBZ mao cha (loose leaf) via Liquid Proust

Was surprised (and annoyed) this took from late November to early/mid January to rehumidify from 34 RH to 60 RH, but 4 days later from rearranging my teas (and opening the pack a few times to check RH), it was down to 52 RH already.

Will try to move towards more streamlined reviews that are rewritten from my session notes, something more to the style of Shah’s reviews/notes, which I really like. However, it’ll probably be some time before mine reach that level. As I’ve been looking back on my own notes + reviews when re-evaluating teas, more details can be helpful, but also difficult to sort through. I haven’t had enough time as I’d like to go into more detail with many teas I own, so this ideally help me too in the long run.

5g, Poland Spring bottled water, 90mL gaiwan, 212f.

Dry leaf is a dark sweet smell, slight mushroom. 18s rinse.

Wet leaf is dark, some sour, some dried berries and slight smoke

Sat for an hour after rinse as I had something in between. I did 12 steepings of various times, mostly from 8s to 12s, and the last two for longer of several minutes untimed. Thermos’d remainder; it died a little earlier than I expected. Thermos wasn’t particularly strong, but was pleasant. Slight bitterness and some of the nice aftertaste remained.

What stood out was the exceptional returning sweetness and aftertaste for this tea, present in many of the steeps. Steeps had a nice depth, with bright taste and something crisp and minty about some of them. Strong aroma lasting in mouth and throat, with some sort of darker florals, some of which had an almost perfumed likeness in the mouth that was excellently balanced with the overall edges. Some medicinal aspects, and a slight peppery likeness. Later steeps were darker fruits before trailing off. This tea was slightly warming and focusing, unlike the Wistaria and YQH teas I tried which were more defocusing in their effect (e.g. staring at the same spot for several minutes without realising). I expected somewhat stronger effects from this, but I was also somewhat distracted during the session today.

I remember reading someone’s review about a particular LBZ being mouth numbing. Some steeps of this seemed to lack a particular taste, and I wonder if the reviewer used “numbing” to describe the sensation I noted from this tea’s strong aftertaste desensitizing taste buds to subsequent cups if there wasn’t some time in between. At any rate, I guess it’s also pertinent that I was overeager initially and burnt my tongue drinking the first cup, so my experience could be related to that.

At roughly $1.92/g, pretty average market pricing for LBZ, discounted even, considering it’s from 2005. Very enjoyable, but certainly not an everyday affair for me given pricing.

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This sample remnant in a doypack had been sitting in a Mylar with some other samples and a 72RH Boveda since late November, with the doypacks open. For some reason, keeping the doypacks open hydrated the doypacks as well, as the paper part of each was noticeably damp to the touch. I was checking on the RH and couldn’t resist trying this. It was at 55 RH. I’m not sure what it was like the last time I drank it, but probably around low 30s since that tends to be what my room is at and the doypacks don’t seal in humidity all that well sometimes.

5.0g, 90 mL gaiwan, 212f, Brita filtered tap.

Dry leaf still not terribly aromatic. Dry woody, slight sour.

20s rinse, which I kind of regret. These Wistaria teas seem to die quick sometimes.

wet leaf: dry smoky woodiness, some underlying dark fruit.

Let it sit for 30 min. before continuing by accident as I got distracted.

8s: slight bitter initially, but then tang and strong sweetness, something apple-like, bright and crisp. A medicinal aspect.

8s: stronger bitterness and sweetness. A defocusing effect, felt like attention was softly pulled away and dispersed. Taste has some sort of apple skin/kombucha effervescence in the end taste. Not quite sure how to describe, but bright

12s: much sweeter upfront. more of the apple quality. A sweetness in throat, a slight dark floral aspect, and a light mushroomy quality.

10s: similar, but brighter

20s: much lighter

1 min: tangy, floral, and bright, almost plummy. slight bitterness.

took a break in between to eat dinner.

2 min: renewed strength/bitterness. Aftertaste is sharp florals, with a slight plummy aspect.

1 min: crisp apple-taste. bright.

1 min: similar, and starting to grasp why shah8 always mentions a characteristic carrot-y aspect to Nannuo area teas.

1 min: lighter.

2 min: bland. Something like tea flavored water, so I thermos’d the rest since it was bed time anyway.

Thermos was simple, just a tame plummy note, but enjoyable.

Overall: some burps, but really only noticeably defocusing slightly during first steep and strongly, during second steep. Not sure if due to not being as focused during later steeps this time or what.

I’m sure this review was in no small part affected by that I hadn’t had a sheng in a little over a month, so small caveat on my 180 here. This time was mostly fine, stomach only felt a little funny afterwards, but no pain. Still going back to shou to stay safe in the meantime. Personal digression aside, I’m also impressed in no small part by the effect of rehydrating to completely remove the presence of the weird rubbery off note that was prevalent across the Wistaria maochas from LP the last time I had this. And not only that, but also shifting the brunt of the unpleasant astringency and drying towards a salivating effect. This was a really excellent session, with impressive sweetness in the first few steeps, and some deeper sweetness in the back of mouth and throat in some steeps. Anyway, this session makes me glad that LP is out of stock on this or else I’d be quite tempted to buy maocha that I have no real space to store (aside from the cost…).

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4.1g, 90 mL gaiwan, 212f, Brita filtered tap.

Mainly light honeyed florals. Had an excellent 1st steep (complexity, but layered in a nice way, with fruit, some sour, chocolate) that was amazing and yet tapered off into a steady and unexciting profile the rest of the steeps. Not sure how many steeps or timing, but mainly shorter steeps. I never particularly enjoy steeping out yancha like I do for sheng.

I tried a 1:22 ratio only at the suggestion of a YT video I saw on yancha, and I’d bet the friend I drank with would’ve liked this more, though I found it lacking. I am used to a 1:12 ratio for yancha at this point. A weaker ratio renders the profile quite differently, coming across as floral, soapy, and honeyed in a steady fashion that your average drinker who prefers yancha might find unexciting and a waste vs. w/ a stronger high ratio that would make for a bolder brew. However, for those not as into it, this is probably more welcoming and likeable.

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EDIT: Remembered that I tried a shu pu in here a few weeks ago (December 11th, so awhile back) for the first time that had a slight fishiness (Huang Chen Hao LME Shu that LP was carrying a while back). I’m surprised it stuck out here though, since initially I thought it might’ve been the Vesper Chan branded 2017 樟香春韵 (also LP sold a while back as the Vesper Chan Camphor Flavor) I also had in it a few days ago that definitely doesn’t have any fishiness to it. Guess keeping a spreadsheet was useful! It’s odd to me that it could’ve affected the tea so much later though I haven’t used it much recently.

Review:

8g pack in a 100 mL duanni pot. A lovely tea for the price, and would probably pick up a much larger quantity if I had a place to store it. It had a milky creaminess to it along with the woody medicinal taste and a touch of coffee-like taste that a friend and I both really enjoyed. Very easy drinking; probably hard to mess this one up. The initial cup/rinse had a slight fishiness to it that I was confused by, but the rest was fine. Not too strong of aftertaste on this one, maybe some fleeting sweetness occasionally. Was scared off by the strong roast in the name, since I’ve definitely tried roasts that killed off the tea taste, but I’m glad that the note from a Teaforum member who’d tried it before when I placed the order swung me to try it.

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7.9g in same 100 mL duanni, since I didn’t feel like gaiwan brewing. No specific notes since was drinking with a friend, but basically the same thing to me as the 2019 Lotus Peak Zheng Yan Shui Xian from Tong Xin She, since from notes on that and compared to memory, it all tracks pretty well. This seemed a little sweeter to me, less bitter, slightly drying. Caused by a slightly higher ratio? 7.9g vs. 6.2g in the same pot. Who knows.

At any rate, for roughly 82% of the cost, the two seemed about the same to me, pretty classic Shui Xian, nothing earth shattering.

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Am running a little tea demo course and ordered teas from YS due to a very limited budget and bc I didn’t want to gamble with Verdant again lol. Anyway, have 6 teas, which I ran through today with a friend (more beginner to tea) over the course of 4 hours, and so these are quick impressions and transcribed from notes, and are somewhat haphazardly done.

August 2021. 2.2g, 60 mL gaiwan (actuality is less practical volume), 212f brita filtered water.

Dry: umami, green, seaweed, tree leaves
Did a couple steeps together combined before pouring. Wet leaves smell coalesced with the taste in the most bizarre taste that I’ve ever gotten from a TGY. Outside of the brothy aspect and vegetal sweetness to the tea, slight umami aftertaste, not much sweetness to that. The lasting impression was the smell, something uncannily reminiscent of the spring pollinated and summer blooming flowers (weeds? they’ve got little light purple blossoms, grow in clumps, and have been around forever and seem always surrounded by all sorts of bees and wasps and other scary bugs that can sting) behind my parents’ business combined with cut grass. This may sound nice, but to taste it in tea was bizarre, unpleasant, and unsettling. Borderline nauseating for the friend who apparently suffers from allergies lol. Poor way to cap off the session.

0.50c/g. Neither of us finished our cup, and yet will retain memories of this one for all the wrong reasons. Pass.

Again, wish I could post pictures, but our leaves were shockingly green, like kale or spinach, but even greener, nothing pale green like the ones in the picture on YS US site.

derk

You should be able to upload a photo by editing the tea entry.

m2193

I always thought it was more reserved for direct vendor supplied marketing pics? Since there can only be one shown.

If there was a way to add it to review directly, it’d be best, but I guess I could upload a pic elsewhere and link to that. If people aren’t scared off enough by this review already, the photos won’t help, hahah! For anyone reading, take my word for this one: tuition.

CrowKettle

I added a few “official” ones from Yunnan Sourcing’s website to the tea entry (most companies don’t add images on here themselves). However, I totally support you also uploading your own photo if you feel inclined – either to the tea entry page’s “image reel” or as a link on your review. It would make a good reference, especially considering the company’s disclaimer: “Actual colors of the tea may vary somewhat from pictured.”

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Am running a little tea demo course and ordered teas from YS due to a very limited budget and bc I didn’t want to gamble with Verdant again lol. Anyway, have 6 teas, which I ran through today with a friend (more beginner to tea) over the course of 4 hours, and so these are quick impressions and transcribed from notes, and are somewhat haphazardly done.

Spring 2021. 2.1g, 60ml gaiwan (practical volume is less), 212f brita filtered water. Dry had the same smell as the YS Huang Mei Gui. Wet leaf was more mild in smell. Taste has stronger roast hint compared to HMG, but not strong comparatively to other oolongs I usually drink. Less floral, slight sweet, some spice, slight drying at end. Cinnamon aspect to gaiwan lid, leaves are slightly floral. Roast is more upfront, aftertaste is still slight minty & slightly sweet, with some sharp undertones. Not a ton of complexity here and didn’t last terribly long, but I expected much worse for the price. Last two steeps were a sharp honeyed taste, slightly floral.

0.26c/g. Quite impressed with this one, given the price. Friend enjoyed it as well. I’m unlikely to order more since I’m used to drinking “better” oolong I guess, but this one really made me question those experiences for how expensive they are vs. how much better they are. One of those things that for a newer drinker, might be harder to reason through. Subjective value is hard to quantify, I suppose, but paying for the increased complexity and everything that goes into the increased quality, and the nuances that are easier to distinguish with additional experience.

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Am running a little tea demo course and ordered teas from YS due to a very limited budget and bc I didn’t want to gamble with Verdant again lol. Anyway, have 6 teas, which I ran through today with a friend (more beginner to tea) over the course of 4 hours, and so these are quick impressions and transcribed from notes, and are somewhat haphazardly done.

Spring 2021. dry smells like green trees. 4g, 196f (a mistake, as it turns out), 210ml, 1 min.

very nutty smell, but the taste was very bitter, with an underlying sharp nuttiness.

0.21c/g. Neither of us could finish even one cup. Pass.

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Am running a little tea demo course and ordered teas from YS due to a very limited budget and bc I didn’t want to gamble with Verdant again lol. Anyway, have 6 teas, which I ran through today with a friend (more beginner to tea) over the course of 4 hours, and so these are quick impressions and transcribed from notes, and are somewhat haphazardly done.

2.5g, brewed in a chahai, 170mL water, steeps of 1 min. @190f, then 1 min. 30s @203f, then 1 min. at 212f

1st. green, light, pleasant. slight umami & floral. Not too exciting, I only thought slightly sweet after, my friend said it was pretty sweet.

2nd. a slight bitter creeps in. Less umami and floral, a darker spiced aspect. Slightly drying at end, lighter sweetness than before.

3rd. drier spiced edge. It’s not quite sharp, but that’s the best I can phrase it. underlying steamed veggie water sense of late green steepings, but that could be from careless brewing and emptying chahai of water completely both times before since I wasn’t sure it could handle continued steeping.

0.30c/g. Not bad, but wouldn’t repurchase. Friend enjoyed it much more than I did, but my expectations for average greens are less realistic after drinking the excellent ones from other sources.

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while this site is mostly inactive, the organization and formatting is convenient to add notes without the hassle of making a blog. Yes, people leave reviews elsewhere, but it’s convenient to have them all in one place when you’re deciding whether to purchase. Tastes are subjective, but hobbies tend to be universally expensive and time consuming; tea is no exception. Learning as it relates to perception is largely individual and thus these reviews represent my own experience, but also are my small contribution to reducing inefficient blind buys (ahem, tuition, as it were) universally.

Mainly applies to puer, but is it maybe unfair to review a tea with one tasting? Sure. But I’m not made of money, so if a first impression is bad, then I have little reason to gamble on more.

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a lot of solid teas out there, so it’s hard to differentiate. I prefer reading mildly subjective reviews from others, over a very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.

Not too into 红茶, too light or burnt-roasted oolongs, or gyokuro. Boiling or bust temp. crew, with few exceptions.

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