30 Tasting Notes

I’m at work, gulping down a glassful of this tea.

Pleasant. Malty. Slight fruitiness present, could be more. Thinnish.
This works fairly well brewn in a glass grandpa style.
Colour is beautiful golden brown, as it should be. Leaves are shorter than I would have expected from Dian Hong-

This isn’t very interesting. Not particularly intense, not complex, no notable qi, npt strikingly harmonious.
This is a good, pleasant, casual Dian Hong.

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Another sample from TeaVivre.

Leaves are whole, long as they should be. These aren’t handcrafted premium Taiping Houkui leaves, but quantity-produced, decent looking stuff. Colour varies from fresh grass to darker seaweed, stored properly.

Dry leaves smell like dry grass, I get a surprisingly strong association of Japanese green teas. Something oceanic here.

Taste of the first brew is surprisingly thick, somewhat slimy, or swampy. Not unpleasent, but not something I’d expect from a green tea. I guess it’s because this isn’t exatly fresh anymore. My water was also cooler than necessary.

Second brew, with warmer water, brings more natural results. Fresher, this time I associate vegetality with jungle, rainforest maybe. Still far from fresh orchid garden I expect from TPHK, this is going that direction.

Third brew doesn’t bring anything new out.

Overall, I’m slightly disappointed with this tea. I wasn’t able to get out much more than “usual” green tastes, this isn’t very strong example of Taiping Houkui. Although leaves look fairly well preserved, I’d say this tasted much better nine months ago.

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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TeaVivre sent me some samples of their greens from last year.
When I received the package, I was quite impressed with labels. They have marked down production dates and manufacturers! Bag also had some storage and brewing instructions, and it was nice to note that wulongs, greens, white and blacks had distinctive shelf lives. Aluminium bags with TeaVivre’s labels contained smaller, sealed bags used by manufacturers.

This is fairly cheap, and judging be the leaves pricing seems fair. These aren’t strictly Mao Feng, bud and leaf. There are some lower leaves, some leaves have a bit of oxidation, some twigs etc. Leaves are generally whole. Leaves are fairly long, making production date (5/20/2011) seem realistic.

There seems to be two major tastes whirling around here. Weird, little ill-balanced round, almost milky taste, which changes into a light vegetality. I didn’t like the initial milky taste, and the vegetality should have been little stronger to balance that out, methinks. Aftertaste is fairly pleasant, round and soft, if slighly uninteresting.

Overall, I think this is fairly priced, quite decent tea. I have had a couple of casual glasses of this, and those I enjoyed a lot. Now that I sit down and drink this properly with focus, tea feels lacking in many ways. Then again, which green from 2011 isn’t now? This isn’t top tea, but TeaVivre isn’t asking a price of such from this. I would be happy to recommend this for a casual drinking, and I have very positive image of TeaVivre now.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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drank Xu Fu Long Ya by TeaSpring
30 tasting notes

Spring 2012 is here!

I’m having quite a bad flu, but I couldn’t resist trying out the first green of the season to hit the western market.

I like this, after a winter of wulongs it suprises me how strong can fresh green be. This is fairly vegetal, interesting sweetness. Reminds me of fresh peas, and overall tastes pretty much like the Xufu Longya from last harvest.
Well, this is about as far as I can go with my flu, tastebuds aren’t at their prime.

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I found some of this tea in my cupboard. I remember ordering a small package of this tea at summer, appareantly I’ve tasted it once before. I feel bad of drinking this now, as this isn’t clearly anymore at its prime.

Taste is interesting. Slightly nutty, with strong oily taste and texture, with some burnt notes. Has definantly been an interesting tea, now tasting slightly weird, little off. Leaves do look ok, although not as nice as one would expect of Shifeng Mingqian… Hard to say as I don’t remember taste of this fresh, now I tend to think that this isn’t probably what its claiming to be. Nevertheless, tastes good, longjingish and looks beautiful in a glass.

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I just had a session with this tea.
My overall feeling is that this is nice tea, tastes like something I’d expect to pu’er from ‘90s to taste. Smooth, thick, slightly woody. Old tree deep inside of a dense forest, standing on it’s own in the middle of a forest opening.
Taste is quite simple, little too smooth for my taste. Presence of this tea is quite heavy, slightly disturbing in a way. Like that huge tree is blocking the sun, or something like that.
I’m currently looking for an affordable pu’er with at least a couple of decades of age, and this is one I am considering. I also have a sample of EoT Grand Yellow Label, waiting to be tested.
If you happen to have any suggestions of oldish sheng cakes that are around the same price category with this one, please hint me!

Joni Selinheimo

The name is Small Yellow Label. Excuse me but. “Whut?” o.0 You have so become the verbal son of Eetu. A poet. Just what the world needed. Another poet. xD


hey there, not sure if youre looking for sheng anymore but try the 2000 sheng from lifeinteacup.com i havent written anything on it yet but its good, cheap and not heavy or murky, its still got some youth.

Jesse Örö

Thanks for the tip! Life In Teacup is a good source, I’ll try that out.

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This is absolutely one of the best teas this spring. Seems like TeaSpring’s “Cha Wang” -teas are actually really good.

Tea is rich with umami, it has a strong nutty/roasted feeling very similar to Japanese teas. Something, however gives this away as Chinese tea. I think it is the sweet aftertaste, it’s kind of non-japanese. But really, could honestly mistake Luan Guapian for sencha.

Strong, surprising, Japanese-like while staying Chinese. This I like. I can honestly recommend. It’s quite expensive, although I would consider this worth the money.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

I’ve been looking for a Chinese green that isn’t too oily or too fried, and it sounds like this one just might be up my alley. Good to know it’s worth the change!

Jesse Örö

You might want to consider their other Luan Guapian first, I haven’t tasted it but judging by this and other versions I’d believe if you’re looking for something similar to Japanese teas, Luan Guapian is your choice. I’d believe the cheaper TeaSpring Luan Guapian does the effect as well.

Have you tasted Korean greens? They are something in between Japanese and Chinese teas tastewise.


I’ll add that Luan Guapian to my list — it sound right up my alley.

I’ve never tried Korean greens, actually. Been interested in trying them and some of the taiwanese oolongs for quite some time, but I went a little crazy with the gyokuro and had to calm down a bit ;) I think I’ll have to try some teas from there, next.

Jesse Örö

Quite the opposite, personally. I think I’d like to have some gyokuro for a change!


I love me some gyo! Even though it’s not as fancy as a lot of the top tier offerings, I keep 100g of Den’s Gyokuro Kin in the cabinet for whenever I have an insatiable craving for sushi, udon, or a thick-bodied tea. Always have to keep a little on hand!

What Korean teas have you enjoyed the most, for your money? I think I’ll have to get a simple gaiwan and a couple ounces of tea from there next.

Jesse Örö

Well, I’m not really familiar with Korea. A friend ordered last autumn (I think) a bunch of Korean teas. I have a feeling that they were from Shan Shui Teas (http://www.shanshuiteas.com/)

I enjoyed Saejak from mount Jiri most, personally. Ujeon was also really interesting, although kinda weird stuff. I’d recommend trying them out!

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Tea enthusiastic, and a one of founders of Uutos, Finnish company providing tea-consultation and organizing events. We tend to drink up our winnings.

Haven’t been posting much lately, been drinking teas mostly not found on internet stores and not bothering to log them. My tea drinking has also been shifting away from analytical tasting, and more towards feeling and experiencing, so I’m writing less notes. I do recognize both sides of tea drinking important for me, and I believe I will start logging more frequently again, maybe with spring teas.


Helsinki, Finland



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