• Puerhtea,  Raw,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview

    2015 Pin from White2Tea

    Today, I have decided to review the 2015 Pin from White2Tea. This tea was supposedly made with 2013, 14 and 15 material that resembles Lincang character. I personally found it very relaxing, easy to drink and of very high quality material. The aging brings out more of the softer notes, and intense aroma. Lets get to the actual review. 

    Quite bud heavy, silvery slightly golden buds.

     Basic Info

    • 2013, 14, 15 material 
    • 0.48 CAD per gram
    • Blended 

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 7 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusion increasing the time by 5 sec to 10 min depending on which infusion)

    Review in detail

    First brew. Lighter, but very sweet.

    (1st to 3rd steep) Relaxing, super sweet tea. Nothing off putting. Sweet potato with lemon and mint leaves, mixed with some basic, hay and honey notes. Again, not much astringency but very throaty and pleasant. The huigan is pretty great. The classic, sugary Lincang profile, nothing harsh and crazy. My back and shoulders feeling the Qi.

    Oiler, and thicker.

     (4th to 6th steep) slightly more bitter, thicker and definitely more potent. The bitterness is sweet, and brings more huigan to the palate. Minerality definitely increased, and it has a very warm effect on the body.  Definitely more action on the tongue

    (7th to 9th steep)

    7th brew.

    Slightly less bitter, but more of the Stone-fruit taste coming out. Peach, longan, cookies and oats. 

    12th brew. Less viscous but tasty and nice to drink.

    ( 10th to 13th brew) very easy to drink. Some of the sweet potato note coming back, and again… really sugary. A little bit of corn and spinach.

    14th brew: not very thick, red dates and longan in the brew. Nothing crazy but still good. Pretty much done brewing at this point. 

    Wet leaves

    Wet leaves: smells of maple syrup, roasted nuts and yogurt with fig! Sugary, again. 

    In conclusion

    This is a very uplifting and easy to drink tea, that has a lot of potential for the future. The Lincang character, this ultra sugary taste is very nice and something a lot of people will enjoy. If you like sweet and very fragrant tea, this might be the one for you. The unique balance of honey and base notes were very well done, and I think for longer term storage this tea is very capable of improving and will age gracefully. The mouthfeel is not the absolute thickest, so I don’t think it is made with Gushu material; but overall it does make it a very good tea. My final Attitude Ranking for the 2015 Pin would be a 8/10. Awesome!

  • Aged Tea,  Gongfucha,  Puerhtea,  Raw,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo

    1999 8582 Sheng Puerh from Hei/ PuerhPrivate

    1999 8582 

    This is a tea sample I received from PuerhPrivate on Instagram. Hei, who runs the account kindly sent me these samples for me to review. I not sure what material is used in this recipe, but I do know what 8582 means and how Zhong Cha started to produce these. 

    85 meaning the year the recipe was created, and the third digit represents the grade of leaf used in the recipe. The last digit represents the factory the tea was being produced at.

    • In this case, the first two digits of 85 means that this tea was first created in 1985
    • 8 representing the grade of leaf, so the lower the number the smaller the leaf; thus meaning this cake consists of bigger leaves and less of the buds
    • The last digit represents the factory, so 2 in this case the Menghai Tea Factory. 

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • Dayezhong Assamica Varietal
    • 1999 Spring Tea
    • From Menghai, Yunnan
    • Blended

    Temperature of Water ( 96-100 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Hongni Yixing Pot)

    Grams of Leaves ( 10 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusion increasing the time by 10 to 40 seconds, depending on the infusion)

    8582 Cake Front
    Loose

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 15 strong infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Clean, basement with some fruity aromas of ripened dates and apple.  

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Sweet dates with basement. Basement by what I mean is like cooked mushrooms, earth moss, forest floral and the smell of an old house combined together. 

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: Not much thickness or viscosity, but quite soft and easy to drink. I suspect the material itself is not the best out there. But, with the storage impacting the tea; it increased in potential and quite complex. 

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Medium. 

    Rating 7.3 out of 10.

    First steeping of this tea. Quite an interesting color.

    #1-3

    Very camphor, Chinese medicine. Broth is lighter than expected. I feel it’s not the best material, but the taste is quite sweet and enjoyable. Nothing crazy good, but quite mellow and has a little bit of astringent to not make it boring. The aftertaste is ok.

    This storage is not my thing, I just think the storage overpowers the tea. I feel it’s too medicinal, not sweet enough. When I slurp the tea, it immediately sort of evaporates from my mouth, and becomes very bubbly which I thought was quite something.  

    Fourth and Fifth steep combined. I like to combine infusions, as I find the taste to round off more and become easier to tell the quality of the tea.

    #4-7 

    Sweeter, more thick. Stronger. Prune, liquorice,

    Longan and more layers of the tea were revealed. However, I am still not quite sold on this tea. The thickness of a great aged raw is not there. The 88 green and 93 水藍印 have this almost syrupy, very slippery but thick texture in the mouth. 

    What a glow;)

    #8-12

    More solid vegetables, mushrooms with wild forest taste. Not as sweet as the previous brews. Thickness isn’t very good, but just ok. 

    It feels like a ripe tea that’s almost done but accumulated some age.

    Gentle tea.

    #13-15

    Tastes like a broth that was made from Chinese medicine. These brews in my opinion taste the best. They don’t have any bitterness or harshness but a very soft texture that coats your mouth. Very nice ginseng fragrance as well. A little drying after but nice overall finish.

    Concluding thoughts

    Finished leaves.

    I personally am not a fan of this tea, but it does have a lot to offer. I don’t know about what others will think, but to me, the texture is not there. It’s too soupy, too light; almost like pure chicken broth.  However, it has a lot of complexity taste wise and I think this is the tea for you if you enjoy flavors of aged puerh. This is not to say that it’s bad tea, but there will be various responses. People who will love this tea will love it, and others maybe not so much.

    It will all depend on what their experiences have been with their previous teas.  

  • Gongfucha,  Puerhtea,  Raw,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo,  Teareview,  XiZiHao

    2014 Da Hong Xi Ying

    Xizihao is a brand that I am quite obsessed with lately, and I am trying more and more of their teas from different years. This tea, the 2014 Da Hong Xi Yin or for short the 2014 DHXY is made from very high-end regions from the Mengla area. This tea was first produced to create a collection of supreme teas in memory of the ancient seal collections, by what I mean is the 1950s classic Pu Erh pieces ever made. Such as the 1950 Red Mark, Blue Mark, Yellow Mark, Green Mark and etc. Tony Chen decided to recreate these teas but using the best material he could obtain as well as making sure that the wrapping also is using exceptionally crafted paper.

    A small sample of this cake. Long, bright leaves.

    There were seven cakes that are part of this collection, which are the

    2014 Da Hong Xi Yin                       2014 大红囍印

    2014 Hong Yin Tie Bing                  2014 红印鐡餅

    2014 Da Hong Xi Ying (Jia Ji)         2014 大红囍印 (甲级)

    2014 Da Hong Xi Ying (Yi Ji)          2014 大红囍印 (乙级)

    2014 Da Xi Lan Yin                        2014 大囍蓝印

    2014 Da Xi Lu Yin                         2014 大囍绿印

    2014 Da Xi Huang Yin ( Shu)       2014 大囍黄印 (熟)

    5g in my gaiwan

    This time I tried the 2014 DHXY in a 50 ml gaiwan, brewed with Whistler Spring Water with 5 g of leaf. I figured that this specific 1g to 10 ml is a great ratio to begin with, being not overpowering but will make sure that the tea shows it’s true colors and will affect my body sensation.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • 2014 Spring Tea.
    • From Government Protected Land within Walong 瓦龙, Bohetang 薄荷糖 , and Wangong 弯弓 Yunnan, China. Three area premium blend.
    • Hand picked and hand processed
    • Almost 4 CAD per gram
    • 200 – 600 year old tea trees

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (50 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 2 sec to 10 min depending on which infusion)

    Dry leaves: Looks

    Glossy leaves, golden buds and longish stems. Leaves are loosely compressed. Stone pressed.

    Dry leaves: smell

    Deep honey covered with storage notes of slightly old books added with this clean aroma of dried bed sheets. Clean clothes, fresh smell. A tiny bit smoky as well.

    Wet leaves : Smell

    Nothing harsh, very easy sweet smelling leaves with various ripened fruity aromas. No smokiness what-so-ever. Mango and passion fruit aromas from the wet leaves.

    1st brew. Amazing color from the beginning.

    1st to 3rd infusion: Lighter body, but very intense floral aromas as we expected, with notes of wild flowers and a bit of khaki peel. The throat feeling is super good, or what we call in Chinese 喉韵。However, the aftertaste starts to build after the second infusion. Not right from the beginning.

    3rd infusion. Thicker and better.

    4th to 6th infusion: Sweeter, a little bit of astringency which enhances the tea’s character. The aftertaste is really present throughout these two infusions. A little bit of a wild herbal taste coming out, but not overpowering.

    5th brew. Very nice touch of acidity that is very enjoyable.

    8th to 12th brews: Amazing brews, so buttery, so sweet.. It almost didn’t seem like a tea. It has such amazing, sweet florals combined with this mango, passion fruit taste which is slightly astringent, but quickly transforms into a deep honey pineapple sweetness that stays in the mouth for quite some time. I can tell that very premium material was selected for this tea. It’s just so easy and pleasant to drink.

    7th brew.
    Leaves expanding.
    13th infusion. Getting lighter, but still very sweet.
    The brewed leaves of this Da Hong Xi Ying.
    Such beautiful leaves, I love this tea!!

    13th to 18th brews: More buttery, still very fragrant and the tea was still strong and potent. When cooled, I get some faint mangostine and grape notes that remind of fruit juice mixes. Around the 18th brew, it has come to a conclusion that the tea was done and we couldn’t push the tea anymore.

    In Conclusion

    I like this tea, quite a lot. It has a very distinctive Yiwu vibe, as well as the leaf brews out so tenderly and not harshly. This tea is for sure a Gu Shu or 古树茶 that comes from very tall tea trees. There is barely any astringency, nor a strong bitterness. Very delicious tea. However, I would’ve liked it if the tea is a bit stronger, and can give a little more. I understand that the goal of it was supposed to resemble the tenderness of a Yiwu and more of a milder tea, but I would’ve liked it a bit stronger and a bit more potent. I would rate this tea at a 9 out of 10, just because of that part. Great tea, what so ever!

    .

  • Puerhtea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    2007 Five Cake Two Fish Sheng from Vesper Chan BTH

    2007 Five Cake Two Fish

        The Best Tea House, is renowned for its founder Vesper Chan and the 88 green 7542 cake, and has a branch in Vancouver that I often visited and drank tea there. Their teas have always been high quality, especially there Pu Erhs that range from the 1950 to 2018. This time, I am reviewing one of there very popular cakes that was produced in 2007, which is a Menghai blend of several different mountains in that area.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • Dayezhong Assamica Varietal
    • 2007 Spring Tea.
    • From Lincang, Yunnan
    • Blended
    • Arbor blend

    Temperature of Water ( 95-100 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 7.5 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every  infusions increasing the time by 2 to 5 seconds)

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 15 strong infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Very sweet sticky honey, with clean paper. A little trace of smoke.

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Intense sweet sweet honey, layered with chinese tropical fruits and a little hint of herbs, but not super herbal. Some aged-fruity transitional period notes. Guava, papaya, mango… etc. Wild creamy honey smell.

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: Strong bitterness and astringency, definitely not a easy tea to drink. But with further aging, I suspect this tea to become quite thick and sweet, full of strength and vitality.

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Very strong sugarcane sweetness, just so numbingly sweet. The bitterness becomes so sweet, like candy. Also, the huigan lasts surprisingly a very long time.

    Price: 350 Canadian dollars/370 grams

    Rating 8.3 out of 10.

    Nice, clean crisp leaves with still fluffy hair.

    Actual Review

    The tea itself was stored in Vancouver, with moderately dry storage of around 60% relative humidity, so the tea itself has a different profile it was to be stored somewhere more humid. It also did have quite a bit of punch in the mouth, very active, and strong. I also may have used a little more leaf for the water ratio than normal, which probably made it seem more bitter. I would say that the material itself is definitely not super old gushu, but probably tea trees from arbor gardens of probably 70-100 years old. I have noticed with mostly all of Vesper Chan’s teas, the teas all have this “house taste” of intense honey and really sweet, intense huigan after you have one or two cups. This house taste was also prominent in this cake, but probably more astringent and powerful than the others.

    First infusion of the 2007 Five Cakes Two Fish. Light but nice color.
    2nd infusion. Deeper.


    Infusion 1 to 5

    Light, airy but with very creamy notes of figs, vanilla and apple blended with cinnamon and traditional “forest” taste. Very unique blending, but very well done. Classic aged Lincang taste in my mouth. The tea spreads evenly around the mouth, and the astringency isn’t super strong yet. Clean, very fine soup with a very nice lingering fragrance in the dry cup. A little drying on the throat, but other than that very pleasant overall around my body. All of the infusions from 1 to 5 had almost no difference, so every brew was consistent. There is also a hint of smoke that reminds me of factory cakes, but the smokiness is quite enjoyable.

    7th infusion. Medium mouthfeel, very sweet.

    Infusions 6-8

    Much stronger, heavier body and quite sweet. The material really started to warm me up, and it was full of fragrance that I really like. Very sweet, sticky, and has a minerally body that evaporates quickly within your mouth.

    Coats evenly along the mouth, evaporates quickly.

    Infusions 9-11

    Lighter in mouthfeel, but still has a great fragrance and a milky soup aroma. Very clean, ripe fruit aroma but with a creamy consistency. This sweet rice pudding note also is coming off of these infusions, which is a very natural, light aroma that is almost like Rice Krispy’s. Great aftertaste, very long lasting huigan. The skill of blending that Vesper Chan has is quite something.

    12th brew. Silky and sweet.
    Leaves almost exploding from the gaiwan.

    Infusions 12-15

    Getting lighter, but the bitterness is still very much a part of this tea. Notes of mandarins, berries and nuts can be found in these infusions. At this point, I felt very drunk and had the energy to run around, dance and be crazy! Man, this tea is powerful! Somewhat grassy, but was practically done by the 15th brew.

    Oily, with a nice kick of bitter!!

    Concluding thoughts.

    I think this tea is a great tea for further aging, and will definitely be different if aged somewhere more humid or hot. The astringency and bitterness was a little too much for me, and it probably will be for others. However, great mouthfeel, fragrance and texture. Such a lovely blend. Very well done.

    The Chaqi was very good, and made me quite active. I love how Pu Erh tea is not only fun while drinking, but also amazing after the session concludes. This tea does deserve a high ranking, but not super high as I did find a few points that I disliked. I think an 8.3 is a reasonable score this time ~.

  • Puerhtea,  Raw,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview,  XiZiHao

    2018 Diangu/ Xi Zi Hao Daughter Tea

    2018 Diangu,  From Xi Zi Hao Daughter Tea

    Chunk of Golden Diangu

    I have known (Xi Zi Hao) this brand of Pu Erh tea for many months, and I didn’t have a chance to try any of their teas until this year in 2019. I am very happy to be able to try these rare teas that are difficult to require here outside of China or Taiwan. . Today, I tried the 2018 Diangu, which seems to be very popular among Pu Erh lovers here in the west. After drinking it today, I realize what the hype is all about. This boujee tea, said it all!  First, I will like to share somethings about this tea.

    This tea comes from Old-Growth or Gushu tea trees within the Fengqing region, which is renowned for its ancient tea gardens and government protected areas. There is approximately 14,400 square miles of ancient tea trees in that area, and it’s also very famous for producing good Dianhong or Yunnan Black Teas. When I spoke to the owner of Xi Zi Hao, Mr. Tony Chen, he told me me that the tea comes from government protected areas of Fengqing county, and comes from trees that age between 200 to 600 years old. The oldest tea trees that is said to be alive is the King Tea Tree, or Cha Wang Shu in this protected area, and is said to be 3200 years old. This tea does not contain material from that specific tree, but you know what I am trying to refer to. The Fengqing area is pretty special, and is an area that is lush with super old tea trees.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • 2018 Spring Tea.
    • From Government Protected Land within Fengqing County, Lincang, Yunnan, China. 凤庆茶区国有森林。
    • Hand picked and hand processed
    • 2300 m to 2900 m depending on where in that area
    • 1.23 CAD per gram
    • 200 – 600 year old tea trees

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 7 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 sec to 15 min depending on the infusion)

    Let’s get started with the actual review!


    XZH Diangu 7g loose


    Dry leaves: Looks

    Fat, glossy leaves with tons of golden hairs, buds looking golden already after almost a year of aging in Tainan, Taiwan.

    Dry leaves: Smell

    Green peas and matcha, very nutty and fresh aroma. Sweet, almost like a light processed Tie Guan Yin, but with more creaminess and complexity.

    7g/100ml Gaiwan. Look at those hairs!!!!

    Wet leaves : Smell

    Incredible, like a mixture between a Longjing green tea and a phoenix Dancong, creamy and fruity while being fresh! Very unique, special aroma. After some infusions, the aroma of the wet leaves change into something like lilacs and watermelon rind. Fresh, grassy, and quite green smelling.

    2nd brew


    1st to 3rd infusion: Lighter sweetness, bitter, but very long mouthful. Rich, mouthwatering sensations after the second cup. Fresh aroma, very refreshing, quenching. Green peas with a slight twist of creaminess, lilacs and white peach. So much going on, it’s so hard to pinpoint.

    6th Brew


    4th to 6th infusions: Bitter, but with a beautiful creaminess that just rounds out the bitterness, almost like a cheder bitterness. Green veggies, broccoli, and this very unique green aroma. My mouth is covered in sweetness, and is sticky. The body of the tea is incredible, mouthfeel is so strong, with an intense head and neck, as well as back 茶气 Cha Qi. The tea soup is incredibly vibrant, with lots of tea hairs floating. The bitterness can be sometimes so overwhelming, but afterwards there is a huge rebate of saliva and sweetness that comes out from the bitterness.

    7th brew! So oily!

    7th to 9th infusions: Still bitter, but less peachy. More of the honey notes starting to come out, with a slight tang. The more I drink, the sweeter it gets. The bitter sweet is very rewarding, and it makes you want to drink more. I was also afraid that the tea hairs would mean that the tea would be harder to drink, and would make my throat uncomfortable… but this was not the case. Very nice throat feeling.

    11th and 12th brew

    Even after 12 brews, so much fluff! Crazy tea!

    10th to 12th infusions: I pushed the 11th infusion up to 6 min, and the tea soup was bitter, yet sweet and was incredible. Such unique aroma and relaxing taste. Citrus fruit with golden peas. Creamy as well.

    13th to 15th infusions: Light, but still the tea taste is noticeable. I pushed the 15th infusion for 10 min. Not as bitter, but still a noticeable tea taste and is very refreshing to drink. Umami, seaweed, and some plum.

    16th infusion: I brewed it for 15 min, and the tea soup was pretty much done. No more aroma coming off, just a sweet mineral taste and a slight bit of astringency.

    Huge leaf and stem combo!
    Beautiful leaves. This is really nice material.

    In Conclusion

    This Diangu is incredibly potent, and is for sure not a beginner’s tea. If you cannot tolerate bitterness, this tea is meant for you. That being said, if you are already use to Pu Erh and can handle some levels of bitterness and strength, this tea will be your soulmate. With such potency, it’s very easy for one to remember this experience. Also, this tea has such a unique flavor profile, and it is for sure not a flavor that everyone will love. I, personally like this tea very much, and it’s unique green, fruity flavor but that’s not everyone’s liking. Some may say it is too fruity for them, or too strong.. Etc.

    However, because of such high-grade material and it’s very unique body feeling and strength, I would give it a 9.4 /10. I want to personally thank Mr. Chen for sourcing and producing this tea, and I am very excited to try the 2019 Diangu as well. It was a very enjoyable session, with great material and very surprising tasting notes!

  • Oolong,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Tieguanyin

    Superior Iron Goddess from Mei Leaf

    If you find a good TGY, it’s a keeper. Good Tie Guan Yins  are very hard to come across. This is because with TGY, and basically any Chinese oolongs in general; there are so many steps to perfect the tea. Even if 9 out of the 10 steps involved are superbly done, if the last step is lacking or not good, the tea can easily become bad and not delicious anymore. Also, there is so much demand for TGY in the market, and so finding a top grade TGY is very difficult. In China, the word Tie Guan Yin is so famous, and is very classic. Even if the person doesn’t drink tea, they would at least recognize the name of this tea, “Iron Kwan Yin.”

        Last week, I decided to try another Mei Leaf tea, and I didn’t expect this TGY to blow my mind to this extent. I really really enjoyed this one. This is some information given by Don about this tea.

    “This is a very famous Chinese tea and it is in huge demand which inevitably means that it is produced in large quantities with big differences in quality and styles. Our Qing Xiang Tie Guan Yin is true Anxi Iron Goddess made in the modern Light Qing Xiang style.”

    “Traditional Tie Guan Yin (Chuan Tong) is oxidised more and at room temperature, whereas the more modern light Tie Guan Yin (Qing Xiang) borrows the more Taiwanese approach of cold room withering and lower oxidation. This is why modern Tie Guan Yin tends to have a more flowery and rich aroma compared with the thicker texture traditional tea.” Mr. Don Mei

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • 2017 Autumn Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin
    • Guan Yin Cultivar
    • Up to third or fourth leaf picking
    • 600 m
    • From Chang Keng Village, Anxi, Fujian China

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (120 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by  15 to 20 sec depending after infusion 3)

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings:  12 infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Fresh, spring, lily orchid, grassy, layers of cream and florals.

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Honeydew melon sweetness, grassy, but not really eggy. Very clean, fresh yet creamy smelling.

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: medium to medium thick

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Cooling sensation towards the back of the mouth, watering huigan.

    Price: 6.67 dollars/8 grams

    Rating 8.5 out of 10.

    Hot gaiwan with TGY leaves

    The moment I placed this tea inside the hot gaiwan, I knew I was in for a treat. The tea, smelt so divine. So much going on– that my explanation won’t be able to tell you how much it can offer you. Not only was it grassy, but incredibly floral, creamy, and somewhat nutty. There was a thickness in the smell as well. Not just sweet, but dense and rich.

    1st Infusion: Lovely color.

    The first infusion was grassy, but yet also floral. The florals were like gardenia, and flowers that smell quite green yet sweet. Some jasmine, lilies, and very green florals. After you swallow, the creaminess will spread in your mouth, and the tea coats the mouth evenly.

    Second infusion.. getting more and more delicious!

    Second and third infusions: Grassy, and creamy like butternut squash wrapped in unsweetened  honeydew sauce. Clear, crisp and clean.

    Fourth and fifth brew: Sweeter, nuttier and creamier. More and more of creaminess coming out through each infusion. Very minimal astringency, no bitterness. Some green apple notes detectable.

    Sixth to eighth brew : Nothing much has changed in taste wise, but in fact getting better. Sweeter, rounder, and has shifted from being veggie like to honey like.

    Ninth to Eleventh: Finally, the banana comes. When I breathe out, the notes of honeydew and banana are present. Very fragrant.

    Twelveth: The tea has almost no taste left, but the water tastes soft and still creamy. Nice thickness.

    Well processed, very lasting.

    Overall

    I am very pleased with this quality of TGY, and how durable it was. Many TGY will die off after the second or even the first infusion, and turn into this broccoli and eggy kind of tea. I don’t like the taste of that. It’s too simple, and not elegant. However, Mei Leaf’s Superior Iron Goddess had it all. The floral, the cream, and the nice texture. In addition to that, the returning sweetness was incredible as well. I don’t have enough experience to talk about Yin Yun, but I felt a slight stiffness near the sides of my mouth which may be the same Yin Yun that many connoisseurs are talking about. This is a very good Qin Xiang or unroasted TGY. Good job, and thank you Don for sourcing this. It’s truly a nice tea, and is well rounded, and a satisfying TGY.  

  • Ecocha,  Jinxuan,  Oolong,  Taiwan Tea,  Taiwanese Tea,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teareview

    2017 Premier Crop Organic Jin Xuan Oolong

    This is my third tea from Eco-Cha that I am very honored to review here on Tea Reviews with Shinzo. Andy expressed about how surprised he was about this tea, especially for it’s unique mouthfeel and character.  Let’s dive straight in and analyze this tea!

    Olive green, and is very vibrant. Smells super green.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • Jin Xuan Oolong Varietal
    • 2017 Winter Tea
    • From Songbolin, Taiwan
    • Premier batch
    • 400 m above sea level.

    Temperature ( 90 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (150 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 6 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 15 seconds per infusion, and every  infusions increasing the time by 20 seconds after the second brew)

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 5 strong infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Veggies, green pepper. Floral spiciness, with a splash of fresh milk

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Fresh artichoke, somewhat savory

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: Super sweet and delicate, if you push the tea enough, it will become very thick and creamy.

    Price: 29 dollars/75 grams

    Rating 6.8 out of 10.


    1st brew: Very light, but full of aroma and robust flavor.

    1st infusion; Light, but clean. Extremely easy to drink, and tastes full. The aroma is most present in this infusion. Notes of green beans, fresh avocado and some pistachios. Very soothing. Light, creamy and very soft.

    2nd brew: Less vibrant, more grassy and punchy.

    2nd infusion: Wow. The mouthfeel changed completely. While the fragrance seemed to buzz off a bit, the mouthfeel is super thick and rich. The savory character is also very nice, creating more of a brothy feeling than a tea feeling. A little sea foody, but not sticky or anything. It’s just got some strength and richness.


    3rd brew: Color changed, and so did the taste.

    3rd infusion: This infusion was also very unique, as the bitterness started to welcome me and reminded me of how much strength these leaves have. Notes of very green veggies, like spinach or kale were also prevalent.  The bitterness adds more complexity and enjoyment to the experience. I very much enjoy the freshness but also how much strength and power this tea reveals in every infusion.


    4th infusion: Similar in the sense that the tea has a lot of strength, but the fragrance is really starting to fall off the cliff. But, in return, the sweetness has become even better and is really nice.

    4th brew: Thick, and is very soothing.

    5th infusion: The tea becomes fairly basic, and the freshness of the tea starts to become dull. Notes of stewed vegetables, broccoli and the taste becomes slightly sour. It’s not that it’s become bad or anything, but just not my style.


    In conclusion.

    Beautiful!

    It’s a very interesting tea, because of its nature of being so green and fresh yet having so much to give. It reminds me more of a Japanese sencha than of a Taiwanese oolong. I feel this tea works great especially in the mornings, as it’s slightly milder than a green tea but still greatly resembles one. Nothing crazy, but a nice tea to begin the day with. I would suggest people to experiment, and see what you like the best. If you want to extract more of the aroma, perhaps decrease the temperature and brew for slightly longer. On the other hand, if you want more of the mouthfeel, you can brew it with hotter water and fairly quick steepings. You cannot really over-brew it, which is really nice for people that wishes to brew more care-free.

  • Puerhtea,  Raw,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Yiwu

    2018 Yiwu Wild Sprit– Yiwu Mountain Tea

    Yiwu has always remained as one of my personal favourite areas, as the taste is so classic, unique and very elegant. The classic, most important Pu Erhs in history were mostly from Yiwu, such as Song Ping and the lineage of SP cakes from 1910 onwards. I have a personal love relationship with Yiwu, and it was actually my first aged raw Pu Erh to try at The Best Tea House in Vancouver. It was a 2005 Old Tree Yiwu cake. Full of exotic honey, fruits and very soft to the tongue; while spreading quickly around your entire mouth. While I have tried some Yiwus that taste very harsh, the common terminologies associated with are “soft, sweet and very elegant like the queen of Pu Erhs”

    Phillip Lee, is a tea merchant that sells mainly Yiwu Pu Erh and Pu Erh from regions surrounding Yiwu. His family produces tea within Gaoshan, but also produces private productions from other areas. Today, I have decided to taste one of his teas, and do a proper review on it.

        The 2018 Yiwu Wild Spirit is a Sheng Pu Erh from an unmanaged, “secret” garden that was left to grow in the wild for a long time. They found it while searching for any “lost” gardens. Sounds intriguing, right?!


    Stunning leaves, silvery goodness

    7g, close up

    Let’s get straight into the review, shall we.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • 2018 Yiwu Sheng ( Uncooked)  Pu Erh Tea
    • Da Ye Zhong Assamica Cultivar
    • 30 year to 100 year old tea trees.
    • From Yiwu area, Mengla, Yunnan, China.

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 7 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 to 3 min depending on infusion) * This tea is very durable, and can handle being pushed. Doesn’t really get bitter.

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 13 infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Wild honey, plum

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Wild paprika, veggies, and some cream

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: medium to medium thick

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Calming, not much Qi. Easy to drink/great morning tea.

    Price: 34 dollars/100 grams

    Rating 7.7 out of 10.

    First Infusion: Was very silky, and light.

    First Infusion : Clean, pure very crisp aroma without any astringency nor bitterness. Very light, soft, and floral. But not really honey. More like a fresh sweet sencha, and that crisp quality was there in the brew.

    Deeper, slightly richer, but is super fresh and awakening.

    Second and third infusion: Stronger, but not bitter. A tiny bit of astringency, but again. Sweet, lingering floral character. Easy drinking.

    Fourth and fifth brew: Taste is quite simple, not super complex. Wild veggies, honey, and very crisp. The satisfying mouthfeel makes me want to have more. The aftertaste is subtle, but still noticeable. Notes of jasmine and lychee sort of light floral, and sweet aftertaste.


    Sixth brew. Getting more and more similar, characteristics of Yiwu shining bright!

    Sixth to ninth brew : Very consistent. Solid, and taste like what a good, well made Young Pu Erh should taste like. The aroma, taste, texture and aftertaste is all present. The crispness and the fresh, wild character stands out as being the most prevalent character of this tea.

    Slightly fruitier, plummy and soft.

    Tenth to Thirteenth brew: From the tenth to twelfth brew, I brewed it for 20, 30, and 40 seconds. Very light, soft, and like spring water. Makes the water taste cleaner and with a little something. For the thirteenth brew, I brewed it for 2 mins and the result was quite different. Slightly bitter, stronger, and more fruity. Tropical!

    Spent leaves, very nice Mo Li Si color.

    In Conclusion: This tea will be a great morning tea, and is nothing crazy– but is very much enjoyable, refreshing and is a good quality Pu Erh. The outstanding part of it is the crisp and very fresh zesty character of it. Thank you to Phillip for sourcing this tea. It is for sure a well made and forgiving tea even if you potentially over-brew it.

  • Teareview,  White tea

    2018 Nightlife

    This is a White Moonlight, which is a type of white tea made with a different cultivar than usual called Camellia Taliensis. The processing is also quite different from your average white tea; and thus creates a very different tasting profile compared to many white teas from Fujian. Although it has many similar characteristics to Yunnan-made white teas, the tea has its own sticky, citric and sort of medicinal character that is unique to this tea. Some argue that this is a pu erh, and some say its a white tea. However, I am no expert so I have no free will to comment on this. The most important aspect to any tea is the actual experience and the taste.

    This tea was made by White2tea, and they mainly sell Puerhs, but also deal with White, Oolong and Black teas.

    Quite bud heavy, rich tea. Looks very clean and pure. Almost like a fresh Raw Puerh.


    Basic info about this special tea:

    • 2018 White Moonlight (Yue Guang Bai) Tea
    • Camellia Taliensis
    • From Yunnan, China.

    Temperature ( 90 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 7 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 to 15  seconds depending on infusion)

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 13 strong infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Sour apple, apricot smell with some creaminess

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Rich, deeper honey, some spiciness, smell of cold patches; like root beer. But not very very strong root beer smell, only a hint. Vanilla as well. (Sorry to all root beer fans;(

    Leaves after the first brew. Olive greenish brown tones.

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: Different with every brew

    Feeling/Aftertaste: relaxing and very natural. Spicy and slightly medicinal aftertaste.

    Price: 35 dollars/200 grams

    Rating 7 out of 10.

    First infusion: Bright, and just started to breath.

    First to Third infusions : Light, sweet, warming. Notes of hay, apricot, but not much else going on. Mostly focused on the texture and mouthfeel. The finish especially on the third brew is quite drying.

    Fourth to Seventh infusion: Richer, and more texture, medium to medium thick body. Taste of medicinal honey, apricots, and the classic Yunnan white tea taste. But, the finish is still dry. Cooling gan sensation on both sides of my mouth, and back of my throat. Every infusion is very consistent, and you can push this tea without getting bitter. Slightly astringent, which makes you want more.

    4th brew. Deep color.

    Eighth to Tenth Infusions : Soft, silky tofu with honey and almonds. Nuttiness coming out.

    Eighth brew. Very consistent color throughout.

    Eleventh to Thirteenth Infusions: Acidic, soft, velvety, and super easy drinking. But, no more tea taste.

    In conclusion
    This tea is a good, daily drinker. Price to quality ratio is very fair, and I am excited to see the progression this tea will take over the years as it ages. Aged White Moonlight should give more oomph and more character to satisfy the senses. Nothing crazy in this tea, a very good easy drinker that is soft on the pallet. I am also curious to see the outcome of this tea; cold brewed. The higher notes of the tea should reveal better that way, and not much of the astringency should reveal.  This tea is ideal for people that are not very comfortable to spend a huge amount on tea and like teas that aren’t too strong yet still has a distinctive quality but want something nice and solid in their collection to drink daily.

  • Puerhtea,  Raw,  Tea Review,  Teaappreciation,  Teainfo

    2018 Fall Da Xue Shan Raw PuErh from Zuo Wang Teas

    I usually stick to my spring teas, as they are known to be the best and most complex. This tea was my first fall picked tea, and came from 大雪山 Da Xue Shan which means Big Snow Mountain in Mandarin. Da Xue Shan is located inside Mengku, which is inside the Lincang area. This mountain is renowned for its complexity and mild taste. My previous experiences with this area has been very good, and I seem to really enjoy the soft yet powerful effects of the tea. I have tried other Da Xue Shan teas from other companies but not the fall pickings, and I really didn’t know what to expect. Let’s first start off with the basics and the brief outline of this tea.

    Basic info about this special tea:

    • Da Ye Zhong Assamica Varietal
    • 2018 Autumn Tea
    • From Da Xue Shan, Mengku, Lincang,  Yunnan China
    • 2000 m plus above sea level.

    Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)

    Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)

    Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)

    Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 to 15  seconds depending on infusion)

    Main Info

    Number of Total Steepings: Over 13 strong infusions.

    Aroma of Dry Leaves: Slightly nutty, basic Sheng Aroma. Very clean khaki smell.

    Aroma of Wet Leaves: Sticky sugar, a little bit of mango, rare fruitiness (classic lincang character)

    Taste Profile: See Below

    Texture Profile: Medium thickness, coats your mouth. But not thick .

    Feeling/Aftertaste: Cooling huigan with a zesty finish

    Price: 18 dollars/30 grams

    Rating 7.8 out of 10.

    Fall Da Xue Shan Gushu material from trees that range from 400 to 500 years old.

       

    Looking very fresh and vibrant. Very big fat buds.

    This Gu-Shu was interesting.. The first infusion had traces of  rich beans, peas, and some sort of vegital character, accompinied with this brightness! The tea intially was light, and developed over many infusions. Mature spirited Puerh speaks for itself.

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    Sticky deep dark green leaves. Leaves smell heavenly!

        The age of the tree really hits me on this one, as the bitterness is very classic, and fast. The bitterness hits, and is gone. After the bitterness leaves, your mouth gets very sweet and huigan arises. Bitter-sweet, charming tea.

    Sweet and slightly bitter, but fast huigan.

        The second infusion was still quite soft, and the bean taste became more like raw sugar. Intense sweetness and the taste of the tea was like an empty sprite glass that became dry.. That very dry sweet fragrance. Classic lincang taste and character, with a medium to medium thick body. The dry mango is mostly replaced by the raw sugar coating which brings a cooling feeling towards your body.

    Third steep: Light yellow

        The third to around fifth infusions had very similar characteristics. Bitter sweet lincang soup with a stronger bitterness and cooling effect. The throat felt smooth and cooling; almost minty.

    Sixth steep: Brighter yellow, some classic forest and mossy tasting. Metalic as well.

        The sixth to eighth infusions tasted again, similar, but with lesser bitterness. Not much chi.

    Ninth steeping, lesser viscosity but the taste remains the same.

        The ninth to eleventh steep; the soup turns to a very clear, almost transparent color. The water tastes sweet, mild and very comfortable in the body. Correct processing, but maybe a little bit too much killing green, as the leaves appear red in some areas.

    tenth steep, leaves have opened up! Beautifully large.

       

    Thirteen steep. Pale, interesting color.

    The twelfth and thirteenth infusions had no tea taste, but a really nice velvety mouthfeel and slight sweetness at the end.

        Thus concluding this tasting, I got a picture of what autumn tea is like. Autumn tea, if it is from quality material, the spring and autumn pressings will both result in strong tea, but the matter of complexity will be different and the approach from the start to the finish of the tea will be different. The complexity is something that can only found in spring tea. It’s the nutrients that gets stored over the winter that accumulates and creates the wonderful spring complexity. Autumn Puerh can be equally delicious but may lack in complexity and the different sides to the tea.