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Recent Tasting Notes
Late post after LP stopped selling it and it’s something I hoarded from last year, and what Whiteantlers added further to this year. Thank you!
I was excited that Andrew started selling more oolong on Liquid Proust again after he procured some good ones. This one was not super expensive, so I thought it would be a run of the mill oolong that he sourced.
I was pretty ignorant when I first had it. The leaves are huge, even being close to the size of pennies rolled up. So a slightly better than usual Alishan? Trying it out, this tea was immensely creamy and aromatic with soft lilac and hyacinth florals and delicate fruits. The tea was prominently sweet, floral, and buttery, and milky.
As I’ve had this over time and opened up the bag a few more times, it’s become more fruity in the last year. When I opened up the bag today, it was floral galore and intensely buttery. Corn, and other fruits and florals mixed in with it. Some honeydew, a slight stonefruit note, coconut, and subtle pineapple too in the second steep western. Florals were more dominant but balanced out. Nuttiness hinted in steep three, though the tea is obviously creamy and floral Alishan with some fruit hints peaking out as the occasional flavor.
Then, I look up the name of this, and apparently, it’s a Stone Table Alishan. It reminds me of Beautiful Taiwan Tea’s Stone Table now that I think about it…
Anyway, this one works better for me western and grandpa. It does very well gong fu to break up the individual notes, but they are fully realised together with a thicker body western. I deeply enjoy this one, and though I’m not sure if Andrew’s going to sell this again, it’s a testament to the fact that he sells some unique and harder to find teas on Liquid Proust.
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Green, Honeydew, Kale, Lettuce, Nuts, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla
I think Andrew might have given this to me years ago during his oolong mentorship with me.
I’ve got mixed feelings about Aged Teas, and I only get them from Andrew or if it’s from a vendor I trust. I am a basic tea drinker in that I look for teas with decent energy and a tasting profile that lets my brain imagine flavors akin to dessert so I don’t have to eat or drink said dessert. Sugar is bad for a type one diabetic. Tea is good for health, therefore good for a diabetic. Aged tea…is mummified tea. I need some flavor when I resurrect it from the dead, and this one does have flavor.
The description is fun with this one since I remember his quest for finding the smoothest aged tea possible. Unlike a lot of other Aged Teas, it doesn’t have the paint stain funk most do and has qualities very similar to an actual rock tea. Andrew pegged the profile is being like Rolo Candy, and I can see it. The dry leaf reminds me distinctly of coffee and caramel without bitterness or harshness. Drinking it up, caramel, roast, woodiness, and a little bit of nuttiness are prominent. Some notes that remind me of a lighter roast coffee, but incredibly smooth. The second steep gets out a little bit more dark chocolate/cocoa, though not as strong as the caramel and coffee notes.
Later notes have some florals, but in the way that coffee is “floral” with some light acidity. It’s age and char are more prominent in the later rebrews, getting woodsier into dark oak, some cedar. Here comes the woodstain resin and paint notes. The later brews are also a lot more drying with some bitterness.
Getting to the point, Andrew found a tea that’s aged particularly well and one that I can enjoy in my basicness. I’d recommend this to Wuyi fans and Tea nerds looking for some aged tea that is feasible in a heartbeat, but I can still see some people being detracted by the woodiness. Again, aged teas are bit of a niche thing that mega tea nerds invest a lot in, but I do think this one is a lot more approachable for intermediate drinkers than most.
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cedar, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Wood, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Oak, Resin, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth
This one and the next few notes are going to be quick (after reading the length I wrote-LIES), as they are late submissions of teas that were released and out of stock last year.
First of all, this one is a bit unusual. It’s a Chinese Meizhan varietal processed as a greener oolong, and it’s very comparable to a Baozhong in its buttery body and array of florals. I’ve had it grandpa, western and gong fu. Gong fu would give me 5-7 servings using 20-30 second increments, Western 3 brews with a 2 minute beginning, and grandpa 2 rebrews in the tumbler. Gong fu is best to pay attention to the nuances in the tea, but it can do well with the other two styles as well since it’s fairly forgiving.
Like most of the green oolongs and Baozhong like teas I’ve reviewed so far, honeysuckle, orchid, and butter notes stands out. Some osmanthus, but it’s mixed with something softer I can’t quite pin on. There’s something kinda tangy I can’t put a word on yet, which contradicts the overall soft profile. Gong fu, there was more hyacinth than I anticipated. I could see some people using vanilla as a note, maybe coconut (texture, NOT FLAVOR) due to the creamy texture. Some grass, but more floral and creamy than vegetal. Soft sensation on the tongue, but thick enough to be viscous. There’s also a little bit of fruitiness, but it’s faint, and likely my brain telling me it’s a little bit sweeter when it’s probably just floral.
I probably would have guessed this was a Baozhong blind, yet the overall profile is a different direction with its softer florals and flavor. It’s not as vegetal, “tropical” or “acidic” as a Qing Xin oolong, and bears a lot of similarities to several Zhangping Shuixian I’ve had in its softened floral quality. I feel like I’m missing something in my description. I know it’s due to me constantly reviewing green oolongs, but I feel like there’s more to this one than its similarities to other teas.
Either way, I was really happy to get to try a greener version of this varietal. Meizhans tend to have a lukewarm reception on this site, and even when they’re darker, I tend to really like them without prejudice. Liking this tea was a given for me. I know that traditional styles of oxidation and roasting are better to preserve tradition and prevent a nuclear wave of green monotony from happening, but I like being able to try teas in different forms. Most of my 2020 tea selection were experimental teas that I really enjoyed, and some of which I’m excited to see again in the future.
I’m not sure if this one will come out again, but I do recommend Liquid Proust for unique developments for Tea Nerds.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Orchid, Osmanthus, Vanilla
Holy crap-a scented Andrew Liquid Proust Black! I was stoked for this. It’s been a few years since he’s barrel scented some stuff, the last being Rummy Pu which was so good. I was also stoked it was a Laoshan-I haven’t had these in a while. I’ve skipped them for a few seasons since the last batch I had from Verdant wasn’t as good as other years.
As for this lovelyness….it’s good and it drives me nuts that it’s going to be a limited release. I got two oz when I should have gotten more. Cherry Cordial Chocolate is what comes to mind, and it’s sooooooooo good. You can smell it from the bag, and then taste it from the tea.
I was going to do it western, but ended up gong fuing it because I used too many leaves by accident. 15 sec, and it’s boozy heaven. Later steeps lasted between a minute and 4 minutes. The alcohol is present, but it’s not overwhelming or overly flavored. Again, smooth chocolate, cherry, rhubarb, vanilla, scotch, and a little bit of sweet lingering taste with the perfect amount of drynesss and slight bitterness to off set the sweetness. Like many Laoshans I’ve had, it’s also buttery in texture. The rye fades in the rebrews, but the overall flavor profile remains as this tea gets more buttery.
Either way, I frickin love this. I’m holding off rating it before I jump to an immediate 100 due to my basicness when it comes to chocolaty black teas.
Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Rhubarb, Roasted, Rye, Scotch, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
After several days of blueberry and coconut, I wanted a straight black. Somehow, I pulled this one out, thinking that the Jin jun mei here would be more prominent with the ripe puerile acting as a delicate accent. Nope, in this cup, the puerh is right in your face.
I think I will add some Jin jun mei to my next cup of this to tone it done.
Note to self—When you crave a straight black, do not steep something with a good dose of ripe puerh.
I miss Liquid Proust and his presence here. And his experim-ents.
A packet of rock oolong that came from an aged oolong group buy orchestrated by Liquid Proust several years ago. Disregarding my Chinese character illiteracy, all I can read on the packet is “Ye Cha.” I don’t know if this translates as “Wild Tea” or something else.
Had this lackadaisical morning before a breakfast of chorizo and eggs (tea and breakfast made me 15 minutes late to work, whoopsie), I don’t remember much. It seems the roast was light and there were absolutely no lingering roast notes, just a nice warm toasty tone to the mineral sweet and dry woody deal. The flavor persisted for many infusions, which was a nice change of pace from so many rock oolong that seem to give all their life within the first few short infusions. Looking at the pliable and healthy spent leaves, they seem to have been light to medium oxidized, which I don’t normally enjoy with this style of tea but something about this one worked very well. A very friendly tea that I think would be great for beginners to rock oolong.
I created “Unknown Oolong” to house my many upcoming notes for teas from that group buy.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Chocolate, Jam, Mineral, Raspberry, Sweet, Toasty, Wood
If you’ve ever had a LaoManE sheng pu’er, then you’ll understand the level of aspirin or rubberlike bitterness of this tea. The cake itself has an intoxicating scent but the flavor and any underlying complexity beyond dark and herbaceous tones are masked by the bitterness. I threw a pinch of a very chocolate-forward black (What-Cha’s Huang Jin Gui) in the second steep to try to give the tea more of a dark chocolate vibe. Can’t say it was successful. I have ~100g to play around with and am curious 1) how it does gongfu and 2) how I can amend this tea to make it drinkable western style. Not sure how I feel about it yet.
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
So, I took again this one and have decided to brewing gongfu after long, all day study of mathematics (next Saturday an exam). I decided to use quite lots of leaf — 6 grams + 1 gram of gourd in my 125 ml gaiwan with 10 seconds rinse.
I can’t help myself, but smelling roasted peanuts after the rinse, followed with sweet dates and prunes, with hints of char and those smoked/roasted scents.
1st steep, 10 seconds — it’s very nutty aroma, very complex taste. It’s nutty, with some bittersweet note (I guess it’s that gourd) and some kind of cooling aspect. Tastes wondefully, “full” taste — not watery at all. But all round and tends to be a bit on the sweet side, than rough and roasty.
2nd steep, 20 seconds — gives me a salted peanuts impression, with roasty aftertaste, round and pleasant.
3rd steep, 30 seconds — bittersweet note with roasty aftertaste.
4th steep, 40 seconds — I will try a bigger increment, as this steep is just roasty and nothing much else. Watery as well.
5th steep, 60 seconds — That worked well, I got similar taste to third steep.
6th steep, 120 seconds — Huge increment, and I know it. But it doesn’t help much with the taste. Probably the tea is done. But those first three!
Flavors: Bitter Melon, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Peanut, Plums, Roasted, Round , Salty
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