521 Tasting Notes


2016 Harvest

I Haven’t done a non-puerh review in awhile.
I had last year’s harvest, and I think I liked that one more.
The leaf are long thin delicate emerald shards. They carry a sweet and inviting scent of warm grass, seaweed, and a creamy undertone, I dusted off my kyusu and prepared for brewing. I made mine thick, so I can pull more sweetness out. The brew was slightly clouded, but I bright pale jade. The taste is sweet with a lemon finish. The aftertaste presents thick umami which wipes away the citrus tone. I can catch some bitterness and harsh veggies within the body. The final finish is with raw kale; a very strong vegetal tone that strikes with bitterness. I brewed another pot (different leaves) to see if I can spot any other tones, and the brew was mostly consistent with what was previously stated; however, a slight dandelion floral tone was spotted mid sip. I liked this tea, but I do remember 2015 being sweeter, thicker, and less bitter green tones.


Flavors: Bitter Melon, Cream, Dandelion, Grass, Kale, Lemon, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I had a few people talk me into giving this a try. I am not a big fan of Huang Pian. I always seem to have bad run ins with them; however, tea is tea and I needed to open my mind a bit to let new experiences in. I warmed up my gaiwan as I inspected my little chunks. The brick is heavily compressed with large sticks protruding from the sides. The mass gives off a subtle scent of fresh sweet grass and some hot hay. I lifted my gaiwan and scooped some inside. After a bit or warming, I opened to see what scents I could spot. Immediately, I was hit with heavy wood, buffalo grass, and some dark fruit. I could also hint at a tobacco twang in the background. I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The brew can be described as rustic. The tastes are rough yet sweet. A harsh wood persists throughout steeping and a long lasting sweet aftertaste makes its prescience known early on. The small brick chunks took an incredible amount of steeping, stirring, and prodding before they fully opened up. The brew is not complex, and it is nothing super special taste wise. The drink continued in a basic consistent fashion of mild harsh, sweet, woody, and grassy. Then, the qi began to creep up. The qi was a delayed reaction for me. So much so, that I was able to be just about finished drinking until I really felt what this brew was dealing out. The sensation began in the gut and slowly moved up my spine. A nice cooling winded feeling fell over my temples, lungs, and throat. The sensation then expanded to be body encompassing and can be described as “white noise flying”. I could hear a constant slight eeeeeeee, and I felt as though I was lightweight. The feeling lasted for most of the rest of the day. The qi grew into a confusing effect, and at one point I was unsure on exactly what I was doing, so I decided to lay down and rest it off. This was an oddly intensive feeling. This would make a good conversation tea. All and all, don’t drink this for the flavors; drink it for the qi.


Flavors: Grass, Hot Hay, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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A dangerous name for a tea. I’m not quite sure “who made donuts”, but they are highly addictive.

The tea is a gorgeous loosely compressed mess. The leaves have been settling in my new clay jar for a few weeks, so they’ve had time to stink up the place. I opened the lid to be greeted by a heady floral note, strong grass, and fresh hot maple syrup. This is super dank. I warmed up my shibo and prepared for brewing. The scent of the vibrant leaves opened up into some crystallized brown sugar, oatmeal, and pancakes drowned in maple syrup (maybe breakfast is on my mind). The taste is springy. The brew begins heavy on lemon and acidity. Then, the soup soothes out to a freshly baked apple turnover. The taste is very nice, flaky, and sweet. However, the acidity lingers in the background sparking the taste buds. The aftertaste is thick and long with powdered sugar and fruit. Then, the donut hit me. A smooth cooling sensation that begins around steep two melds with the acidity and rises from the stomach. The process is slow but constant. Suddenly, I experienced an intense pressure on my solar plexus that chilled my lungs. The frost moves up and down my spine bumping into the back of my neck. This tea is a powerhouse. The feeling is electric and uplifting with viscosity whipping the tongue. Lastly, a good note, the brew remains sweet in the forefront throughout the entire session. The dessert taste fades but a stevia succulence persists. A very nice tea. I can see why it has such a price.


Flavors: Apple, Bitter Melon, Floral, Grass, Lemon, Maple Syrup, Pancake Syrup, Pastries, Sugar, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Reading this review with a Cream song in the background makes an experience.


great tasting notes!. Loved this tea too. only wish I had more!

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A very interesting tea that was a gift from a friend. The dry leaf smells of strong herbaceous grape leaf, fresh rain fallen forest floor, white grapes, clay, and milk thistle. A medley of unique scents. I warmed my gaiwan and placed some inside. The scent opens to slight menthol, malt honey, hot hay, and dark cherry. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste is of pure earth. I don’t mean soil or wet clay, I mean Earth. The naturalistic taste begins with oak, maple wood, and autumn leaf pile. A soft tone of supple soil rises up with a cool sweet sap pushing out of it. The cooling sensation envelops the mouth and moves down the throat. A long lasting sweet honey tone rises from the back of the throat and lingers on the tongue. The background consists of blood red roses. This tea reminds me of early morning autumn hikes in the woods by my house. This is a fantastic nostalgia tea. The tea lasts steep after steep and ends with sweet harsh tangs that nip at the tongue. A very good tea.


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cherry, Clay, Dry Grass, Eucalyptus, Forest Floor, Honey, Malt, Maple, Menthol, Oak, Petrichor, Wet Moss, White Grapes

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank BaDa 2013 by pu-erh.sk
521 tasting notes

I don’t see much fresh BaDa, so I was excited to try this one out. The leaf is quite compressed and gives off a heavy bitter scent with some thick floral background. The hefty chunk is stone fruity and bright. I warmed up my gaiwan and placed a chunk inside. The tea is oddly fragrant, haha. The leaf opens up some and gives potent scents of peach and apricot alike gummy candy. The fruit aroma grows fat after washing and continues to explore the tea room while brewing. The taste begins bitey and fresh with lemon grass notes. A slight peppercorn taste peeks through the bright sunshineyness. The huigan builds hard and thick in the back of the throat with a sweet tang. The energy is very good and percolates my vessels. However, the tea is quite basic. The tones continue to be soft and slowly moving, but I sensed no extreme bitter, sweet, or unique tastes. The sheng is nice and grassy and becomes dry over time. This raw stuff is quite basic, but the qi is something nice. A nice bright summer energy. I enjoyed the tea, but I don’t think i’ll get a cake.


Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Candy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Peach, Pepper

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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First to review :)

The leaf is moderately condensed and consists of quite a few visible shiny buds. I take in a potent floral and super sweet aroma. The scent is so silky it’s almost creamy. The background yields fresh greens, vegetation, and some lily. A very nice beginning to a tea session. I warmed up my pot and placed some inside. The scent continues in the form of strong floral syrup with underlying of dark wet wood and peat moss. This aroma is amazingly sweet and tasty. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste begins incredibly thick with a full body of sugar syrupy and fresh fruit. The brew subsides into a lime note with candied sweetness underneath. I thought of sour patch kids as this tea moved forward, for it would begin sour and then cover up with sweet juiciness. A nice viscosity appeared in later steeping with brief astringency that would slowly grow. This tea is characterized as sweet yet aggressive. The qi is powerful and strong armed. I was disoriented quickly into the session. I experienced a great deal of head pressure, fuzziness, tongue numbing, and fizzy flying. I also noticed a prominent cooling sensation stuck in my lungs that actually took my breath away. The brew continues to stay sweet and tasteful throughout the session. The steeped leaves filled my room with a sweet pastry scent. I enjoyed this tea, and I was quite short of breath afterwards. A very nicely done tea.


Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Citrus, Floral, Lime, Smooth, Sour, Sweet, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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This is a wonderful yancha! I really enjoyed brewing this tea in my wee lil jianshui. The leaf consists on long sturdy tendrils of blackened leaves with a soft honey aroma with peaches in top. The leaves carry additional scents of orchid, fig, and nice smooth roast. I can already tell I’m going to like it. I warmed up my lil pot and prepared for brewing. Then, I stuffed the pot full and let the leaves warm up. An incredibly sweet and fruity aroma drifted from the lid with a strong scent of burnt sugar, honey, and brief wisps of fresh peaches. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. With yancha, I only get about 1 amazing steeping and 2-3 meh steepings. Accordingly, the first steeping was pure heaven. BTW the steeped leaves give off an explosive aroma of fresh cut flowers and ripe dark fruits. The taste begins with a succulent fruit flavor with a hint of char. The note progresses into a sweet direct peach flavor and crystal honey. This brew has a thick full taste and oily body with an exhale of (you guessed it) peaches and a lasting powdered sugar aftertaste. The qi is electrifying and creates a beautiful flow. I continued to steep those poor leaves over and over in hopes of recreating that first step, but I only received meh steeps (the flavor is decent but the body is missing something). If you decide to continue on this path, the brew will progressively become more and more dry with char notes peeking out. Eventually, my throat gets ached if I drink too much yancha. Anyways, this is still a fantastic tea, and I love my little pot!


Flavors: Char, Fruity, Peach, Powdered Sugar, Red Fruits, Roasted, Sweet, Winter Honey

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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I am not keen on Autumn tea, but this tea has a wicked sale price. I inquired to a tea friend and they came to the rescue with a sample to help me decide on if this cake was destined to be a guest in my cabinet. The dry leaf is loosely compressed with soft tones of spice, some sweetness, and an autumn leaf pile (figures). The leaves are very dark and are beginning to show their age. I warmed my pot up and slipped some inside. The aroma creeps out with sweet dark fruits, buckwheat honey, grain, graham cracker, and some fig. However, a note an odd blueberry note in the background that draws me in to this fruity medley. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste is leafy at first (so descriptive right), but it proceeds to a pronounced mossy taste with some brown sugar in the back. The next sip brings a clear peach note that pierces through the roughage. The brew flows with fruity sweetness; however, this flavor does not last long. This tea moves into a woody category with mild astringency, and I suppose the tea likes it best there cause it does not leave. In fact, the brew continues on this path of wood, dry, and bitter for the remainder of the session. On the contrary, this tea has some great qi. The sensation begins in the temples and slowly massages inwards and outwards; A full encompassing body high with good vibrations. The qi continues to move about and flows really well. Actually, I only continued to drink for the qi. I’m not sure how I feel about this tea, but I don’t believe I will buy a cake. The qi is good, but it is too much wood for me.


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Dark Wood, Honey, Moss, Peach, Red Fruits, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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A nice and roasty oolong. The small pebbles of tea are wrapped tight and roasted. I catch whiffs of toasted barley, ripe fruit, and a slight char. I warmed my gaiwan up and slipped a few of these inside. The taste moved into pure roast with a lingering sweetness. I dark heavy wood tone stood in the background. I washed the small rocks and prepared for brewing. The taste was unique and intoxicating. A smooth and full brew of hot apple cider, cinnamon and smoked apples with a touch of cranberry. This was a pronounced taste. The brew is nice and full bodied with nutty aftertaste. The apple tone continued to be pronounced along with some apricot in later steeping. This is a wonderful dark fruited oolong that was nice and filling.


Flavors: Apricot, Char, Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Heavy, Nutty, Red Apple, Roasted, Roasted Barley

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Young and experienced Tea consumer. I’m continuously learning and developing knowledge about tea. If I have learned anything at all from the world of tea it is that I do not know anything about the world of tea. I enjoy good tea, and I try to acquire the best of the best. I usually brew gongfu but I’ve been known from time to time to resort back to western brewing.

I have an Instagram (haveteawilltravel), and I am proud of my photographs. I use my pictures in my reviews,and I hope that they aid in portraying the beauty of tea and teaware.


Tea Rating System:
I rate my teas based on the category they fall into (Puer, Red, Oolong, Darjeeing, Flushes, Yancha… etc.)
This means that I will rate a Oolong based on how it stands up as a quality Oolong. I try not to compare teas, rather I work to evaluate them on their craftsmanship, harvest, processing, and qi.

I am most strict with Shou and Sheng Puerh, only because of the vast expanse of various experiences, such as; region, vintage, production, processing, etc.


Middle of nowhere, New York

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