521 Tasting Notes

88

This is a wonderful daily drinker. The cake is composed on small thin curls. The cake is an array of fall colors and carries the typical sweet Menghai scent. I broke a chunk and placed in my warmed yixing and gave it a shake. The Menghai charter arose from my brewing vessel. I could take in sweet aromas with slight vegetal scents. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The session started as sweet with a slight tang. The brew was floral, syrupy, and light hay. The brew grew a little bitter with some heavier green wood tones. This drink kept a consistent tarnished bronze colour. The taste was not complex, but it was a steady sweet and tang. I really enjoyed this, and it is unbeatable for its price. The leaves were mostly whole and combined with a mixture of buds attached. I will be picking up more of this tea for some daily drinking. I also agree with this company, for this is a wonderful introductory brew for puerh newbies. In fact, I will be giving this out to some people I am trying to convert to the Sheng side, hahah.

https://instagram.com/p/7yT_5uTGc6/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://instagram.com/p/7yRppaTGYX/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Floral, Green Wood, Hay, Smooth, Tangy

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

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90

I’ve been saving this brew for a cold morning and today is that day. I am huge fan of this company. I have never been disappointed. I opened the package to reveal long slender tendrils of black and gold. The leaf gave off an enticing malt and chocolate aroma. I placed a good amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The aroma that arose from my brewing vessel was delicious! I took in strong scents such as coco, dark wood, slight cherry, and almost a vanilla. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The liquor began as a tarnished gold and then it deepens to a bronzed crimson. The flavor was amazing! This brew gives a thick mouth-feel and is syrupy. The intial flavor is creamy chocolate that mixes well with a slight spice and caramel. The brew carries a burnt sugar aftertaste with a thick huigan. This tea gave me a decent qi that made the morning just a bit more beautiful. I can’t get over how amazing this tea tastes. The flavor lasts long after drinking, and it continues to give a thick coating on the mouth. I love this brew, and I know that I’ll be needing to keep it well stocked.

https://instagram.com/p/7xXuUeTGSF/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Milk

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Doug F

Great review. I feel the same way about this tea; it has become a staple. I wish I knew more about this tea’s origin—where in China it comes from, what leaves are used, etc.

Haveteawilltravel

I’m sure Garret would be able to supply that information. He has always been helpful with me.

Garret

Hi! Thanks for the post! I love this tea, as well. I found it during my 2012 buying trip in the Yunnan Province. I was fortunate to have traveled through this area (and incidentally had the very best Chinese meal ever there). When I taste this tea, I am transported right back there. Thanks for reminding me to update the listing with the growing area. We are about to launch our new website and we are updating all that info there. Shooting for a launch at the end of this month. I also have several new raw pu’er pressings happening right now, one of which is from the exact same growing area as the Black Beauty. It’s going to be delightful. Joy to each of you, Garret

Doug F

Thanks Garret. I love comparing black teas and pu-erhs that essentially use the same raw material.

Haveteawilltravel

I can’t wait for the new website. I’ll definitely be scooping up some Sheng as well :)

MzPriss

BB is one of my very favorite teas. I have it almost every day mixed with my beloved Special Dark which I hoarded during one of Garret’s sales. I had some BB with lunch today :)

Haveteawilltravel

I’ve heard wonderful things about Special Dark, but I have yet to actually experience it. It certainty is on my priority teas :)

MzPriss

Sadly, unless you know some nice person (like oh say me) who can send you some you are kind of out of luck. SD sold out and it was a sad, sad day in Steeperland.

Haveteawilltravel

Hahah, I remember the day it sold out… I was amazed at the reaction I saw from the Steepster Communty. I’ve never seen so many :( faces, haha.

MzPriss

I’m happy to send you some if you want to try it

Haveteawilltravel

That’d be fantastic :) I’ll message you

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80

I love a good Darjeeling, for I crave that muscatel flavor. I saw this and the main flavor notes were “muscatel”, so I knew that I needed to try it. The dry leaf are small dark green and silver curls and strands. They have a light white grape scent and some vegetal scents. I brewed these up western in my teapot. The liquor comes out a pale opaque bronze. The aroma from my cup is pure bliss. Then, I actually tasted it. I think this tea may have been idle too long, for the main flavors seem to be diminished. This brew had a spice and astringent background, and at the forefront, a light wood with almost sugarcane flavor. I did not catch any muscatel flavors. The brew was not airy and light. actually, it was quite firm for a first flush. This was a fairly decent tea, but it was not what I was expecting or looking for. I enjoyed what I had, but I will continue my search for the “champagne” I crave.

https://instagram.com/p/7u1f7qTGYK/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Spices, Sugar, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Doug F

I do find that the first flush darjeelings, which I love, can lose something after a year.

Haveteawilltravel

Yeah, that’s what I suspected. I should have jumped on it earlier…

Haveteawilltravel

I am always on the hunt. I had one harvest that was unnamed/ unbranded darjeeling first flush, and it was oh so good. The taste was crisp and refreshing.

Haveteawilltravel

I’ll definitely check this out :) I’ve heard good things of this company.

Haveteawilltravel

wow they’re local for me!

boychik

you should go there. im so jelly!!!

boychik

they are on IG too.

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75

I had this in the morning to wake me up before work. The tea is mix of sturdy black leaves with some golden strands. The dry leaf carries a heavy wood aroma. I brewed these up western styled in my tetsubin. The flavor is a little off. This brew carries a lot of malt and wood tones, but its also a little sour. This was an okay drink for me. I did not enjoy the overpowering dry wood flavor; it kinda gave me a headache. This brew would have possibly been better with a little milk and sugar. I am happy to have been able to try it though.

https://instagram.com/p/7p5BogzGbd/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Heavy, Malt, Oak, Sour

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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98

This tea is just short of perfect. I think I have a new favorite, or at least a going in my top 10. The dried leaf is massive. This cake has long and slender shining maocha that is loosely compressed. This long haired beauty has an enticing aroma of sweet forest moss and cedar in the background. I pulled apart a generous chunk and placed in my warmed yixing and gave it a shake. I haven’t had a sheng session in a little bit, so I was missing my sheng pot. It was nice that we got to spend some time together. It might sound weird, and I don’t know if there is anyone else that feels this way, but I get to know my teapot and I miss it when I don’t sit down and just chill with it. Anyways, the warmed leaf smelled amazing! They gave off a sweet and deep floral scent mixed with a green aroma. It was like the forest floor after a summer rain. There was just so much intensity with this aroma. I washed the leaves once and prepared for my session. The brewed leaves gave off a heavy vegetable aroma and sweet spiced tone. The brew is a translucent pale gold. The taste is something spectacular! This is exactly what my body has been craving. This brew has so much intensity and flavor. The taste begins sweet and syrupy, but it mixes with a light bitterness and vegetable background. It has characteristics alike a Nepalese green tea. Then, the brew reforms to a potent sugarcane with a moss floor. It’s earthy, sugary, and slightly sour. The brew continues this way and grows more and more sweet with each steep. There is a lasting huigan after each steep that is, OH SO GOOD! The qi is quite potent, as most Menghai brews are. It begins without notice and then slams full force. It grabs your mind and lifts off. This qi continues to build with each moment. This is a wonderful tea. It gives a high quality brew without the stress of it being too pricey. The leaves are beautiful. I spotted complete and whole leaves and buds mixed within my yixing. Their color are a pale vibrant jade. The only downfall with this brew is that it falters after some steeping. The brew still delivers a tasteful drink, but it is nothing compared to the first three steep sessions. I believed this brew would last a bit longer. I am still in love with it. I am very happy to have more, and it is definitely going in a top 10 best for me.

https://instagram.com/p/7v8JX6zGZF/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Green, Sugarcane, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetal, Wet Moss

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

i loved it. i might pick up more. and i was soo #teadrunk

Haveteawilltravel

hahahah I was up for hooours xD

boychik

hey i fell asleep and lady was doing my eyebrows ripping my skin. i was very disappointed when she woke me up.

Haveteawilltravel

hahahah xD thats some intense tea drunk

mrmopar

And maybe the inspiration for the name after being on the Colbert report.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu91q_F4fuA

Tealizzy

Wow! Sounds awesome! And I totally miss my sheng pot when it’s been awhile!

Haveteawilltravel

yay I’m not the only one :D

Haveteawilltravel

I love discovering the meaning of teas. Especially, Paul’s spring collection. It always takes me quite a bit of time…

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75

I’ve been on an oolong binge lately, so I decided to just keep it going.

This is my last tea before bed. I measured out a decent amount in placed in my warmed gaiwan. The aroma is sweet and alike berries. Its a mix between gooseberries and raspberries. I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The scent kept the consistent berry aroma; although, I could hint at slight scents of a fruity wine. The liquor was a pale gold. The taste was smooth and sweet. This had a decent mouth feeling, and it kept the creamy Jin Xuan classic taste. This brew, however, was more fruity and berry like than any other Jin Xuan I’ve ever had. The creamy factor seemed to be an undertone. Altogether, this was a decent tea, but it isn’t something to rave about.

Flavors: Berries, Creamy, Fruity, Goji, Raspberry

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
OMara

I need to try oolong. (I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet)

Haveteawilltravel

Really? You should give it a shot. There is so much variety out there. There is always a certain brew for someone :)

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90
drank Qilan Fire by white2tea
521 tasting notes

This was such a pleasant roast. The dry leaf consists of long crimson and dark brown leaves. The give off a very fragrant char and fruit aroma. I placed a generous amount into my warmed gaiwan and gave them a shake. The aroma was even deeper than the Tree counterpart. The scent was like raisins and roasted peaches. It was a deep ember like scent. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste is wonderful. The liquor is a lot lighter than I anticipated. This roast tea is not overwhelming charred. There is still a lot of green and sweet character still in this brew. The flavor is not as complex as Qilan Trees, but it is still very potent. The aroma began as a roast and ash, but it formed into plums and sweet nickel. The tea has a very rocky flavor. The taste is full of minerals and covered with sweet peach. The best part of this tea is simply the aroma. My tea room has a lingering rocky and fruit aroma that continues to stay put. I’ve even washed and put all my teaware away, and the scent still stays. Personally, the Qilan Trees is my favorite, but this is a beautifully roasted oolong that I will certainty treasure.

https://instagram.com/p/7sc7OhTGQ4/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://instagram.com/p/7tQVa2zGUQ/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Char, Fruity, Green, Mineral, Peach, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

This is everything you want in a light roast oolong. The dry leaf consists of long beautiful strands of a dark green tea. They carry a lingering sweet and tangy aroma. I placed a good amount in a warmed gaiwan (barely fit) and gave it a shake. The scent could not be contained in the gaiwan. I could smell a warm wood, grape, and fruit scent wafting from my gaiwan, and I haven’t even lifted the lid. I knew that this would be a treat. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The scent began sweet and herbal. It gave off the feeling of juice and thirst quencing. The brew was a tarnished bronze, and it refracted the light quite well. The taste was spectacular. It was smooth and ever changing in the mouth. It combined well with the different aromas. The flavor reminds me of a spring TGY mixed with Baozhong. It was a delicious remedy. The aroma then deepened and spread out with more mineral and stone fruits. The flavor followed. The taste became subtle yet stern. This brew was more earthy, like shale and nickel, yet it was covered with a forest tone. The tea kept consistently dark and flavored well throughout steeping. I was able to pull at least 8 or 9 steeping sessions, which is a lot for a roasted oolong. The end of the session left my teacup with a slight golden liquor that tasted of mineral and nectar. This was a wonderful tea, and I’m happy to have more to share.

https://instagram.com/p/7qJmPCzGcd/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel
https://instagram.com/p/7sc7OhTGQ4/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Cannabis, Fruity, Grapes, Green, Herbaceous, Limestone, Mineral, Roasted, Stonefruit, Sweet, Warm Grass

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Dr Jim

This review makes me want to place another order right now. Just can’t.

Haveteawilltravel

why arn’t you part of the tea club? I’d assume you would be.

curlygc

Great review! I like Fire, but Trees really stole the show for me. The cannabis aroma/flavor is uncanny actually. I’ve never had a wuyi like this that straddles the line between roasted and green. It’s fantastic.

Haveteawilltravel

Isn’t it fantastic :) The complexity of tones just made this tea remarkable.

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70
drank Naked Pu-erh by Tealux
521 tasting notes

I had this gong-fu to help me wind down for the night. I ended up spilling the first gaiwan contents (and hot water) in my lap, so I had to remeasure out some more. This is a very neutral Shou. The brew isn’t anything to brag about, but it isn’t a poor quality brew either. The flavor is slightly musty with some decayed sour wood. The aroma is almost like cinnamon. This brew does lack a lot of flavor. The liquor is a deep thick crimson soup, but it tastes rather diminished. This helped wind me down (on the second attempt), and it gave me energy to search for another brew. I’m glad I got to try; because, I can now check another pu-erh off my list.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Decayed Wood, Musty, Sour

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

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98

I’m finally back in town, and that means I can return to my tea table. I have missed my yixing dearly and have been awaiting a nice puerh session. This is the brew that I have chosen.

The cake consists of massive long and slender maocha. The leaves are beautiful strands of tarnished silver and aged bronze. The carry a deep sweet pipe tobacco scent. I placed a generous chunk in my warmed yixing and gave it a shake. The tobacco scent deepened into a more plum and light wood aroma. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The brew starts out as a light jade color, but it deepens to slight gold. The flavor is sweet and syrupy. I was fooled though. The liquor turned on me and went sharp and bitter. My tolerance has diminished since I’ve stepped away, so I was slightly floored by this brew. I stood my ground and continued my brewing. The flavor is a great balance of bitter and sweet. This brew caries a lot of flavor. These flavors being, a slight wood with smoke, some sweet grapes and hay. The huigan is wonderful! It takes a few steeeping to settle, but it follows well throughout brewing. The qi is what had me hooked. It begins a swift and harsh ride. My brain was racing, and my body sweating. Then, it smoothed out, almost instantly, to a light and uplifted consciousness. I loved this brew. The leaves when steeping are a brilliant green, and it kept a consistent golden colour well into brewing. This was magnificent, and it was a great way to resume my puerh journey!

https://instagram.com/p/7fauxDTGQf/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://instagram.com/p/7fgRiszGaX/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Hay, Oak, Sweet, Tobacco, White Grapes

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

Did the bitterness continue throughout the session or did it fade in later steeps? You obviously loved the tea, but I’m really sensitive to bitter teas.

Haveteawilltravel

This bitterness was very light and continued well into steeping. It did fade around steep eight or so. I believe if brewed with slightly lower temp (95C-90C) it should remove the bitter taste.

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Bio

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.

https://www.instagram.com/haveteawilltravel/?hl=en

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.

Location

Middle of nowhere, New York

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