365 Tasting Notes


Dry leaves: tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil, smoke, tobacco. Nose on the liquor was rather dull — my cha hai just kinda smelled like it came out of a hot dishwasher(?) the whole time.

Steeps were bright, with a rounded feeling in a horseshoe along the back of the cheeks, some throat scratch. Herbal, smoky, tobacco punch, playdoh. That beautiful Bulang smokiness coming through from the wet leaf, along with tobacco, Chinese medicine, old wood.

This tastes younger than 2008 to me (a sheng baby, admittedly, but I’m thinking of a favorite 2010 Bulang that tastes more aged than this one does)… based on notes from 5+ years ago, it also doesn’t appear to have changed super-much in that time? YS’s relatively dry storage, maybe?

I enjoyed it but don’t feel the need to chase it at this point.

Flavors: Bright, Herbal, Menthol, Smoke, Tobacco, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Woody

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Tastes more like a ripe than a raw; I’m a little unclear from the notes which it is. Good body and depth — very slightly medicinal, though I wouldn’t have picked it out if the notes from Bitterleaf didn’t include it. Salivation without astringency. Overall, though, I feel this is lacking complexity and the surprising, delightful discoveries which make me love [raw] Liu Bao.

Maybe a good fireside sipper for autumn and winter…

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These dry leaves are delicate — thin and fluffy. Steaming in the gaiwan, they smell like cardboard boxes in a cinderblock basement. The rinse tasted like licking the walls, so I dumped the balance. Adding water immediately disintegrated any large pieces nearly to fannings.

First proper steep after a few minutes of rest gave up betel nut, cherry pit, basement camphor with a big hole in the middle. Wet leaves started opening up to something reminiscent of a spicy brown cocktail or brandied spice cake.

Is it possible this tea is dropping off at the second steep already? I adore huangpian, but it would certainly create the possibility. I let the third go for a minute or more, and it does indeed seem to be fading. Camphor numbness, alcohol muted by mineral water, with what feels like a metallic patina layered on top — a bagfull of rinsed beer cans.

And it appears: grandma Alice’s basement, flooded with twelve inches of water, hundreds of Old Milwaukee cans lazily floating around, the sad clank-dank-clank when my dad started wading through. Chucking the empties down the stairs and forgetting about them seemed like such a good idea before then, I reckon.

Flavors: Alcohol, Brandy, Camphor, Cardboard, Cinnamon, Metallic, Mineral, Spices, Wet Rocks, Wet Wood

3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

Oh dear


Beer cans and flooded basements — your description takes me tova time and place I’ve been before. Whether I like it or not, I don’t know, but those sense-memories are ingrained.


Something about basements seems to carve them a little deeper for me. I wonder why that is.

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Strappy. I like this for a fun little punch in the jaw, and I bet it’s gonna age like a banger. I’d consider buying more if I needed tea. But I do not.

I do not.

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

Marshall Weber

Haha I know I had to slow my roll with my tea purchases recently. Already got a good bit :)

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This tea tastes like pot smells.

I love terpenes.

Amen, hallelujah, and thank you, Skysamurai, for indulging me!

Flavors: Beeswax, Cannabis, Cedar, Evergreen, Hops, Oregano, Pine, Resin, Roasted Nuts, Sage, Sap, Smoke

3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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Smoked… meat? Nope, actually, that was full on hot dog in the first rinse. Good lard!

Six to eight steeps in, the hot dog settled down and this started feeling like an average-to-mediocre smoked lapsang. I like lapsang, I just… meh. Kinda bitey, kinda jangly.

This must be the same or a very similar white tea used for Charring Cross; to me, it reads like a black. Medium bodied, but snappy with smoke depth. I bet this would pair perfectly with a decadent chocolatey-something.

Flavors: Campfire, Malt, Meat, Smoke, Tannin, Tobacco

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Heavy charcoal. A tease of dark chocolate that up and scurries away on the swallow. Malt, some tannins, very little sweetness; perhaps the most tobacco-heavy white I’ve ever tasted. I’d like to think this will mellow and sweeten and coalesce with age, but I’m not confident enough in my fortune-telling to roll the dice on it myself.

Medium-sized, dark brown leaves really poofed and filled my 100ml gaiwan. Liquor deepened to a medium brown. I’m a sucker for charcoal, so I enjoyed this well enough, despite it being rather brash and maybe too straightforward.

Flavors: Charcoal, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Tannin, Tobacco

7 g

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This Nannuo is all the good things sheng can do. It’s not flashy, I wouldn’t say, but it’s delicious and solid and it makes me feel nice. A little smoke without being smoky; a little tobacco without being tobaccoey; some fruit without being fruity. Some sour, some flowers, some subtle cooling around my molars. Like a well-balanced bowl of noodles.

Longevity is so-so, as it starts petering out around 10 steeps.

This is certainly a region I expect to interact with more; reminiscent of nearby Bulang, unsurprisingly, a mountain range I’m quite fond of.

Suddenly I remember my Google mapping project, which I abruptly abandoned as life started unraveling, lol. I’ll get back to it when the dust clears; for now, I’ll just go tick Nannuo off as a good ’un.

Flavors: Flowers, Menthol, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Tobacco, Tropical Fruit

3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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