Liquid Proust TeasEdit Company
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I’ve tried more than a handful or two of these alcohol barrel aged productions. Though typically delicious, one thing they often have in common is that whatever alcohol they’ve essentially been scented with typically steeps out entirely within two or maybe three (if you’re lucky) infusions. I don’t know if it comes down to the type of alcohol or the number of days it was barrel aged, but that’s not been my experience with this tea. The dry leaf smells very strongly of rye – like taking a sniff straight from the bottle. With strong notes of oak, spiced fruits, black pepper, and pumpernickel bread; this tea tastes very much of the rye it was aged with. Even after six or seven infusions, the taste still hadn’t fully gone away either. It really, truly did penetrate these leaves. Plus, as is typical of teas from the LaoManE region, this black tea packs some bitter bite and hearty astringency – it works brilliantly in conjunction with the rye though. Stroke of genius to combine the two.
I love weird and experimental teas, and for as long as I’ve known him, that’s something I’ve always been able to count on Andrew to deliver – whether it was back when he was dehydrating watermelon and other weird fruits for his blended tea ventures or now that his focus is centered more so on pure/traditional teas. Very happy to have caught this one when I had the chance!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mfv_Qq3YvM
I have two similarly hand-labeled envelopes of what I assume are both this same tea, likely hookup samples. Solid little black Darjeeling, withlinalool that made me realize I’ve developed a taste for linalool… and made me absolutely crave that potato-chip Darjeeling from What-Cha that I finished months ago. Sigh.
I like a Cang’er. Pretty straightforward tobacco and sweetness with the expected doughy top note. My cake was not as pretty as the multi-colored leafy beaut that LP has on his website. Compression not too gnarly for an iron cake, though I should have strained after throwing in all the fannings my pick made. /leafspit
Flavors: Bread Dough, Sweet, Tannin, Tobacco
Hoo, it seems I’ve overestimated my current capability to triumphantly return to Steepster with gusto. Life continues to be busy, and I’ve missed logging a lot of tea that I’ve poured down my gullet. Patience with myself is the hardest patience to practice.
I started this session last night and ended it this morning. The compression is so tight that the large bundle I broke off never broke up on its own — a phenomenon I had not experienced yet. After several long and frankly underwhelming steeps, I finally reached in and broke that thing up manually, then hit it hard and long for 2 or 3 licorice-laced cups that were legitimately enjoyable. I’ll be curious to see what a better break-up does for these leaves right from the get go.
From beerandbeancurd – I hope that mountain living is treating you well.
Good balance of sweet and barely sour, never syrupy. Smooth fruity whiskey-reminiscent aftertaste early on. Big round taste — bready, dried leaves, vanilla and redfruits, liquid brown sugar. Hints to a bitter herb; beerandbeancurd’s “hyssop” fits well, maybe even mugwort. That herbal bitterness combines with a metallic tongue tingle. Some gentle camphor comes around, which I’m always a fan of.
Mellow and easy-going aged sheng huangpian that’s great for longer infusions. Never overwhelming, always good-tempered and a nice Friday wind-down. Glad I got to try!
Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Dry Leaves, Fruity, Herbs, Metallic, Red Fruits, Round, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Whiskey, Wood
Really tasty, I would describe the mouthfeel as juicy? There’s a pleasant background astringency with a very forward medium roast oolong flavor profile. Hard to pick out single notes but if you have sampled Oolongs this will feel right at home. Bursting with good flavor, strong leaf to water ratio without adding bitterness thanks to the coin leaf format. Would buy again!
Ahhh Yiwu, my good friend. This stuff is quite nice! Last of 3 samples from LP. On the fence about caking it. Definitely can see this tea becoming great with a bit more age.
Not sure what the smell of the wet leaves are but it’s familiar. Maybe some tea tree oil with a back end of peppermint? Or maybe Aloe? Strange. None of that note comes through in the liquor. Anyways, the longevity is nice at 10+ infusions. Can do this one at boiling for sure and still no astringency or bitterness. Nice, sweet aftertaste that lingers for 1-2 minutes. Smooth, easy mouthfeel. One of the easiest drinking shengs I’ve had.
Dry leaf: peppermint, tea tree oil?
Wet leaf: same
Flavor: Smooth, vanilla, sweet.
Flavors: Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Fairly well balanced sheng from LP. Don’t see any cakes of this on the site, but probably wouldn’t get any anyways. Definitely not bad, but there are better shengs for sure.
Has some moderate astringency that is a welcome addition to my palate. Mild bitterness in the first infusions. Longevity was 10+ infusions. Liquor is light orange. Predominant mouthfeel is a drying astringency. Flavors evolve quite a bit over the infusions as expected. No sweetness. Aftertaste is herbal and lasts under a minute.
Dry leaf: Perfume, floral, green apple
Wet leaf: Same
Flavor: Floral, astringent, bitter, herbal, smoke.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Green Apple, Herbal, Smoke
WOW!!! First time tasting a truly aged sheng, and my first traditional HK stored puerh as well. I’m amazed and feel very fortunate that I can take this journey back to 1985. Thank you for the opportunity, LP!
After this experience, I can now say that I resonate with the experiences of other tea heads that I have read about. This is certainly not a tea for everyone, but call me Ronald McDonald because I’m loving it! Only thing is, I’m not sure what camphor smells like. Maybe it’s there? There is a touch of something vaguely familiar to me. Maybe that’s the camphor? Anyways, the complexity is crazy and drives your imagination wild.
There is nary a speck of bitterness or astringency to this beauty. The smoothness of this tea at least matches if not surpasses the shous I’ve tried. But do not be deceived: the experience of this tea is incredibly different from that of a shou. Longevity is, as expected, phenomenal at 20+ infusions. Cha qi is calming and sedating. Mouthfeel is creamy and full as if a balloon is being inflated in my mouth. The aftertaste lasts at least 5 minutes and is full of flavor. Towards the back of my throat, the feeling is reminiscent of a used Swiffer duster tickling my throat (in a good way :)). On the sides and front of my tongue, especially in the later infusions, a subtle, tingly sweetness lingers.
I can’t wait to try the other samples in my order from LP, and to try more aged sheng in the future! LP – you will definitely be getting my repeat business. If money were not an issue, I’d buy every gram of aged sheng I could :).
Dry Leaf: Musty basement, wet cardboard, old dusty library books
Wet Leaf: Same
Flavors: Musty old basement, wet cardboard, wet dark wood, old dusty library books, abandoned attic, used Swiffer duster, inflated balloon, sweet, thick, heavy, cream.
Flavors: Cardboard, Cream, Dark Wood, Dust, Heavy, Musty, Sweet, Thick, Wet Wood
Backlog: I had this over the weekend on a coold autumn day. Leaves are falling, and despite not having filtered water at that moment, the three western steeps of this tea were comforting. Caramel, brown sugar, maple, smoke, roast, char, and campfire smoke were in abundance. I also kept getting berry notes, like blueberries or raspberries after they’ve been cooked into crepes and pastries. Active imagination note because of association, I know. But I regret not getting more of this one despite having a decent amount of it.
Cheap gorgeous lapsang. Andrew had a feeling the basic people would like this one, and I did it mug fu style with 30-50 second rinses. I varied it depending on aroma. The dryleaf smell is a weird combo of pine needle, smoke, and caramel. It’s like a bougie log cabin in Oregon or Washington state. That’s what it makes me think of. The flavor definitely has lapsang smoke, yet like Andrew described, is laced with a caramelized sugar taste. Sometimes, I thought I was drinking sap filled caramel coffee. Also heavy in a maple direction too, and the later steeps had more of the lapsang notes I’m used to, but sweeter. Soooo much sweeter. I contemplated getting more of it because $8 for 50 grams is cheap. But again, I have too many black teas.
Definitely recommend it to my basic tea lovers and nerds.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Coffee, Malt, Maple, Maple Syrup, Pine, Smoke, Toffee
This one sold out really fast on Andrew’s birthday. I decided to snag some with Smoke and Mirrors. I’ve only had a slopfu session with it in this backlog, and it’s what I hoped it would be, which is a fruit forward green oolong. Very, very heavy on pineapple notes and nectarine notes, with some sourness like apricot. I can see some people describing peach, but it’s more on the sweet side of yellow and orange fruit in general. Rinse, 25, 35, OH CRAP, 55, 45, 1 min 30, 3 minutes, western for a unknown amount of time. It’s good. I don’t regret the splurge.
Really strong contender here, especially given the cost. (<25-cents per g!)
Hard to quantify. There are some roasty notes, but it still tastes really bright to my palate. Only on my first few infusions but it is smooth and flavorful. Perhaps single-noted but there is some nuance there. I should really buy more… Great TGY!
Flavors: Bright, Nutty, Roasty, Smooth
This appears to be no longer available on the website. Whoa. I started with a steep at 10 seconds. Caramel and better notes. Highly reminds me of ghee. Which is generally the butter they use for dipping crab and lobster in. Though not always. Ghee is clarified butter and technically even if you are allergic to dairy you can eat it. Steeping at 175 in a gaiwan. Porcelain and white. Now at … um… 30 seconds? I’m getting some apple, still ghee, and some buttered veggies. The wet leaf is very unique smelling. Kind of buttery but also like kids apple juice. Ooo and look at those leaves. Not fully unfurled yet but gives you a good sense of the expert processing. Lots of brown leaves but also some olive greens. The longer you steep (like with most tea) these all become a bit more intense but I honestly prefer the first quick steep. The second steep I am finding more of those fruity notes along with the ghee and… candied leaves? Hahaha good grief. I really can’t think of a better way to describe it. And buttered popcorn.
Ashman is a bigger fan of darjeeling than I am and drank an astonishing amount of this tea this morning. I told him that I made separate teas for us today, and that the big pot was a type he has loved in the past.
When he took his first sip, he closed his eyes and said, “It is especially good today.”
I did have one small cup of it at the beginning of breakfast and I had to agree. It was especially fruity, but by the end of my cup, I was tasting the sharpness that some people love but that puts me off a bit. This profile is much better with food according to my tastes, especially food that needs a tea that can “cut through.”
Darjeeling lovers would really love this tea, as Ashman did.