Liquid Proust TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Really unusual. I may have had it before, but I’m not sure. It’s also a popular tea that Andrew hates is popular because it’s not as sophisticated as some of the other stuff he sells, but the flavor is on point.
At first, it has the scent of a flavored milk oolong being spinach-vanilla cookie batter like, almost fruity like Flinstone vitamins. Drinking it up, it’s like flinstone vitamins. There is some mineral and bready qualities along with funky gaba fruit, though way smoother than other gaba. It’s like a white grape raisin in a buttery floral milky body. I kept drinking it over and over, brewing it up again and again in flash steeps maintaining the flavor. Longer 30 sec and up steeps leaned more towards the raisin cookie quality, lighter steeps were more fruity and milky like fruit loops in milk.
Either way, I’m digging it. I look forward to see what I else I can get from it. If anyone else writes about it, there are going to be a flurry of adjectives on this page in all kinds of directions for it.
Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Cream, Fruity, Milk, Mineral, Raisins, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet Corn
This one has the smoke and touch as listed. Very big leaf and an almost savory salty note to it. The tobacco is in there as well and carries through for quite a few steps. Might be a niche type tea but could be appealing with those that like the bitterness and smoke in one. Gong Fu style brewing.
Flavors: Bitter, Savory, Smoke
Straight up camphor and tiger balm in this one. Up front notes with some smoke and bitterness in the cup. If you are a fan of one punching you in the mouth with that oily mouth coating this would be the one. If you aren’t sample before you get one. It is either the notes you like or wouldn’t. I don’t think there is a middle ground on this one but for me this is straight up my alley.
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Oily, Smoke
4.1g, 90mL gaiwan and random steep times and 190f-212f temps. It can handle higher temps, but for just brownie taste, lower temps + slightly longer times are better. Higher temps bring out raisin-y and stronger floral malty hongcha notes. Anyway, these being noted, I accidentally left the 4th or 5th steep in for over an hour with 185ish water and it was alright, but sorta bitter hongcha and chocolate-y raisins in a way akin to the bourbon barrel shou.
Very happy to have been able to get some of this. Thanks a ton to Andrew for making this available! True to its name, taste and aroma are entirely chocolate and brownie batter. There’s a very slight tinge of alcohol that sometimes weaves into the aroma, but not noticeable unless you pay attention. While this didn’t seem terribly complex to me, it is a very fun tea that I very much enjoyed.
2010 CNNP 迎春香 (CNNP Welcome Spring in LP’s listing).
5.3g, 90 mL gaiwan. Brita filtered tap, boiling. 2x 10s rinses.
Steeps of various times, and more one note past say 4-ish steeps. Opens up slightly woody, with a bitterness running mostly throughout the beginning, but can pop up again later with kill steeps. Sort of medicinal by some stretch, and definite HK basement/humid taste. Some very slight floral or mint (?) aspect and varying levels of sweetness in aftertaste, along with a pepper-y taste. Maybe some dirt, very light mushroom, and coming close to beet/geosmin territory on 4th steep, but definitely present after. Pretty darkened color for a 2010 tea, so definitely HK storage at work.
I was wondering why I never reviewed this, but I don’t think I ever got around to trying it out of the Spring sampler teas from my first LP purchase (a couple weeks short of 1 year ago!!) until now. I can’t remember if I still have the rest somewhere, but it’d be interesting to maybe go back and compare. I doubt I’d have enjoyed HK humid stored tea early on, so it’s good I’m trying this now I suppose. Wouldn’t cake for personal taste, but it’s not bad, and right in daily drinker price range ($84/400g). Given how much my preferences have shifted in this year, I wouldn’t count on this being a safe blind bet, unless one already knows they really like HK humid stored sheng and are willing to drink through a whole 400g of it. This reminds me in many ways of the Changtai ‘03 Jinzhushan from MrMopar, which makes me wonder how much I can actually distinguish teas and storage at this point. Going off of memory, JZS is a bit more mellow, given the extra years of age, but at the same time, the mushroom and geosmin notes on JZS may be stronger. At this time, my impression of both of these now is that storage has taken over in determining taste, so I don’t know how much I agree with the descriptor for this that “it has the ability to shift dramatically within ones storage as the fate of it’s taste/aromatics is not completely set yet”. Shift? Sure. Dramatically? Less sure.
2.8g, thermos overnight. Roasty woody sense, with the usual minty vegetal background. Some dark, almost caramel like sense? remember being enamored with this at some point for some reason, but LP’s other aged oolongs are better… Even while accessible in my desk, I never find myself reaching for this one.
2.1g, 16 oz thermos, boiling. Really roasty in cup. Minty aftertaste. Second refill is slightly plummy. None of the caramel notes from the last time I had this, which was in a glass and heat dissipation probably made it lighter and more pleasant and plummy. Thought i made a note before but can’t seem to find it.
Adding more to it. The more I’ve had this open for, the more it’s relaxed. It’s actually well suited to the spring summer weather.
I get most of the same notes, but the tea is a lot softer and fruitier in a soft yellow liquor. There’s more pineapple, apricot and slight sourness this time bordering on apple. By association, my brain makes me think of the apple coleslaw at tropical smoothie. Guess I’d add carrot and kale to the notes then. I’m almost tempted to put vinegar in the notes for some reason because of it’s funk. Maybe it’s just me.
I really like this one and it’s fruitiness/fresh veggies vibes. Cutting the time short really helps cut down the more vegetal qualities bringing out the fresher ones, and so does backing off on the leaf. Going too intense on it makes the tea kale-sour broccoli tasting.
Andrew has said he actually thinks this is a better tea, but we’ll see when I get the GABA Milk for comparison. He posted a video talking about how mad he gets that it’s the more popular one because people are really into flavor when he really wants to get them into tea education. We shall see.
Flavors: Acidic, Apple, Broccoli, Carrot, Citrus, Floral, Kale, Lettuce, Pineapple, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Vinegar
I’ve had this one for a little bit, and thought it was the same as the Milk Gaba. Guess not.
Describing this one is kinda difficult. It’s sweet, and I mostly get corn, squash, heavy buttered green beans, osmanthus, apricot hints, and jackfruit(?) in the notes. Today, I’m getting kettle corn with those other notes after washing it 15 and again 20 seconds with 75 ml, 195 F. Before in my tumbler, I’ve gotten Squash, green beans, yellow malt, and corn. The vintage I have is either 2020, or 2021. I can’t remember if I got it, or if Whiteantlers gifted it.
The weird combo between sweet and savory is what gets me from the GABA funk. Sometimes, it tastes like green and yellow skittles, and other times, it tastes and smells like vegetables. It’s fun and well, obviously oolong that I am happy Andrew offers, though I’m not solid on it. I like it more than some other Alishans I’ve had despite not drinking it super often. Sometimes the GABA funk is too much. Hypocritical, I know. There are also more florals, edging on violet, but I’m not sure.
Well, I added it to expand the data base. I like that it’s closer to the style of oolong I usually drink over a more oxidized version or a green tea. Still holding off on the rating ‘cause I’m not sure if I love it.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Corn Husk, Creamy, Floral, Green, Green Beans, Kettle Corn, Osmanthus, Savory, Squash, Sugarcane, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
The texture of the dry leaf is so odd. It’s loosely compressed, but the leaf is bendable, so it’s difficult to break apart. I’m guessing it’s the fact it was aged in a rye barrel for 6 months.
The aroma definitely smells like whiskey. Flavor wise, it’s sweet, tastes like whiskey without the burn, and smooth. The immediate hit is burnt sugar, pepper, and has a lingering caramel flavor on the tongue.
I drink this every Friday after work, so that I may have the pleasure of having the liquor experience without the hangover. I kicked the habit of drinking spirits after going remote in 2020. Tea is much better for me anyway. :)I’m down to 136g/200g.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Pepper, Whiskey
From a group buy, how long ago now.
I like to brew this long, otherwise I find the flavor too light. A resinous-bready undertone and mineral baked plum-apricot-quince midtone are greeted by the forward honey-caramel-redfruit sweetness and muted floral nature that roasted oolong can have. The aftertaste reminds strongly of black grape skins. Brewing this long brings out a tongue-numbing and tingly bitter-tannic quality that may put others off but I find it especially satisfying in the moment. Gently grounding energy this evening, much needed after a morning at work where I thought for sure my head was going to spin right off.
Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Camphor, Caramel, Cream, Dark Bittersweet, Floral, Grape Skin, Honey, Mineral, Plum, Quince, Red Fruits, Resin, Roasty, Tangy, Tannin
smell isn’t too interesting, just the roast basically. boiling, Brita filtered tap, 1.8g in 16 oz thermos, 2 quick rinses. The taste is just of the roast. Something like a lite version of the Zhang Hui Chun Strongest Roast from EoT; around the same price (40c/g for this, 44c/g for the EoT version assuming you aren’t bulk purchasing). Very slight minty aftertaste. It’s not bad, but if you’re looking for an aged oolong, like I was, you can’t taste it here. None of the usual plummy or caramel notes. If you’re just looking for a strong roast that doesn’t kill the tea though, this is okay. The EoT ZHC SR is richer and worth the 4c/g premium. I disagree that it steeps out for a long time; it didn’t for me. Got about one refill out of this, and I generally get much more. I don’t think not rinsing vs. rinsing should’ve affected it that much.
7g, 100mL gaiwan. Had a friend over so no particular notes. Used Brita tap, so not sure if it was that, but this shone at the beginning and then wasn’t very exciting overall. Some nice florals in aftertaste, some warming initially that dispersed. Some light mushroominess and slight bitterness when pushed. Wasn’t as enamored as before, which could be the seasonal water variations? Idk. Didn’t have the extensive aftertaste in mouth or throat as before. Impression overall is that this still seems pretty soft (compared to my impression of the YS LBZ), and was good for introducing a beginner to a pleasant sheng with some age. Same issue generally with longevity though.
2005 LBZ mao cha (loose leaf) via Liquid Proust
Was surprised (and annoyed) this took from late November to early/mid January to rehumidify from 34 RH to 60 RH, but 4 days later from rearranging my teas (and opening the pack a few times to check RH), it was down to 52 RH already.
Will try to move towards more streamlined reviews that are rewritten from my session notes, something more to the style of Shah’s reviews/notes, which I really like. However, it’ll probably be some time before mine reach that level. As I’ve been looking back on my own notes + reviews when re-evaluating teas, more details can be helpful, but also difficult to sort through. I haven’t had enough time as I’d like to go into more detail with many teas I own, so this ideally help me too in the long run.
5g, Poland Spring bottled water, 90mL gaiwan, 212f.
Dry leaf is a dark sweet smell, slight mushroom. 18s rinse.
Wet leaf is dark, some sour, some dried berries and slight smoke
Sat for an hour after rinse as I had something in between. I did 12 steepings of various times, mostly from 8s to 12s, and the last two for longer of several minutes untimed. Thermos’d remainder; it died a little earlier than I expected. Thermos wasn’t particularly strong, but was pleasant. Slight bitterness and some of the nice aftertaste remained.
What stood out was the exceptional returning sweetness and aftertaste for this tea, present in many of the steeps. Steeps had a nice depth, with bright taste and something crisp and minty about some of them. Strong aroma lasting in mouth and throat, with some sort of darker florals, some of which had an almost perfumed likeness in the mouth that was excellently balanced with the overall edges. Some medicinal aspects, and a slight peppery likeness. Later steeps were darker fruits before trailing off. This tea was slightly warming and focusing, unlike the Wistaria and YQH teas I tried which were more defocusing in their effect (e.g. staring at the same spot for several minutes without realising). I expected somewhat stronger effects from this, but I was also somewhat distracted during the session today.
I remember reading someone’s review about a particular LBZ being mouth numbing. Some steeps of this seemed to lack a particular taste, and I wonder if the reviewer used “numbing” to describe the sensation I noted from this tea’s strong aftertaste desensitizing taste buds to subsequent cups if there wasn’t some time in between. At any rate, I guess it’s also pertinent that I was overeager initially and burnt my tongue drinking the first cup, so my experience could be related to that.
At roughly $1.92/g, pretty average market pricing for LBZ, discounted even, considering it’s from 2005. Very enjoyable, but certainly not an everyday affair for me given pricing.
2.8g, Zoji thermos, 16oz boiling Brita filtered water overnight. More of the raisin-y notes. More obvious that it’s shou and what seem to be something like alcohol notes. Slight chocolate-y notes. Essentially, I stand by what I said before about chocolate raisins. Anyway, will probably go heavier on ratio next time.
Thought this would be interesting to try, though I don’t have experience with alcohol so if there’s related notes I will probably be unable to perceive and describe adequately. Wish I’d picked up the Laoshan Rye and Brownie Batter experimental barrel teas LP did some time back; this was the only one I was able to buy in time.
4.5g, 90 mL gaiwan, Brita filtered tap, boiling.
dry leaf is alcohol and raisins.
wet leaf has light hint of shou puer smell, but mainly remains alcohol and raisins. let it sit a bit before brewing to open up more.
7s: light taste of raisins (maybe some grape too?) and cherries (agree with TeaDB here, but raisins is dominant for me) linger on tongue. Shou taste is hinted at in the background, but doesn’t stand out
let it sit for a bit again since some chunks remained compact.
10s: much darker in color, though similar in taste. Abiding raisin note. When cooling, tinge of Bulang bitterness pokes through, though fades quickly.
did 2 more steeps before thermosing since it wasn’t changing much. I forgot the leftover of HCH’s LME old tree shou from the day before in the thermos as well since I was traveling. For some reason the combination makes a raisiny drink with a milk chocolate aftertaste. I’m not sure if that’s just the LCT or not though, since I’ve heard that LCT thermos’d can have a milk chocolate-like taste.
TL;DR: If you’ve ever thought “Boy, I sure wish there was a tea that tastes like chocolate raisins!”, I’ve got just the thing for you.
I’ve been trying to limit my caffeine intake due to a persistent bout of insomnia, but it’s Christmas Eve and I decided to celebrate with this special tea. I steeped 3.5 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug using 195F water for 3.5, 5, and 7 minutes.
As Derk mentioned, the aroma of the dry leaves is very like that of a Darjeeling, with notes of honey, grain, citrus, muscatel, and flowers. The first steep has notes of passion fruit (which I probably couldn’t have named without Derk’s review), citrus, muscatel, raisins, honey, orange blossom and other flowers, malt, chilli leaf, tannins, and wood. The tea’s woody, slightly spicy, and floral profile persists into the second steep, though the passion fruit isn’t as noticeable and there are more raisin/muscatel notes. The third steep has notes of malt, tannins, raisins, earth, and wood.
This is my first Japanese black tea, and although I’d read that they can be abrasive, this was nothing of the sort. Thanks to Derk for sending me a sample of this tea. I’ll be exploring more Japanese Wakocha in the future.
Flavors: Chili, Citrus, Earth, Floral, Grain, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Passion Fruit, Raisins, Spices, Tannic, Wood
Come to find I have never written a note for this one! It’s older now. Hmm, maybe the problem is roasted oolong, but that is a me problem, not the problem of this tea. But it’s a good roast… It certainly has a roasted oolong flavor, lacking in the apple department, but this is older now and I’m sure Andrew isn’t using funky fake preservatives in his teas, so the apple would be faded by now. The ingredients mention wild cherry bark which is intriguing, and should match really well with what I imagine it tastes like with roasted oolong. I’d love to see other teas with wild cherry bark… It’s a decent tea! But since it’s roasted oolong, it was never going to be one I was thrilled to steep up.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // 28 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 & 3 – don’t remember the parameters
Lightest Roast Hojicha
purchased from Liquid Proust
5g, 230 mL kyusu, Brita filtered tap
Never tried hojicha before, but this piqued my curiosity. I had no idea how to brew this, so I googled, and then messed it all up anyway, so here’s what I did do.
1st steep: 158f, 1 min. 30s
2nd steep: 196f, 30s
3rd steep: 212f, 45s
4th steep: 212f, did not time
Dry leaf smells very nutty, slightly sweet and grassy
Wet leaf has no distinctive smell whatsoever. The kyusu has been sitting in my drawer so I’m not sure if that’s it. Boy, the lightest roast was no joke. I expected a brown
colored liquid and it’s a clear yellow like chrysanthemum tea
1st steep: tiny hint of bitterness, slight nuttiness and sweetness. Tastes like green tea, but slight grassy/minty and nutty aftertaste. Not nutty in a chestnut way, but like walnuts or something. It’s very familiar but it’s also very late here (needed a late night caffeine pick me up) and I can’t think straight. Slightly dried tongue after.
2nd steep: stronger bitter taste upfront, but stronger slightly sweet, quite nutty aftertaste.
3rd steep: just a light bitter taste, almost like smoke but not quite.
4th: really bitter burnt bad matcha like taste from my early forays into matcha
Overall: a green tea masquerading as hojicha is my impression. I have no idea what hojicha’s like but it seemed from online sources that it’s darker and closer to coffee in ways. I didn’t enjoy this one too much and would not repurchase
2019 Peach Village Maocha
Liquid Proust Teas
5.1g, 90 mL gaiwan, 200f-205f Poland Spring bottled water
Leaves in prewarmed gaiwan have a sweet fruity smell, almost in a gummy candy sort of way
Wet leaves have a slightly smoky note, but still sweet, somewhat like a lighter oolong initial wet leaf smell. Very nice. Also a slight sharp candied cherry cough drop or acidic tomato-y like note some young shengs I’ve tried have.
6s: soft. Okay wow, it does literally taste like peaches, or the dried apricots snack pack things. Aftertaste isn’t strong, but it’s a really pleasant continuation of the taste. What have I been
missing out on all this time by hitting all my young shengs w boiling water?
8s: slight vegetal almost bitter note that fades immediately. Upfront taste is in the vein of the wild/yesheng young teas that I’ve had a few of recently, but the lingering aftertaste is
completely dried apricots that lingers and shifts to a nondescript almost minty, but not quite, sweetness. This makes me wish I could handle drinking young sheng more.
10s: slight bitterness amidst the soft honeyed floral taste. Had dinner in between the last steep and this one and so aftertaste is really muted which is kind of a shame.
10s: strong peach/dried apricots taste upfront. Slight bitterness. Aftertaste has a slight vegetal/boiled mint and mango hint
10s: soft pleasant taste that sits slightly in throat. Slight bitterness. Peach taste is somewhat lighter but still present. Aftertaste is more on the side of a sweet slight mint
10s: soft and simple, but comforting. similar aftertaste to before
10s: again, fuller taste and strong peach/dried apricot in a really long lasting aftertaste that moves to a general sweet taste
12s: very sweet; some of the very slight bitter vegetal tinge, then the same peachy, dried apricot, almost cobbler-sweet like aftertaste
12s: pretty soft on this one. Aftertaste is lighter, and more like a gummy candy taste
12s: soft and sweet
10s (accidentally did 212f): similar, but had a bag of Funyuns just before so not really catching the aftertaste
15s: similar. Regretting the Funyuns
20s: took a break and came back. Same soft peachy sugared taste and aftertaste.
20s: slight astringency and brisk, like a green tea. Slight drying, but otherwise similar.
25s: leaves have an apple scent. Taste is slightly in that vein as well (both apple and slight astringent note seem apple-peel related), though perhaps just due to lightening at this point.
30s: similarly lightened. Will probably cap this one soon
1 min: slightly bitter, with a sour sweet fruity taste.
2 min: just a really light fruity taste, slight bitterness and drying.
Will thermos remainder
Overall: A happy feeling, not sure if it’s qi or just from being surprised at how spot on the taste is to dried apricots. Doesn’t have a wild amount of variation in tasting notes, but in what it does hit, it performs excellently. Thermos was more of the same and quite enjoyable. Young sheng generally makes me uncomfortable, so the remainder will be for the once in a blue moon young sheng days.
I’LL POST FULL TASTING NOTES WHEN I DIGITIZE THEM.
TLDR: My heart broke when I couldn’t buy a full sized cake. If you can get your hands on this shou, do it!
2006 Classic 66 Dayi from Liquid Proust
It’s a delightful Shou Pu’er from Yunnan.
8.17g per 150ml gaiwan, 195°F
Rinsed for 10 seconds and then I did a 10 second infusion with +5s on each consecutive infusion.
I’m currently on infusion 6 and I’ve been drinking it all day. I’ve felt energized, yet calm the entire time. I’m assuming it has a nice theanine to caffeine ratio given how it is affecting me.
Overall, it is woody, sweet, and smooth. In the beginning it had notes of licorice and dried herbs. Over the infusions that was replaced with a savory nature with strong wicker notes and a hint of grains. It had a light nutty (almond?) taste on the 3rd infusion. But as time has gone on, the tea has tasted brighter with a pleasant crispness. The astringency has been building, but it adds a nice mouthfeel.
I ate a few meals today with the tea.
I had a bacon, havarti, and salami sandwich on brioche with the second infusion. It brought out a mellow sweetness in the tea, which I enjoyed.
With the 5th infusion I ate a salad (walnut, apple, cranberry, blue cheese, chicken, with a sweet and creamy dressing). I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but it was fantastic. The contrasting tones highlighted the sweetness of the fruit/cheese with the savory qualities of the tea. The smooth woody notes added a lovely touch that tied everything together.
I want to experiment more with food pairings that are more targeted towards the tea’s profile.
Either way, I’ll probably continue drinking this one for a while. I might save the leaves in the fridge to see how they do in later infusions. I bet I could get 8-10 decent infusions from these leaves (and I didn’t even use a tea knife to loosen the leaves) even though I broke some of them whilst removing them from the main cake.
Flavors: Almond, Grain, Hay, Herbs, Licorice, Nutty, Savory, Wood
2003 Cang’er Xiaguan -Liquid Proust
Sheng Puerh cake sample
195°F 10s rinse
Infusion 1: 10s
Added 5 seconds to each infusion (2-8)
Infusion 9- 60s, 10 – 65s
It was a very compact cake with greenish gold leaves and buds mixed with dark brown leaves with gold flecks.
The cake smelled of sweet honey, light caramel, with notes of menthol and indistinct dried herbs.
It took several steepings to loosen the cake, but it smelled sweet with a light herbal/menthol scent. It had light notes of undergrowth and almost a caramelized baked goods smell.
In the first infusion it was sweet and light. It reminded me of delicate flowers and honey. It had a bit of honeysuckle without the fruity notes, and strongly like honeybush. The aftertaste coated my mouth sweetly and was reminiscent of honey. It was complex and interesting.
The following infusions smelled sweet, much like cane sugar. It had a light herbality to it with delicate menthol notes.
As the infusions continued, the tea got sharper. It started in the back end and eventually was throughout the tasting. The second infusion was a lot like honeybush, but by the third it was much more like rooibos.
In the third infusion it started to have an herbal tanginess to it that I couldn’t place. By the fourth and fifth I realized it was like lemon balm without the fruity and lemon notes. If you’ve never had a pure dried herb lemon balm infusion that might sound a little strange.
I started eating an Asian sesame salad with cabbage with wontons with the fifth infusion:
The salad brought out the savory nature of the tea. The herbal notes stood out more. As a contrasting pairing it was very pleasant.
Infusion 6 was herbal, mild, pleasant and the aftertaste of the salad softened the bite of the tea.
As the infusions went on (6-9), the taste of honeybush became stronger and the tea developed a sharp bite. It maintained a nice sweetness. Though it became less complex, it was still interesting and enjoyable.
I left the leaves in my gaiwan overnight and when I went for infusion 10, it didn’t really taste like anything. It was still sweet, but it was mild and indistinct.
I enjoyed this tea and I look forward to trying it again after a few decades in controlled storage.
Flavors: Caramel, Flowers, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Menthol, Pastries, Rooibos, Sugarcane, Tangy
Can’t find the description anymore, but got this a little while back from LP. an average green tea. smelled really nice in the bag but taste is not notable. it’s not bad, but I’ve just gotten too used to SweetestDew-level green teas and my bar for greens is probably unfairly high. I will say that this tea steeped for an impressive number of steeps, given I was doing basically kill steep times since I was pretty bored with it.