1406 Tasting Notes

drank Blind Samples by Yunnan Craft
1406 tasting notes

Moving on to blind sample D

This sheng puerh has a meadowy, plummy date aroma to the dry leaf, strawlike with a rich fruity sweetness. Warming brings a sharp tang like dried cherries and prunes. Rinsing turns the leaf more pungent with eggplant, olive, osmanthus and marshmallow root.

Aromas and tastes are consistent throughout steeps. On the nose I get strong notes of grilled peach and grilled eggplant, wet hay. In the mouth, the tea has a deep, rich taste up front of hay, purple flowers, marshmallow with a citrusy feeling. The body is viscous and soft with a bitterness that is not so well integrated. It does linger and is a bit intrusive right now but I think it will complement the tea as it transforms with age (if it ages well – I think this might be a sheng subjected to new methods of processing as there is some visible oxidation and prominent aroma). Burps early in the session, no stomach discomfort.

This leaf has enough strength to last several infusions but I did lose interest at some point and didn’t steep it out. The way the tea presents its character and bitterness up front, along with its energy, has me thinking this is bush tea or young tree. Also, the leaf has a thin, flimsy structure, but I do see a few fat, chunky buds that look like they’re from a different pick. Processing isn’t the best – plenty of scorch marks. A difficult to describe intensity moves through my body that has me thinking Menghai region but I’m definitely not confident in that assessment.

It’s actually a decent tea but not my jam. I think I’ll brew up the remainder of the sample as iced tea.

One more blind sheng sample to go!

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Citrus, Dates, Eggplant, Grilled Food, Hay, Lavender, Marshmallow, Meadow, Olives, Osmanthus, Peach, Plum, Prune, Pungent, Rich, Soft, Straw, Violet, Viscous

Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

Your observations blow my mind. I want to be as knowledgeable as you!

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In contrast to Roswell Strange’s experience of sweaty body odor and bile,

I am eating this straight outta the bag with a spoon.

It’s that good.

I want to make a thick syrup out of it for drizzling on something. Jicama, grapefuit and avocado salad? Papaya? Unsweetened yogurt? My body? Was that too far?

It is passion fruit, after all.

Flavors: Passion Fruit, Sweet, Tart

Cameron B.

I nearly spit out my tea at “my body” lmao! Sounds wonderful though, I love passion fruit everything.

Roswell Strange

Haha, yeah this definitely seems to be one where I’m the odd one out. Even though I know it’s a common association w/ the actual fruits, I don’t usually get the body odor kinda thing from tropical fruits so I was surprised I got it here. Glad everyone else is enjoying it, though!


LOL. Rishi seems to have some good teas.

Martin Bednář

Leafhopper: and some which tastes and smells like paint; not kidding, I remember writing it into tasting note

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drank Sweet Starflower Oolong by Rishi Tea
1406 tasting notes

Bold and colorful flavor. Like most Thai teas, this is forward and strong. It oozes cheerful character and holds nothing back. The passionfruit taste is from another world. Those little starflowers pack a punch of spicy-minty herbaceous marigold. High energy brew. I had this mid-morning and couldn’t sleep that night.

Flavors: Fruity, Herbaceous, Marigold, Mint, Passion Fruit, Spicy

Daylon R Thomas

I want to try that one! Sounds amazing!


I packaged that up no more than an hour ago :)

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drank Pele's Glow by Callisto Tea House
1406 tasting notes

Cool. Meadowy Baimudan Hawaiian style. All kinds of stuff going on here and I can’t read my handwritten note from last week. Pristine leaf, very clean feeling. Leaf aromas are in your face and funky. Taste is much more subtle and fresh like accented springwater, complex. Sweetness is a thin, sparkling and cool sensation. Would try again! Thanks again, beerandbeancurd :)

Flavors: Baby Powder, Barnyard, Citrus Fruits, Clean, Dry Leaves, Fur, Hay, Jasmine, Mango, Meadow, Olive Oil, Passion Fruit, Plumeria, Rice, Spices, Taro Root, Tobacco, Wet Rocks

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Not feeling too inspired to type up a decent note. Definitely no fault of the tea. It’s a tropical treat with some black tea suede-malt lean but also kind of like a dancong oolong. Feels most similar to an assamica Yunnan yellow tea rather than those from other regions of China. Really complex aromas and textures. It goes and goes… Content to escape in my mind to all the different tropical regions of the world.

Thank you beerandbeancurd. This is lovely.

Flavors: Alkaline, Banana, Cherry, Cinnamon, Clover, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Gardenias, Grain, Honey, Juicy, Leather, Malt, Meadow, Melon, Pineapple, Rainforest, Soft, Starfruit, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tangy, Tannin, Tea, Tropical, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wheat, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Fei Zi Xiao by Verdant Tea
1406 tasting notes

Spring 2022 harvest, a freebie with my order. Thank you!

Round, fluffy-sweet and silky spring water with smooth fruity notes I can see as lychee and muscat grape. Threads of malt and chocolate, cinnamon and mild cardamom. Tangy, mineral, sparkling, playful tannins. Osmanthus in bottom of cup. Very clean, leathery aftertaste.

Excellent tea! I only drank this prepared in a 60mL gaiwan with 2.5g each time. Good longevity for a red tea this way.

Flavors: Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clean, Dark Chocolate, Dust, Leather, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Osmanthus, Round, Silky, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Wheat, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 OZ / 60 ML
Marshall Weber

I loved the free sample of this that Verdant sent me with a recent order too. So so tasty!

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All ass, all the time. Straight from the horse’s butt.

This special style of tea is the clearest example of active fermentation funk I’ve ever experienced.

Still have enough left from beerandbeancurd to sample again and give a more appropriate review if I feel up to it.


Flavors: Barnyard, Beer, Lemon, Mineral, Red Wine, Sour, Soy Sauce


(Snorting like said horse) Things only tea people get…


I really need to dive back into this ass at some point… red wine seems generous, but a girl can hope.


Yeh, gmathis. I’m in the camp of unfiltered impressions when they arise.

beearandbeancurd: Red wine is more of an impression than a taste. Have you ever had Nebbiolo? Something in this is reminiscent of a soft, light vintage.


Ah, yeah, I can see where you’re coming from there.

Mastress Alita

I once had a tea called “Awa Bancha” from Furyu c/o Yunomi that was also ass. It tasted like pickle juice, if pickle juice were bad (note I like actual pickle juice). I read another review for it that compared it to “embalming fluid” and then that was all I could think when I smelled it.


Embalming fluid, hork!

I wonder if someone somewhere enjoys this, or if they’re making it and we’re buying it just so we can all have a good laugh at ourselves. Fair enough, I say… fair enough.

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drank Blind Samples by Yunnan Craft
1406 tasting notes

Sample C

Tastes like a wild sheng or a purple leaf cultivar, but from where?? Really nice touch of soft floral-woody cinnamon with some ooey gooey baked plum-peach to the warmed leaf. At first drying and very juicy, it takes a few steeps to settle into character — let’s call it “Leathery Osmanthus atop a Bed of Straw and scented with True Cinnamon”. Main vibe skews savory, kind of like roasted chicken? A little purplish bitterness that numbs. Mineral. At times coppery metallic. Autumn tea crosses my mind. The sweetness in the cooling huigan reminds me of peppermint. The aroma and aftertaste really nail down that Leathery Osmanthus association.

A good one, not that any of the blind samples so far have been bad. I was simply feeling this one today <3 Easy drinker for me, not too complex but alluring. Feels like it would age well enough.

At the end of session, very strong compulsion to listen to
Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence

Edited to add: the energy of this one is deceptively strong. I felt normal while drinking this. Hours later, I experienced levels of wackiness I haven’t felt in ages. Loaded with caffeine but somewhat tempered by other compounds. Idk, the more I think about how it made me feel, I’m not too keen on it. Like some Jingmai teas I’ve had, energy is akin to ephedrine. Jingle-jangle.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Drying, Grapes, Juicy, Lavender, Leather, Metallic, Mineral, Osmanthus, Peach, Peppermint, Plum, Roasted Chicken, Savory, Stonefruit, Straw

Boiling 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Excellent flavored tea! Like little cream puffs of honeylemon sunfluff with just enough coppery kick from the black tea and some sweet tangy cream from the freeze-dried yogurt. Seamless cup.

One lemon for another — what a treat, gmathis. Thank you!


So glad you liked it! I’m glad I spooned up the right balance of all the bits and pieces. (Sometimes that’s hard to do with a tiny sample bag.)


Yes, thanks again!

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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Sonoma County, CA

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