19 Tasting Notes
I was able to score a generous sample of this tea through a tea swap with a board member.
I found this tea to be remarkable. Remarkable in it’s smoothness of flavor, it’s lack of overly fishy umami , and the subtleties of flavor that came out over time. I made it through 7 steeps, and wish I had begun earlier so as I could continue. I won’t make that mistake again with this tea, as I believe there to be at least double the amount of steeps left. I’m looking forward to a rainy Saturday to sit and relax with this tea again.
There was a hit of bitterness in the first steeps, along with a dryness in the mouth feel. Perhaps it could have been alleviated with a second rinse, or a longer first rinse (mine was 10 seconds). By the 3rd steep the liquor was a deep red with a nice rounded mouth feel, and any bitterness was gone. To be fair, there is some umami, but it’s a pleasant addition to the full-bodied tea, rather than an overwhelming crush.
My wife didn’t like it and quit after 4 cups (70ml each). I have yet to discern her flavor profile, if she has one. I didn’t penalize the tea for her unrefined palate. ;)
I write this after my second tasting of this tea. I’ve wanted to be fair, I was excited to try this tea, but the sad thing is that I can find no redeeming qualities.
There is nearly no flavor to this tea – the only taste I’ve been able to coax out is one of astringent bitterness. There is absolutely none of the chocolate/malty flavor I’ve found in other 2016 Feng Qing teas.
The description says “lightly fermented” but there is no hint of any fermentation. Though after brewing the leaves are a mixture of medium brown and green. Strange that such leaves produce less flavor than a spent lipton bag.
The bing itself is loosely pressed (perhaps too loosely, 10-15 grams of leaves had fallen off the bing) and completely lacking of any fragrance.
I can’t imagine that aging will help, it seems to be as stale and lifeless as it could possibly get already.
This is one of the teas I keep at work.
This is a very smooth tea with good – but not overpowering – chocolately/malty taste.
It can also ‘take a beating’ – I often oversteep the hell out of it (15-20min+) when I get called away from my desk, and when I come back the tea is dark, rich, and still smooth and tasty.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I’ve had this tea for some time, but never posted a review.
My first pu’er, perhaps not the best to begin with. To me it had a strong fishy odor/taste, which I can now identify as ‘umami’.
While other pu’ers I’ve tried have had this to a lesser extent, and I’ve even come to respect the taste, even a whiff of these small tuos today still takes me back to the fish cleaning shack where I made a few bucks growing up.
My wife liked it. (She likes caviar too, strange one she is.) The score is higher because of it.
I’m saving them for swaps, and maybe even a revisit in a year (or ten).
The 2013 Drunk on Red has proven to be a delightful tea for me and my wife. But at my last YunnanSourcing order, I decided to buy a tong of the 2014 instead, based on the plethora of reviews on YS’s website.
Like the 2013, the 100g bings are neatly wrapped with minimalist art with a motif of the year’s zodiacal animal (2013 was a snake, 2014 is a horse).
I did notice that the 2014 bing is not as heavily pressed as are the 2013s.
As I did not expect much difference between the years, I tasted them side by side for a better comparison. I found that taste-wise, the 2013 and 2014 were identical – or enough as that my unrefined palate didn’t distinguish a difference. They were both well flavored teas with a dark red liquor. Perhaps the 2014 had a bit more potency, but not decisively so.
Both teas produce a strong meditative effect. In fact after sipping the two of them together, I was quite lost in my thoughts for some time. Both seem to live up to their name quite well.I did notice that the 2013 had a smoother and rounder mouth feel compared to the 2014, which was a bit dryer with a hit of astringency. Perhaps that is the difference between years.
Overall, I would recommend this tea. The flavor is good today, and if the 2013 is any indication, it will mellow some with age as well. Additionally the fantastic value of a tong – 1kg of tea in 10 cakes – is hard to beat. The cakes themselves are great to hand out as gifts to those who are into Asian culture, tea, or both.
Smokey. That’s the only flavor I could taste. While it wasn’t overpowering, and it was a fairly smooth smokey flavor, it was the exclusive flavor of this tea.
It wasn’t bad, but my wife and I didn’t find it tasty. (We don’t like lapsang souchong either)
Smokey though 4 steeps. Smoke became less pronounced, but still the only taste.
A review of a sample purchased through Yunnan Sourcing
Excited to try an older ripe puerh, the wife and I sat down for a session after dinner. Brewed with water that had been off the boil for about 5 minutes, I brewed about 5 grams in a hario teapot in a gong-fu fashion, rinsing the tea for about 15 seconds and discarding the water, then adding fresh water for subsequent steeps. The water was cooler with each steep, as I did not reheat the water on the stove. I believe this led to the tea being so smooth and calming.
I should also note that each steep was approx 200ml of water, as my wife and I enjoyed the session together with 100ml cups. Someone drinking alone would likely get far more steeps than we did.
First steep – 10 seconds – strong umami taste, not bitter or astringent. Medium red color tea. Not yet much of a mouth feel, perhaps even a bit dry.
Second steep – 10 seconds – a far deeper and darker red, the umami taste was somewhat tamed to reveal a strong honey flavor, of which my wife was very pleased. The mouth feel somewhat creamy
Third steep – 10 seconds – continues to be deep and dark red, umami taste further tamed, the honey slightly more pronounced but with a hint of caramel. The mouth feel remains soft with body.
At this point we decided that the tea was very calming and relaxing.
4th steep – 15 seconds – still deep red, however the flavors diminished across the board. The mouth feel was reduced.
I feel that there was at least one more steep, but we were content to stop where we were at. The current rate of this tea is $200 for a 357g cake, which is beyond my personal tea budget, however the 10 gram sample is definitely worth splurging on for a special evening.
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Umami
Review based on Free Sample from a Tea story.
Small bag of small pieces of leaves. Description says leaves are ‘cut’ but looks more like broken leftovers.
Brewed with just off boiling water, steeped for about 2 minutes. Tea was bland, certainly nothing special. No distinct flavors besides a slight metallic edge. No real aroma.
A disappointment for both the wife and I. We didn’t finish our cups.