240 Tasting Notes

6.5g/100 ml duanni, boiling, 2 flash rinses. clean, woody profile. day after thermos had some maybe date if you search really hard. very tippy and caffeinating the day of; couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am ish.

pretty decent for shou, though not in the dirt cheap range like purple mark or something. will enjoy the sample, but prob not repurchase. i have enough mediocre tea to last an average American’s lifetime since I can’t have an office set up and don’t get much except weekend sessions anymore.

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drank Naked Yiwu 001 by Teas We Like
240 tasting notes

4.8g/90/212. last of my 25g sample. I had to leave my cake at home since I couldn’t fit it in my backpack this time around.

wet leaf after rinse has some berry, slight smoke, and vegetal tinge.

started w/ goji berry and hawthorn flake candy notes and then shifted to tannic taste of oversteeping hongcha/malty notes. can be floral on edges. a little tart and some salivation + a little stilling feeling before just caffeinating. overall, petered out fairly quickly today. part of it may be that I should prob hold off on drinking shengs until i get a holding temp hot box set up since my apartment is very cold and shengs haven’t seemed too happy with it.

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I’m finally nearly done with the bag. I tried to focus my brewing by only drinking one tea at a time, but there’s probably more interesting teas to experiment with. By the end I was very bored of this tea. It’s on the pricier side of daily drinker, but perfectly acceptable in the sense that the taste profile shifts within a narrow range (sweet hongcha territory) and is never particularly disappointing. However, it’s not enthralling enough for me to want another 56g of it.

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I can’t remember when I drank the rest of this pack (6/90, not cheap and not memorable, lost the notes) but the remaining 1.9g (stiffed .6g lol) in a Yeti mugged at work was acceptable, but mostly boring. I haven’t been super thrilled with any of the top-end EoT yancha I’ve tried. Maybe my water is off or something, but the “aftertaste lingering for hours” bit is far from what I’ve gotten. Were I to disregard the price, and assuming I had never read the praise-laden descriptions they include, I’d be ok with their pricey yancha. But overall, if I were to repurchase to scratch an occasional yancha itch (without breaking the bank for DXJD since I have bills to pay), my bets are on the higher end of what OWT sources, with the caveat that I only like the ones they’ve had with stronger roast than most of what’s there.

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ordered a cake from TWL and had it sit with a Boveda for a few weeks, but I don’t think it actually rehydrated… the dry leaf aroma is usually stronger (more noticeable with young sheng though) when it’s properly hydrated and the cake weight measured only around 370g, so 30g less than expected. Today’s session seemed sleepy and was consistent w/ when teas have dried out. It’s been very cold in my apartment despite keeping the thermostat 68-70 constantly. It’s not explicitly drafty, but my parents’ house the thermostat at 65 keeps the place downright toasty, whereas I’ve been wearing a shirt and sweater around here and still feel cold. I’m not sure if i should consider a hotbox-lite set up just to keep my teas at a more friendly and consistent holding temp.

anyway. 5.2/90/212, one rinse. fruit, smoke, and wood on wet leaf.

1: a restrained vegetal, almost minty taste. good texture. heady, slowing and settling. extends into throat.
2: darker and an engaging bitterness, in a juicy, gripping way.
3: not much change from here on out and lightens from here. texture is lighter, and slight floral aroma presence in throat remains for the rest of the steeps. something about the aftertaste reminds me of the end feeling on the tongue from biting into raw olives.

It’s clear that it’s good, but I think the session today came up a bit short of expectation and reinforces why I don’t like to brew puer for guests. Too many variables at play. So much easier to easily impress with a random green tea.

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drank Baiyun Rougui by Daxue Jiadao
240 tasting notes


did not rinse. first try yesterday, so not a fully formed opinion, but wasn’t particularly wowed like I was with the DXJD white tea set last weekend. This is comfortable and at standard entry level oolong pricing, this felt par for the course for the price (vs. some of the entry OWT and TSR options iirc). and I didn’t take notes, but all I remember is a light goji berry scent on the lid at the end. Otherwise, my impression was that I should’ve just bought an extra cup from them instead of 50g of this.


I’ve been eyeing that white tea set. It would be great to hear your thoughts!


Caveat that I’m not a huge white tea drinker, and this was the only other time I’ve tried silver needle except the TShop one. The TShop one is great in taste but gave me anxiety every time I drank it, but other people I had try it really liked it so it might be a me thing. Anyway, I enjoyed the set, and it was fun having a friend over to run through them together. The 2023 was very enjoyable, and reminded me of a less sharp floral TShop one that was more comfortable to drink.

Here were my notes from an individual session of that: “5/90/212. wet leaf has strong sugar snap peas and later reveals rose-like florals (if you’ve ever walked through a rose garden, they can smell wildly different, not what the rose/lychee edged note of perfumes would have one believe), before ending as general steeped green sweet-edged notes. taste has sweet honeyed notes, and a green quality (not mint, but something fresh) and lingers somewhat”

I didn’t take notes for the wuyi and the 2020 since that was with a friend. The wuyi was sharper and flatter, and the 2020 is a more honeyed and rounded, gently sweet version of the 2023 from what I remember. If I had the money, I’d purchase the 2023 or 2020, but skip the Wuyi.

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Finishing random sample packs.

YQH Longtuan Fengmei 5/90/212

some smoke in wet leaf.

Quick rinse followed by 10s steep.

1. Lightly woody, and rounded sweet, floral aftertaste on front of tongue w/ some heady feeling. Decent texture

2. Medicinal and hint of bitter that evolves back into the deep floral that coats the mouth.

3. Darker woody and somewhat floral, somewhat sweet. Some background mushroom like note.

4. Not much taste upfront (maybe sour woody), but a vegetal tinged floral in the breath

5. Mint like but very light

6. Dying out, leaf taste w sweet floral edge

7. Stopped here. Thinned out woody taste, slightly honeyed note

Overall this was pretty nice. Maybe it’s due to its youth, but I’ve been trying to drink through my Qi xiang cake and it’s simply nowhere near as pleasant in taste or feeling. At any rate, I’m no longer in my caking phase, having realized that I do not have puer often enough so I have no plans to buy any.

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Have had this tea for a while and despite breaking up half the cake chunks a while back for convenient access, I’m rarely inclined to reach for it. My sessions have been okay, but not very exciting or particularly enjoyable, but not sure if my preferences have just shifted. If I could go back, I would not have caked it


We call this tuition tea


I’d take a sample off your hands? I loved the Xishi Shenpin and was looking for a cake but only found this…how would you compare them if you’ve tried the 2007 Xishi?

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5.7g/100mL duanni pot. Not very memorable or impressive in any aspects, but it was late night and the first thing I saw in my sample box. Was very boring last night, hard to believe the other review I wrote for this was for the same tea.

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5.3g in a 90 mL hongni pot.
wet leaf aroma of grape jam, smoke, toast, and wood.

1st: honeyed taste. edge with some astrignency and malty taste like oversteeped hongcha. 2nd: not strong taste, but a floral aroma on breath.
3rd: grape jam and smoky.
moves to base steamed/oversteeped young ish sheng taste thereafter. Guess the additional heat retention of the pot did it no favors. Still young and heady in effect, so not too comfortable. Probably will pass on caking this one.

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Just a chronicle of a stranger’s tea journey. Keeping old notes up to see progression, but no longer really believe in all of them. Trying to learn!!

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a fair amount of solid teas out there, and reading mildly subjective reviews from others > very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.



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