Some not-that-interesting teas have accumulated here again, so let us give them a few lines:
2005 Changtai Ji Bing Jingmai (via Hster)
Jingmai is one of my most favourite regions and my experience with Changtai was very good so far. However, this Jingmai does not have nearly as much Jingmai character as I would like. It tastes more like a blend of Jingmai with universal Menghai. Nothing wrong about that, it is still gently pleasant of course, but it is nothing spectacular.
When brewed tester-style, much better mouthfeel appears (how come?) and I find it an enjoyable, gentle drink.
2009 Yunnan Sourcing Lao Man'E (YS, via Hster)
There is not much wrong with this tea really (except the Lao Man'E persistent bitterness which I do not like), I just don't see much good about it either. The taste is rather dry, bitter, with a pleasant bit of grain, but the sweetness often complementing it does not show up.
The tea produces taste for many brews, but from a certain point, there is only bitterness left really. Better water could improve this I guess.
It looks nice, smells allright, but I'm afraid that it is too much Lao Man'E-ish for me to enjoy. Nevertheless, I like it better than, e.g., HLH's Lao Man'E/Banzhang. On the other hand, Tea Urchin's Four Peaks Lao Man'E brought me more enjoyment for less money.
2011 Tea Urchin's Mangzhi (Tea urchin, via Hobbes)
Although the tea has reasonable sweetness and is quite mouth watering, I just could not get by its soapiness. Hobbes did not mind it, I do, however. I feel like I was drinking the water from a washing machine.
Although I did not plan pushing the tea too hard on either occasion, it went dead more early anyway. When the tea was alive, there was good mouthfeel.
2012 Essence of Tea Qi Sheng Gu (EoT)
I wonder where this tea is going to go. First, I also thought it was not too interesting, but an interesting taste developed in the usual fresh sour-ish greeniness of young puerh - underripe apricots! Just a hint, maybe, but once I named it, I found it there consistently. However, I'm afraid that it is too much a part of the greeniness and so it may age away. Other than this, I felt like drinking a rather ordinary young puerh. Of course, ordinary good puerh, one does not expect small producers creating truly mainstream tea.
As a sidenote, the leaves looked very healthy compared to, e.g., 2012 EoT Bulang.