Quick overview/TLDR: A delicious tea featuring intoxicating creaminess and rich brothiness. Dark green (but not bitter) vegetal flavors mix with gentle minerality and subtle floral notes.

Dry leaves: Very dark, twisted/curled leaves, mostly intact, with some stems. Dry leaves have characteristic oolong roastiness, brown sugar sweetness, a bit of cocoa powder.

Brewed in gaiwan (~100 ml capacity), 4 g of tea. Started with ~200F water. Quick wash. Wet leaves look deep green and smell that way too, smell of cooked hardy greens like collards, a touch of vegetal bitterness, but with a lot of butteriness in the smell too.

First steep: ~5 sec. The color is a clear light brown with touches of orange and green. Wonderful creaminess in flavor, with light to medium body. A slight tickle of bitterness and minerality on the tongue as it goes down.

Second: A bit more than 10 sec. Leaves are still somewhat compressed and partially curled but starting to open up. Leaves smell quite savory. The liquor has even more of that luscious creaminess. Like a tasty vegetable broth made with lots of extra virgin olive oil. Still feeling that minerality on the tongue and throat.

Third: ~20 sec. Color remains that light golden brown, but a bit deeper in shade. Some of the buttery texture has thinned out, but it leaves a wonderfully soft, gentle, creamy aftertaste (or “afterfeel”) in the mouth.

Fourth: ~30-60 sec (let it go a bit longer here). Leaves still haven’t completely unfurled, but are starting to expand and fill the bowl nicely. Liquor was noticeably darker this time. Intoxicatingly creamy aroma with those light savory/brothy notes. The longer steep brought back more of the buttery texture, while I’m also getting noticeably more tingly minerality. I’m starting to notice a gently floral quality and sweetness, particularly at the back of the mouth/throat. As the tea evolves it’s becoming more balanced, blending the creaminess, minerality, savory and sweet components.

Fifth-Eighth: Bumped the water up to near boiling (whatever temperature my kettle kept the water on its “keep warm” feature). Increased steeping time.

Overall these steeps feature a lighter, honey-like color. They continued to have less creaminess (although still a noticeable amount) and more minerality, with an overall weaker flavor. But the flavor was different with each infusion, some bringing out more roasted flavors, some with more sweetness.

Overall feel/energy: Mellowing, comforting, the creamy quality of the tea seems to spread through your body. Mild giddiness/drunkenness. Very easy on the stomach, helps control appetite. If you do a lot of steeps, you’ll start to get some caffeine energy/jitteryness, but I find it overall balanced and pleasant.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Kale, Mineral, Olive Oil

4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I’m not a tea expert by any means. I still have so much to learn and experience about the amazing and enormous world of tea!

I tend to prefer my tea unsweetened, with no added flavors. On the other hand, sometimes nothing will do but Earl Grey with lots of milk and sugar, spicy Chai, or taro milk tea. I usually take it hot, but will definitely enjoy an iced tea, or even a matcha smoothie, in the summertime.

Japanese green
Oolong (I’m still figures out which styles are my favorite)

Key to my reviews:
95-100: Amazing, mind-blowing tea (I’ve never given this rating yet)
90-95: An exceptional tea, truly excellent. A work of art.
80-89: A very good tea, strongly recommended. Not just high quality, but something special that puts it ahead of the pack.
70-79: A good tea, a solid recommendation. Made with care and quality. Nothing obviously “wrong” with it, but may not have that extra special “something.”
60-68: A pretty good tea. One you could drink daily without disappointment. May have one or two negative qualities, but more good than bad.
50-59: The lowest level of tea I’d consider worth drinking more than once. Usually will only choose it if it’s the only thing I have around.
49 and below: Bad teas, from just “meh” to “spit it out and run for the Listerine.” I probably won’t bother reviewing many in this category.


New England, USA

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