drank Formosa Fanciest by Narien Teas
64 tasting notes

I’m highly disappointed with this tea. I’ve steeped this as many ways as I could think of with varying times and temperatures, but this tea never shows anything interesting. In fact, it produces more bad than good in the cup. It tastes like burnt wood, smoke, and roasted nuts, and has no balance to it. The flavor is pretty one-dimensional and only gets less intense throughout subsequent steeps. It’s overly bitter, and this never goes away no matter how many steeps its been through. The liquor’s texture is heavy and leaves a thick aftertaste. It has nearly no sweetness to it, and if it comes out at all, it’s not until at least the seventh steep gong fu style. While the taste can become overly potent even with the shortest steep, the aroma of the wet leaves is even more so. They’re extremely pungent, piney, and smell as though the leaves were roasted and fired for far too long. Finally, I can’t help but notice the careless misinformation in Narien’s description: “ferment.” Unless I’m mistaken, I’m pretty sure they mean “oxidize.”

190 °F / 87 °C

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I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.


Fort Myers, Florida

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