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Out of all the green tea samples I got from Teabento this one is probably the most distinctive from the others. As an assamese plant grown in Lao Cai, Vietnam (northern/China border), this tea has a profile reminiscent of a sheng puerh. Rich mushroom, string bean and other veggie notes provide an intriguing spectrum of sweet, sour and smoky. It’s a smooth cup, and a lot less nippy than some of the younger shengs in their early steeps. I still get a bit of smoky-sweet cedar woodchips though, which is something I associate with my limited exposure to sheng puerh.

I’m steeping this one western style with a 1min steep to start. I’m using a cup that I originally steeped the last of What-cha’s rose oolong in and I think it’s adding some creamy, floral (and possibly berry) notes to the profile (they’re a nice addition but not helpful when trying to discern an already complex tea).

Will do a gongfu steep next time! This tea deserves it.

Flavors: Cedar, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon, Rhubarb, Passionfruit..

CITRUS
Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)

SPICES
Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc. ALL the flowers!

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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