This is my favorite of all Yunnan Sourcing’s cha gao. It’s been approximately three zillion years since I last had a Sugar Smacks/Honey Smacks type cereal but this tea smells and tastes a lot like I remember that cereal tasting. Maybe a little less sweet, but that same toasted grain sort of flavor. This one tasted more grainy to me and the Jinggu raw cha gao tasted more caramely. I like both but slightly prefer this one. I didn’t like the ripe Jingmai or any of the other ripe cha gao either, which seemed weird to me because I usually enjoy regular ripe pu-erh.

I don’t think I’ve ever brewed these in a teapot. I don’t think I’ve ever tried them cold either, unless the last couple sips in my cup that have gotten cold count. Usually I end up doing a grandpa sort of brew with a couple pieces in a big mug or thermos, adding more water or another tea chunk as needed. This time they went into a travel mug with a few bits of chunky Himalayan pink salt (not really enough to make the tea taste salty, goofy autonomic nervous system requires me to have a high salt diet, too many fluids and not enough salt leads to cool stuff like passing out, dehydration-like headaches and adrenaline surges that feel like panic attacks…there are few things I haven’t tried adding salt to at this point). A little bit of hot water at first, swirled the cha gao around in my cup until they had dissolved a bit, then filled the cup up the rest of the way. No refills this time, just one giant mug to try to warm up and convince myself grocery shopping was necessary.

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I may have a mild to moderate tea addiction. Black, white, green, pu-erh, it doesn’t matter. I’m a little on the fence about oolongs but I’m starting to think I’m just particular about how they’re brewed. I haven’t tried any yellows yet but they’re on my wishlist so I can have a complete rainbow of tea. My tea problem is bad enough that I don’t necessarily even need tea in my tea, most herbals are welcome in my house too.

Favorites: jasmine, moonlight white, shou mei, chenpi/tangerine peel, violet, rose, Mengku sheng (especially autumn), anji bai cha, taiping houkui, blooming tea balls, tulsi/holy basil, chamomile

Dislikes: red rooibos, eucalyptus, allspice, flavorings of unknown origin, pumpkin, apple, banana, annoying flower petals that don’t add any flavor but are thrown in to look pretty (they tend to float and get in my way if I brew tea grandpa style)


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