Brendan included this as a free sample in my order. Thank you so much!

I had a gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. Did a quick rinse. Steeping times: 7, 7, 10, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, 120, 240.

I let the dry leaf sit in the heated bowl for half a minute. That brought out an aroma of milk chocolate cocoa, with loam underneath. After the rinse, the leaf smelled of bread, and somewhat sour. Later in the session had black grapes and earth.

It takes a bit for this shou to come out. The first few infusions taste mostly sour. The liquor is rusty colored. At the fourth, the liquor turns very dark red and is cloudy, but then it clears beginning with the fifth.

It is at the sixth infusion everything falls into place. The texture is thick and soft, and the the body is full. At first I taste cream of mushroom soup, which then develops into a maple syrup sweetness. Seven through nine are sweet with cocoa and earth, with an aftertaste of plums. A heavy feeling. After this point, the shou weakens in flavor and color, but the texture and body remain the same.

Boiling 3 OZ / 88 ML

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I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about its history, its manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

Japanese greens were my first love and gateway into the world.

My favorite teas are leafhopper oolongs, pu’erh (shou and sheng), and masala chai. My favorite herbal tisanes are spear/peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum.

I’m currently exploring pu’erh, and any Chinese and Taiwanese teas in general. I’m not much into flavored teas, unlike when I first started. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. I do like hisbiscus, especially iced.

I like to write nature essays. I’m a birdwatcher as well as a tea enthusiast. The kiwi is one of my favorite birds. I also like Tolkien, Ancient Egypt, and exercising.

IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: After two and a half years of having an account here, I will no longer will provide numerical ratings as an addition to the review because the American school system has skewed my thoughts on numbers out of a hundred and the colors throw me off. Curses! My words are more than sufficient. If I really like what I have, I will “recommend”, and if I don’t, “not recommended”.

Key for past ratings:

96-100 I adore absolutely everything about it. A permanent addition to my stash.

90-95 Superb quality and extremely enjoyable, but not something I’d necessarily like to have in my stash (might have to do with personal tastes, depending on what I say in the tasting note).

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it. There are qualities that I find good, but there also are things that aren’t, hence a lower rating that I would have otherwise like to put.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good.

0-59 No.

If there is no rating: I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea just goes beyond rating (in a positive way).


Westchester, NY

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