When I made my recent order from Cha Yi, they had an option where you could let the owner pick teas for you up to a certain amount. I decided to go with it, and this is one of the teas he gave me. It also turned out to be a repeat from my last Cha Yi order. I steeped 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus some long, uncounted steeps.

The dry aroma is of pineapple, pastry, and orchids. The first steep tastes like pineapple pound cake, just as the vendor’s notes promise, along with cream, orchid, sweet pea, and grass. The second steep tastes even more like a pineapple pound cake, with maybe some coconut mixed in. (My cup disappeared in about a second.) There’s more of the pineapple coconut awesomeness in the next couple steeps, though with faint hints of vanilla, spinach, grass, florals, and herbs. Hints of pine and freesia show up in the next couple steeps, with the pineapple pound cake starting to fade but still being the main element. In steeps seven and eight, the pound cake is more prominent than the pineapple, and the florals, herbs, spinach, and grass start taking over. The tea ends predictably with grass, spinach, and florals, with some pineapple popping out occasionally.

The last time I had this tea, it didn’t map onto the pineapple pound cake profile the vendor described, but this time, it was incredibly accurate. It also wasn’t due to the power of suggestion because I looked up my previous note after drinking the tea. This vendor doesn’t have the equipment to vacuum seal his teas, so the last batch may have been exposed to the air for too long. I have 3 g of this tea left and will be drinking it ASAP. This harvest is truly amazing!

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Orchid, Pastries, Pine, Pineapple, Spinach, Vanilla, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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