This red tea says it is from old tea trees. I haven’t looked into how old yet, as I prepare to taste the tea with a neutral understanding of it, but already, “old” is an impression I’m getting from the dry aroma of the leaves in a warm gaiwan. It has some of the musty and leathery notes of aged or shu Puer. There’s a bit of cocoa and wood coming through too. It reminds me of the profile I have experienced in a lot of purple leaf teas. The leaves are very big, long, twisty. I filled my gaiwan pretty generously with them since they aren’t too dense. After an infusion, the wet leaves give off a damp loamy scent with some muscatel grape. What I taste from the first infusion was really surprising, initially very woody, then malty, then finishing somewhat bitter. This tea has some similarities in flavor with Shou. There is a vaguely raisin-like flavor in the mix, and mushroom. The lingering taste is not only bitter it is really savory/umami faintly echoing gyokuro.

My first infusion was nearly red and my second is more orange, as I brewed it a little more lightly. This time I’m getting a bit more of the muscatel flavor, still some mushrooms and wood underneath, a bit of earth. The aroma has notes of spices.

The third infusion is much more malty with spice notes in the flavor and a really woody finish. This is quite a unique tea. I get a grounding feeling from the very idea of it being from old trees, and from the very down-to-earth flavor profile, yet it is giving me a decent jolt of caffeine so i feel a bit uplifted. I feel like I’m being pulled in two directions at once. You can call this tea-drinking lion Stretch Pawstrong (drum, hi-hat, and dad-joke buzzer).

Fourth infusion is a little bit sweet and more grape, though still very prominent wood and earth notes. The early infusions had some pretty considerable bitterness in the finish, but that is a lot milder in the later ones.

This is a unique tea among red teas I’ve tried. I’m not really sure if it’s my thing, but I think it is refreshingly different.

Flavors: Bitter, Grapes, Loam, Mushrooms, Umami, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Hi there, fellow tea lovers.

My name’s Lion and I’m a Gongfu Cha practitioner, so I usually brew with a gaiwan for reviews unless there’s a more suitable brewing method, like using Japanese teawares for Japanese teas. I tend to stick to straight loose teas and scented teas in general, seldom dabbling in herbal and flavored teas. My favorite tea is Kenyan Silver Needle.

Aside from tea, I’m a generally creative person. I love to cook, write fiction, draw, decorate, garden, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on.

Animals are really important to me. I’m a lion at heart, and I strive to better understand, respect, and appreciate other animals as best as I can. I advocate for better stewardship of wildlife and captive animals. We’ve still got a lot to learn.

For a long time I rated every tea I tried, but these days I don’t rate them unless they’re exceptional and deserving of a high rating. Here’s my rating breakdown for my reviews with ratings:

0 = Unpalatable, harsh
25 = Unenjoyable
50 = I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable, average
90+ = The best, would buy more
100 = Incredible, a favorite


Kansas City, USA

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