Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

Dry leaf is brightly aromatic with notes of stone fruit, melon, wildflowers, and alfalfa. The brewed tea evinces the same elements but with more subtlety. Hints of chocolate and malt as well.

Tawny to Titian Red liquor depending on steep times.

Flavor is gently vegetal/savory with malt and grass intermingling. Blind, I’m not sure I could identify this as a black tea as there are flavors that bring to mind white or even green tea as well. Delicate and complex with a grainy/grassy finish. Hints of fresh water chestnuts and wood ear. If pushed, more dark chocolate flavors emerge, but at the cost of bitterness and a touch of astringency/sourness.

Quite energizing – caffeine made me break up the session over a couple mornings.

Unique but at this price I won’t pick up a cake.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Converted to Oolong and beyond starting around ’98 or so when I was hanging out at the Tao of Tea in Portland.

Expanded my experience with green teas when I moved in with room-mates who were Chinese scholars, workers at the Japanese Gardens (including the tea room), etc.

Always looking to improve my education, but will concede my pedestrian tastes (e.g. breakfast teas brewed strong enough to stand your spoon in).

Trying to focus more on the qualitative over the quantitative in my reviews, so you won’t see me give too many scores/ratings at the moment…


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