Steepster gobbled up my tasting note on this last night. Many thanks to Zen Tea for their generously sized complimentary samples! This one is definitely darker than the light and medium roasted oolongs I have been drinking. I normally only discard the first short steep (rinse) on pu’er’s, as the are often the sweetest most sparkling infusions and I really enjoy them, but this one smelled, odd.. and was light purplish hue, one taste told me I best treat it as a rinse.

The next infusion and the leaves had a similar smell. It wasn’t fishy like bad pu-er, though perhaps it was a bit metallic, but really I think it was just charcoally from the dark roast, which I suppose I’m just not used to. The third and fourth infusion were quite nice and left a very satisfying cool and filling feeling between the back of my mouth and my throat.

Next time I would like to do a longer rinse and a longer steep, basically follow the western instructions provided on the packet, instead of the gonfu I did. Thankfully the samples provided allow for several sessions. I will update with my observations then.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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