Received as a 50g mystery tea.

Gone western. 2 tsp, 205F, 3/5/8min then 10min simmer.

Dry leaf is fragrant, smelling of cacao, caraway seed, roast, wood. Wet leaf after first steep smelled like raspberry, red cherry, roast, caraway seed and green pickle.

A stable and consistent, smooth tea brewed western. Liquor smelled of red fruit, malt, cocoa and orange? and produced a very clear light amber cup, turning to dark amber then light again. The taste had notes of nuts (closest I could get was roasted pecan, maybe brazil nut?), roast, wood, red fruit, cocoa and light mineral with a light sweetness and lingering pleasant aftertaste. The mouthfeel moved from glassy and milky (skim) to thinner and a tad drying, then thicker and slick in the third steep.

Simmering the leaves produced a brilliant and dark orange-red cup smelling of lactose, brown sugar, honey and roasted grains and/or nuts. Hard to say but I couldn’t stop sniffing it. It tasted and felt a lot like boiled milk with the addition of honey and roasted nuts, a hint of cacao and sweet citrus making an appearance in the back of the mouth. No hint of bitterness or astringency. Very comforting. Taste hung around for a long time and my tongue was left tingling. Really interesting! I’m glad I decided to experiment with simmering the leaves of a roasted jin xuan.

I’m pretty impressed with this tea! Check it out. I saw it’s on sale, too. I wish I wasn’t so stocked up at the moment with other teas (plus 2 big pu’er orders coming) or I’d buy more for the winter.

2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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