drank 2017 Four AM by white2tea
1155 tasting notes

Drank this, was it last night or a few nights ago? I found it to be a mellow and balanced tea. My sample was about half cake, half loose leaf and smelled like plums and hay. Warm leaf was stongly prune and that carried through into the rinsed leaf, which had the addition of wood and coffee grounds. The prominent taste was a bitter, airy but lightly resinous floral supplemented here and there with a light stonefruit (apricot and plum), sourness and minerality. Some astringency but nothing overpowering. A very clean menthol (not camphor) and sweetness showed up in the later steeps with a kind of stevia aftertaste. The tea provided a barely noticeable but sustained, calm energy that kept me awake into the night without anxiety. Spent leaf was cut/chopped quite a bit, looked a little aged already. Several long, leafless stems.

This is a good sheng to drink now but probably not something I’d buy again since I’m looking for a little more oomph in terms of fruitiness and bitterness. I’m a sucker for that light resinous taste and menthol, though.

Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 100 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.

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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