Well, I screwed this one up early on between oversteeping and not knocking down the temp fast enough. I started off with the suggested minute-long soak in boiling water (which produced a drinkable cup) and lowered the temp only slightly with each steep until I realized it was still too damn high. Finally got down to 190 and decided that was good.

In the beginning, even while the tea was kicking my ass with bitterness and astringency, the liquor was thick and sweet with a light mushroom brothiness, some unplaced fruit, cherry, plum, unplaced herbs, minerals, light apricot, walnut/walnut skin tannins, very light floral incense and faint butter and caramel. I’m glad I kept pushing. After the onslaught due to tea abuse subsided, there was an after party featuring crazy date sweetness in the back of my mouth and a pleasing sourness on the sides of my tongue. Lasted a good 11 steeps even with my screw-ups. Sparkling, clear orange liquor with a pink tint.

I think if you pay attention to this tea, you’ll get the right amount of bitterness and astringency. I wish I had more :/

EDIT I wanted to add, if you do buy these, buy more than 1 (unlike me) so you can play around and find the water temperature and steep times that produce your favored cup. I can see it being light if you’re not the type of person to push your brews, but it also has the ability to be darker and quite complex.

7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Daylon R Thomas

It’s a nice one, and very convenient.

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Daylon R Thomas

It’s a nice one, and very convenient.

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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.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. 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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