91
drank Da Hong Pao (2015) by Old Ways Tea
1241 tasting notes

I took notes for about half this session then came to visit this tea’s page. Upon reading eastkyteaguys’s note, I realize I have nothing new to add. His review is very comprehensive as usual. I find this tea very aromatic and tasty, much like eating a lightly spiced dark chocolate bar with walnuts, caramel and red fruits while sitting on a boulder in a cedar forest. It induces a very calming, reflective and open energy. Love me some well-blended Da Hong Pao. Good news: according to Old Ways Tea’s website this tea will be restocked. Give it a try. It’s good.

Addendum: Simmering the spent leaves produces a mellow, woody and nutty cup.

Don’t read below this if you don’t want to read some rambling.

So glad to be leaving San Francisco. Too much hustle. Since the mothership landed in California almost 9 years ago, I’ve made a continual northward migration. Hopefully I will end up at my school of choice next fall which is still higher in latitude than where I will be moving. I live in a neighborhood that highlights the economic disparity of this city, adjacent to both the government center and high-end international retail shopping. A lot of rough times here. We have our problems with drug use and open-air dealing, serious mental illness, lack of bathroom facilities for the homeless and car break-ins but I have come to love the grit of this neighborhood. It does have its charms. My building is full of immigrant families and long-time residents who have been so kind and respectful in my 5 years’ stay here. I find some of the denizens of this neighborhood less fortunate than myself to be charming human beings who have simply fallen on hard times. People are watching your back for you here, though honestly, with some learned awareness, I never feel unsafe. I’ve had philosophical conversations on the street with people high on crack. I’ve given random hugs, helped handicapped people cross the street, covered up people with a hoodie or blanket if they were passed out on the sidewalk, called 911 on people who have overdosed. Last Christmas, a homeless services agency was handing out gift bags and as I was walking by, the recipients pulled me into their group for a random photo and cheer. The things I talk about are not about me taking pride in my acts but rather they’re me reflecting that I’m not the only one doing these things. There’s a lot of really ugly shit going down here but also a lot of kind-hearted people trying to keep it from getting worse. It’s been a good stay here but the strife has definitely taken its toll on my psyche. I yearn for less hustle, easier access to nature and a place where I can let my cat outside (she deserves it, good old girl).

What I find crazy is that I gave my notice to vacate a week ago and already yesterday somebody put in an application on my apartment without even viewing it. There will also be an open house tomorrow. Finding housing in this city is no joke.

Please forgive my rambling. Some teas make me do that.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Togo

I think only through hardship, people’s character comes to the surface. There’s also a strange and deep connection one builds with others when collaborating with others to solve real world (you could say existential) problems. It’s so worth it, and I think instrumental from an evolutionary perspective.

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Comments

Togo

I think only through hardship, people’s character comes to the surface. There’s also a strange and deep connection one builds with others when collaborating with others to solve real world (you could say existential) problems. It’s so worth it, and I think instrumental from an evolutionary perspective.

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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