Like Low Country, having tried a few sips unadorned, I decided to add some cream-top whole milk. It’s a sensual cup this way. Forward in approach. I’m pretty sensitive to rose, and August Uncommon heavily flavors their teas, so a peppery rose perfume is still the standout note after adding milk. The clove is present, softened and deep. Cocoa shells give a rich yet mild bottom touch. (Bottom touch – I’m leaving it.) The finish is rather citron. The tea itself, harsh edges rounded by the milk, gives me a muted impression that’s darkwoody-spicy-muscatel. Strong floral compounds in teas – here, rose – tend to land me all lala; this one is no exception. I have found my way into bed at nearly 11am to type this note.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus Fruits, Clove, Cocoa, Dark Wood, Floral, Muscatel, Pepper, Perfume, Rose, Spicy, Tannin

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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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