Definitely halfway between a fully ripened tea and a black one as What-Cha states. It’s exceptionally clean and fresh tasting, more cool in feeling than warm. Smooth foresty-earthy, tangy ‘tea’ taste along with a tone of stewed fruits. There’s a brightness to it that I was never able to pin down even after finishing the last of the bag. And now that I’ve read the leaf was aged for a year in a jute bag, I swear that’s a complementary taste.

Western could manage 2 steeps only if leafed heavily. Gongfu gave 6 or 7 solid over-steeped infusions that retained the smoothness but left some residual bitterness.

Overall, I found it an easily approachable tea and one I could recommend as a first step to somebody looking to explore shou pu’er. I never took good notes, so I’m hoping eastkyteaguy will fill in someday!

Flavors: Cedar, Dry Leaves, Earthy, Forest Floor, Mineral, Round, Smooth, Stewed Fruits, Tangy, Tea, Wet Rocks

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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