I didn’t know what to expect from this because I could have sworn that the dry leaves smelled a bit of rubber along with the floral. Each steep was pretty distinct. First had a mild astringency, soft mouth feel, and tasted a bit of almond husks. Second was soft and warming, but no nut or much of any other strong flavor. The nuttiness came back a very little bit in the third steep and there was an aroma of clean laundry. I was not blown away by the overall taste – it was not as nutty as I might have expected – but I have to say that the chachi was lovely after the second cup. I felt calm, full, and relaxed, and it made me sit up straight and smile.

Flavors: Almond, Lemon

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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I grew up drinking Lipton with lots of sugar and lemon. It’s only over the last few years that I’ve come to discover and appreciate real tea. Now I’m on a mission to expose as many of my friends as possible to the delights of Camellia sinensis. I dream of opening a tea shop someday where people can sit, slow down, and enjoy a proper cup properly steeped. I have so much to learn to make that happen, so I’m eager to chat, meet, and sip with those who know more than I.

I can’t say that I’ve discovered a favorite tea yet. I lean toward the bolder black teas (I don’t think I’ve tried a keemun I didn’t like), but those with lots of golden tips spark my taste buds too (Golden Monkey, dubbed “Monkey Butt” by my then-teenage son, is always popular in my house).

I love the pu-ehrs I’ve tried, but I know that that is a whole world of flavors that could take me years to explore. I keep sampling subtler white, green, and yellow teas, and I’m learning as I go. Let’s face it, I’m sampling everything I can and having a ball doing it.

Speaking of sampling, I’m eager to swap, so feel free to peruse my cupboard (I’m making a concerted effort to record what I have) and ask me for any of it.

When I’m not steeping, I write, bike, raise kids, love my wife, and cook fine vegetarian fare.

That picture is of me at a rest stop on a long bike ride. I’m still working on how to combine long-distance cycling with tea drinking. Hmmm . . .


Newton, Massachusetts

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