Having finally replaced my very, very old tin of this with a fresh one, I’ve got to bump the rating up a few points.
It’s smoother, cleaner, more complex, and far better than I expected, in comparison. I didn’t think it had changed too much, but it certainly had.

I’m also getting a note of umami in the aftertaste, which I don’t remember ever tasting in a pu-erh before.

Second Steep:
For the second steep, there’s a citric, almost earl-grey-bergamot sort of flavor in place of the first steep’s umami aftertaste. The earthy flavor is a bit more pungent, fruity, no longer as mellowed-out. The tea went black within seconds of hitting the water, and again only needed a minute’s steep. As one expects from a pu-erh, this isn’t a one-steep tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Her Highness Rozen Maiden No.5, Shinku, is my tea-soulmate.

I am a tea nerd. I only brew looseleaf, I keep an instant read thermometer with my stash and never, ever brew a cup without getting the water temperature I want first. I can’t stop buying teas that capture my heart, even if I have more than I could ever finish before they go stale – though I do my best to keep delicate ones sealed until I’m ready to dig in.

I rate things on a different scale than I think most people do. For me, 50 is not a bad grade, 50 is take it or leave it, I probably wouldn’t turn it down but I wouldn’t ask for it. 50 is indifference, sub-50 is dislike.

Also, I live near Lupicia SF, and can get there and back in the span of my lunch break. I’m jealous of myself.

I like just about everything, but my true loves are shincha, gyokuro, pu-erh, and lapsang souchong. Grass clippings, dirt, and campfires, mmm mm.

What I won’t touch is blasphemous grossness like candy-flavored rooibos, fruit-and-vanilla white teas, etc. – don’t even get me started.


SF Bay Area

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