2009 “Gan Ku” Farmer Style Aged raw Liu Bao

5.1g, 100mL gaiwan, 200f

Of course I don’t especially like bitter flavors as much as the next person. And of course I believe that tea shouldn’t just be sugar water, etc. etc. At any rate the description was intriguing enough, and I’m not brave enough to try a ku Ding tea, so I thought this might be fun to try.

dry leaves don’t smell like much.

1x 3s rinse, which smells a bit grainy

wet leaves smell like young sheng, sharp and fruity

3s: tastes a bit smoky. A hint of medicine. something peppery on tongue.

5s: not too much flavor upfront, but leaves a slight sweetness on tongue afterwards.

10s: dried fruit like a sheng still

30s: stronger on medicinal note

1 min: still like before, but more fruity.

2 min: similar

1 min: not much to add. starting to fade.

2 min: slight mushroomy note

2 min again, but 212f on this and subsequent infusions since this doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. no notes added

5 min: a light sort of floral medicinal

10 min: lightened significantly

thermos overnight: standard thermos sheng profile.

Overall, this was unexpectedly soft overall and tasted similar to a dry stored aged sheng where I expected more harshness, especially as there was a note on my order to brew like a young sheng to avoid excessive bitterness. I suspect that my notes in large part have to do with the temperature I brewed at, which is 5 degrees under the arbitrary 205f suggested for young shengs, which maybe I’d adhere to when I have time to wait around for the temp to hit 205 since my kettle only does 10f increments. Unfortunately, this is start of finals time, and I am procrastinating my work everyday by brewing tea and making notes on steepster. (For the greater good, I assure myself!! I digress.) But even so, I thought the thermos brew might draw out bitterness, as it does for some shengs, but there was none here. Will add on notes in the future if I change brewing parameters to start with boiling.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Medicinal, Mushrooms

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Just a chronicle of a stranger’s tea journey. Keeping old notes up to see progression, but no longer really believe in all of them. Trying to learn!!

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a fair amount of solid teas out there, and reading mildly subjective reviews from others > very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.



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