74

Disclaimers:
This is my first shou mei tasting so I have no basis for comparison.
I am only starting to expand my tastings into white teas.

Steep amounts: 5.4 grams tea / 150ml water @ ~185 deg F
Steep times: 15s, 30, 45, 60, 90, etc.

The cake seems lightly compressed, so it was easy to pry out the amount I need.
Color: The color starts a light yellow gold and goes to a deep amber red at the longer steeps.

Wet leaf: The wet leaves definitely have a strong vegetal undertone, which are coupled with mint (on the first steep), medicinal herbs (on #2), honey (#3), and earth (#4) with subsequent steeps.

Tea aroma: It was hard for me to really distinguish any separate smells from the liquid. There was a damp/musty scent coupled with medicinal herbs. It could have been me — allergy season is rife this time of year.

Tea broth: This tea reminds me of a honey lozenge (similar to a Manuka honey lozenge). The tea starts off very clean with a slight honey sweetness but there’s an underlying tone of herbal medicine (specifically reminds me of all the Chinese herb shops I went into as a kid with my family) and eucalyptus.

This tea starts off very clean and has a good mouth feel with a mild viscosity. The broth is very silky in feel. It never seems to get astringent or bitter, which is why I pushed out the brew times by 15 seconds on each steep. There’s a slight dryness in the throat after drinking it, and a very slight tingling on the tongue by steep #3. Overall, this is a very easy tea to drink. There’s a complexity and balance that I like in my teas.

Do I like it? I’m not wholly sure. The flavor profile is not one I might go for on a regular basis, but I would drink this tea. It warrants additional tastings for me to make a decision.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Herbs, Honey, Musty, Wet Earth

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Bio

General: A crafty geek girl who has a love for tea, cats, writing, books, as well as learning a multitude of post-apocalyptic skills…just in case.

Tea: I’ve been drinking tea all my life. My grandfather was half-Chinese, but I was always too lazy to brew anything other than Western style. In the past 5 years I’ve been changing that; trying to develop my tea-tasting chops and still a lot to learn! I prefer oolongs, blacks, and greens (in that order). I tend to stay away from herbal tisanes or overly flavored teas as I find them much too sweet and overpowering.

My ratings explained.
90-100: Exceptional tea. The tea I want with me on that desert island. It is the tea I’ll take time to relish and enjoy.

80-89: Very Good Tea. It fits my flavor profile and I enjoy drinking it.

70-79: Good. I like it, but might not be one I reach for on a regular basis..

60-69: Solid. Better than average, and something I’ll grab when I need to “run-out-the-door” and can’t take time to really appreciate the tea I’m drinking.

50-59: Decent/Average. Not my preferred flavor profile or something I won’t purposefully go out to buy. It might lack that “Something” in its aroma/flavor/mouthfeel/finish.

40-49: Below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Gross. Didn’t finish it or refused to drink anymore.

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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