drank Lao Cong Shui Xian by Old Ways Tea
54 tasting notes

A very lazy morning always requires tea and I wanted to do a tasting session with a new-to-me tea. However, I think I made a mistake with this morning’s selection.

Lao Cong Shui Xian tea from Old Ways Tea is NOT a morning tea. My very first cup hit me full in the face…..

This tea is like an old growth forest where the trees are ancient and the moss & lichen growing on them are just “old”. This is a Tea you enjoy in the late afternoon when you sit down to reflect on life and write down your memoirs. It’s that single cask whiskey that’s aged in that one barrel, forgotten about, then found a dozen decades later.

This is what I’d imagine mahogany to taste like — complex flavors but with a mellowness that doesn’t bog down the taste and keeps you from sinking too far into the complexity.

This tea will GROUND YOU. This tea will tell you about it’s long life as a tea tree starting with the present day as an ancient tree, then with each subsequent steep goes into the past about its mid life then its beginnings as a sapling then take you back full circle. Wow.

The cha Qi is slow moving. At first, almost imperceptible, then filling your head like a water fountain while keeping your feet rooted to the ground.

The dry leaf of this tea smells like dry roasted peanuts and wood.
The wet leaf has high notes of stone fruit & sweet grass.
The liquid smells of fresh air and leaves.

The broth itself is the taste of old forest/mahogany. It is thick and viscous on first sip and coats the tongue before sliding effortlessly down your throat. There’s no earthy taste in this tea; it’s all about the tree, wood, and forest.

By the second steep, I felt a warmth building in my chest with a quiet sense of calmness.
By the third steep, the cha Qi hit my head like tree branch on the head.
Subsequent steeps just built on top of that.

Everything just feels calm and collected. Despite it being early morning, I’m ready to take a nap. This is not a tea you drink on a daily basis. (I mean, you can, but it’s about $0.85 / gram) This is a tea you drink when you want something special, when you have time to savor it, and or when you want to experience it with friends.

STEEP INFO (Each pack is about 8 grams)

Tea: 5.06 grams of tea.
Water: 200F/150 ml.
Steep times (in seconds) :20,30,40,60,90,…

I cold brewed 2.85 grams in 350 ml of cold water. It’s just as good as the hot broth

Flavors: Roasted nuts, Sweet, warm grass, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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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), and I’m trying to expand my knowledge of tea from all over the world (and not just China & Japan). I do 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.


San Francisco Bay Area



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