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Last night I tried this blend with my husband as our ‘Saturday night tea time treat’. I already had my Gongfu teapot out from an earlier session so I used that, it’s 200ml and I used roughly 6g of tea. Honestly I felt I would try my method first before the standard instructions, partly because it was late and I felt like being a rebel and partly because I like my tea strong.

Well the first steep of roughly 45 seconds came out rather strong. Difficult to taste any orange (at all) but it was certainly spicy, smoky, earthen and toasted. Not unpleasant, much like a mature Tie Guan Yin, nice but just not what I was looking for.

The second steep of roughly 45 seconds came out lighter than the previous steep and there was a hint of waxy orange amidst it’s heavy and mature flavours. Nicer but still not quite right.

Then I went for a third steep, losing my faith in this tea due to the lack of orange I decided to give it a minute to steep and give it a final try. It mimicked the second steep rather well, it was waxy orange like rind and it’s strength was a little toned down from what it was.

I left it for roughly an hour or two before deciding I would give it one last go. So with the same leaves I prepared some more. Roughly 1 minute each additional steep. The wait made all the difference, my fourth steep ie first re steep revealed more orange flavour, less thick Tie Guan Yin and a spicy lingering after taste. Much more what I was expecting. It was still full of flavour too, medium strength overall so it carried on well. After that I did another two steeps and each was a wonderful greeting of orange, spice and lightly baked Oolong with wood tones. A fresh, autumnal style flavour that left me feeling warm inside.

I liked this tea very much (in the end) but it’s still not perfect to my tastes. I would prefer more orange and spice still, something sweeter perhaps to help lift the ingredients together. Though I know with certainty that I could happily finish this sample.

Flavors: Smoke, Toast, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Bio

I’m 30 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have six of my own called Cassie, Mr Sooty Pants,Ivory Ruby, Lady, Misty and Ollie.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

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