Just had an unexpected journey with this tea I was haphazardly brewing to share with my neighbor and feel I ought to write something about it in spite of being strapped for time (it’s been half a year since my last entry here, for crying out loud).

Sorry for the short format and long post space.

4g in 150mL glazed pot, 95C-85C descending water temp in large kettle off the stove (relative stability over first few infusions).

Dry Fragrance:
Charcoal roast impression with caramel and spinach.

Wet Leaf Aroma:
More char with sweet finish.

Liquor Aroma:
Butter lettuce, milk, and lightly stir-fried kale/mustard greens.

1st Infusion (70sec):
Roasty Tieguanyin pleasant sour-bitter taste. Maybe a tad overbrewed but yummy. Swiss chard predominant flavor with woody notes.

2nd Infusion (45sec):
Mellowed woody taste more akin to oak and bamboo but still with milk-like pleasant sour note in finish. Very sweet caramel recession.

3rd Infusion (90sec):
Rice-like flavors dominant with mixed stir-fried veggie tastes. Light sour now more like berries… raspberry? Neither sweetness nor aroma akin to fruit but the acidity is like raspberry and apple skin. Mulched grass and saplings in aftertaste and aroma.

4th Infusion (120sec):
More caramel and cream with a recession of greenery, though less flavor intensity than in 3rd. Lingering crispness evocative of minerals, like wet granite and moss.

5th infusion (30sec – water cooled after pause):
Was NOT expecting this much flavor nor the dramatic shift in profile! Sudden switch from a fundamentally TGY wulong taste to one more stereotypical of a Gaoshan. Butter lettuce, perfumey gardenia, orchid foliage, snap peas, lingering chlorophyll-laden sweetness and refreshing crisp taste, and hints of cinnamon and anise. Kinda freaking me out a bit. Lingering cream and caramel flavors and a very pleasant light bitterness. Hint of green onion in after-aroma.

6th infusion (60sec):
Purposefully lighter to continue the crisp, refreshing taste of green beans or snap peas found in prior infusion. Water chestnut and a bit of a white bread taste appeared alongside faint honey-like sweetness.

7th infusion (120sec):
Just for the heck of it to drink with cake and whipped cream. Not much to offer aside from a lighter extension of previous infusion (I never re-heated the water). Hint of berries came back into this one, but in the aroma… shoulda payed more attention to it, but I wanted dessert.

Yummy tea and unexpected in range of flavors. I typically have this tea in a more straightforward manner, increasing my time and temp as I brew. Glad I was more wishy-washy with my parameters this time around, as I never expected Jade High Mountain Wulong flavors from this tea that normally lives in the roasted Taiwan Wulong flavor realm.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Your description tapped my flavor imagination…salivating without the tea! What a fine tease! Want the taste though…

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Your description tapped my flavor imagination…salivating without the tea! What a fine tease! Want the taste though…

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Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.

Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.


Santa Rosa, California, United States

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