Just realized I’ve nearly finished my supply of this without posting any impressions.

Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout – from gaiwan to glass cha hai to bone porcelain cup:

Twisted, wilted, very dark individual leaves with some rust/gold tips remind me of talons.
No wash, steeped around 10 times, slowly moving up from 10 seconds to a full minute by the final pour.

Marigold liquor that grows more auburn as you extend the steep time – almost like the tea is blushing, embarrassed for me for steeping it too long. The aroma of the dry and wet leaves is consistent, singular, and difficult to find a direct analogy for. Hints of cream, straw, and low earthy and floral aromatics round out the profile.

The flavor adds a mild biscuit malt character to the nose, along with chocolate, toasted pecans, and some (wine like?) minerality (wet stones) in the finish.

Smooth, pleasant mouth-feel with no perceptible astringency unless you let it steep for several minutes.

As described, this is a mellow but characterful black tea with some qualities of an oolong. A very good value, and quite pleasurable on a rainy/Winter day.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Converted to Oolong and beyond starting around ’98 or so when I was hanging out at the Tao of Tea in Portland.

Expanded my experience with green teas when I moved in with room-mates who were Chinese scholars, workers at the Japanese Gardens (including the tea room), etc.

Always looking to improve my education, but will concede my pedestrian tastes (e.g. breakfast teas brewed strong enough to stand your spoon in).

Trying to focus more on the qualitative over the quantitative in my reviews, so you won’t see me give too many scores/ratings at the moment…


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