Glad I read the description of the grading before I started commenting, helps me understand why I am looking at darker, more broken leaves. So I’m drinking this the day after Upton’s Pai Mu Dan and to be fair I should have done a 2 and half min steep but I felt like short steeps. When I brewed it up and couldn’t pin point what I was tasting I decided to do a 30 sec steep of Pai Mu Dan and the differences became very clear. Pai Mu Dan is all honeydew on the first steep while Shou Mei is all veg and pine and herb, more sipping back and forth narrows it down to rosemary and sage. Second steeps mellow out both teas a bit but adds a bit of cocoa sweetness to the Shou Mei while the Pai Mu Dan got less sweet and the third steep of Shou Mei is more cocoa and spice while Pai Mu Dan is like over ripe melon. I enjoyed the later steeps of the Shou Mei more than the Pai Mu Dan, even though its supposed to be a lower grade tea. Tomorrow Moonlight, just found out its Yue Guang Bai :)

Revisiting this nearly a month later with longer steeps, which interestingly enough makes the herbaceous notes take a back seat to cocoa and nuttiness on the first steep. It does make sense as I am basically drinking all three of the shorter steeps in one, I find it very interesting.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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