Oh hey, this was actually on my shopping list! It caught my eye again on the SWAPs board, thank you momo for sending this to me. I find it amusing that three of the five people reviewing this tea (not including myself) passed it on to each other until it came to me over the last two years. Which explains why as soon as I brewed it I got a familiar odor that I have a very hard time describing but comes from teas that have been passed along or perhaps been in plastic bags too long, no matter if they are green, oolong or black. Sigh.

The dry leaf smells better than the wet, the second infusion is better than the first (which I had to toss, so lets just consider it a rinse shall we?) and the tea tastes much better cool than it does hot or warm. If I let it go cold I get a nice powder sugar/tree lichen/mushroom taste/feel that lingers on the tongue and that’s about the only nice thing I can say. I get “mellow brew”, but not the full body or bouquet, there’s a bit of spice and the weird age notes are sharp at times. ::shurg::

Tis not Keemun and has lost the majority of it’s former Formosa oolong mojo that other tea drinkers took note of. So Taiwanese Assam: win, Formosa Keemun: loose. Could be the age but I’m unlikely to acquire a new batch. I also don’t know it this was fine cut to begin with or if I just got the dusty bottom of a bag of full leaf, but tis something to consider. Oh well, thanks for letting me try it momo. The good news? I have two Keemun’s from Butiki to try!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ugh. I couldn’t do this tea at all. It was weak and tasteless :(

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Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ugh. I couldn’t do this tea at all. It was weak and tasteless :(

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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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