Medium length note…hopefully.

I got some of my Tillerman Targets for my birthday. I’ve had 35% oxidized and Fenghuang Village Dong Dings before and frickin’ love them, and needed to have some even if it was just a sample. I hesitated getting this one because it was a woppin’ $13 for 1/2 oz….yikes, but I know I’d enjoy it. The free shipping in the U.S. and the price of the other teas made me decide yes since I only got samples.

I will be honest and kinda messed up the brews. I used close to 3-4 grams in 5 oz and brewed it western to save some leave due to how pricy it is. Thankfully, the tea was still forgiving after about 3 minutes in steep one. Most of the flavor was absorbed in this cup. The aroma was fairly subtle with all the usual notes you’d expect from a high mountain, but the flavor leans more into nuts and with some slight fruits. Steep one began with the macademia note, transitions into coconut, butter, lightly cooked fresh vegetables, and then into a weird floral fruity mix of peach and cream creating an interesting sensation on the roof of my mouth, coating my sinuses.

I haven’t had sinusy tea in a while, so this was a treat. The remaining steeps were improvised increments of 30 seconds, increasing the steeping time and increasing some lemongrass and curd in the later steeps. It only lasted about 6 cups before it got to generic.

So while this tea fits every parameter I like hitting the flexibility of a tea you can be kinda neglectful and still be good, I’m not going to rate it yet. I need to do it gong fu before I decide. I definitely like it, but I’ve had some traditionally oxidised Dong Ding that I’ve liked equally for cheaper. Price and longevity are the biggest things bugging me about it.

I hope that Gong Fu blows me away. Unfortunately, higher unroasted Dong Dings have been harder to come by than they used to be and some of the Dong Dings I’ve had for the last three years haven’t matched the 2014 and 2015 seasons I’ve had. To think about it, I think I’ve had tea from this producer before….This tea does match those, but I wonder if the fact that the practice has been fading is the reason why the tea has become more expensive. Though I could be totally wrong. I’d be happy to have some knowledge drops in the comments.

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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