I received this as a freebie with my last order, which Alistair graciously handled after an unrelated to this tea request. Incredible customer service.

I’ve been enjoying my few days alone and the long weekend. Phone off – sorry friends and family, no Labor Day activities for me. Just catching up on some physics and engineering coursework, interspersed with furry meowmeowkittymeowmeow bonding and more tea than usual. I should get outside after this, though. It’s a beautiful day, cool and not so sunny that I want to stay in the apartment with curtains closed. I guess it’s not quite summer here yet. This tea seemed like a natural pick for the weather.

June 2018 harvest. Gone gaiwan. 3g, 60mL, 195F, 10s rinse, initial steeps at 10/12/15s then felt my way through the rest. 13 steeps total.

I can’t even begin to describe the floral component of this tea. I’m not there yet with high mountain oolongs but I think I can recognize this as a remarkable tea. I was floating while sipping and the tea managed to float above me.

The dry leaf smells like spring bulb flowers such as daffodil and hyacinth. The tea presents as thick and sweet in its aroma, its hour-long aftertaste and in the bottom of the cup. The liquor itself is fairly light-bodied. It starts out mellow with a bouquet of unplaceable-as-of-yet florals, citrus, asian pear, light vegetal, and mineral. Sugarcane, vanilla, sweet cream and a kind of nuttiness like macadamia move in and get cozy, with a cooling sensation showing up in later steeps. The tea seems to just keep ramping up over the course of the session with no extreme changes and never a question of whether I should change the temperature. Very intuitive – I never timed anything beyond the first 3 steeps. It flows incredibly well. Really pleasant energy.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am still comfortable toggling the “Not/Recommended” button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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