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I had this a followup to a breakfast of some hash I made with apples, onion, bacon, and leftover chicken served with a slice of sour rye.

Gone western. Yet another 5g sample, 10oz, 205F, 6 steeps at 30s/45/1m/1m30/2m/5m

This is one of those smoke bomb ZSXZ. This tea has two things going for it: 1) the smoke doesn’t fade completely by the second steep nor does it turn into wet campfire smell and 2) the tea has longevity, not going flat quickly. It’s not the smoothest ZSXZ I’ve had, producing some astringency that I think would not make this a good candidate for brewing grandpa style in a thermos. However, due to it’s strength, I’m pretty sure you could buck Verdant’s brewing recommendation of 4g per 6-8oz of water and go with less leaf.

If you’re not a fan of smokey pu’er, I’d stay away. I was amazed at how strongly it resembled that style of tea, which I’ve never experienced in other ZSXZ. Mostly pine smoke and mushroom in aroma and taste with noticeable minerality and petrichor. The bottom of the cup did smell like brown sugar, but I did not pick up on any sweetness in taste. If there were any other flavors present, they were masked by the smoke.

Idk, this smoked tea isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 10 OZ / 295 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.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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