Silly me ordered this even though I don’t enjoy a lot of honey-forward teas. And I’m not the biggest fan of dancong oolong. And when smelling the leaf every month trying to decide if I was in the mood, I was always left with this overwhelmingly rich and roasty honey impression that never coaxed my desires.

A stupid sense of longing arose within me today, that softie romanticism that could not be fulfilled. I again sniffed the leaves in their jar, maybe for the twentieth time. I reached for my saxophone, began to play. Another sniff of the leaf and this time, without hesitation, I measured 8 grams into my clay gaiwan. My cat, asleep on the bed, raised her head and gave me a leering glance. She’d had enough of my poor pressure control and the resulting off-key vibrations. She bellowed a deep and dissatisfied howl, stating her perturbance with my dissonant disturbance. She sauntered to the living room and sat on the chaise like the princess she is with her back turned to my door. Can I blame her? I’m going through spooning withdrawals, sorry.

I was weak and tired today and in my weariness, I committed a few follies at my tea table. Mistakes? No. Learning the boundaries of the leaf. One boundary is not letting a long hand brew the leaf. What was supposed to be five seconds for the first steep got away from me and turned into twenty. And while it was fine, I continued with forgetful infusions which did not do the brew any favors. The other limitation of this tea is that it’s green under the roast, as became clear by the third steep. Water right off the boil really brings out a full-mouthed drying quality. Not a sharp astringency, but when combined with seasonally low October humidity and a sunken sob playing her instrument, well, it was time to put away the brass. My cat is still snubbing me.

Other than that, this tea is not remarkable but it is comforting and pleasant, more than I wanted to give the dry leaf credit for. It’s like nourishing nectar coursing through my veins, at least that’s the way it made me feel. More floral and light than the dragging heaviness and soggy, sickly sweetness I usually experience from dancong. Besides the way the tea flows through my body and mind, its strength lies in the finish and aftertaste with the softest fuzzy white peach mixed with lychee. Yes.

Next time I will brew it with lower temperature before deciding if the leaf is as finicky as my cat’s preference for her water source — the bathtub faucet at a specific flow rate. Princess.

Edited to add a song pairing: Zero 7 — Somersault
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO-3U5m9N0w

Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Grain, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Roasted Barley, Sugar, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Mastress Alita

They are all princesses, and we are their lowly chambermaids.

Kawaii433

I do that all the time too but with jasmine, rose and a few other flavors, I don’t particularly enjoy. >.<

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Mastress Alita

They are all princesses, and we are their lowly chambermaids.

Kawaii433

I do that all the time too but with jasmine, rose and a few other flavors, I don’t particularly enjoy. >.<

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Bio

If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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