Did I really just backspace myself out of another tea-crazed and long-winded note? Dang it, derk, you dolt.

Something akin to the original note:

A good while ago (who knows when, my sense of time is all screwed up these past few years) I fell in love with a black tea that Leafhopper extracted from the depths of her “Tea Museum”: https://steepster.com/teas/what-cha/56348-malawi-bvumbwe-handmade-treasure-black-tea That tea just lit me up in all the right ways.

I searched high and low for this Handmade Treasure from Satemwa, the Malawi tea estate that in the western reaches of the internet is famed for its white teas. I ended up finding Handmade Treasure last year?? at A Thirst for Tea’s online store but didn’t order because for some reason I had the sense that the business was no longer operational. Possibly because, looking at the site now, the aesthetics feel more rooted in an older generation than the soft, round and minimalist yet somehow noisy sites of most current vendors. Anyway, I could’ve had this tea in my own tea closet back when I originally found it but I am a reticent dolt who rarely communicates with tea vendors.

Under the influence of supposedly toxic Brazilian pink peppercorns (totally up for debate if you ask me; I’m severely allergic to poison oak which, like this plant, is also under the same familial umbrella as cashews and mangoes to which I exhibit no allergic response) while visiting my mother in Florida a few weeks ago, I finally took a gamble and ordered from A Thirst for Tea.

This self-professed tea addict Frankee, whose business flies under the radar, clearly wants curious sippers to appreciate the world of loose-leaf teas. The website offers a lot of information on many of the teas, including some rather long descriptions, backgrounds on the tea farms or style of tea and detailed preparation notes. For each tea I ordered, a full 8.5″×11″ print-out accompanied it. Every tea came in a high quality, thick roll-top bag. I do wish harvest seasons were offered on all the teas. I did put my faith in her judgement to not sell stale teas considering she’s an ITMA Certified Tea Master (again this could’ve been a non-issue if I had simply asked). Oh, and she wrote a full paragraph in the lost communication form of cursive, expressing thanks and adding a description of the sample Nepal black included in the box.

Anyway, this low-oxidized black tea is a near facsimile to the 2014 shared by Leafhopper. I even wonder if it’s the same harvest and kept well stored for nearly 8 years. So far I’m 2 for 2 with this company, one being this beloved black tea and the other a brand new experience with a type of green tea I had not yet tried before.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Leafhopper

I’m delighted that you found this tea again!

gmathis

I have got to check out this vendor!

DrowningMySorrows

Ooh, I’ve visited A Thirst For Tea when trying to hunt down photos of some of my teaware that I’ve been too lazy to photograph myself but I don’t think I’ve looked at their teas! The list of tea places I want to order from is already out of control so I might as well add one more.

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Comments

Leafhopper

I’m delighted that you found this tea again!

gmathis

I have got to check out this vendor!

DrowningMySorrows

Ooh, I’ve visited A Thirst For Tea when trying to hunt down photos of some of my teaware that I’ve been too lazy to photograph myself but I don’t think I’ve looked at their teas! The list of tea places I want to order from is already out of control so I might as well add one more.

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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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