A family friend from Texas landed unexpectedly at our house last night for an impromptu weekend visit. After nerding out about tea with King Weird for a bit last night, I put together a care package for him of Japanese greens (and many other teas!) which is what prompted this note.

April 28, 2021 harvest

Very intense when brewed with TDJ’s parameters. The amino acid content made my stomach turn, so with this session, I dialed back the first infusion time to 1 minute. Much better, still intense but kinder to my constitution.

Nutty-sweet and starchy white sweet potato scent of the dry leaf with a sheer, creamy overlay; soft, clean note of boiled spinach. Something elusive, like a combination of marzipan, some kind of fruit and cinnamon. It’s a mystery to me, but it’s there and very well hidden.

The liquor is very low-pitched and seafood umami/sweet-driven. Alkaline, brothy and moderately thick (but not oily) with a dominant taste of soft, sweet seafood and edamame, bitterness of dark green kale. Some cashew nuttiness, a sharper umami note of white bean paste that’s more in the nose than mouth, and a quiet, undefinable fruit undertone. The ultra-green chlorophyllic wheatgrass note of shaded green teas expresses itself greater with each subsequent infusion.

Really difficult tea to understand and take in. The bitterness isn’t well integrated and always pulls me out of the moment. Gyokuro’s charm continues to evade me. I can say that I did enjoy another of TDJ’s gyokuro from Asahina more: https://steepster.com/teas/thes-du-japon/98109-gyokuro-from-asahina-saemidori-cultivar

Maybe I’ll try this one ice-brewed.

Flavors: Alkaline, Beans, Bitter, Broth, Cashew, Cinnamon, Green, Irish Cream, Kale, Marine, Marzipan, Round, Seafood, Shellfish, Soybean, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tree Fruit, Umami, Wheatgrass

140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 1 OZ / 30 ML

That sounds like a grand surprise!

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That sounds like a grand surprise!

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This place, like the rest of the internet, is dead and overrun with bots. And thus I step away.

Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

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.

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 pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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