Sipdown, 149. Since I just had the ten year aged TGY from the reserve club yesterday, I decided to have a gongfu session with this sample today to compare. This is a much more traditionally aged TGY, having been pan roasted at various points in its processing. I found this tea kind of lackluster brewed western style, so I’m interested to see how it plays out this way.

At first, the first steep smells very similar to the western brew. In comparison to the TGY from yesterday, it has a light but distinct roasted note, but more like roasted greens than toasted bread. But the flavor has a light sweetness to it, and it is more complex. There are notes of roasted kale and very faint florals, like the memory of a flower.

For me, this is one of those teas that has a intriguing, tasty first steep, and then subsequent steeps are kind of boring. I used to have that problem with most teas I brewed gongfu, but I have gotten better at the process. I still often fall so in love with the first steep of a TGY that everything afterward is somewhat disappointing, although with really fantastic TGYs there is less of a fall-off. The later steeps of this tea were fine but not really my style. They reminded me of a TGY that I bought in Beijing when I first arrived; very traditional (as opposed to the newer green TGYs), but I got bored with it after a while. I took this through 6 steeps before I gave up. Glad I got to try it, though.

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I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.


Ohio, US

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