92

This is a tea that has been trapped in my steadily shrinking backlog for far too long. I finished a one ounce pouch of it back around either the middle or end of July, but quite honestly, I totally forgot about it until going through my review notebook. I am a huge fan of baozhong in general, and I tend to love the ones offered by Seattle’s Floating Leaves Tea. This one was yet another winner.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of baked bread, sugarcane, lilac, gardenia, and vanilla. After the rinse, I found new aromas of pineapple, tangerine, and violet. The first infusion introduced an even stronger violet aroma as well as subtle scents of apple and sweet pea. In the mouth, the tea liquor initially presented notes of lilac, violet, and sweet pea underscored by hints of gardenia before revealing impressions of tangerine, apple, pineapple, and vanilla. Baked bread, butter, cream, and subtle sugarcane notes then appeared on the swallow. The following infusions introduced scents of rose, pear, cream, butter, and custard. Stronger and more immediate baked bread, cream, and butter notes appeared in the mouth while custard, pear, honeydew, rose, lime, umami, mineral, spinach, and lettuce impressions also made themselves known. The final few infusions offered lingering mineral, apple, vanilla, and butter notes that were backed by umami, citrus, lettuce, spinach, and vague floral hints.

Like the majority of the other baozhongs I have tried from Floating Leaves Tea, this one was complex and gorgeously layered with a very appealing and smooth texture in the mouth. As these teas go, it was a knockout and further proof that the more expensive and widely revered competition grade teas do not always offer the best or most consistent drinking experiences. This tea was a winner.

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Honeydew, Lettuce, Lime, Mineral, Pear, Pineapple, Rose, Spinach, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Violet

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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KY

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