This is a decent shu pu-er. I would advise to steep it a bit longer than the directions call for to get the real power of the cup. I tried it by-the-book and then with a much longer steep, and I enjoyed the second version much more, got so much more true flavor from it. Steeping such a compressed nozzle of leaf for 1 minute doesn’t really cut it – it’s a diluted version of it’s true self as the leaves are still trying to come unglued.

With the longer steep I enjoyed the traditional earthiness-ranging-to-spicy flavors, still a bit smoother than I might prefer, but very drinkable. Not bitter, even after a long steep, and no “dusty” notes either, on the flip side. I could see this being a good steep for the morning, when you want that rich, earthy kick, but still need something subtle and easy to wash down.

Pics, my steeping attempts, and other thoughts in my blog review: http://bit.ly/s7zKmj

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Still fairly new to the life-long process of learning and appreciating tea. Got into loose leaf a number of years ago after health concerns cut soda and sugared drinks from my repertoire. I’ve been blogging about and exploring tea more in-depth for the past several years and I just plain enjoy it. I keep an eye out for French tea trends as well, so if you parlez, bienvenue!

My ratings tend to fall into these categories:

I don’t bother discussing teas that I wouldn’t recommend to other folks on some level. Not worth drinking, not worth wasting time, so you won’t see many yellow light scores from me. I will, however, post if a tea is marketed as something it’s not. There are a couple of examples in my tea log.

50-70’s : Fair. Either a quality or grade issue or perhaps not suited to my personal preference. Wouldn’t turn it down if it were a gift, but wouldn’t purchase it for myself.

80’s: Good teas. Enjoyable and well-crafted, but maybe some slight room for improvement or maybe a notch below another of the same type that I’ve tried. Would buy again if the price were reasonable.

90’s: Excellent teas. My personal favorites that I’ve fallen in love with and have been surprised by.

I don’t know that I’ve ever rated a 100, which is why the 80’s and 90’s are more representative of the teas I like and would recommend. A 96 is just about perfect.



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