Had this last night as I really wanted tea and rumors say that Huangpian contains significantly less caffeine than your average bud filled premium tea. Don’t know about that since I still kept waking up in the night (really should have known better), but at least it carried through to the morning in that I was pretty much awake before the alarm went off.

As for tastewise, I feel like either my brewing technique has improved considerably or this tea has changed considerably from sitting in my large rice crock for a few months with my other random cakes. The first time I tried this was when I was fresh starting out on looseleaf tea, any tea, much less pu erh and I brewed this up as a bitter, mouth puckering terror, possibly poured into my cup from some poor soul’s burnt leather boot that they utilized as a chewing tobacco spittoon. I couldn’t finish drinking it that first day and poured it out after two steeps.

The one other attempt I made at it between then and yesterday yielded pretty similar results, but today (figuratively, literally, it was last night)? I had the surprise of drinking what seemed to be a wholly different tea altogether! A biting astringency was still there, but the bitterness had diminished to tolerable levels, the tobacco leather boot taste only an afterthought conjured by memory. It was now… floral? Delicate, even. Hay-like, with a lingering aftertaste sweetness, maybe a bit soapy in the intermediate steeps. Complete game changer. I’m interested to see what transformation this undergoes in yet another few months!

Flavors: Flowers, Hay, Soap, Sweet, Warm Grass

Boiling 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Favorite Tea Type: Darker oolong and sheng puerh

Rating Scale:

90-100: Amazing. Will buy and keep on hand all the time if finances and circumstances allow.

80-89: Strong argument for keeping it around all the time, even more than the prospect of trying more new tea. It’s that good.

70-79: Pretty solid. Glad I tried it, several factors that were unique or that I highly enjoyed.

60-69: Nothing that stands out for the most part, but with a quality or two that speaks to me.

50-59: Fairly run of the mill, pleasant but not much more to be said.

40-49: Something here is off putting in an otherwise decent tea.

30-39: There are a few things wrong with this tea. I did not enjoy.

20-29: Disliked this, could maybe see something, some redeeming quality in it others might find worth drinking without spitting back out.

10-19: Begin to question whether any tea is actually, in fact, better than no tea.

0-9: This causes actual food poisoning.



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