So after having a nice little conversation with Sarsonator, I decided to break open one of my many puerh samples from TeaVivre. She recommended a pseudo-gong fu method of combining three steeps into one mug and then repeating that. The dry leaves are in small chunks and flakes from being broken off of a cake. The color ranges from dark evergreen to slightly purple. Dry scent is rather strong smoke, which surprised me! Also eucalyptus or menthol and slightly mushroom notes.

So, I did a 10s rinse. Then 10s, 15s, 20s steeps combined into one cup. After that I did 30s, 40s, and 50s combined. I found then to be quite similar so I’m just going to consider both cups as one experience.

Brewed aroma was pretty much the same as dry, but much milder on the smoke and methol. The taste was much lighter than I expected it to be. There’s a mild hay or grassy flavor that forms the base, and I can definitely see the “barnyard” descriptor here, but in a good way. The smoke and the menthol hit at the back of my tongue and throat, along with a slight peppery taste. All three are quite mild. There’s a definite dried fruity flavor, comparable maybe to dried apricot or prune.

I got an interesting tingly feeling in my mouth that I wasn’t expecting! I wasn’t sure whether I enjoyed it or not, to be honest. It somewhat made my tongue feel like I’d eaten too many sour candies… And I could definitely feel it making a difference in my heart rate and a little bit in my head. Interesting! Now my chest kind of hurts, so not sure what that’s about…

Thanks Sars for all the advice! :) I’m really unsure how to rate this, so I guess I’ll just go for it?

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Eucalyptus, Grass, Hay, Menthol, Mineral, Mushrooms, Pepper, Smoke

200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I’m not expert, but I kinda know what I like :)

I enjoy the tongue tingle. It may not be for everyone! Feel free to join me on the sheng side as often as you like!!!!

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I’m not expert, but I kinda know what I like :)

I enjoy the tongue tingle. It may not be for everyone! Feel free to join me on the sheng side as often as you like!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

- August Sipdowns: 40
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 137

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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