I received this as a sample in my large Black Friday order with Derk in 2020. (Will I ever be finished reviewing these teas?) It’s from March 2020, so not that old in the scheme of things. I steeped all 5 g in my 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of charcoal, toasted grains, and nuts. The first steep has notes of grain, Graham cracker, butter, honey, oats, walnuts, hazelnuts, and roast. The next steep has a bit of honeysuckle florality that reminds me this is a Jin Xuan. Charcoal, bread, and Graham crackers are more prominent in the next couple steeps, and the tea develops a slightly sour, vegetal taste. By steep five, the charcoal and roast are fairly strong and the tea is much less sweet. Sadly, I’m starting to lose interest, though there are many steeps to go. The rest of the session is all about the roast, with notes of minerals and wood appearing as it nears its end.

Whether due to my palate or my steeping parameters, I thought this tea was nice but fairly basic. The charcoal roast took over rather quickly, though I enjoyed the s’mores-like flavours and the florals. It’s possible I’m being too hard on this tea since the tap on my bathroom sink just broke and I’ll need to call the super to fix it.

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Charcoal, Floral, Graham Cracker, Grain, Hazelnut, Honey, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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