Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil then poured into a glass cha hai prior to going into the gaiwan. With Autumn approaching, I wanted to add a daily-drinking Dian Hong to my roster – I’m very happy with this selection.

The dry tea is redolent of sweet potato and hay with a hint of milk chocolate. The buds appear just a little dingy or bruised compared to the bright pure gold appearance they have in photos on YS’s website, though this may be a result of transport.

After a 10 second wash the wet leaves take on a “brisk” and faintly vegetal aroma in addition to the aforementioned sweetness. Their striking uniformity grows apparent as they become fully hydrated/saturated.

Eight steeps at 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120sec: Tawny liquor; musky with clay-baked yam aroma; complex malt, grassy sugarcane, a touch of sorghum; finishes faintly woodsy with a hint of chocolate or even burdock emerging at times. Medium-thick mouth-feel; no impression of tannins. The first steep had a special brilliance of flavor that proves fleeting and difficult to capture in words. Color shifts to more of a satin sheen gold,while the aroma, flavor, and body all dull somewhat by the sixth steep. The tea continues to be nourishing throughout the session. Caffeine is evident, but more energizing than speedy (sweating, racing pulse, etc.).

Refined yet rustic – making for a pleasurable experience; good value to boot.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 125 ML

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Converted to Oolong and beyond starting around ’98 or so when I was hanging out at the Tao of Tea in Portland.

Expanded my experience with green teas when I moved in with room-mates who were Chinese scholars, workers at the Japanese Gardens (including the tea room), etc.

Always looking to improve my education, but will concede my pedestrian tastes (e.g. breakfast teas brewed strong enough to stand your spoon in).

Trying to focus more on the qualitative over the quantitative in my reviews, so you won’t see me give too many scores/ratings at the moment…


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