Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

The compressed cake is easy to break up by hand, and if done gently, the leaves mostly untangle into long even wiry strands. The dry leaf aroma brings to mind a clean stable or feed-store, faintly grainy/grassy and equine.

6 infusions from 10 to 60 seconds.

Mahogany liquor; floral/spicy/grassy/lightly oxidized aromatics – subtle, complex, and difficult to parse; Earthy, almost leathery palate entry with a bit of peach pit. Slightly tannic, not quite brisk. Low fruitiness with a hint of cream and perhaps cocoa emerges from the dusty finish; medium-bodied, energizing (plenty of caffeine).

Curious if this one will develop more character with age or become too bland – right now it strikes a nice balance and I’ll probably drink up this cake in a month or two. While I don’t have much experience with purple varietals – this blend is a pleasant, unoffensive introduction.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 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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