Found yet another Jinggu county tea (or is it Jingdong? I’m finding conflicting info) in my stash — 2018 Lao Wu Shan Gu Shu Cha from Yunnan Craft. I’ve not seen Lao Wu Shan puerh available at any of the other vendor sites I’ve frequented.

Dry leaf aroma is floral-raisin-wood. Warmed leaf aroma has a sharp barnyard pungency with raisins and fruit punch? Rinsed leaf brings out mellow apricot, wet wood, more florals and savoriness. Medium-bodied, a lot of saponins in the pot and cup on first pour. Savory, alkaline, dry grass; light creamed honey sweetness and butter. Overall mellow and smooth with a bright mineral finish that later turns tart and drying with growing bitterness. Returning sweetness, cooling in the chest/throat and calming all from the first steep. I’m left feeling indifferent; it’s still young.

Lighter compression, the chunk separated with the rinse so I’ve been poking around the wet leaf. Single leaves, buds, 2-3 leaf and bud sets, some longer stems. Doubt it’s gushu but other than a few char spots, it looks healthy and well enough made. Cloudy brew for many steeps, though.

I wonder how other teas from this area compare.

Flavors: Apricot, Barnyard, Bitter, Butter, Dry Grass, Drying, Flowers, Fruit Punch, Honey, Mineral, Mint, Raisins, Smooth, Tart, Wet Wood, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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