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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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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