Dry leaf: sweet, floral and vegetal aromatics — sweet pea, dark chocolate, caramel, roast, cream, fruity peach tone
Warm leaf: roast, burnt sugar, floral, vegetal sweet pea
Rinsed leaf: dominant florals — orchid and sweet pea, some roast

Gongfu 5g to 100mL, 195F: alkaline-marine-vegetal (hint of seaweed), straw, floral. Medium body, peach apricot aftertaste quick to arrive and depart. Sandpaper tongue. Not much longevity and the taste wasn’t up my alley so the leaves got overnight cold brew treatment which turned out floral and pleasant.

Western 2.5g to 10oz, 195F: aroma was very roasty-milky-floral. Taste was dominantly milky-creamy-floral-straw. Combined with the alakaline-marine vibe, it was kind of weird. Decent fruity peach midtone. Somewhat drying.

Pretty basic and enjoyable enough. I liked western prep more even if I found the flavor combo strange.

Flavors: Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Garden Peas, Marine, Milk, Orchid, Peach, Roasted, Seaweed, Straw, Vegetal

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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.” 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.

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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