Spring 2022 harvest

The scent of the dry leaves is much more satisfying than the tea itself. Mediocre prepared gongfu. Brews strong in the first three infusions but rather thin with flat, undefined taste. Malty, and tangy in a stewed vegetables way. Not much of the spice or blackberry fruitiness in the dry leaf comes through in taste. Fourth infusion on, the tea does well enough with long and hot steeps, producing many more cups. I can’t recall an aftertaste or any cooling or sweet huigan.

I’ll try this out western one day this week and if it doesn’t work out, cold brew for Kiki it is.

Update: it’s better prepared western. More aromatic, as smooth as a tangy, thin-tasting tea can be. Tastes more like cedar this time. I notice a cooling finish. The aftertaste is sour like lemon or oxalis. I do think this tea has great potential. Perhaps refinement of processing will transform it into a truly enjoyable cup. I made a few pitchers of cold-brew for Kiki and she had very positive words :)

Side note: one of the 2 tea plants I found at a local nursery has produced a flower. If only the other plant would flower so they could pollinate each other and produce a few seeds. Patience.

Flavors: Blackberry, Carrot, Cedar, Chili, Cinnamon, Citrus, Eggplant, Flat, Honey, Lemon, Lime, Malt, Menthol, Moss, Orchid, Rosewood, Sour, Tangy, Tannin, Thin, Tomato, Vegetables

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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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Sonoma County, CA

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