88
drank 2021 Laos Red by One River Tea
1548 tasting notes

2022 pressing, not on website

Mornings at One River Tea’s traditional Tujia house in Maiyingtai village always started slowly. The three of us are not early risers. Tea in the house is made with water pumped from the river up into the village’s concrete reservoir. The river named Loushuiyuan (for which the local tea cooperative is named) runs through the valley bottom as a beautiful streak of aquamarine. In the kitchen’s wood wall, there’s a tap with a tiny filter on it that I’m not convinced does much to remove the river sediment. No bother, though; it’s very clean-tasting water and never made me sick. We’d prepare morning tea drank from Coca-Cola glasses sized and shaped like the cans.

It’s a lazy, cold and sunny Saturday morning at the end of October. I’m sipping on the last of this tea in one of those glasses, much like mornings in China but with city tap instead of aquamarine river water. Probably 3g to 300mL of 200F water, grandpa. The tea has a glassy, nectarous licorice root taste and texture before the tight compression of the cake gives way. It’s a substantial, though not heavy feeling tea once it finally opens up. Bright and fresh yet with rich, mature tastes of natural cherry candy, fresh mushrooms, honey, citrus, wood, a bit of goji berry, mineral cleansing. Very clean and sweet aftertaste. The taste gets woodier with nice raspy tannins as I move into the fifth pour, still bright in taste, a little cocoa. High in caffeine but comfortable and with great longevity, all of which would make it a good partner for busy days in the office. Enjoyable red tea, sad to see it go.

Flavors: Brandy, Bright, Candy, Cherry, Citrus, Clean, Clear, Cocoa, Goji, Honey, Licorice Root, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nectar, Rich, Sweet, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
gmathis

This was delicious to read!

ashmanra

I agree with the above! <3

Martin Bednář

That’s a beautiful picture you wrote.

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Comments

gmathis

This was delicious to read!

ashmanra

I agree with the above! <3

Martin Bednář

That’s a beautiful picture you wrote.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

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 Georgia, 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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California, USA

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