2005 LBZ mao cha (loose leaf) via Liquid Proust

Was surprised (and annoyed) this took from late November to early/mid January to rehumidify from 34 RH to 60 RH, but 4 days later from rearranging my teas (and opening the pack a few times to check RH), it was down to 52 RH already.

Will try to move towards more streamlined reviews that are rewritten from my session notes, something more to the style of Shah’s reviews/notes, which I really like. However, it’ll probably be some time before mine reach that level. As I’ve been looking back on my own notes + reviews when re-evaluating teas, more details can be helpful, but also difficult to sort through. I haven’t had enough time as I’d like to go into more detail with many teas I own, so this ideally help me too in the long run.

5g, Poland Spring bottled water, 90mL gaiwan, 212f.

Dry leaf is a dark sweet smell, slight mushroom. 18s rinse.

Wet leaf is dark, some sour, some dried berries and slight smoke

Sat for an hour after rinse as I had something in between. I did 12 steepings of various times, mostly from 8s to 12s, and the last two for longer of several minutes untimed. Thermos’d remainder; it died a little earlier than I expected. Thermos wasn’t particularly strong, but was pleasant. Slight bitterness and some of the nice aftertaste remained.

What stood out was the exceptional returning sweetness and aftertaste for this tea, present in many of the steeps. Steeps had a nice depth, with bright taste and something crisp and minty about some of them. Strong aroma lasting in mouth and throat, with some sort of darker florals, some of which had an almost perfumed likeness in the mouth that was excellently balanced with the overall edges. Some medicinal aspects, and a slight peppery likeness. Later steeps were darker fruits before trailing off. This tea was slightly warming and focusing, unlike the Wistaria and YQH teas I tried which were more defocusing in their effect (e.g. staring at the same spot for several minutes without realising). I expected somewhat stronger effects from this, but I was also somewhat distracted during the session today.

I remember reading someone’s review about a particular LBZ being mouth numbing. Some steeps of this seemed to lack a particular taste, and I wonder if the reviewer used “numbing” to describe the sensation I noted from this tea’s strong aftertaste desensitizing taste buds to subsequent cups if there wasn’t some time in between. At any rate, I guess it’s also pertinent that I was overeager initially and burnt my tongue drinking the first cup, so my experience could be related to that.

At roughly $1.92/g, pretty average market pricing for LBZ, discounted even, considering it’s from 2005. Very enjoyable, but certainly not an everyday affair for me given pricing.

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Just a chronicle of a stranger’s tea journey. Trying to learn!!

As of 4/21/21, I will no longer assign numerical ratings to a tea unless it is terrible enough to warrant one. There are a fair amount of solid teas out there, and reading mildly subjective reviews from others > very subjective numerical rating that gets skewed by Steepster’s calculating system anyway.

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