Today’s tea! 5g in the 100ml gaiwan, 2 rinses (maybe 10-15sec each) and then steeps of 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, 20, etc… I started with boiling water but am experimenting with letting it cool down a bit since I’m finding this a bit punchy.

This is a really aromatic tea – you get a lot of interesting scents off the gaiwan lid: old books, tobacco, a bit of smoke. The slightly musty, old books flavour is fading as I progress through the steeps, leaving more sweetness, bitterness, maybe a bit of stewed dried fruit. It does have a slightly viscous quality, coating the mouth and throat, and leaving behind quite a bit of that dry astringent feeling. Lower temperature steeps are smoother and sweeter. It feels warm in the stomach, and it’s kind of making me feel both more alert and sleepy at the same time which makes no sense.

This is good, but I’m finding it to have a bit more bitterness/astringency than I really want. Not enough to make me stop drinking it, mind you. ;) I think next time I’ll either steep with cooler water, or much shorter steeping times, or both.

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Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)


Northwestern Ontario, Canada

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