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91
drank Jasmine Dragon Tears by Pekko Teas
64 tasting notes

Steepster! It’s been far too long! I seem to have come across a great deal of bad luck recently. First my favorite glass kettle broke, then a stomach virus, then some common cold. Needless to say, tea has been a bit out of reach for me recently. :( But I’m back! And with a new Utilitea kettle to boot! I have a lot of catching up to do, and this sample was the first I tried when I well enough to taste “real” tea.

I thank Pekko Teas for this sample, and I must say I’m impressed. This is a tea with an awesome name and a taste to match. The jasmine flavoring is just that: it isn’t overbearing and allows the tea leaves to exert their influence wonderfully. I’m constantly sickened by jasmine “scented” teas that give me a headache and make me feel like I’m drinking perfume. This certainly isn’t one of those.

I use about 18-20 pearls in a 100mL gaiwan with very short steeps at ~175 degrees F. (5", 5", 4", 5", 5", 6", 8", 10", 14", 22", ~35") —> That’s usually the pattern I use, sometimes performing a bit longer steep for the first one to allow the leaves to unroll further.

The liquor has a medium body and a smooth and buttery mouthfeel. Prominent tastes include vegetal, steamed greens (a rotation of asparagus, green beans, and spinach throughout steeps), and honey in addition to a humble jasmine tone. In further steeps, a parsley spiciness and cool minty effect come into play. Only the fifth steep has ever been bitter to me, and it’s hardly noticeable. Throughout the ten steeps I can usually get out of these pearls, the flavor never reaches that astringent and earthy taste that I’ve noticed some jasmine greens revert to midsteep. Instead, an deep earthiness climbs out of the aromas. But with the sweet, waxy floral scents, the lid of my gaiwan smelled like planting flowers after removing them fresh from the pot. Smells of sweet, moist earth and intense florals.

The aroma of the wet leaves is top notch. It has that brilliant mixture of deep vegetal greens, sweet honey, and penetrating florals. It’s a particular scent that is essential for jasmine teas to have for me to love it. The leaves themselves are somewhat questionable to me, however. They appear a bit faded and drab, like the color was leeched out of them. The are, however, very clean: very few particles and broken leaves or stems.

Overall, a tea that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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Bio

I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Teaware
Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.

Location

Fort Myers, Florida

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