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98

I just realized my last tasting note of this tea was so old and frankly outdated. I brought some of this tea at the office and had some usually with lunch and in the afternoon. The more I drank it, the more I liked it. I just know it will provide me with the perfect brew, quite delicate, slightly grassy, very mild though flavorsome. I never have had any problem sleeping even when I drank my last cup around 6pm. I did up to 7 brews with the same leaves and could probably have gone on for quite a few more rounds, as the flavor was still there.
The price was outrageous – I rediscovered the bill some time ago when tidying my papers and wide-eyed I checked that I was not mistaken, then I wondered how I could have paid such a price for 150g of tea. Thinking of it back now, I realize it was not that much, as a very small quantity (less than 5 beads for one cup) does the trick and works with as many steeps as more.
Every time I realized the number of beads in my office small tin were getting scarce, I had to restock it as I could not imagine not being able to drink it at lunch. That’s the only tea I brought to the office that made me do that – all the others (flavored all of them) I had to change and replace by a new one after a few weeks, even if I restocked a few of them once or twice before changing. This one, no, I really feel now that it’s a basic I cannot live without.
This explains my upgraded and almost perfect rating.
I’ll have to try other oolong, but I have to admit I’m wary of being disappointed.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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