Thanks to Derk for sending me this tea! The cat pee description kind of turned me off, but the rest of the notes made me curious. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot using 195F water for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus some long, uncounted steeps.

The dry leaf aroma is of grapes, mango, black cherry, malt, and, um, blackcurrant. The first steeps have syrupy notes of grapes, dates, raspberry, apricot, mango, blackcurrant, florals (let’s say osmanthus, though I’m still not 100% on identifying that), hay, cream, and malt. It tastes like fruit leather in the best possible way. Along with the fruit, I get bread, honey, herbs, and spices in the next couple steeps. Steeps five and six have a strawberry/banana/apricot/currant fruitiness balanced by the bready, herbaceous, floral, honey, beer-like qualities. The next few steeps are still fruity, but the honey, bread, yeast, hay, and herbs are more prominent. Later steeps feature jammy berries, florals, malt, minerals, wood, and slight tannins.

Despite its occasional funkiness, this is a lovely, complex tea with great longevity, basically no astringency, and lots of fruit. I wish I’d started with longer steeps to bring that out a bit more. I may not be quite as enthusiastic about it as Derk is, but I’d highly recommend this tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Banana, Beer, Black Currant, Bread, Cherry, Cream, Dates, Floral, Grapes, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mango, Mineral, Osmanthus, Raspberry, Spices, Strawberry, Syrupy, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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