First: thanks to Garret for the sample.
Second: This week has been rough, and on Thursday I received my Mandala order with a handwritten note. Things have been overwhelming me all week at work, but when I read this note, I had this amazing sense of serenity. It just reminded me to take a step back, look around, and smell the roses (if you will). It was exactly what I needed to hear. So if you see this, Garret, THANK YOU!
Now, onto the tealiciousness.
Method: 3 grams, 3 oz, 200 degrees, 10-15-15-15 seconds, ru kiln gaiwan and Dr. Who mug
Dry Leaf Aroma: This isn’t like some stinky pu’erhs I have smelled! It’s overwhelmingly pleasant, even though I can’t put my finger on the exact aromas.
Brewing Aroma: This has a mineral smell and then something else… what IS that? HOLY CRAP, it’s dried apricots. It’s so specific. Not apricot from the tree, but dried apricots. AT this point, I’m pretty excited.
Flavor: I did my regular gongfu thing where I steep 3-4 times and add all the tea to one large mug, so all the tea is blended, then I can sit, relax, and enjoy the tea.
Normally I try not to read reviews before I try a new tea, but I really wanted to get the steeping times right on this one, so I did check steepster and used Jamie Groth‘s times as a guideline. I may be influenced by that note, but I can absolutely taste fruit here, and it really does come through as a very natural grapey flavor (as opposed to artificial grape. I’m sure you know what I am talking about). There’s also a woodsy note at the end of the sip, and then a lovely, but quiet sweetness that lingers for a moment.
This tea is making me feel all warm and fuzzy. I am chillin’ on the couch with my pups, enjoying the slow Sunday AM, and looking forward to a hike with my boyfriend (if he gets his lazy behind out of bed :P ). All is right with the world.
I need to get a cake of this and take it to work, I think. Then, when I am having a bad day, I can drink some and find my tea happy place.
Edit: I did 3 additional infusions at 20 sec each and blended those into the mug. Still yummy! A little less fruity, but the grape is still quietly there. There’s a mineral note, and a bare hint of bitterness on the tongue.