90

I may need therapy … I’m developing an unusual obsession with this tea. There are about 75 Pu-Erh selections in my stash if you count samples, and I keep coming back to this. I’ve had the bing for two weeks and it’s nearly half gone.

I bought this in my quest for a reasonably priced every-day shu. I have numerous other ones that range from acceptable to pretty good, but this one continues to stand out.

It’s color starts as a dark red-brown, moving through coffee-color, then into the ruby red range over 6 or 8 steeps. It’s always been clear, never cloudy. There is a powerful sweetness in the aroma starting with pralines, moving through raw cane sugar and into brown sugar, which accompanies a scent of shiitake mushrooms. Flavors of cedar and leather are underscored by a strong sweetness that ties them together very nicely, and the flavors vary in prominence over the steeps. A delightful citrus note makes an appearance in the middle steeps. A hint of spice in early steeps gives way to pepper in later ones. There is a liveliness on the tongue in the aftertaste. I find this flavor profile to be amazing in such an inexpensive shu!

I’ve tried various leaf quantities and steep times, but have settled on 6 grams to 100 ml water, one 20 second wash, then letting it sit for two minutes to allow the tea to open up. I use steep times of 15 / 10 / 15 / 15 / 15 / … seconds until the flavor starts to fade around steep 7, then either lengthen the steep time significantly or dump the leaves into the iced tea container in the fridge.

I’ve over-leafed this by 20% with good results when I want an even stronger flavor profile. Doing so introduces a pleasant bitter note to the mix.

To use a dating analogy, I have some fine sheng and shu varieties that are like that best girl you would take out to dinner on a Saturday night. But when it’s Wednesday and you just want to have a great time with the girl next door over bowling and pizza, this is the one I keep turning to.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
boychik

goes on my shopping list. thank you

Roughage

Sounds like my view of the Xiaguan Tibetan Flame. :)

Roughage

By which I mean that it is a bit rough round the edges, but I still love it. Must learn to finish typing before posting.

TeaExplorer

I think it’s those slightly rough edges that I find attractive, especially since they strike my palette in such a good way.
BTW: If anyone wants a sample, send me a PM.

Terri HarpLady

We all need therapy, or maybe we are here in group therapy, like a 12 step meeting…full of enablers :D

TeaExplorer

So would that be a 12 steep meeting?

boychik

i would like to sample. send you pm

Terri HarpLady

12 steep…I like that :)

Roughage

I’m up for a 12 steep meeting! :)

mrmopar

On the list it goes.

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boychik

goes on my shopping list. thank you

Roughage

Sounds like my view of the Xiaguan Tibetan Flame. :)

Roughage

By which I mean that it is a bit rough round the edges, but I still love it. Must learn to finish typing before posting.

TeaExplorer

I think it’s those slightly rough edges that I find attractive, especially since they strike my palette in such a good way.
BTW: If anyone wants a sample, send me a PM.

Terri HarpLady

We all need therapy, or maybe we are here in group therapy, like a 12 step meeting…full of enablers :D

TeaExplorer

So would that be a 12 steep meeting?

boychik

i would like to sample. send you pm

Terri HarpLady

12 steep…I like that :)

Roughage

I’m up for a 12 steep meeting! :)

mrmopar

On the list it goes.

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Bio

I’m fairly new to the world of fine tea, having begun my exploration in earnest in mid-2013. I had given loose tea a try a decade ago but what I chose was not to my liking and I never finished the couple of hundred grams I ordered.

I’ve spent most of my life as a coffee drinker, and have studied and practiced the art and craft of coffee roasting for the past decade. I drink coffee until about noon, at which point my palate needs a change.

This eventually led me to try good quality tea one more time. The Internet is a great resource and I got pointed in a more solid direction this time. I started at Upton Tea with mostly black teas, a Jasmine-scented green and samples of some flavors. I’ve been enjoying three or four cups a day.

Then I stopped into a tiny Chinese restaurant in rural Pennsylvania and in response to my request for hot tea the proprietor brought me her personal Pu-Erh, which had just arrived from China, in a portable Gong Fu teapot. OMG … I found something new to obsess about! She kept bringing me hot water and I did multiple steeps until I could swallow no more. My research on this tea eventually led me here.

I’m a voracious reader and can consume a book a day when I have the time. I’ve been an obsessive geek since childhood and that spills over into all areas of my life, driving me to try to attain competency in more areas than I can count, especially technical subjects. I once took “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” on vacation and my wife asked why I wasn’t reading something fun. I had no idea what she meant.

I love almost all genres of music, but am most fond of Jazz (Miles’ Blue Period, Mingus), Delta Blues (Sleepy John Estes, Son House) and 80’s British alternative rock (The Smiths, Bauhaus, The Pogues). I also followed the Grateful Dead for a short while. Yup I’m getting old, but then 50 is the new 30, right?

I hope to make some of your acquaintances, and swap both knowledge and tea.

Location

Palm Bay, Florida

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