86

Just had the softest expression I’ve experienced from this tea thus far. 6.6g in a gaiwan holding about 100mL using water just shy of a boil. Single rinse and untimed infusions starting around 15 seconds and building to about 45 seconds on the sixth infusion.

Not nearly as sweet as I’ve had, but very thick and very smooth. Rich, dark gold infusion with good transparency. Light pollen-like liquor aroma with just a hint of white peach. The tea itself didn’t exhibit it, but the emptied cup carried the wonderful perfumey aroma of Da Hong Pao as I have come to expect the tea to present. Alas, I was sharing this with a couple folks and it was very tasty but very different from what I’ve experienced.

Based on the brewing round we did, I wouldn’t choose this tea to age but enjoy now (okay, this is partly me easing my conscience for blasting through two cakes in such a short time). Should still be very interesting down the line, though.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Oh yum, sounds like a fabulous time.

Thomas Smith

Good finisher to a round from a 1999 Shu Tuocha, a cupping lineup of six Long Jings, and a round of the 2006 Mao Cha I’ve reviewed before.

Bonnie

Wow, buzzzzzz! You must all have been feeling really happy after all that fine Puerh. I rarely get the pleasure of tasting with other people but when I do, I enjoy myself so much! I usually take Puerh to my tea shop for the guys there to sample with me. It just begs for sharing sometimes it’s just so good.

Thomas Smith

Hahaha, I work as a barista so it takes a LOT more than that to feel buzzed from caffeine (assuming I’ve eaten and had any water ahead of time). Each brewing round was only taken to 8 infusions in this case at most, with only about 1oz per infusion consumed by each person. I did wind up downing the remaining 3oz or so left in each of the cupping bowls of the 6 Long Jings, though…

Bonnie

I wasn’t referring to caffeine. That much tea gets me tea drunk but now I see it wasn’t a huge quantity. I went to a tasting not long ago that was about 24-32 oz in an hour which left me a bit giddy.

Thomas Smith

Yeah, whenever I do cupping lineups I only consume about 100mL max from each bowl (which can still be a lot – I try to make a point to spit when tasting 10 or more teas side by side aside from swallowing for pass throughs at hot, warm, and cool intervals) and the largest size pots I brew are 250mL. Dancongs generally leave me consuming about 1.2-2.5L using a 150mL pot or 100mL in a gaiwan, but those are extreme examples with kinda ridiculous amounts of infusions from the same leaves.
I don’t really buy into the notion of tea drunkenness or primary health benefits in tea (I think reduction of stress has far more effect than any chemicals consumed from the leaves, even with Matcha). I do get a wonderful feeling of calming and sometimes relaxed yet intensified joy after drinking tea for a few hours straight, but it is very much akin to the same endorphin rush feeling I get when sitting in nature / meditating, listening to music I really enjoy, reading an engaging book, birdwatching, or hiking. I actually get this most from just sitting for hours in the redwoods or watching the fog rolling in off the ocean, but I rarely have the time for that anymore.

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Bonnie

Oh yum, sounds like a fabulous time.

Thomas Smith

Good finisher to a round from a 1999 Shu Tuocha, a cupping lineup of six Long Jings, and a round of the 2006 Mao Cha I’ve reviewed before.

Bonnie

Wow, buzzzzzz! You must all have been feeling really happy after all that fine Puerh. I rarely get the pleasure of tasting with other people but when I do, I enjoy myself so much! I usually take Puerh to my tea shop for the guys there to sample with me. It just begs for sharing sometimes it’s just so good.

Thomas Smith

Hahaha, I work as a barista so it takes a LOT more than that to feel buzzed from caffeine (assuming I’ve eaten and had any water ahead of time). Each brewing round was only taken to 8 infusions in this case at most, with only about 1oz per infusion consumed by each person. I did wind up downing the remaining 3oz or so left in each of the cupping bowls of the 6 Long Jings, though…

Bonnie

I wasn’t referring to caffeine. That much tea gets me tea drunk but now I see it wasn’t a huge quantity. I went to a tasting not long ago that was about 24-32 oz in an hour which left me a bit giddy.

Thomas Smith

Yeah, whenever I do cupping lineups I only consume about 100mL max from each bowl (which can still be a lot – I try to make a point to spit when tasting 10 or more teas side by side aside from swallowing for pass throughs at hot, warm, and cool intervals) and the largest size pots I brew are 250mL. Dancongs generally leave me consuming about 1.2-2.5L using a 150mL pot or 100mL in a gaiwan, but those are extreme examples with kinda ridiculous amounts of infusions from the same leaves.
I don’t really buy into the notion of tea drunkenness or primary health benefits in tea (I think reduction of stress has far more effect than any chemicals consumed from the leaves, even with Matcha). I do get a wonderful feeling of calming and sometimes relaxed yet intensified joy after drinking tea for a few hours straight, but it is very much akin to the same endorphin rush feeling I get when sitting in nature / meditating, listening to music I really enjoy, reading an engaging book, birdwatching, or hiking. I actually get this most from just sitting for hours in the redwoods or watching the fog rolling in off the ocean, but I rarely have the time for that anymore.

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Bio

Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.



Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States

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