82

Used 5g in 155ml water in a covered glazed ceramic gaiwan with a single quick rinse. First infusion 1 minute with 85 degree C water followed by a 2 minute 30 second infusion with the same water slightly cooled.

Dry fragrance very similar to dried apricots. Toasty, sweet, fruity (the apricots, but also longan, lychee, kumquat, currant, and dried pomello rind), cinnamon, pink peppercorns, whole cardamom, and cedar wood. Wet aroma of the leaves more damp wood, wet granite, pear, and plum sauce. Liquor is a clear, reddish copper color and carries a heady aroma of the spices and longan/kumquat fruity notes.

Only real difference in infusions is increased body and headiness of aroma in longer brew. Slick, smooth, full mouthfeel. Long lingering cupric aftertaste with ripe fruit medley. Mineral, sweet crispness lends mouthwatering effect. Slight astringency in the very back of the throat. In tasting, it is vaporous with the aromas blending easily to the flavor and to the nose and afteraroma – practically seamless transition but lighter up front and richer toward end. Taken as a draught, there is more of a plum skin, copper metal sweetness, ripe pear underlying perfume, and overall juiciness you don’t quite get in sipping/slurping.

When brewed longer, this has a striking similarity to brandy or heavier scotch in color, aroma, and body.

Rich and sumptuous while remaining clean, this tea balances the line between oolongs and reds very well and would happily satisfy folks of either preference. Despite its weight, I would never consider besmirching this tea with additions – it is really pointless and adding anything more than the smallest bit of sugar or honey would tear it to shreds.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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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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