37

Tried this earlier, treating it like I’d usually treat a sencha – lukewarm water around 70-75 degrees C, 4g per 150ml with a steep less than 45 seconds. Really didn’t have much flavor to convey other than dustiness and an off-taste like old bruised lettuce that’s been sitting out too long. Pushing the concentration seems to work better than the time and temp is working best around 85ish degrees C. Should prolly tweak around some more, but this tea really doesn’t inspire me to try too much… May have been okay at one time, but this is stale.
I thank AmazonV for this, as it’s interesting to taste the tea and then see what the company says about it. Had myself a good laugh when I saw they consider this to have “perfectly balanced flavor.”

2g per 60ml in a glazed ceramic gaiwan. 1 minute steep with 85 degree C water. Got a slackened second infusion out of it using a 2 minute steep and 84 degree C water.

Dry leaves are composed of 6 parts leaves (old cut grass-green with white reflection), 4 parts twig (pale yellow-green), 1 part stem (reddish brown). Dry fragrance is similar to a handful of dry hay. Slight off-ripe note like old wilted lettuce or rotten apricot in a plastic bag that you can’t quite smell but leaves an odd tint to the air in the room. Wet leaves slightly yellowish green and mashed together like most senchas… Not very much aroma at all. Wet leaf aroma is like the smell of sea foam, but very light. Liquor aroma kinda musty, like wet dust and a faint aroma of hedge trimmings. Liquor is clear and medium yellow. Hansa + Cadmium yellow with a little tiny bit of Zinc white mixed 1:1 with linseed and mineral spirits using oil paints. To those who don’t paint or feel this is too far a stretch at euphemism, I’m pretty sure this will come out looking exactly how it did going in.

Flavor? Couple bits of well-rinsed seaweed floating in the water I’m drinking. Body is sort of broth-like; thicker than I expected. Flat. When slurped, I can get more flavor, but it’s like slurping water from a stream with a lot of algae in it. Musty non-fruit “ripeness” through to aftertaste. I get the same sort of quality in the aftertaste of 7up that has sat out for a few days (well, remembered taste – I don’t drink that junk any more). Afteraroma similar to the exhalation after breathing in around washed up, withering brown kelp – sort of an oily sweet-sour impression in the nose.

Can’t call this okay or even unremarkable… won’t be buying it. Still, interesting to fiddle with for a spell to try to make something out of it. I get the distinct impression that this is the sort of “premium” tea companies oftentimes use to flavor/scent.

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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