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Dry tea is tightly rolled, small nuggets, dark olive green and khaki, and smells very fresh. At 190F, 3 gm in 3.5 oz pot. I poured water in, and then over the pot (which was seated in a small shallow bowl) to increase and maintain temperature, as in Chinese gongfu chadao. Steeps of 2 min, 30 sec, 1 min, 1, 1.5, 2 min.

On to the drinking! The maker of this oolong tea has coaxed a lovely sweetness from the leaf. It is accompanied by orchid notes and low astringency, a combination which spells happiness for me. There is a base of lightly roasty deep-greeness, characteristic of a rolled oolong. Successive steeps mellow the experience, as notes of caramel emerge. A most enjoyable series of cups!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.

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Southern California, USA

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