Dry tea, curled like a brown-’n-gold bi lo chun and an aroma like baking cookies or hot creamed corn, made me hungry. Liquor also smells like sweet pastry, but flavor is more earthy, mushroomy, with a little tobacco bite on the tongue, slight astringency. Next time I might try using less tea or making the first steep shorter — 1:30 might be just fine.

Yipes! Second steep just as strong. I should weigh the tea next time. Since it is curled up, it’s easy to use too much. Fragrance of 2nd brew is nice brown sugar and the liquor taste has less pungency than the first round. AND a passable 3rd steep — this is some powerful tea!

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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.


Southern California, USA



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