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Hmm I’ve been drinking this all day and I really liked the first steep. It really hit the spot, it was sweet and mineral and there was some cocoa I had no idea would make an appearance. The second was a little off at first but developed into a nice rich cup, the cocoa was still there but it was more roasty and woodsy and had a hint of I guess what others are describing as apricot, later there was a bit of a muscatel note that I was definitely smelling in the wet leaves (almost artichoke) the third had even more of this almost Darjeeling quality but it got smoother towards the end of the cup. The last half dozen or so though have reminded me more of really late steeps of a pu-erh and were kinda lackluster for me. Will revisit soon, but I think I might prefer the Huang Zhi.

Edit: just revived this with a one minute steep (had only got as high as 30 sec) with a bit more water for the leaves to move around in. Much better, will continue steeping this evening. Update: I actually got five more infusions out of this adding about 30 sec to each one after I got to a min, I ended at 3 mins for a grand total of I have no idea how many infusions but well over a dozen.

The husband asked to try some late last night as I refused to make him another breakfast tea. I suspected he would not appreciate it and told him as much. After two sips he told me your right I don’t and handed the cup back to me. I asked if he tasted anything and replied “yeah metal”, that particular cup was all sweet mineral with a bit of mint. I enjoyed the last of the infusions though they were very mild and reminded me of pu-erh (but in a better way this time) it was like drinking some of the essence of a very old forest.

Next time I shall up the steep time after the first three cups and use a bit more water to get the tea leaves in motion. Withholding a numerical rating until then. Now off to work, just three more shifts.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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