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Tea of the afternoon. I tried this out in my new yixing pot and really should have known better to not try a new sample this way and that this particular yixing pot isn’t well suited to gongfu brewing. Too big, too bulky and it has a loose lid due to the strainer and that it is likely mass produced.

I bought the pot and it’s matching cups for their color and design (sage green with a dragon and phoenix) but it seemed a shame not to use them. I decided Dan Congs in general would be a safe bet to season it with, as I would likely always have one in the house, but like I said this pot is just not meant for it. So new oolong, I’m sorry, it’s not you it’s my pot. Luckily I still have half a sample left.

In all honesty the tea was still pretty good, not ruined by any means. The first few steeps were the best and they reminded me a bit of the oolongs I tried this weekend (my first Rou Gui and Tung Ting, both lovely, both brewed much better, because of proper tea ware at Essencha) in that there was a cassia note and some unami, but I also got pretty distinct orchid, honey and peach notes with mineral sweetness throughout. Must get gaiwan ASAP, followed by a tiny yixing pot or two.

Update sipdown: this smells so delicious, leaves a fantastic taste in my mouth once swallowed, but the taste before that? A bit disappointing, it’s green and slightly astringent and just doesn’t deliver on the promise of the smell which is so complex and roasted. Ah well.

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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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