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So the Xingyang 08 nuggets are one of my favorite shu’s and this blend uses some of the signature ingredients found in other Verdant blends I enjoy. However before opening the packet (not remembering the ingredient list) I was expecting more spice. This is cool and fresh and minty, a great digestive tea and a potentially nice intro to pu’er for a mint lover. I’m not getting much cinnamon from this, but if I listen/taste very carefully I can find it, but its very mellow. That’s probably best for this summer blend, it just plays on the natural cinnamon notes of the shu. I started with short steeps and have worked up gradually to a minute, but I feel I need to draw this out even longer reading the results of others below, so will continue exploring today.

Edit: This is amazing iced! I mean seriously freaking delicious! I can smell and taste the cinnamon and there is more natural sweetness that comes out. I made a single glass last night and a big pitcher this morning (from steeping a mug at a time hot at 3 mins, 5 mins and 8 mins). I was using the same leaf the whole time and feel I got a ton of tea out of it, being such a generous pu’er. I totally recommend ordering this, doing a quick rinse, trying a cup hot then switching over to iced. You could probably make two or three big pitchers out of 1/2 an ounce (three full nuggets, some smaller pieces and the spices for me).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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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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