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First off, many thanks to Nuvola Tea who have proven themselves to be most responsive and generous with their customer service. I had a minor labeling error with my last order and graciously offered to send two more complimentary samples to me, which arrived in under a week. Their outstanding customer service and top quality make them a company I feel good giving my business to and can highly recommend to others!

So I have admittedly been curious about Taiwanese “Ti Kuan Yin”. Since I hadn’t selected this round of samples I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised when I opened the packet to find dark brown toasty smelling balls of oolong. I’m glad that I had two traditionally roasted tieguanyins recently under my belt before trying this as prior to that I only had tried the green versions. In fact I have three other roasted tieguanyins to try that all arrived around the same time, some lighter and some darker. Very exciting!

This reminds me both of the medium roasted China tieguanyins as well as some specifically Taiwanese oolongs, especially Dong Ding. It has both a warm and cooling quality. It is sweet as well as charcoally. Nutty with a hint of floral. The sensations on the tongue are a bit more subtle than orchid and ginseng oolong, but still present.

A wonderfully comforting tea. It is very evocative of the fall and I got lost in the vapors. It stood up well to multiple infusions, boiling water and short steeps. So glad for the opportunity to try it! Thank you Nuvola Tea!

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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.

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Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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