After some fun experimenting with hazelnut this morning I was in the mood for a straight tea, though nothing too light so I opted for this over Ali Shan. Unfortunately like the Dong Ding this one was crushed in the mail, this one possibly in both it’s journey from Canada and from Taiwan as Allison mentioned something about the Oriental Beauty when I asked about the leaves in the Dong Ding. Makes me sad to see tea bag sized shreds in a loose leaf sample pouch, but it is what it is.

That being said I didn’t have high hopes, but this one surprised me, it was pretty pleasant cup and I was able to get a good second steep out of it. It had nice cool camphor notes in addition to the champagne and leather notes. It actually reminded me of what I first came to love about Oriental Beauty, was only missing butteryness. My only issue was all the floaty bits that weren’t caught by my mesh strainer that got astringent. But overall it was actually less dry and sour than some lose leaf Oriental Beauties I’ve had. I’m sure this is amazing when in whole leaf form. Thank you allisontsui for your generosity.

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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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