I was going to hold off logging this till I had done a few more steeps, I’m brewing gongfu after all and I’ve only brewed for 5-8 seconds but oh my goodness this tea is blowing my mind and I had to share. First off, thank you to tperez for sending me a big pouch of this, several ounces in fact along with many other delicious teas. When I saw this on the swap board I didn’t look it up, I just thought it was the large rolled balls of black tea. I was surprised and delighted when it arrived and I found out that it was far more unique. I think tperez mentioned it was a Taiwanese oolong processed as a black and described it as tasting similar to Teavivre’s Bailn Gongfu Black, yum! However this says it Sumatran, I once passed on a Sumatran Oolong at TeaGschwender and regretted it. Anywho!

At only five seconds this is rich and dark and sweet. I picked up dark rye, raisins and dark chocolate. Then something happened in my cup that flipped my world upside down. I had never understood how a black tea could be fruity, never experienced it beyond the wine notes or a hint of plum or raisin in Darjeeling and a few high mountain teas. But this, oh my goodness, fruit! There are berries in my cup! Raspberries and strawberries and juicy plums and now that I’m reading it, yes apples!

Mind you I didn’t read any descriptions or tasting notes before drinking my first cup. But now I’m off to brew a second and am very excited. I hope the fruit sticks around for awhile! I should probably also eat something, as my head is swimming, beyond my giddiness.

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

I just really feel you can’t go wrong with teas from this company!

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Azzrian

I just really feel you can’t go wrong with teas from this company!

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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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