85

Had this again this weekend, made a cup for a friend yesterday and knew that I was done with all of my individual pieces and could crack open a new can. :] The aroma of the wrapped nests of tea all collected in the can is fantastic; it is natural and earthy and almost leathery, a little smoky and sweet like molasses. If I had smelled this tea right out of the can like this before, I would have had no hesitations about the tea. Furthermore, if I had smelled the tea unbrewed as I had today, I would have thought that the tea in the can was completely different from the tea in my cup, based on smell.

Like I said, I brewed a cup for a friend yesterday, got a 10 second rinse and then four infusions out. See previous review for how that was. PS, friend enjoyed the pu-erh. What is new and noteworthy is that up until today, I had been brewing each cake of tea for a cup, never had I tried to make a pot out of it. Today along with Madison we did just that, with a ten second rinse, we did a two minute infusion for a pot of tea (one of the two people Beehouse pots, 22 ounces I think). We infused this three times. (Infusion times per pot varied).

Each time was significantly lighter than when you brew for the cup, but there is a difference. When you brew for the cup, there is the dark liquor, with the nutty, earthy aroma, the taste is what we have come to expect and love and the heavy, coat-your-mouth feel dominates. When brewed for the pot, you get the nutty and earthy aromas, you get the natural, slightly smoky, sweet taste, but the mouthfeel has diminished if not disappeared all together. When brewing for the pot, it becomes smoother and thinner, lighter might be a good word, but not in flavor, just in texture. Sure, you are watering the tea down, by actually adding more water, but the flavors are not compromised.

Interesting, very interesting.

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Bio

I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone

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NJ

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