Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

I am pretty sure my beautiful half moon double tailed Betta (you know, Jace Beleren, because Magic references are fun) is actually a reincarnation of one of my old Bettas. When I first got him is was vibrantly blue and white with a few black spots, he has gotten darker, he is mostly dark blue with black speckles and he is dichroic. A trait in gemstones, Tanzanite and Alexandrite being famous ones, that when viewed from different angles or types of light appear different colors. It is pretty awesome, when Jace is near the top of the tank, his reflection is vibrantly teal (he matches my hair) which makes him the exact inverse of my fish Dichro, yep named for his dichroic property. These two are the only Bettas I have had that have this interesting property…now if he will stop teasing me and let me get a photo!

So today’s tea is a fluffy leafed favorite of mine, Moonlight White Tea, from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company. Ah Moonlight White (or Yue Guang Bai) you are a tea that causes many debates, White Tea? Puerh Tea? Some epic mix of both…probably, see it is from Yunnan and is of the large leaf Assamica varietal, same as Puerh, you can compress and age it like a Puerh, it is only lightly withered but unlike a Maocha which is withered under the sun it is withered under the moon. Or so the legend goes, I also see that this tea is named Moonlight because of its silvery leaves and it is withered in a warm air tunnel. Regardless of what category this fuzzy beauty fits it, it is time for sniffing. The aroma of this pile of fluff (really, I do love fluffy and fuzzy teas, I think I have a fixation, or I just really love leaves) starts off with gentle notes of sweet honey and hay with a touch of wildflowers and pollen. This moves to gentle yeasty bread, honeydew melons, and a touch of lettuce and cucumber at the finish adding a bit of green. I really like how it goes on a little journey through sweet, floral, fruity, and green.

I decided to use my green easy gaiwan/pseudo-houhin for this one, I just love using this wide thing for fluffy leaves. The aroma of the now steeped leaves is strong with notes of sweet hay, raw honey, pollen, wildflowers, and a touch of cucumber, baked bread, and just a tiny little hint of black pepper at the finish. The liquid is delicately sweet, like pollen, wildflowers, honey, and just a tiny hint of lettuce at the finish.

The first steep, in my fancy clear crystal glass, I am so posh. It starts out nice and smooth, with a slight tinge of fuzziness from the trichomes. The taste is quite sweet, like honey and hay with a definite pollen and wildflowers note to it. The finish is gently green with a tiny touch of malt and a lingering sweetness.

And on we go to the second steep, the aroma is a sweet blend of wildflowers, raw honey, and pollen, with just a touch of melon at the finish. The taste is a lot more intense this steep (which makes sense) really making the pollen and wildflower notes pop, I feel like there is a bee’s paradise in my mouth. The finish is honey sweet and gently cooling, and that honey lingers for a while.

The third steeping’s aroma is much sweeter, like I stuck my nose in a jar of raw honey, you can certainly still smell the pollen, but it is all sweetness all the time. The mouthfeel is a lot more round this steeping, almost silky in its smoothness. Tasting it, well, I am awash with the sweet honey taste and gentle wildflowers, for all that this tea is moonlight it tastes like sunlight to me. The finish has a cooling cucumber note and a lingering honey one that seems to linger on forever. Many steeps were had, I got a bit tea drunk off this one…ok a lot, I found it an excellent painting companion.

For blog and photos:

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Even though I dislike black tea… I keep trying more and more of it until I find the right ones. This tea actually has a natural sweetness at the back end to it, but that is not what I enjoyed about this tea; the fact that it brews a dark amber color with no real subtle bitterness makes it something I drank for four days at work between 9am to 11am. Interestingly, I now have allotted tea breaks just as smokers have their smoke breaks. It’s kind of odd in a way… but hey, I get to brew tea :)

P.S. did I already mention that I dropped a full kamjove top at work and spilled pu’erh leaf all over the kitchen floor?

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Hands down the most alluring of all black teas when it comes to scent. I don’t care what happens in the future, this tea smells like chocolate about to touch my taste buds and I love it.

The worst part about this tea is that I drank it all. Damn me, should of been a hoarder but something about me just shares everything.

This is one of those blacks that you can steep as you prefer and find new ways to make wonderful cups. Want some ‘kick your ass’ brisk black tea for the morning? Just 210f for 3 minutes with this guy and you’re all good to go. Well, what about something weaker… easy, just 190f for 2 minutes and you have a more settling cup. Either way, this is quite a chocolate tea treat that is a MUST try.
Again, a MUST try.

Dr Jim

Glad to see you’re finding at least a few black teas that you can enjoy.

Liquid Proust

I’m pretty sure that Al Simmon (Spawn) drinks this as well. It’s amazing!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I motored through my sample sooooo quickly! I need MOAR!!!

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Thank you, Andrew, for acquiring this lovely black tea. I had some pretty high expectations of it. I knew that it was going to be chocolaty, and a lot like a Loashan black. I was right, and the description is accurate. I steeped this one very lightly four times gongfu, with a bare teaspoon in 4 ounces of water just under boiling. I will have to come back to this one when I used more leaves or better steeping practice, but this session was a success.

As hinted, the overall taste was very chocolaty with a roasted profile and hints of salt, a little caramel barely there, and a little bit of raisins. Sweet in every brew. More chocolaty in steep 1 at 30 seconds and two at 50. More salty in the later ones.

Solid, but not quite as good as the other ones I’ve had. This may be due to the minimum amount of leaves, but I kinda hoped for more complexity. Still really good and highly enjoyable. A lot of people would enjoy this one at the sheer soft chocolate profile, more so for intermediate and experienced drinkers, then maybe, just maybe for newer drinkers.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins, Salt

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I steeped this one more by instinct than anything else, not even really timing the soak. My best estimate for the first one is a minute and 25 seconds.

I got what I expected from a white tea: creamy mouth feel, with the taste and aroma of hot hay. Not the sweetest silver needle I’ve had, but one of the thicker, more starchier or grainier ones. Mildly reminded me of beer, but far more nuanced and graceful. I am going to have several cups based on the strength of this first steep. Looking forward to them. I think this might last me all day.

Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Hot hay, Thick

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Of all the BTT samples I ordered, I liked this the best. This is a pleasant oolong with light floral notes, slightly vegetal and an unexpected hint of seaweed. When I took the first sip, I thought my sencha somehow got mixed up with oolong. The grassy undertones dominate the initial infusions and then the sweet, orchid/plum notes begin to emerge. There’s really no mouthfeel to speak of or thickness.

Overall, I thought this tea was okay. It’s a perfectly acceptable high mountain tea but nothing to really get excited about.

Flavors: Orchid, Seaweed, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This is wonderful. As for the price… I’m not sure, pu’erh at $6 an ounce if affordable and in comparison to oolongs it is cheap; however, with my recent research it seems that ripe pu’erh bought correctly can be much cheaper if you purchase full cakes or find the right seller. BUT I don’t care, storage is an important factor and these seem to be wonderfully stored and once it breaks up after the 3rd infusion it gives a brisk cup with a leftover feel of molasses in your mouth. Kind of sticky, but it has that leftover very subtle sweetness that a ripe has and I really really enjoy it.

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I steeped 1 tsp of this per package directions @ 175 degrees for 2 minutes per package directions and the resulting tea was pretty nondescript. Increasing the amount of leaf roughly 3x produced a much more robust cup.

The flavor of the liquor was smooth and vegetal with hints of savory grass. As it goes down you get a light butteriness and brothy mouthfeel. Not much sweetness here nor any bitterness for what matter.

Personally, I found this tasted like a generic green tea. Good, but nothing special. I would reach for a long jing or sencha over this any day.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Green Beans, Vegetable Broth

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Really nice oolong, and Andrew, this was a great one that I had to try. A little bit more floral than the other ones I’ve had, but still mildly fruity, with a weird vegetal caramel character in the aftertaste. The company’s mention of a resemblance to Tie Guan Yin is also pretty accurate. Nice leaves, faint fragrancy, light flavor profile, decent resteep-ability, and complexity all make this a high rating. A lot of people would like it, though I think that newer tea drinkers might be looking for something heavier, and a black tea dominant person would be underwhelmed. Obviously for oolong lovers and green tea lovers looking for new horizons.

My only hesitation is my bias to the tung ting Liquid Proust Teas Elixir #9. I was looking for a more nectar like profile which is more in super green oolongs. With that said, this one DOES have a nectar taste, it was just fainter and I could tell that leaves were a little more roasted (barely more). As with the Misty Mountain, I think I have to go back to this one again and use less water and or more leaves. I was trying to slow down my tea usage, and I did, but I need to figure out better parameters to do so.

With a full tea spoon, it’s closer to a tropical fruit nectar, specifically mango with a side of coconut shavings…if that makes any sense. I got it more in steep two the second time drinking it. I’m enjoying it a little more the second time.

Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Honey, Mango, Nectar, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

This one is a work of art.

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Andrew boasted that this tea would change my perception of others, and that it might be the best tea I’ve had. Well, it changed my perception of mountain teas, but not the fact that Tie Guan Yins are my favorite. Okay, enough of my bias. On to the tea.

The first steep at three minutes was a lot like other mountain teas I’ve had- floral, light, vegetal, creamy, and lingering. Then the aftertaste kicked in, and it was a more floral, cucumbery, osmanthus like sweetness. The later steeps had more and more of that element until the last steep, which was very clean, pure, and spinach like. Mountain air comes to mind.

I kinda wanted more flavor, but I have more of this, and I’ll adjust the brewing suggestions based on Andrew’s advice (which you will probably give to me soon after this post). So glad I tried this, and I definitely enjoy mountain teas a hell of a lot more.

Flavors: Creamy, Cucumber, Flowers, Osmanthus, Spinach, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

You’ll dream about this and then admit it’s the best.

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Sweet pea is what I get more from this one. This is one of the first Baozhangs I’ve had, and it is pretty darn close to being a green tea in terms of taste, but with the crisp, light character of an oolong. I used a morsel of a bare teaspoon since the leaves were so large. It was also sweet and grassy like green beans. Overall, this one was really pleasant and one that I would likely drink again.

I think a green tea lover or someone who likes their teas light, and fragrant would go for this one. I’d recommend the oolong to a lot of people just so that they could try it, though it might not blow their socks off. Otherwise, they’d be tranquil.

Flavors: Grass, Green, Green Beans, Peas, Soybean, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I hope this explains as much as it did to me: These steeped 11 times and they were still asking for more, but I had to end them short.

Almost all white teas are elegant and this one isn’t part of the exception.

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Andrew is continuing the tour de oolong, and brought me by a nice stop. Smelling and tasting this reminded me of a description on the Mountain Tea: " it is light yet buttery with lingering flowery finish of morning gardenias and warm milk." I know it’s another company, but those are the words that stick out in my head. Gardenias and warm milk rings, granting an instant visual of spring. This one took a little bit to steep with an approximate tea spoon, about 50 seconds to get the full profile. I got it up to three, and the third one soaked for about four to five minutes to get the exact same taste.

A lot of the reactions to Four Seasons Oolongs are underwhelming, and I may have had one other before, but just that one. The only other standard I can measure this to is the Tie Guan Yin’s I’ve had. This Four Seasons had the same floral character a certain Tie Guan Yin with a more prominent milky note and mouth feel. Now, I only prefer Tie Guan Yin regulars slightly if, and only if they have the Hawaiian plumeria taste and aroma I long for. And this one serves as something altogether different, distinct, and good in its own place.

Andrew, I knew that you would convert me to the Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company. You have, and few might compete.

Note to Mountain Tea Company- there’s still a lot of stuff I want to try from you guys…
the same goes for Beautiful Taiwan and several others.

Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Milk, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

Once you drink Misty Mountain… You’ll understand

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This one is not for me. It tastes like black tea which I really don’t like. I didn’t pick up any of the flavor notes that others described. No honey, no peach, no butterscotch, nothing except a generic black tea flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

You know, I find that Oriental/Asian/Eastern Beauty Oolongs really remind me of black tea as well. I’m not the biggest fan of black teas either, which maybe explains why I don’t care much for these oolongs or many Wuyi/Rock Oolongs.

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Unfortunately, I have steeped the last of this leaf that I got from the Kickstarter. This was a beautiful green tea that was easily brewed. Everything about the cups that this produced was light: aroma, taste, and color. I wouldn’t label it as a fragile type of leaf, but there is an element of elegance to it. The only disadvantage of this tea is that anyone else who got this with the Kickstarter will have also got the Farmer Chang’s Green Oolong which blows this one away… it might be an oolong and this is a green tea, but to compare the color, aroma, and taste between the two the victor emerges immediately.

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Update: brewed it gongfu style and that slightly improved the taste but not by much. The real problem with this tea is it lacks depth/complexity of higher quality Taiwanese oolongs. I actually preferred the lower grade Alishan to this one.

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I was excited to try this tea after seeing all the glowing reviews but after brewing it 3 different ways, I’m pretty underwhelmed so far.

I first steeped it according to the package directions – (1 tsp of tea per 8 oz of 185F water for 3 mins) and found it weak. I then upped the tea leaf to water ratio (1 tsp for 4 oz of tea) and used slightly hotter water (195 F) after an initial rinse. Still, no dice. Then I reverted to my standard oolong brewing method: 2-3 grams of tea, 4 oz of 185F water, 2 minute steep following a brief rinse. Got a slight floral note with some nuttiness and astringency. I followed with three more infusions increasing the steep time by a minute and bumping up the water temperature. These steeps opened with a vaguely floral sweetness and an astringent finish. The 3rd infusion hit the sweet spot and the flavor began fading out after the 4th. So I transferred the wet leaves – nice full leaves with stems – from my gaiwan to a teapot, covered with fresh water and left to cold steep in the fridge. Hopefully the iced tea will take away the bitterness and bring out the fresh green flavor.

I have just enough left of my sample for one gongfu session and will report back later on it.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Orchid

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Sipdown (119)!

Thank you Liquid Proust for the sample!

I’ve heard great things about Dayuling Oolong; and I’m very happy to finally get the chance to try one! The high, high altitude at which this tea is grown (greater than 2500 meters) and limited quantity that can be produced because of the geographical location are a giant part of what makes this tea so special. At $20 an ounce, this isn’t the priciest tea in my cupboard but it’s certainly up there – I can’t help but cross my fingers and hope it’s worthy of the price tag. Thankfully I’m not the one who paid for it.

I have to say, the leaf is very beautiful; dry the rolled up leaf gives off a very large, ‘thick’ appearance and has a weight in my hands. After the first infusion I could see why; the leaves are so giant – some of the biggest I’ve ever had the pleasure to brew up. Almost every single one is a completely full leaf, and I even picked out a stem that had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR completely intact leaves branching off it. Just stunning!

I certainly wasn’t going to squander this sample by Steeping it Western Style; so I enjoyed a lovely evening Gong Fu session. Sometimes I feel I can get a little stuck in my head when I’m drinking tea or doing Gong Fu in particular and I focus too much on the technical side of things while trying to pick apart flavour – and I didn’t want to do that with this tea so I just kept doing infusions without really taking physical notes; and I just kind of let the tea ‘speak to me’ while I drank it. It’s so delicate and fragile with very lovely, complex nuances! Teas grown at higher altitude tend to be more complex because, due to the altitude, they grow at a slower pace – and that comes through here for sure.

It’s quite a floral tea, that’s for sure – while the infusions I did blend together I remember the first couple had really lovely, pronounced floral notes of orchid, lily, and a bit of violet as well. Incredibly well balanced though; not ‘perfumey’, forced or over the top in the slightest. Other things I noticed were this very cool, crisp freshness. I kind of instinctively want to call that flavor ‘the smell before it rains’ but I don’t know if there’s a technical word for that. I know petrichor is defined as the smell of rainfall on dry soil/earth (and that’s my all time favourite smell) but this wasn’t quite that: it’s the smell of rain before any has actually fallen. No earthiness.

This was such a pleasant, relaxing tea though! I’m not sure how many infusions I got in total but it certainly lasted quite a while and made my evening magical. Probably well worth the price tag just to say I’d tried a Dayuling, but all in all a very delicious, serene taste experience too. I definitely felt a little tea drunk/buzzed afterwards.

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In raw form the Oolong consist of average size pieces with a beautiful dark and light green colour contrast to them. Also some brown is present and the stems on some appear long.

They have a subtle but sweet and floral scent with a milk after scent.

Steeping Method:
Leaf – 5g
Gongfu Teapot – 125ml
Water – 85C
Time: 3 minutes and increase accordingly.

First Steep – 3 minutes

Once steeped the colour is light yellow with a soft, floral scent.

Flavour is very soft but bares soft, sweet floral tones. I liken it to gardenia and lily, with a touch of cream in the after taste.

Second Steep – 3 minutes 30 seconds

Still a soft steep but the gardenia is becoming crisp with grass notes. The milk covers my tongue like silk as it slips down. With some sweetness that lingers in the after taste, also with a touch of dryness.

Third Steep – 4 minutes

Still sweet and floral though the milk is toning down to a more buttery affair. Also dryness remains minimal in the after taste though it lingers softly on my tongue.

Fourth Steep – 5 minutes

Buttery flowers with a hint of grass and fresh sweet hay. So soft and delicate in strength and tone, but pure tasting.

Sixth Steep – 6 minutes

Very subtle at this point with very little left. A touch of sweet flowers is all that really remains.

Overall: This was a soft and delicate Oolong with floral and milk notes that developed into butter and grass. Pure and natural tasting with no bitterness and only very minimal dryness. An Oolong that uses very little leaf but gives beautiful flavours despite the soft strength. Note – The after steep picture of the leaf was all one part that was connected at the stem. It is one of the largest full ‘one’ pieces I have found in an Oolong after steep.

For pictures and more information please view my blog.

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The raw leaves are long, thinly rolled and with some curl. From what I can tell they look full leaf for the most part, I can tell easier after steep once they open. Colour is deep, dark green. Scent is sweet with hints of butter and grass and honeysuckle floral finish.

Steeping Method:
Leaf – 7g
Gaiwan – 100ml
Water – 85C
Time: 3 minutes 30 seconds and increase of 1 minute each steep after that.
(Note) Why the long steep for a gaiwan? Don’t forget these leaves are big and full so they will take longer to steep in general.

First Steep – 3 minutes 30 seconds

The colour is yellow with a grass, butter and fresh spinach scent.

Despite the long steep the flavour is subtle, even compared to it’s mineral scent. It’s soft and delicate with a hint of butter, grass and flowers (sweetpea). Refreshing due to it’s subtleness though a hint of dryness in the after taste. Further sips reveal some mineral flavours albeit soft, spinach and kale springing to mind.

Second Steep – 4 minutes 30 seconds

Still delicate but an increase of butter and spinach notes. Very clean tasting. No astringency. After taste is of sweetcorn with some dryness though not increased from the first steep ie minimal drynes still.

Third Steep – 5 minutes 30 seconds

At this point it’s starting to become even softer which alleviates the grass flavour. An increase of the dryness is noticeable in the after taste. Still beautifully buttery and the fresh spinach is still poignant.

Fourth Steep – 6 minutes

So much butter and spinach is left in this steep, though it’s short lived and does not linger for long in the after taste.

Fifth Steep – 7 minutes

My last steep. All that really remains is butter and spinach but there has still been no harshness/astringency throughout to speak of. The dryness slowly increased but it still at a reasonable level.

Overall: This was delicate in strength but it’s pure, clean flavours had a beautiful eloquence that made it delicious and special. It’s freshness and quality was wonderful and I will be honest to say it exceeded my expectations. Perhaps the nicest BaoZhong I have had the pleasure of tasting. Note the after steep pictures, they show whole leaf (mostly) and with no imperfections.

For pictures and more information please view my blog.

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Stephanie shared this tea with me – thank you so much
Im on oolong quest. I know that im not a fan of floral oolong especially those ones rich in white flowers notes.

This tea reminded me gingerbread cookies in first five steeps. Its spicy, sweet and cinnamon-y. Yum. later on florals took over but they were still pleasant.
i steeped this tea dont know how many times and left for tomorrow as grandpa style.

Overall I’m very happy being able to try this tea. Its my 3rd sample from BTT. I find their teas very impressive. If you are Oolong lover this tea shouldnt be missed.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 4 OZ / 130 ML

Looks tasty

boychik i really enjoyed this tea

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My ShanLinXi from Beautiful Taiwan was labeled “2015 premium.” I’m going to assume that this is the same tea but forgive me if it is not.

I have been so happy with all my BTT oolongs! This was no exception. It started out SO SWEET! Very lightly vegetal and slightly mineral…later steepings became more vegetal and got increasingly buttery. The mouthfeel is silky and amazing. MMMMmmmmm goood tea :)

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Thanks again, Nicole! These black, twisty, giant (but tiny tree branches) leaves look like they should create such a mean cup, but I guess I should know by now! The brew is actually quite light. I thought it would be like Butiki’s Taiwanese Assam but not so much. For some reason, the only flavor note I’m getting is mild tomato soup which has usually only been happening with tiny leafed assams lately, not teas like this. But surprise! This is actually assam. I was trying to find other flavor notes but I couldn’t! Just subtle notes of tomato, cream. Otherwise simply sweet and smooth. I’m not getting the “dark, rich, malty” from the description. Unless I was supposed to use WAY more teaspoons than two.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min steep


I was hoping for PTA too but still really enjoyed this tea :)

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