drank 2016 Head by white2tea
1575 tasting notes

Song pairing first this time: Portishead — Strangers
(Roseland NYC Live album on my turntable)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbSu2UM8kcQ

Did you realize no one can see inside your view?

Stoner tea if you believe in tea energy. Like a heady sativa dominant strain with enough grounding indica to keep me in one spot. Sedating hyper-awareness. How uncomfortable. This feeling is why I no longer smoke marijuana. I submit, though. How could I not to such a power?

A sample courtesy of Togo.

Dry leaf is shades of brown with leaves and buds furry beige and camel. Smells citric tart and vegetal with a hint of unripe raspberry. Warmed leaf brings out a leafy, bitter medicinal smell with powdered sugar. Rinsed leaf aroma is old wood, buttery floral, sweet vegetal. Drank the rinse. it was very good.

The tea begins viscous with an undeniable lingering rubber-aspirin bitterness. You can’t hide from it. It is there and you know it. The liquor is substantial yet light as in it’s heavy, yet no one characteristic or flavor dominates; well balanced. Leafy medicinal with cotton candy and corn soup sweetness, osmanthus florality. Drying with thick gummy-fluffy salivation. High minerality leaves a clean finish. Initial aftertaste of gingerbread catches me off guard. Warming in throat, cooling in chest. The thing about this tea in its current state — it’s really quite drying but that quality just lets this ridiculously complex, space-filling peachy-plummy-floral-buttery aftertaste resonate for what feels like forever. Time dilation with too much thinking. My brain whirls, I come back to the aftertaste. Too much thinking again. Oh hey, how am I still tasting this tea? And she’s off again.

By the fourth infusion, camphor is coming out my ears and each inhalation through my parted lips cools my entire mouth. I sit for a while with a deep returning honey sweetness. Fifth and sixth infusions, the astringency finally departs, opening up to a less viscous but bittersweet, buttery-rich liquor with apricot-osmanthus, honey-powdered sugar, hay. Tongue coated in tea oil. I have no idea how many infusions I got. Ten? eleven? longer than usual gongfu steep times before I called it.

The experience of this sheng gripped me for better or for worse. I loved what it had to offer but the heady energy was overwhelming for my currently questioning mindset. If you’re into powerful teas and crave that bitterness, for the current price of $0.38 USD/g I can recommend Head. It does seem like it will age well.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Butter, Camphor, Cotton Candy, Drying, Floral, Ginger, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Medicinal, Mineral, Osmanthus, Peach, Plum, Powdered Sugar, Raspberry, Spices, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
eastkyteaguy

Dummy is one of my favorite albums of all time, and Strangers is one of my two favorite tracks on it (the other is Wandering Star). Just saying.

eastkyteaguy

I think I’m going to start doing tea and song pairings just for fun, except all of my pairings are going to be ridiculous death and/or black metal. I might even do full album pairings for gongfu sessions. I’ll be like, "Here. Enjoy this lovely, delicate, complex Shui Jin Gui in a lengthy gongfu session while you simultaneously slam that sickness to Disgorge’s classic sophomore album, ‘She Lay Gutted,’ on repeat. That would be a great way for me to shake things up a bit.

eastkyteaguy

Come to think of it, I think a Shui Jin Gui would be more of a “Cranial Impalement” than a “She Lay Gutted” type of tea. I can’t explain why I feel that way. It’s just a hunch. Also, I should really quit staying up late and mixing alcohol with tea.

ashmanra

Steepster won’t let me send you a message. Did your tea arrive?

derk

eastkyteaguy: Do it.

ashmanra: It did, thank you! Between housesitting and the wildfire effecting my people, I haven’t been on Steepster to notify you (even though I have your email, geez).

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Comments

eastkyteaguy

Dummy is one of my favorite albums of all time, and Strangers is one of my two favorite tracks on it (the other is Wandering Star). Just saying.

eastkyteaguy

I think I’m going to start doing tea and song pairings just for fun, except all of my pairings are going to be ridiculous death and/or black metal. I might even do full album pairings for gongfu sessions. I’ll be like, "Here. Enjoy this lovely, delicate, complex Shui Jin Gui in a lengthy gongfu session while you simultaneously slam that sickness to Disgorge’s classic sophomore album, ‘She Lay Gutted,’ on repeat. That would be a great way for me to shake things up a bit.

eastkyteaguy

Come to think of it, I think a Shui Jin Gui would be more of a “Cranial Impalement” than a “She Lay Gutted” type of tea. I can’t explain why I feel that way. It’s just a hunch. Also, I should really quit staying up late and mixing alcohol with tea.

ashmanra

Steepster won’t let me send you a message. Did your tea arrive?

derk

eastkyteaguy: Do it.

ashmanra: It did, thank you! Between housesitting and the wildfire effecting my people, I haven’t been on Steepster to notify you (even though I have your email, geez).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

This place, like the rest of the internet, is dead and overrun with bots. Yet I persist.

Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, and Nepal. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possesses off flavor/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

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Sonoma County, California, USA

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