drank Azure by Chroma Tea
904 tasting notes

Backlog from last night.

This is the kind of evening for which I’ve been saving this tea.  Rainy February nights here in the Bay are like (I really don’t want to say it!) cold November rain in Ohio.  Contemplative, maybe depressing if one possesses that lean.

I want to write so, so very much something poetic about this tea but I’m exhausted.  To further derail my effort, this tea is inducing a mental and physical state that is utterly calm.  

This is a beautifully scented oolong with a dark, woody-grassy-earthy sweet incense aroma of aloeswood and vetiver with smooth integration of the licorice-like star anise and cardamom.  I also smell something dark and fruity; I can’t shake the idea of mulberry. On the sip it transitions to sandalwood then mid-mouth to a general woody-mineral oolong.  On the swallow it moves back to the aloeswood, vetiver, star anise and mulberry, though less pronounced than in the aroma.  Cardamom is noticed in the aftertaste as those flavors slip away.  A zesty tingle and some mouth watering arrive after that and then the cardamom and aloeswood return.

I couldn’t see myself drinking Azure often but this is something I definitely want to keep in my cupboard.  It’s almost medicinal in character (drying, warming, deeply calming) and smells and tastes wonderful.  Try this if you’re an incense fan or seeking an air of the exotic.

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Tea Habits:

Among my favorites are sheng puerh, Taiwanese oolong, a variety of black (red) teas from all over, all teas Nepali, herbals, Wuyi yancha. I keep a few green and white teas on hand. Shou puerh is a cold weather brew. Tiny teapots and gaiwans are my usual brewing vessels when not preparing morning cups western style and pouring into my work thermos. Friend of teabags. Hold the milk and sugar unless we’re talking masala chai.

In my late teens, home-brewed unsweetened Lipton iced tea was the drink of choice to combat cottonmouth. The following years saw the appearance of the odd box of tea from Trader Joe’s. About 4 years ago, walking out of the parking garage where I kept my motorcycle, I came across a move-out dumpster treasure: single serve packets of what I can look back now and say was Wuyi yancha. Yes, I drank dumpstered tea and honestly, that’s what blew the doors wide open.

Preference Reference

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. Some could be great daily drinkers.

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 flavors/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.

Character Rundown:

Boring pandemic hermit whose only current hobbies besides tasting tea are skateboarding and learning herbalism. Will update as the times change.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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