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Another free sample generously provided to me by TeaVivre!

Dry leaf: Small and dark green leaves that smelled of spinach. They were whole, but the leaves were so small that they resembled a BOP grade, almost. I understand the reasoning behind the short steep time when looking at the leaves.

Steeped leaf: Once steeped, the liquor is a light brown – the fact it is so dark is surprising given I’ve steeped some greens for 2 minutes and only gotten a pale green. The smell is quite brothy and savory, and as it cools, almost…floral, strangely enough.

The taste is…strong. And very different. It’s drying like a white wine on the tongue, but not thin or watery. It seems kind of bitter, but that plum aftertaste was there – it seemed a bit metallic, though. It is definitely memorable and different than any other green tea I’ve tried. As it cools most of the dryness and the sharpness in the aftertaste fades away. It leaves more of a sour nuttiness in its stead.

Overall: I’m glad I got to try it but I don’t know that it’s a tea I want to keep on hand. It could be the fact that it shares so many qualities with wine or sake – I don’t drink alcohol because I can’t stand the taste and so this is has unpleasant associations to me. Maybe later steeps will be more to my liking?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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