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This generous sample provided to me by Teavivre.

This is the best Monday ever, followed up by the longest weekend ever – I had clinicals of two 12 hours shifts that resulted in me having to get up at 5:30 AM both days. The wake up was the worst part by far – I suspect I would not have minded so much if I could have just done nights instead of days. As it was, I had no time for anything except sleep and shoveling in food that I can’t even really remember the taste of. Certainly it was not a weekend to brew tea.

But on this Monday (the best Monday ever since I have a day all to myself to relax), I can finally sit down and have a minute to myself. I had picked this tea ahead of time as the first brew of the day – I’ve never tried an oolong with any degree of sweetener and this piqued my curiosity.

The balls of TGY were stuck together with honey, as I assumed they would be, but it’s not as messy as you might think – they were stuck to a waxy paper insert and easily peeled off into my Breville basket. I could smell both the honey and the TGY on the dry leaf, and it was fantastic. The two enclosed vaccuum packed samples were brewed in my Breville in 500 ml. of water at the below temperatures.

This brewed up a cloudy greenish brown due to the honey, I suspect. First taste is surprisingly not very sweet – I still taste honey, but not the sweetness of it, if that makes any sense. I was worried about brewing the TGY at that high of a temperature but it is not bitter and astringent in the slightest. I get more of a roasted buttery flavor than floral from this particular TGY, which I like. The other TGY I tried from Teavivre was heavier on the floral and less so on the butter, so maybe it is the temperature difference?

Anyway, I really like this one. It is such a cleansing tea to be drinking as I appreciate the calm and quiet. I haven’t gotten to the 2nd cup in my Breville yet, but I’m wondering if the honey sweetness might be waiting for me there – I will update when I get there, and when I do a second steep. But for right now – it has been just what I needed today.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 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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