My cat woke me up (for a second time) this morning, earlier than I was planning to get up. I wear an insulin pump with tubing that runs to an infusion set on my abdomen, a continuous glucose monitor sensor on my upper arm, and a medical alert bracelet for type 1 diabetes. These medical accoutrements have become targeted by him. This otherwise pretty sedentary 20-pound lug gnaws enthusiastically and mercilessly at one or all of them when he doesn’t feel he’s been fed quite recently enough. I preferred his chewing on hair phase, to be honest. Anyway, at a certain point it ruins the indulgence that was meant to be “sleeping in”.

So, I thought I would make the most of it and get up and enjoy the morning. I had my gaiwan and setup already out ready to go, so I went for the heap of Tao Tea Leaf samples I still have from a couple months ago, thinking any of them would be a sure thing.

Unfortunately, I’m having an odd experience with this one. I botched the first two infusions by not realizing I only had the Zojirushi set to 175. The leaves had a slight roasted, woody scent, and the liquor came out rich and orange-brown, but I wasn’t getting much from it. Only a slight mineral taste. I heated some water to 195 separately, for the next three infusions, but had only a slight improvement. It was a little more smokey-tasting, but still very underwhelming. Is it me? Is it the tea? Is it my water? I don’t know!

LiberTEAS

How are you steeping?

Jessie

I started at about 30 seconds and worked up to 2 and then almost 3 minutes on the last steep. This sample is apparently 5 grams, which looked like plenty (a good 1/3rd of my gaiwan).

LiberTEAS

Hmm… ok. My one thought was that maybe this was a tea that was meant for gaiwan brewing, but since you’re doing that … I don’t know!

TeaBrat

sounds like you just have a wimpy tea…

Jessie

Yeah, I think so. I’m finished this sample but have some similar ones from them, I think, so I’ll have to see how those go.

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LiberTEAS

How are you steeping?

Jessie

I started at about 30 seconds and worked up to 2 and then almost 3 minutes on the last steep. This sample is apparently 5 grams, which looked like plenty (a good 1/3rd of my gaiwan).

LiberTEAS

Hmm… ok. My one thought was that maybe this was a tea that was meant for gaiwan brewing, but since you’re doing that … I don’t know!

TeaBrat

sounds like you just have a wimpy tea…

Jessie

Yeah, I think so. I’m finished this sample but have some similar ones from them, I think, so I’ll have to see how those go.

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Art history and anthropology undergrad who prefers curling up with her cat and a cup of tea to writing her papers.

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Toronto

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