92

Ruddy and golden in the cup.

The first two infusions yield a dry mouthfeel with a somewhat chalky coating on the tongue that lingers long after sipping. Sweet in the back of the mouth, and surprisingly light. There is no overt charcoal flavor that I often find in Lao Cha. Instead, it’s as if the Tung Ting is trying to return to its original floral fragrance, hindered only by the immense weight of its years. The playful energy of youth is still there, gently covered by the wisdom of decades.

In line with tradition, the third infusion is the most pleasant. The dryness sensed in the first infusions is still around, but it takes a back seat to the mouth-filling flavors of caramel and heavily toasted rice. The tongue-coating nature now serves to maintain the warm rice cake-like sweetness for many minutes after it has passed from the mouth. I could really still taste and feel this cup for over 10 minutes!

The wet leaves smell of charred hazelnuts: very musty but with surprising high notes that hint at its underlying sweetness.

A good cup for deep contemplation of the past and the future.

Brewed in my aged Oolong Yixing pot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

A tea geek (and also general geek) in Burlington, Vermont.

I’m drawn to the beauty of a steaming cup with snow falling outside. When I see a tea leaf, I see the long road and hundreds of hands that have brought it from the sun and soil to my pot.

I think that tea can be a way of life.

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Burlington, VT

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