66
drank Rice Pollen Green Puerh by Custom
405 tasting notes

1st steep, 1st impressions: okay, so green/raw/sheng puerh is clearly a whole different animal from black/cooked/shou. Noted. Seconds impressions: smoky aroma, warm cream/pale orange color, smoky/grassy/complex flavor profile. Not a hint of barnyard or fish. Did I just spoil myself for lesser puerhs? :(

Holding off on the numerical rating for some longer steeps
Steep 2, ~2 minutes, boiling water into room temp pot. Same warm gold color, slightly fainter aroma; this is reminding me of a Formosa Oolong in character.
Steep 3, ~3 minutes I think I’ll try cooler water on the next steep, because I’m getting some very roasty toasty notes but not a lot of depth; this tastes like it ought to be bitter, but of course it’s puerh so it isn’t actually.
Steep 4, 4 minutes. Did the boiling water → cup → pot this time, so it ended up around 180°F. I don’t think I mentioned yet, but the leaves are big and beautiful, dry and wet. Very little scent; I think I should start upping the steep time more, but I’ve certain these leaves have more to give. Still a nice pale gold color, and the flavor profile hasn’t changed much (smoke, hay, roasty), but the flavor isn’t as intense this time around.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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