90

Got my free samples from Life In Teacup today – very exciting! Yunnan Gold Bud is indeed composed of lovely golden buds (the picture is quite accurate). I used 2.1g in my little 4oz pot (the whole sample was about 5g, so there’s enough for another strong serving) and I’ve steeped it twice so far for 1 minute each. Both steeps are a lovely honey-brown color. It smells sweet, and very tea-ish (unhelpful, I know, but it’s that true “black tea” scent) and a little earthy, like the hay flavor I get from pu-erh and white tea sometimes.

Oh, that just coats my mouth in a kind of savory honey flavor. Very full and smooth mouthfeel; zero bitterness with these steeping parameters. This is really reminding me of a milder sweeter pu-erh, which is funny because I haven’t liked pu-erh that much and I love this. I’ll add a rating after a couple more steeps :) I’m impressed. I’ve steeped this six times now, adding 30 seconds on each pair, and it’s still good (though it finally started to lose a little color on the 6th). This is like a cross between a sweet black and a lightly roasted oolong.

ETA: I ended up steeping this twice more this morning, for a total of eight steeps or four 8oz cups. From 2 grams of tea leaves. Seriously folks, this totally evens out the $8/oz price point. (If you’re interested, it comes out to 15¢ per 8oz cup if you include the multiple steeps, 60¢ if you don’t).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Jaime

I’m so excited to try this!!

teabird

It’s pretty great – I’m on my sixth steep!

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Jaime

I’m so excited to try this!!

teabird

It’s pretty great – I’m on my sixth steep!

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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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