Backlogging, and based partly on memory.
Experience buying from Art of Tea http://steepster.com/places/3023-art-of-tea-online-santa-cruz-california
Date of Purchase/Amount of Leaf/Date of Steeping: Bought eight ounces of this tea in late 2011 during their Black Friday sale in 2011. I steeped this tea a few times since I bought it (once today: 6/11/2012).
Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: Looks and smells like Chun Mee green tea.
Brewing guidelines: I think I initially experimented some with the time and temperature on this one, but in general I used my standard green tea brewing guidelines.
Color of tea liquor: cloudy orange.
Flavor of tea liquor: Somewhat vegetal, strongly smoky, and astringent tasting after the second steeping (and some on the first if not brewed properly); it’s like any Chun Mee I’ve had, and I have found that I don’t particularly like the smoky flavor of them; in my experience, along with gunpowder, Chun Mee tends to be the lowest grade of a green tea that one can get.
Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: Like any Chun Mee I’ve seen.
Value: I got this during one of their sales for 30% with free shipping: for eight OZ it was a little over $8. Still, it was not worth it to me at this price, which averages @ $1 / OZ.
Overall: I am disappointed with this tea. I took a chance on it and it didn’t pan out (in the larger scheme of things, that’s OK, because overall I still consider myself fortunate considering the risks I have taken when it comes to buying various green teas before drinking them first). Art of Tea doesn’t call it Chun Mee, but it looks, smells and tastes like any Chun Mee I’ve ever had (I’ve tried at least two, if not three, before this one). I don’t think I would have bought this had I known it was a Chun Mee style/type green tea.
After brewing it up a few times initially it has been sitting in my cupboard all winter and spring, and I’ve been wondering how I could possibly put some use to it (I don’t like the taste of it on it’s own). Recently, I decided to get some use out of it by adding it to the second and third steepings of Teavana’s Yunnan Emerald Buds (which my wife and I both generally like), and twice I noticed a strong astringent taste which I did not get when brewing up the Yunnan Emerald Buds on their own. So, this morning I made a spontaneous decision: I composted the rest of this Yun Wu (probably about 5-6 OZ of it). This is THE FIRST TIME I have ever simply put unused tea into my compost bin (at least then the plants can get some use out of them). I’ve been using up lots of old, not-so-great tea off-and-on all year, and, quite honestly, I’m tired of ‘worrying’ about ‘wasting’ tea (I call it my ‘efficiency shadow’, as in, if I throw something out without using it, I judge it is wasteful, and for some reason I feel shame about it. ENOUGH!). I’m glad I am rid of it. Life is too short to drink sub-par tea, n’est pas (feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken about this, but I think that’s basically how you say, “is it not so?” in French)?