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The leaves spill out onto paper with a neat blend of moderately small needles and quite a few particles, the apparent result of fukamushi steaming. Warm and in the pot, they glow with briny ocean delight. The first steep smells of light florals, pollen, and some faint plant-like mustiness. In the mouth, the texture is very soft, near-cotton and linen-like. This is pleasing, but the flavor composition is touch duller, with the average blend of kelp, melon starch, and maybe an edge of asparagus. There’s a bright sparkling glow of pepper-y spice right on the front of the tongue.

The second and third steeps yield greener, murkier soups, but fade on the flavor depth, as expected. I absolutely adore the soft textile texture that lingers in the back of the throat, but wish it was paired up with a wee bit more flavor complexity to hold the palate’s interest. Nonetheless, solid, well-handled quality leaves, in my opinion.

Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=94

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Exploring the world of fine Chinese and Japanese teas, my favorites include: sheng pu’er, moderately roasted oolongs, gyokuro, shincha, and high quality, artisanal whites and greens. I don’t subscribe to any particular style of brewing, but incorporate elements from traditional techniques to brew the best tea possible. I also seek to share the joy that tea brings me with others, but am really rather introverted.

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Peace Dale, Rhode Island

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http://tea.theskua.com

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