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These leaves edged smaller, with more variety in color, but the same healthy sheen. Unlike the Manmai, the aroma wasn’t a bellowing tropical fruit, but instead a mellow, more typical dry sheng smell. Rinsing the leaves, classic woodsy characters emerged: damp moss, birch bark, and distant cedar shavings. The color of the soup was an opaline scallop-color, speckled with bud fur.

Despite the pale moon-colored soup, this tea had a great thick, gloopy texture early on. I found the overal flavor profile fleeting: light-colored uncooked mushrooms, maple wood, and cotton candy. In the gaiwan, the leaves looked larger, darker green, and more mature than the last two Essence of Tea samples, giving me pause that older leaves may have less immediate potency to them.

The middle and later steeps got a touch soapy and thinly astringent for me. And, despite what I consider to be another light tea, this had less quick bitterness, and a better texture and structure than both the Manmai and the Bangwai, hinting at a potentially bright future for this tea.

Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=245

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Bio

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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