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I purchased the puerh tasting sampler from Bana Tea Co. They were all so delicious, but this one is definitely my favorite!

I tend to lean toward sweeter, smoother puerhs with a lot of complexity and just a tad bit of a bite at the end. This Xiaguan fit the bill perfectly.

It’s an ’05 harvest and at first I was surprised at how oxidized the leaves were already.. they were kind of small and broken up with twiggy bits, not particularly exciting to look at. However, the proof is in the teacup!

The rinsed leaves gave off an enticing sweet, apricot jam and maple syrup aroma. I also picked up a camphor and pine. There was also this savory seaweed quality to it—but also a sugary raisin note at the finish. If the aroma alone was so complex, I was excited to try out the tea itself.

It didn’t disappoint, for me. I relished the sweetness with just a tad astringency, like a dry white wine. It was smoky, earthy, sweet, and ethereal all at the same time. A tea of contradictions and balance. I’m one happy tea drinker right now!

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