Both dry and steeped leaf smell musty, like old books.

One quick rinse and then first steep, 100ml, 40 seconds, boiling water. The liquor is very dark brown.

My first impression is bitterness, followed by earth and must. Not really feeling this steep at all.

2nd, 15 seconds. Not great yet, but developing. Less bitter, a bit richer tasting, with the puerh numbness starting to peek in. Still missing some dimension.

20s, 25s, 30s. This isn’t developing much with subsequent steeps. It’s totally drinkable, just really boring. You know how sometimes a black tea just tastes like tea and there are no real discernible notes that aren’t “tea”? This is kind of like that – it tastes like generic puerh.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Musty

Boiling 2 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.


Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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