The dry leaf is long, wirey and dark. It doesn’t have a strong smell, just faint floral and vegetal notes. The steeped leaf smells much the same, but unfurls to pieces of green leaves with a reddish tinge.

The liquor is a clear, bright amber, and smells sweet, nutty and floral. I steeped this according to the package directions, 3g in boiling water, for 2:30.

The taste is sweet and floral, with a hint of bitterness, and a sharpness that I associate with astringency, but the mouth feel is smooth and round. There’s traces of nuttiness, but not as much as I was expecting – I can maybe pick out some almond on the finish, but it’s not distinct enough to name as almond if that’s not what I was expecting.

As it cools though, the flavours improve, become more full mouth, and the promised almond is showing itself more.

I tried a second steep of the leaves in 88C water, but even with quite a long steep, the flavour is rather flat.

This was nice, but not as unique as I was expecting, and from what I recall, quite expensive. I’ll have to try my first cup steeped in cooler water, and maybe try this gongfu style, but right now, I don’t feel like this was very good value for the money.

Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Floral, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 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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