Once upon a time I drank a green-ish Darjeeling. The first cup was very sour, near unpalatable to me, reminiscent of my first time trying wine (didn’t like it). Second cup mellowed out into a floral-sweet muscatel brew, which dazzled my tongue with its complexities and “can’t exactly put my finger on what it reminds me of” notes.

Drinking the first cup of this reminds me of that epiphany of a second cup of Darjeeling. I haven’t had a good Darjeeling like that in a few years though, so I don’t know why I’m talking about that. This is just such a different tea. It makes me realize I haven’t gotten out of my tea comfort zone in a while. I wish I had more to play with and temper myself to!

Notes that remind me of my experiences with white tea: hay, sweet grass, honey, melon.

Notes that throw me off: plum (sweet and a little tart), a smooth, alcoholic-grain note like sake (anyone ever get the chance to try those limited-edition sake Kit Kats? It’s a little like that), lychee, and an undistinguished dusting of brown spice that tickles my throat (nutmeg? cinnamon?).

Steep Count: 4

(2016 spring harvest)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Floral, Hay, Honey, Lychee, Melon, Plums, Sake, Sweet, warm grass

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.


BC, Lower Mainland

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