Backlog from this crazy week…
I’m not going to rate this just yet, because I’m not confident yet in my home brewing setup, even though I have already had this twice.
First time:
Brewed gong fu style in my new lotus themed ru kiln travel set (which I absolutely adore, by the way). I used about two heaping teaspoons (around 3 g, maybe, my scale is for big things!), and I measure the gaiwan at 120 ml (4 oz) full up to the brim, but the cup only has 60 ml, and all but the first two steeps usually fit in it. The rinse tasted like minerally water, I think I steeped a total of 4 times starting with 10 seconds and going up 5 seconds each steep. The set keeps the tea really hot, so I had to wait a while to get any flavors out, but even then they were light. It was like very faintly floral hot water with unfiltered honey in it. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for plain sweet teas, but this one and the milk oolong I had last week just struck me a purely sweet, with not much else going on. I think I may actually be getting tired of unflavored oolongs, because that is like 90% of what I’ve been drinking lately.
Second time:
Western style in my new tiny 6 oz yellow teacup that I got a goodwill (and there were two, so one for home and one for the office!). Two 3 minute steeps, the first of which was more honey and the second of which had a slightly stronger floral and less sweet flavor than when I brewed this tea gong fu.
I still think I’m doing something wrong with this tea. It may just be that I’m not in the mood?

Flavors: Honey

195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I started drinking something other than Sleepytime in my first year of grad school, 2011. Enabled by a few decent local tea shops in a big city, I amassed a small cupboard of teas that I now find harsh and bad (haha, I’m getting in too deep!). With my move back to the US and subsequent geographic isolation from tea shops, I recently discovered the world of online tea vendors.
My cupboard is slowly growing but still small. Regardless I am interested in swaps, if you find something in my collection that you would like to try, ask away! I just can’t guarantee yet that I have a lot of it!
I’m very into Jade oolongs and anything that has a floral character (especially jasmine, rose, violet, and lychee scented things!). Most green teas, excepting the extremely bitter, are good in my book, and again I seek sweeter, fresher, greener types, though nutty/savory teas have their place (as long as they don’t tip over into salty!). I then to shy away from smokey or overly roasted teas and for this reason and the fact that I am not a fan of chocolate, everyone’s favorite blacks and wuyi oolongs tend to fall flat for me. White teas are alright but I don’t tend to reach for them unless they are floral scented. I rarely drink herbals, chamomile and I do not get along, but a basic vanilla rooibos, or some flavored green rooibos’ can be interesting.
In general, it could be said that I tend toward floral and sweet oolong, sheng (as well as moonlight whites and yabaos), matcha, and green teas.

As of now my rating system follows the school grading scale in terms of how well the tea performs and how well I like it (100-90 A, 89-80 B, etc.). Anything above 90 will eventually end up in my cupboard, though it’s fine to keep a B student around for daily drinkers!


Athens, Ohio

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