As I was scouring my mind for a taste descriptor besides buttered popcorn (unsalted), something to describe the particular vegetal note, edamame emerged as the answer, and I was pleased that I’d locked it. Then I read the description from Verdant of the growing process: “Rows of soybeans grow between the tea bushes to distract insects, and the beans are used as … fertilizer.” Whoa, floored me. Here I was thinking I’d pulled out this abstract analogy and it was totally concrete, if the tea absorbs any of its neighbor-plant through air or roots. Like scenting tea with jasmine flowers. I’m clearly no botanist but it seems plausible, and if true, makes me wonder if I’ll ever have such a bulls-eye in future reviews ;) I will not go so far, however, as to start consuming different kinds of worms, soil and fertilizer to further develop this skill.

The tea is smooth and savory, very pleasant, low-key, mild astringency.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


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