Before I get into my tasting notes, I would like to thank my good friend History Laced for going halfsies on tea with me! This is my first puer. It was a freebie given to us for making a purchase over $30 at the Lupicia tea store near us. I also want to publicly thank her for very cool journal she bought me for Christmas to write my tea notes in; I never get anything for Christmas, so I am super giddy about this. :D

Observation 1: As usual, I am at the kitchen table gossiping shamelessly as my boyfriend prepares the tea. He steeped the tea for 2 minutes in boiling water. The tea was not placed in an infuser, we used a tea strainer instead. It is a very pretty deep amber liquor.

Observation 2: The tea straight is very light flavor that I am assuming is the puer with the merest hints of a strawberry aftertaste. I do not taste any of the black tea in this blend, nor do I taste any chocolate.

Observation 3: With sugar to taste, I now begin to notice chocolate notes in the forefront. To me, it tastes as though I just had a cup of chocolate milk and followed it with a cup of strawberry milk.

Observation 4: With milk only, the chocolate and strawberry flavors are very muted; I only taste what I my brain is logically deducing as the puer.

Observation 5: With milk and sugar, there is a very light taste of chocolate with a much stronger strawberry presence. It is very smooth with no bitterness detected.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. A fan of boisterous flavors, I am not sure whether or not the delicate notes of a puer is really my cup of tea. Next, I think I would like to try a puer without any extra bells and whistles and really figure out what puer itself tastes like. There’s still so much to learn and try and with my handy dandy journal, I should be belting these out like rapid fire, that is unless I end up turning it into a rant-book like I do every other miscellaneous scrap of paper that accidentally crosses my path. :)

Boyfriend review: Goes good with milk and sugar, it is very light otherwise.

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A casual tea drinker since my childhood; I recently began to truly explore international tea culture in my search for the perfect tea ritual in my extremely hectic lifestyle. I am a young pantheist college student pursuing the science of medicine with a minor in bioethics (philosophy) and I firmly believe that having a ritual for relaxation and meditation is crucial to physical and emotional wellbeing. I recently hosted my first afternoon tea party and hope to assemble a routine arsenal of tea and literature enthusiasts to share my teatime. My tastes are international and I embrace styles and ideas of different cultures across the centuries. I look forward to tea and literary recommendations from you all!

So I know there is no proper way to truly gauge teas as the best or the worst, but like with education, a standardized rubric system is very important to communicate certain aspects of a quality before one has a chance to read in-depth reviews.

It is with this in mind that I strive to follow the proceeding guidelines and rubric:

1. I shall not provide a grade based upon an improperly brewed tea. This includes: experimental blending, scalded leaves, oversteeping/understeeping and insufficient amounts of leaves provided.

2. All rated teas must initially be steeped in accordance to the guidelines provided by the tea company. Addendum/reevaluation may occur if properly documented.

3. I shall try my very best to leave personal preference out of the scope of grading. However, I shall endeavor to be very clear of my opinion of the teas that I rate.

Grading Rubric
100 point scale:

- Clearly and concisely conveys the flavors of the artist’s intent with no supplemental explanation if the flavors are within the taster’s experience (20 points)
- Requires menial ingredient adjustment (i.e.: milk, sugar, stevia, etc.) to achieve the flavors intended by the artist. (15 points)
- Is completely consistent in flavor and quality from batch to batch. (15 points)
- Requires little to no adjustment to preparation (sans accounting for regional differences in altitude, airpressure, etc…) for a full flavored steeping (10 points)
- has a very high quality tea base that compliments the blend (note: does NOT require whole leaves)(10 points)
- Re-steeps at least two to three times strongly if able. (if bagged, re-steeps twice well) (10 points)
- Stores very well (No flavor diminishment when stored in a dark, cool and airtight space for short periods of time). If bagged, is packaged promoting optimal infusion, ease of use and freshness. (10 points)
- has a clear explanation of ingredients, allergens and preparation instructions. (5 points?)
- Is very well priced in relation to the quality of ingredients and quantity provided. (5 points)


Los Angeles, CA, USA

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