Wanted to post something but didn’t want to spend forever dissecting it so I grabbed something tasty but somewhat one-dimensional… Okay, maybe it’s two-dimensional if care is taken but I brewed this at twice the concentration I ought to have. I’ll consider posting a second note tonight if I decide to brew again at a more appropriate strength.

4g/100mL, 3min-4min-5min progression with 95-93-90C water.

Leaf Appearance – Really long, near-black leaves mixed with largish corkscrew shaped leaves of same color and disconnected, largish golden buds (all three in roughly even proportions). Low density; 1 Tbsp = 3.75g.
Dry Fragrance – Cherry chocolate chip bread.
Wet Leaf Aroma – Black olives… WTF?
Liquor Aroma – Even more cherry chocolate chip bread.
Liquor Color – Yellow-orange brown. Translucent – enough clarity to see bottom of cup.
Flavor (Hot) – Bready. Chocolatey. Cherry-y… Plum pit woodiness.
Flavor (Cooled) – Crisp and cupric. Acorn-like. Pinot Noir faint tannin. Artechoke heart.
Aftertaste/nose – Malty. Faint plum skin and spiced bread (nutmeg & cassia) toast.

At this strength the discernible characteristics are somewhat shortlisted. Shorter brewing times with high concentration doesn’t really help this one too much… I like it better ’round 2g/100mL at the same times I used here. Still, it never becomes too dynamic – just comforting and easy drinking with varying degrees of intensity (mild overall in all aspects).

Tasty, but far from the “King” of anything. Tanyang/Tanyangcun is just to the south of Shouning county’s administrative border, under the auspices of Fu’an. But if there’s one thing I’ve leaned about terroir and city/county borders by living in wine country, it is better to look at mountain ranges and relative proximity to bodies of water than where county lines are drawn. This tea tastes very little like the classical “Panyang” or “Tanyang” red teas… Or either of the other two famous MinBei HongChas (Zhenghe/Changde and Bai Lin/Pak Lam), though I’m certain this has far more to do with leaf size than locale. It tastes very much like a mild red tea tossed together with a very mild dark oolong. Sort of in-between a very bud-heavy Bai Lin and one of the TTES reds like the #18 Ruby. I’ll leave it at that.
Inexpensive for what it is. Tasty but not great… It makes a fantastic iced tea in summer similar to Bai Hao Oolong but a bit more brisk. Picked this up last winter but still have around 150g left – really hasn’t changed all that noticeably.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.

Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.


Santa Rosa, California, United States

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