Had a round of this at the tea shop with a couple people the other day using good water in a glazed ceramic gaiwan. Slightly more crisp, but that’s about it. I’m leaving my rating higher than it might deserve, though.

Definitely not the most exciting around and it’s the sheng I’ve enjoyed the least so far of their lineup… Then why do I keep drinking it?

Chock it up to the fact I’m a sucker for gamey teas, coffees, wines, and foods. I like wooly, musk-like, leathery, earthy, mossy, and wet-wood characteristics as long as they are not completely over the top. I like bitterness to be present. I enjoy sour characteristics. This plays with all of them.
More importantly – and the saving grace from me chopping its rating down into the 50s, in spite of me liking technical defects from time to time – when brewed at different concentrations it shifts in overall expression and character. It should be expected that concentration shifts will dramatically alter a tea, but shifting between 4g/100mL and 6g/100mL gave a greater shift in fundamental expression than contrasting different types of tea in the same category. One was fairly clean, pollen-like, sweeter, gravelly, and with the mossy qualities while the other had little discernible sweetness, more tempura, wet wool, slightly singed scrambled egg, driftwood, pepper, and a slight citrus aftertaste with not much of a shift in body. Pretty much any characteristic present one way was absent brewed another (temp and time alterations mostly dealt in the same flavor sets but different expressions). Not quite as extreme a jump as many dancongs I’ve had, but I don’t expect young shengs to nearly as exciting as that group of teas… Heck, I don’t expect – only hope – that they are super drinkable in the first place.

So, excitement factor for me and my own selfish subjective preferences have tossed this tea a rope as it teetered on the edge of a cliff for me. I’ll probably be revisiting it again though I don’t expect my opinion of it to improve. Or maybe this one will just fall by the wayside for me since so many more of the offerings by Zomia are much prettier.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 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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