3g in 155ml water heated to 90 degrees C, brewed in a glazed ceramic gaiwan.

Pretty leaves with a large percentage unbroken. Brazilnut, untoasted hazelnut, macadamia, toasted sesame, grapes, and dried oak leaf dry fragrance. Wet leaf aroma more of an orchid bark and moss with a dry Chardonnay grape expression. Liquor color ocher to light red orange with great clarity in a shallow white cup.

Nice, hefty Darjeeling with distinctive characteristics that can cut through even scenting. Muscat grape note is much more obvious than many Darjeelings claiming to tout the characteristic and it sails nicely with the honey wheat toast sweetness and light woody notes. There’s sesame, malt, adobe clay, and orchid in the aroma as well… And a bit of currant and juniper or pinyon-like resin that comes out of there in the background. A real joy to just sit back and take the aroma in off this one. Good body, balanced astringency. Sweet, juicy, and crisp. The muscat grape is actually present in the flavor, not just the aroma. Toasty taste with just a hint of citrus blossom.

I generally dislike scenting, but I like using this as a base for home made Earl Grey since it can cut through the aroma of diced and dried bergamot peel and the aromas naturally compliment one another.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 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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