Hapily bumping the rating on this tea!

This time ’round I went for 9g in 190ml using the same seasoned shi piao style zi ni pot. Single rinse had 10 second total contact time (the general rate of pour for this pot) with water right off a boil. Only paid attention to four infusions before delving into just drinking alongside my dinner and winging temps and times after that. Tack 10 seconds onto these for total contact times: 25sec-99C, 30sec-98C, 35sec-96C, 40sec-94C, subsequent infusions a patchwork up to a couple minutes with 90C-100C water…

Fragrance is basic slightly earthen leaf litter and bark with a slight olive oil underlying note. Aroma heady wet humus and wet mossy rocks (not really earthy or musty, but there are parallels) and some dry bamboo. A good amount of bran comes out in the aroma on both the leaves and liquor. Liquor starts reddish and gets progressively darker brown until the untimed seventh infusion.

Much more crisp and coppery than last time brewing. Great body, lingering rice sweetness, and woody notes similar, but more of that sweetness and much more of a savory impression. Bamboo shoot or marsh grass vegetal notes peep through in the aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing despite thick mouthfeel and generally very warming bodily effect.

Later infusions I had with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Very odd pairing, but by golly did they go well together! Heavy food and hearty tea with cool crisp air coming in from outside makes for a very nice experience.

Hooray for second chances.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 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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