86

I have been going through my CLT samples, thinking whether I should get any of the cakes, and I realized I never wrote a review for this one. It is among the better semi-aged teas I’ve tried, but the price reflects that as well.

The highlights of the tea for me are its flavour complexity and the cha qi. It also steeps for a long time. Even though I don’t find it quite as appealing taste & texture wise, I might get the cake with the current sale. I’ve been generally disappointed by CLT’s house productions, so I may not add anything else to the order. If you have any strong suggestions, let me know please :)

The aroma is deep and sweet with notes of rainforest, plum, fermented fruits, copper, thyme, honey, and a touch of lavender and nettle. Taste has a lot going on too. It is bittersweet, crisp and tannic overall with a good astringency. Over the course of the session I noted flavours of eucalyptus, autumn leaf pile, anise, grape skin, kombucha, chamomile, bread crust, walnut bread, rice paper, and red grape juice. Aftertaste continues with the impressive display of flavours, ranging from kale, to apricot and macadamia nuts. It is pungent and mineral, with a fairly long-lasting huigan and a camphor-like throat cooling quality.

Body is light to medium with a drying, bubbly mouthfeel that becomes a bit more milky mid session and silky at the end. The cha qi is noticeable and fast to appear. In my older notes, I described it as a full-body experience, but I am not sure I am getting that this session quite as much. I do get some slightly numbing sensations in my legs, but it seems mostly just very calming today.

Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Biting, Bitter, Camphor, Drying, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Herbs, Honey, Kale, Lavender, Menthol, Metallic, Mint, Nuts, Plums, Rainforest, Rice, Stewed Fruits, Sweet, Tannic, Tea, Thyme, Walnut, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
TJ Elite

I ordered a sample of this around a year ago and recently received another one as a freebie with an order. It’s interesting to hear you call it complex. All my sessions with it I found it incredibly one-note. Brews for many infusions, but never really changed over the course of any of my sessions. Only my final session with it where I used clay and brewed it with a much heavier hand did it become more enjoyable. With my standard brewing style my first few sessions were rather weak and took ages to get going.

Togo

yeah, that’s interesting indeed. I think it happens to me sometimes that if a tea doesn’t pull me in at the start (which could be for many reasons) then I drink it with a different mindset (I think often unaware of the fact) and it will also affect how I approach it in the future (for example by drinking it at occasions when I specifically don’t want to give a tea my full attention).

But there’s big variance from session to session even for teas that I expect to be able to get a lot out of. In today’s session of this particular tea, more than half of the associations I mention above didn’t really stand out to me I’d say, they come from my first session with the tea, which happened quite a while ago in fact. And again, this is definitely a result of both external and internal (to the mind) factors I believe.

This is also partly (other reasons would be more abstract and ‘meta-physical’) the reason why I seem to think of tea reviews as much more subjective (or you could say relative) than most other people do (especially those who do not participate in such note-taking as some of us do here on Steepster).

TJ Elite

I usually base my reviews on my first session with a tea. I find that’s when I’m most attentive and most free of preconceived expectations (as much as one can). Every session that follows, I find myself comparing the tea to that first session, having expectations. I’m usually able to pick out only a fraction of the subtleties and various facets of the tea compared to the first session. With enough time having elapsed, memories faded and perhaps a different vessel to spice things up, I’m usually able to have a fresh perspective again. By that time the tea is likely to have changed notably anyway.

No two sessions with the same tea are the same, not even two sips from the same cup. Time, temperature and our own bodies and minds all play a role. Two people can be drinking the same tea and still perceive it differently, let alone people brewing it by themselves. A review is always going to be just a snapshot – one person’s perception of a tea over a single session or a period of time. Hopefully most people who have drunk enough tea, especially pu’er, can understand not to expect having a very specific kind of experience. Then again, even vendors are often filling people’s heads with expectations. I recently had Crimson Lotus’s Altered State – a tea advertised for its cha qi – and, well, it had no impact on me. I didn’t go in expecting it to and they do mention in the description that tea affects every person differently, but if I was a newcomer to the world of pu’er, I’d probably feel quite let down.

Flavor ranks close to the bottom nowadays when it comes to my appreciation of tea. To my surprise I’ve recently come to value aroma far more – the two have essentially swapped places as far as my priorities go. Tea is much more of a feeling. If a tea is really special, sometimes I can tell just by the first sip or two. Likewise, after a session I can tell if the tea was good by listening to my body. Even if my memory of the tea was wiped, 99% of the time I could tell what my impressions of it must’ve been by just how I’m feeling. That’s why my opinion of a tea seldom changes radically after the first session – even if the flavors I was getting were dramatically different, typically my overall opinion remains more or less the same.

tea-sipper

Lovely notes on tea, TJ Elite. This comment make me appreciate tea even more. :D

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TJ Elite

I ordered a sample of this around a year ago and recently received another one as a freebie with an order. It’s interesting to hear you call it complex. All my sessions with it I found it incredibly one-note. Brews for many infusions, but never really changed over the course of any of my sessions. Only my final session with it where I used clay and brewed it with a much heavier hand did it become more enjoyable. With my standard brewing style my first few sessions were rather weak and took ages to get going.

Togo

yeah, that’s interesting indeed. I think it happens to me sometimes that if a tea doesn’t pull me in at the start (which could be for many reasons) then I drink it with a different mindset (I think often unaware of the fact) and it will also affect how I approach it in the future (for example by drinking it at occasions when I specifically don’t want to give a tea my full attention).

But there’s big variance from session to session even for teas that I expect to be able to get a lot out of. In today’s session of this particular tea, more than half of the associations I mention above didn’t really stand out to me I’d say, they come from my first session with the tea, which happened quite a while ago in fact. And again, this is definitely a result of both external and internal (to the mind) factors I believe.

This is also partly (other reasons would be more abstract and ‘meta-physical’) the reason why I seem to think of tea reviews as much more subjective (or you could say relative) than most other people do (especially those who do not participate in such note-taking as some of us do here on Steepster).

TJ Elite

I usually base my reviews on my first session with a tea. I find that’s when I’m most attentive and most free of preconceived expectations (as much as one can). Every session that follows, I find myself comparing the tea to that first session, having expectations. I’m usually able to pick out only a fraction of the subtleties and various facets of the tea compared to the first session. With enough time having elapsed, memories faded and perhaps a different vessel to spice things up, I’m usually able to have a fresh perspective again. By that time the tea is likely to have changed notably anyway.

No two sessions with the same tea are the same, not even two sips from the same cup. Time, temperature and our own bodies and minds all play a role. Two people can be drinking the same tea and still perceive it differently, let alone people brewing it by themselves. A review is always going to be just a snapshot – one person’s perception of a tea over a single session or a period of time. Hopefully most people who have drunk enough tea, especially pu’er, can understand not to expect having a very specific kind of experience. Then again, even vendors are often filling people’s heads with expectations. I recently had Crimson Lotus’s Altered State – a tea advertised for its cha qi – and, well, it had no impact on me. I didn’t go in expecting it to and they do mention in the description that tea affects every person differently, but if I was a newcomer to the world of pu’er, I’d probably feel quite let down.

Flavor ranks close to the bottom nowadays when it comes to my appreciation of tea. To my surprise I’ve recently come to value aroma far more – the two have essentially swapped places as far as my priorities go. Tea is much more of a feeling. If a tea is really special, sometimes I can tell just by the first sip or two. Likewise, after a session I can tell if the tea was good by listening to my body. Even if my memory of the tea was wiped, 99% of the time I could tell what my impressions of it must’ve been by just how I’m feeling. That’s why my opinion of a tea seldom changes radically after the first session – even if the flavors I was getting were dramatically different, typically my overall opinion remains more or less the same.

tea-sipper

Lovely notes on tea, TJ Elite. This comment make me appreciate tea even more. :D

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Bio

Currently, I am a PhD student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds.

I have been a fan of green tea for a while and only recently (in 2017) started exploring other kinds of tea in greater depth. I rarely drink blends or white tea and avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied. The one thing that I am currently missing in my collection are teas from India, in particular some Darjeelings.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.

Location

Waterloo, ON, Canada

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