Another pu erh sample that I haven’t tried or written about yet. It has a sort of pungent, arboreal scent in the packet.

Gaiwan. Boiling. Rinse. Let sit 15 minutes. 5/5/7/7/10/10/20/30/40/60

The most noticeable change in this from steep to steep is in the color. It started as a sort of apricot color and moved to a dark amber.

The flavor seemed to me rather consistent from steep to steep, and rather what I generally taste in sheng. A sort of white chocolate, buttery note. This one has a bit of sweetness to it, and also some smoke.

I don’t get the bitterness others have noted, but then I steep very short. The one time I steeped sheng long, I did get quite a lot of bitterness.

It’s a good tea. I have to say that I’m discovering I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to pu erh. The production of doing multiple steeps makes the experience less enjoyable for me. I know I’m in the minority — and the mindfulness of taking the time to steep is relaxing to some people. But for me it’s more of a chore than anything else.

Then again, I could just be feeling the pressure of all that’s going on in my life. New car has arrived and I’m going to pick it up later today!

Flavors: Butter, Smoke, White Chocolate

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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