Caramel and hay in the scent of long, twisted, dark-brown dry leaves. I put a lot of leaves in my little clay pot, so 30 sec was long enough to make tea. A very ‘yang’ taste, but low astringency. Found definite cinnamon and a touch of bitterness in the finish. The golden liquor shifted from allspice and leather, early on, to a deep, pu-erh-like, peppery taste in later infusions. Sweetness was mostly in the aroma rather than flavor, with richness imparted mainly by the body of the liquor. By the 6th infusion, at 2:00 min, with temp raised to boiling, the big leaves were still going strong, with the tea mellowing out to a sweet, faint linen and leather, and the bitterness vanished.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.


Southern California, USA



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