After 22 months, I’m at the bottom of my 5oz bag of this.

Filtered Santa Monica municipal water to my Taiwanese purple clay tea-pot, to my glass cha hai, into my porcelain cup.

1st steep (20 seconds): Butterscotch liquor; floral-backed charcoal aromatics; sweet dark roast palate entry with hints of ash and Ovaltine; velvety medium-thick body.

Subsequent infusions (45 seconds, slowly ramping up to 2min): Rust liquor; smoke and burnt sugar in the nose; dark (not quite French or Italian) roast coffee notes, more charcoal in the middle of the flavor profile, with a dry slightly astringent finish.

While I generally appreciate and prefer heavy fire/dark roast/baked oolongs, there is not much left of the tea’s own character underlying the charcoal here; not a good candidate for aging, but adequate (and inexpensive) as a daily drinker.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Converted to Oolong and beyond starting around ’98 or so when I was hanging out at the Tao of Tea in Portland.

Expanded my experience with green teas when I moved in with room-mates who were Chinese scholars, workers at the Japanese Gardens (including the tea room), etc.

Always looking to improve my education, but will concede my pedestrian tastes (e.g. breakfast teas brewed strong enough to stand your spoon in).

Trying to focus more on the qualitative over the quantitative in my reviews, so you won’t see me give too many scores/ratings at the moment…


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