I hate to say it but this one left me disappointed. It is not well suited to gongfu brewing and I should have jumped right to 3 mins after that instead of (1, 2 then 3). Because what I am experiencing at 2 mins the morning after is very drying, prickly, a tad minty turning into perfumey (I hope this isnt what they meant by sandalwood) and definitely acidic at the back of my mouth like bile. I couldn’t finish the cup, which is really rare for me. Before that it was really just boring. :/

So if you have this tea go with the longer steeps. While I liked what the Taifu did to my mouth better, neither of them had that savory, leathery, butteriness that I fell in love with in Teavana’s Oriental Beauty (exclusive to gift set). I still have one more serving of that left. Likewise Fong Mong’s High Grade was pretty good but I need to try the Top Grade.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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