Wireless was wonky last night when I tried to log this. This was sent by Tunes&Teas in a giant swap with dozens of teas I admit I’m having quite a hard time getting through and feel bad about (then again I have lots of Verdant and Butiki Teas I haven’t gotten to yet and a more recent swap on top of it!) But thank you Tunes! This shu was neither on Steepster nor currently on puershop.com It’s certainly not the silver tips of the same year and factory, nor is it likely the banna toucha, could be the tribute, but I’m going to trust Tune’s label and assume it sold out online and no one added it to the database (there is a 2010 of the same name).

I count myself lucky to have never experienced a “fishy” smelling or tasting shu, until yesterday. There was no mistaking that smell and at once I understood what other people referred to and why they are put off. I rinsed this twice and the third infusion was still a bit hard to palate nut was no longer fishy, but “mulchy” smelling, strong, thick and tasting a bit like coffee and cough syrup. I gave it another few infusions, it became palatable and got sweeter, especially as it cooled. But definitely not my cup of tea. Oh well.

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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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