Gongfu. 190 degrees. The instructions said 195 but my kettle doesn’t do that, so… 3g of tea (about 1 tsp). 30 second rinse. Lovely aroma. I don’t know what it is… floral, light, sweet…peaches? Lovely flavor, also light and sweet. A few sips and I already feel relaxed, and I just got home from a long commute after a long day. Second: 30 seconds. The leaves are really opening up now. Lots of twigs in there (good, bad?). Third: 30 secs again. I really love this tea. It’s so mellow and sweet. I feel like I took a xanax. Sweetness giving way to more vegetal flavor. Fourth: 40 secs. It’s still mellow, not a hint of bitterness, but flavor has faded a tad. Fifth: one minute. It is still giving. I am floating on a cloud. Sixth: TWO minutes, I dare you to get bitter! Nope, it’s not. In my happy place now. Seventh: 3 minutes. No bitterness, but not much flavor left. All done!

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For many years I drank cheap asian market-bought oolongs because I really didn’t know what was out there. For the last year or so I’ve been educating myself and making a foray into better quality teas. During the course of my journey I have fallen hard down the puerh rabbit hole – it started with young sheng, but now there’s another even deeper hole in the aged category, and I may be careening down this particular rabbit hole forever. I do still find time for aged oolong, a good wuyi yancha, and the occasional aged white.

I stopped rating teas awhile ago. I guess the numbers stopping meaning anything after awhile. For a long time I was pretty good about keeping my cupboard up to date and reviewing teas, mostly to help me keep track and remember what I like. I’ve gotten lazy about that for the last several months.

The tea addiction has also spawned a new addiction to throwing pottery, and I have become mildly obsessed with making tea cups, shibos, and teapots.


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