Tea #4 from a teaswap with Mastress Alita. Thanks!

In my quest to both move through various samples and go through the teaswaps in a timely manner, I chose this tea for my morning brew. It was nice to compare to the Li Shan I tried yesterday. I have a third Li Shan I might try tomorrow to give me a more well-rounded impression of this type of tea.

I prepared this two ways: gongfu and western, with enough nuggets left over for another western cup.

Spring 2017 harvest. The dry leaf smells vegetal, creamy, floral.

Gongfu: 3g, 60mL, 195F, 10s rinse, 10/12/15/20/25/30/40/50/60/70s
Warmed leaf smelled of spring bulb flowers like daffodil and lily, kind of perfumey and sour vegetal. The taste started out light and remained relatively light-bodied throughout the session, with tastes of the springtime florals and a sweet-tartness like golden delicious apple. Mid-session, retained the same notes with the addition of moderate astringency, light sugarcane, peppery watercress and hints of parsley, spinach, cream and butter. Changing the temperature might allow for the butter and cream to become more prominent but I think increasing it would also greatly increase the mouth-drying quality. Final steeps faded nicely, with the green vegetal moving more toward broccoli stalk. Aroma was moderate with springtime florals. Aftertaste was pleasant, sweet and relatively short-lived.

Western: 3.5g, 8oz, 195F, 2.5/4m.
I’d have to say I preferred this western style, as it hand a stronger, more well rounded profile while keeping the astringency to a lower level. Really nice, not over-powering florals in the mouth and nose. The distinct vegetal qualities were smoothed over. A stronger sugarcane sweetness developed with the creaminess, giving a thicker feel in the body of the liquor. More pronounced cooling. Very nice floral aroma wafted from the cup and the aftertaste was much sweeter this way. Wet leaf is kind of thin and delicate but most of it is 3-4 intact leaves and a bud here and there still attached to the stem.

I found this tea to have the qualities of a great daily drinker and preferred it western. The price seems a little high for that, though. In comparison to a different, more complex Li Shan I drank yesterday (which is $10 cheaper per 100g), the price for this tea from Rishi is quite high.

EDIT If you play with the steep times western, you can minimize the slightly drying mouthfeel. Also picked up massive honeydew and more cooling sensation with the last of my sample brewed western. Do three steeps.

Thanks again Mastress Alita :).

195 °F / 90 °C

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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