89

Over the past few days of doing a sipdown with this tea, I’ve brewed it at a lower temperature (only 5 degrees difference) and noticed some differences, the biggest being a pronounced milkiness in texture in the first steep. Straw, malt, mace (warming and quite peppery, kind of sweet), almond, cream and butter became the dominant notes in taste.
The cocoa I had gotten previously pretty much disappeared. There was still enough of a high note between the fruity nose and the muscatel, orange blossom and yellow gooseberry in the mouth to keep it interesting. The first steep produced an aftertaste of cream/butter while the second was fruity with a lingering light astringency. Again, this tea is versatile in that I can gain equal pleasure by either taking my time sipping or drinking it quickly. The mornings here have been chilly lately and this tea has been a nice accompaniment.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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 Georgia, 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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Location

California, USA

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