Finally, the last of my freebies from a BTTC order. Since I don’t care much for honey blacks, I kept 3g of this to sample before forwarding the remaining 25g to a friend who enjoyed it.

I’m not sure when this tea was produced. Gone gaiwan, 3g, 60mL, 205F, short rinse that I ended up drinking followed by 9 steeps at 10/15/15/20/25/35/45/60/90s.

Dry leaf smelled like faint beeswax, warmed had the addition of honey and wood. Rinsed leaf settled back to wood with faint honey. This was a very smooth red-orange liquor with gentle sweetness, complementary tannins and no bitterness to be found. It started off strong in taste with mostly honey and cinnamon (just like those cinnamon honey sticks) with a fruity backing and undertones of nutmeg, green beans and herbs. As the session progressed, the cinnamon, nutmeg and herbs faded and the wood in the wet leaf came forward with the addition of some minerality. The tea faded away gently. Spent leaves were very healthy looking.

I think this would be a great tea for people new to loose leaf, especially brewed western style and possibly in a thermos. It’s good but the rating reflects my rather non-existent preference for honey blacks.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am still comfortable toggling the “Not/Recommended” button.

Preference reference:

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. Some could be daily drinker teas.
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 puerh, I likely think it needs more age.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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