This is my favorite of the 3 Crimson Lotus dragon balls I’ve tried so far. It has a good range in its profile. The rinsed leaf produced aromas of powdered sugar, peach, English peas and yeast. Started off savory, sweet and mineral with some bitterness in the back that lasts throughout the session. Smooth and brothy with a honeyed aftertaste. Then came an herbal addition (definite thyme) and at this point, I picked up watermelon/rind and faint basil on the lid. This was followed by buttery, fruity peach and yeasty notes, then florals and some astringency. Last steep of 7 minutes had a nice tartness. The pure sugar smell in the bottom of the cup and the strong returning sweetness that lasted the whole session were incredible. Honestly, this tea reminded me of a chardonnay in its buttery/yeasty character. The spent leaf was very chopped and tippy. Very high in caffeine, whew. The tastes make it something I want to buy more of but the caffeine would make it a rare indulgence for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 OZ / 100 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 :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng and shou puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, Laoshan green. 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 or matcha latte. I generally steep a tea until it has no more to give.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings. Just nothing cloying especially banana, caramel, coconut, cinnamon or maple.

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.
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: Won’t buy again.
59-1: Lacking several elements, has off flavors, lacks flavor, 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.


San Francisco, California, USA

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