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A sample from Togo :)

Gone gaiwan. 3g, 60mL, 195F, 10 rinse followed by 11 steeps at 10/15/20/20/25/30/35/45s and 3 more that were left for several minutes since I was distracted by election results. This tea was very enjoyable but really difficult for me to grasp, so if you’re confused by this note, you’ll know why.

The small to medium light greenish-brown nuggets were very fragrant with aromas of sweet roasted apples, brown sugar, a hint of nutmeg, nutty, cookie and light florals. I spent a while cupping them in my hand and sniffing them, even walking around my apartment doing so. Warming them brought out a roasted, savory aroma like grilled apples, pears and peaches with a slight vanilla honey. The rinsed leaf smelled like a darker honey, roast, the grilled fruits turning to baked with herbs. With the first steep, the leaf released very fruity and floral scents into the air. Notable were cherry, apple, tropical fruits, cooked greens, peach and honey. I was very into the aromas.

The liquor was complex and dynamic in the mouth. It started off thick, lightly bitter and mineral with notes of cookie and fruitcake and a lasting tart, floral, vegetal and drying aftertaste. For the next few steeps, the liquor turned tart on the sip, thinner and oily and moved quickly into floral tastes. I could pick up on gardenia, violet, orchid, vanilla, roast, apple, and banana leaf. The bottom of the cup smelled strongly of black cherry and honey which made their presence in taste in the fourth steep along with additions to the above of pine, herbs and a savory quality with the roast slipping away. The aftertaste moved to starchy and tangy and settled with butter. The fifth infusion transitioned into gardenia, honey butter, yogurt tang, peach and banana leaf with a stronger astringency. The flavors faded from there on but picked up a short-lived note of lime zest before ending with a nuttiness and herbs.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the dynamic nature of the tea and it kept me very engaged for the first half of the session. The roast seems well done, bringing out the dark cherry note, fruitcake/cookie quality and nuttiness while still allowing the high mountain florals, brighter fruits and herbs to come forward. I appreciated the lighter, oily texture and the interplay of tartness with light bitterness and astringency while being on the less sweet side. I’d love to buy more of this and play around with it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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i am tea as you are tea

Some current non-tea explorations include alto sax, powerlifting, rock climbing.

If we ever meet for tea, I will definitely smile.

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, GABA 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. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

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.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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