86

I only got 3 strong steeps out of this but what was there was so good. This isn’t going to be just anybody’s cup due to heicha being, well, fermented and the taste rather medicinal but it’s a woody, nutty and herbal medicinal as opposed to fruit.

Gone gaiwan. 6g, 100mL, 205F, 10s rinse followed by 7 steeps at 20/25/30/45s and 1/2/4m. I’ll try boiling the spent leaf and see what happens. Edit: oily, woody, nutty and tart

The dry leaf smelled of light fermentation, wood, smoke, meat and roasted bamboo. Warming and rinsing brought out additions of bay leaf, a strong savory note that reminded me of ginseng chicken soup and cigar shop. There was also that betel nut note mentioned in Yunnan Sourcing’s description. I’ve never had betel nut, only the leaf, but the taste seems like it might be similar.

The dark liquor was surprisingly thick and creamy-oily in those first several steeps. It seemed to slide over the center of my tongue and then curtain down the sides. It was also a tad numbing like Togo mentioned. Neat texture for sure. The aroma was quite savory with pleasant fermentation and betel nut? I could also taste the betel nut in the alkaline brew along with bay leaf, bamboo, some very slight fruity medicine, and tartness like red plum skin or a light dry red wine. There was a pleasant coffee-like taste/bitterness that added to the experience.

If there ever was a winter time black tea to have in the evening, this is it. I’ll probably purchase more of this since it’s so dang cheap at $6/100g. Thanks for the sample Togo, wherever you are!

Flavors: Bamboo, Bitter, Black Currant, Chicken Soup, Coffee, Creamy, Dark Wood, Herbs, Meat, Medicinal, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Red Wine, Roasted Chicken, Smoke, Smooth, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 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.

Location

San Francisco, California, USA

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