It’s 100F currently and not even peak temperature for the day. So what am I doing? Drinking a hot black tea of course!

I’m digging these August Uncommon blends that I received as a gift from Mastress Alita. This one’s mellow, medium-dark and herbal, not so in-your-face as the Dots and Loops I had yesterday and this morning.

Light earthy, rich and herbal aroma. Sip is thyme and juniper, with rosemary to a much lesser extent. The tea quickly expands into a moderate earthy puerh note with light malt from the black tea, tanginess I attribute to the black currant, minerals and a hint of molasses. The juniper persists but isn’t dramatic. The herbs flow through lightly. It finishes the same with additions of tannins and oiliness. Despite the thin body, everything’s slick, my tongue, my teeth and there is a soft and persistent tongue-numbing effect.

Overall, it’s definitely a smooth, savory tea — herbal, woodsy and earthy. Pretty neutral taste for me that makes a fine hot tea for a blistering and dry California summer day.

Flavors: Cedar, Dark Wood, Earth, Forest Floor, Herbaceous, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Smooth, Tangy, Tannin, Thyme

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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. 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.
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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