A modest sample from King Tea Mall and my first venture into this company’s offerings.

The sample came as half loose leaves and a thin, intact layer. Smelled rich and sweet. Warmed leaf was still very rich with sticky, ripe stonefruits and powdered sugar, alpine air. Rinse brought out a full, thick aroma with an definition of apricot.

The liquor was drying on the sip and opened up into a souplike texture mid-mouth before plummeting down my throat, leaving it warm and prickly. The finish was drying along the sides of my tongue and back of the mouth, not a full on astringency. Flavors were like the aroma, round and fruity, rich and sweet with something like powder-sugared black plums and melon with an apricot brightness. Almost buttery and syrupy. Interesting aftertaste of peach skin and pine. Pronounced herbal and balsamic cooling in the mouth, chest and sinuses, maybe a hint toward this tea developing a camphor note in the future. Seems highly mineral for a sheng with plenty of salivation. Tip of the tongue numbing.

That was the first 3 steeps. Fourth through 9th thinned out and became astringent more than expected. As these qualities became prevalent, the pleasant prickliness in the throat became irritating and some bitterness showed up at the back of the roof of my mouth (how is that possible?). Some straw and floral plum came out along with a citric quality and a barely noticeable returning sweetness. The finish grew flavorful and very complex but it didn’t balance the thinness of the liquor. A sniff of the spent leaf revealed cucumber and honeydew.

I usually leaf my sheng sessions between 6 and 7 grams per 100mL, so 4.8 grams with my 110mL clay teapot was light for me; I really had to push the brewing times of this sample.

Gushu? I’m skeptical but I am a beginner with the softness of Yiwu teas, often preferring bold sheng. The leaves are thin and tear easily, granted they do look to have been processed well enough. The longevity was lacking for my preferences, putting it in a daily drinker category. If anything, the soft and sweet fruity flavor of this sheng has me wanting to explore Yiwu teas in greater depth.

Life sure has been happening. This was a very welcome and mellow end to an exhausting and sleepless week.

Have a song of beauty: Brian Eno and John Cale — Spinning Away
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4v6swKWx9A

[4.8g, 110mL, 212F, flash rinse followed by 9 steeps starting at 10s going up to 10min]

Flavors: Apricot, Citrusy, Cucumber, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honeydew, Melon, Mineral, Peach, Pine, Plums, Powdered sugar, Round , Stonefruits, Straw, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Kittenna

Hope this current week is less exhausting!

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Kittenna

Hope this current week is less exhausting!

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Bio

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:

I prefer straight loose-leaf and compressed tea, teabags for ease of use and herbal teas/tisanes. My favorite teas come from all over including China, Taiwan, Nepal, Darjeeling, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Georgia. The only one that doesn’t do much for me is Ceylon.

I abandoned my preference reference in early 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative description and because everybody uses a different rating scale. I’m 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.

Some things about me:

Endless curiosity and fascination have led me to wear many hats. Stubbornness and naivety have led me down dark paths. The restlessness isn’t improving with age but at least at 37, I’m finally aware of my nature. I have high physical energy and love being around people but am easily exhausted. My most recent caricature is that of an environmental engineering masters dropout working in retail electrical sales. An impatient woman with a knack for making stupid decisions, a lover of Jesus, science, art, beauty and language who happens to ride a motorcycle and bicycle, dabbles in sax, wields a chainsaw and drinks tea out of tiny pots. They call me “Trouble”.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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