Bought a bag of May 2019 harvest because I enjoyed the previous year’s.

Malty, leathery, oat-creamy, nut/wood-tannic yet smooth and full-bodied with a substantial orange midtone — not sour, not sweet, just orange. Understated honey and toffee. Sometimes a tiny pop of pickle but not out of place by any means, like “Hey, was that?? Yes, it was. Huh”

Not nearly as tannic or astringent as 2018 and it takes boiling water really well, however, I can get only 2 good steeps as opposed to 3. Definitely still gives me a hot summer day in the Central Valley vibe. I am impressed by this harvest but after finishing a 50g bag, I’m feeling this tea isn’t quite for me anymore.

Flavors: Almond, Creamy, Honey, Leather, Malt, Oak wood, Oats, Orange, Smooth, Tannin, Toffee, Vinegar, Walnut

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 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! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. 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, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am 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.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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