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Plowing through the teas from White Antlers. This order was ‘Processed on 11/2015’ so it’s at least 5 years old.

The dry leaf is aromatic and smells of orchid and burnt, roasted peach. Prepared close to the directions on the bag which called for 1+tsp, 212F, 4-5min. One+ teaspoon for me ended up being 3g, so I went for my usual 1g:100mL and brewed the tea in 300mL of water off the boil for 4min.

Wow, that is strong! I can’t imagine brewing 1+ tsp for a standard 6oz cup for 5 minutes. Wow, bitter and tannic! Let it cool for a bit. Strong aroma of orchid, malt, complex dried fruitiness like cherry-peach-muscatel; wood, soy sauce, soft cinnamon. The taste is bitter, brisk, biting and tangy with malt, rosewood, oak wood, walnut skin, autumn leaf, mild earth. Finishes a touch umami with complex… long-lingering… slightly perfumey… aromatic tastes of orchid and bitter lavender, muscatel and buttery dried orchard fruits — blackberry, cherry, peach and apple; a hint of soft cinnamon. Second steep is much lighter and lemony!

I recently had a sample of What-Cha’s summer 2019 Benifuuki black tea from Martin Bednar. In comparison, this one hasn’t lost a step in it’s 5+ years of existence. It’s just as strong in presentation and a very unique tea, though too much for me. That said, I wouldn’t search this out but I do recommend it to experienced people who are comfortable with bitterness and playing with brewing parameters. I have another ~3g left and don’t know if I can be fussed to bring this closer to perfection.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Biting, Bitter, Blackberry, Burnt, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Lavender, Lemon, Malt, Muscatel, Oak, Orchid, Peach, Perfume, Roasted, Rose, Soy Sauce, Stonefruit, Tangy, Tannic, Umami, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Martin Bednář

That sounds like completely diffrent Benifuuki!

gmathis

Sounds strong, even for me!

derk

Martin, the flavors and structure are similar to the one you sent. A shorter steep time this morning was a lot better, very lemony :)

gmathis, this morning’s brew might be too weak for you!

derk

It’s also good with bacon and eggs after I found out somebody polished off the grapefruit juice.

Martin Bednář

I don’t recall mine being bitter and tannic :)

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Comments

Martin Bednář

That sounds like completely diffrent Benifuuki!

gmathis

Sounds strong, even for me!

derk

Martin, the flavors and structure are similar to the one you sent. A shorter steep time this morning was a lot better, very lemony :)

gmathis, this morning’s brew might be too weak for you!

derk

It’s also good with bacon and eggs after I found out somebody polished off the grapefruit juice.

Martin Bednář

I don’t recall mine being bitter and tannic :)

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Bio

Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

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 pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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Sonoma County, CA

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