Having had this tea a few times now, I’m getting a better sense of it. It’s youthful and loud yet subtle and deep. Complex fruity and astringent herbal flavors with balanced bitterness. Within that complexity, I get peeks of other tastes like clean, white fish meat and crackers. A mouth-filling, oily body and my throat feels full. Very cooling and with a moderate returning sweetness by the time later steeps come around. I really like the energy of this one — it’s centering and focusing with a feeling of oneness experienced in conjunction with the forceful outwardness of teas from the Menghai region. I was as comfortable standing erect as I was in a motherly position on the ground brushing mats out of the dog’s fur for an hour. I guess you could call the balanced effects of this tea ‘adaptive.’

This isn’t an oolong-y sheng despite the long list of impressions below, nor is it processed too green but I do think maybe I need to expose the rest of the sample to some humidity. If this weren’t sold out I’d probably buy a cake.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Bread, Cacao, Caramel, Cherry, Decayed Wood, Dry Grass, Earth, Eucalyptus, Flowers, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Ginger, Herbs, Jam, Licorice, Mineral, Mint, Orange, Paper, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Plum, Raspberry, Smoke, Strawberry, Thyme, Umami, White Grapes, Wood

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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