Coming back to this tea a little over a year later.

The impression in the mouth and body remains mostly unchanged. Where it has changed the most for me is in its aromas.

The dry leaf at a short distance smells like limeade sweetened with brown sugar, a touch of cherry. In hand, it’s verging away from the previous experience’s prune into cherry, tangier, without as much that dried fruit richness; dates. Warmed leaf is tangy fruity with a deep sweetness — cherry limeade, dates, brown sugar, a chocolate undertone. Surprisingly, none of this carries into scent of the rinsed leaf which is like wet vegetation and uncured tobacco. The color of the liquor is a golden honey brown. First few cups’ aroma is of roasted barley.

The body is rather thin and astringent but refreshing. It is somewhat fruity with a mild, smokey dark bittersweetness that comes out on the back of tongue. The first steep is cooling in the mouth only, presenting as a small puddle of mintiness where the bitterness also sits. Fluffy sweetness is cut quickly by astringency and acidity. I begin to get warm and sweat but it’s nice on this day of stifling heat. Aftertaste is the same as before — mostly cherimoya with some apricot — though less pronounced. After that fades (rather quickly), the mouth is left with a tingling, metallic feeling. The leaf still needs to be pushed hard after the first few steeps to bring it back to life. In later steeps, the smoke shifts from feeling to taste. The tea is not dense with flavor and has the longevity of plantation leaf. Body feeling more subtle than before; then again, I’m pregnant with a super burrito baby.

This tea is in a state of change, with those more acidic notes of middle age pushing through. I feel like this is definitely going to head in the tobacco-dried fruit-chocolate direction with hints of cola spice, but I do think the leaf needs a more humid environment than mine to successfully age into that. Right now, I’d put this at 70.

Flavors: Acidic, Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Lime, Metallic, Mint, Peat Moss, Prune, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Tangy, Thin, Tobacco, Tropical Fruit

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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. Always on the lookout for teas from countries and regions not commonly known for tea production or those that are not well represented in the western market. I seek these teas to gain an understanding, however vague, of how this plant performs in different climates.

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Sonoma County, CA

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