87

I’m still going through the backlog, but I’m making considerable progress in clearing it out. After I post this review, I will only have three teas left from September, and so far, I only have five teas to review from this month. It may seem sad, but I have had neither the time nor the motivation to drink much tea lately. This has been due to me kind of being on a big health kick. I’m trying to sleep more, take in fewer calories, avoid junk foods, stick to a meal schedule, and work out much more frequently. I just suddenly got sick of feeling like crap and being down on myself and realized that I needed to shake up my routine in order to improve both my body and my mind. Unfortunately, I spent the better part of the last five years settling into this netherworld of just being out of shape enough to develop a few health concerns and feel bad all the time, but not so much that I looked all that unhealthy, and I am now trying to do something about it. A lot of the time that I would have previously spent sipping tea and writing is now being spent exercising and working around my house, so the backlog is growing much more slowly than it was over the summer. Anyway, this was one of the last teas I drank in September. I only had a sample pouch of it, so I could not play around with it much, but I still found it to be a very good Wuyi black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, peach, and tangerine. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of malt, roasted almond, and baked bread. The first infusion introduced a buttery scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, peach, and tangerine that quickly faded to reveal impressions of malt, baked bread, and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions introduced subtle aromas of cream, chocolate, orange zest, and brown sugar. New impressions of minerals, cream, chocolate, and orange zest appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging butter notes and hints of sweet potato and orchid. The final few infusions offered lingering mineral, tangerine, roasted almond, malt, and orange zest notes that were backed by hints of honey, peach, and butter.

Of the black teas I have tried from Old Ways Tea, this was neither the deepest nor the most complex, but it was a very pleasant, engaging black tea with nice texture and very respectable longevity compared to some of the other Wuyi black teas I have tried. I could see it making either a wonderful introduction to the world of Wuyi black tea or a great daily drinker for those who prefer sweet, fruity black teas. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this tea and would have no issues with recommending it to curious drinkers.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chocolate, Citrus, Cream, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
Daylon R Thomas

It was surprisingly similar to a Shan Lin Xi black for me. Considering the price, it be my go to daily drinker for a black. And I’m kinda there with you for the health kick. I’ve been grading full time and bouncing back and forth in the afternoons for subbing, so it’s been a little difficult to cram tasting notes and working out. The best way to get healthy with limited time for me has to organize or plan everything ahead with minimum goals to achieve before the larger ones. I’m personally not in bad shape, but man oh man is it easier to manage a classroom after I’ve gotten my full workout regiment in for the weak.

derk

eastkyteaguy: Good job making progress in more ways than one! I’ve been in a funk for far too long, when the sudden death of a coworker kicked off a year of losses. It’s been tough as hell and I’ve gone some dark places and let my body go more than I’m comfortable with, but I’m right there with you trying to make improvements. Gotta keep that pesky fleshbag congruent with mind and heart of the human machine. I hope the best for your endeavors.

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Daylon R Thomas

It was surprisingly similar to a Shan Lin Xi black for me. Considering the price, it be my go to daily drinker for a black. And I’m kinda there with you for the health kick. I’ve been grading full time and bouncing back and forth in the afternoons for subbing, so it’s been a little difficult to cram tasting notes and working out. The best way to get healthy with limited time for me has to organize or plan everything ahead with minimum goals to achieve before the larger ones. I’m personally not in bad shape, but man oh man is it easier to manage a classroom after I’ve gotten my full workout regiment in for the weak.

derk

eastkyteaguy: Good job making progress in more ways than one! I’ve been in a funk for far too long, when the sudden death of a coworker kicked off a year of losses. It’s been tough as hell and I’ve gone some dark places and let my body go more than I’m comfortable with, but I’m right there with you trying to make improvements. Gotta keep that pesky fleshbag congruent with mind and heart of the human machine. I hope the best for your endeavors.

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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