This was another July sipdown. I finished this tea after working my way through the Classic Bai Lin Gongfu. If I had to guess, I would say I probably finished the last of it somewhere around the start of the last week in July. This one did not impress me as much as its lower grade sibling, although I still found it to be a more or less very good tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of dark chocolate, cedar, honey, cinnamon, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, butter, and malt. The first infusion brought out aromas of cream, grass, and green bell pepper. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted almond, roasted peanut, green bell pepper, straw, malt, and cinnamon that were backed by hints of cedar, butter, honey, and grass. The subsequent infusions offered aromas of orange zest, oats, violet, and earth. Notes of cream came out in the mouth alongside stronger notes of green bell pepper, grass, and cedar. I also detected impressions of golden raisin, oats, minerals, orange zest, lemon zest, roasted walnut, and earth as well as hints of caramel, baked bread, violet, and dark chocolate. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, roasted peanut, earth, malt, straw, butter, and cream that were underscored by hints of orange zest, green bell pepper, oats, golden raisin, honey, and grass.

This tea struck me as being rather different from the Classic Bai Lin Gongfu. It seemed more reserved and refined, and it also lacked the other tea’s smokiness and sweetness. It also kind of struck me as being a stuffier, more temperamental tea, one that was easy for me to appreciate but difficult for me to truly love. If I had to pick between the two, I would choose the lower end tea with no regrets, as it was more interesting. This tea, however, was far from bad and well worth a try.

Flavors: Almond, Almond, Bread, Bread, Butter, Butter, Caramel, Caramel, Cedar, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Cream, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Earth, Grass, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Honey, Honey, Lemon Zest, Lemon Zest, Oats, Oats, Orange Zest, Orange Zest, Peanut, Peanut, Raisins, Raisins, Straw, Straw, Violet, Violet, Walnut, Walnut

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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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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