I’m trying to make room in my cupboard, so I’m going back and drinking down teas that are close to finished! I’d like to make this a Saturday sipdown; I’ve only got one TB of this left. Yeesh, my other note on this is so vague!

Method:
Nearly 2TB/10oz
Pre-boiling
Rinse: 15sec
First steep: 55 seconds
Second steep: 1min 15
Third steep: 1min 40
Fourth steep: 2min 10

(Aroma from the rinse: apple, cinnamon, damp earth, mineral, raisin.)

1. At the front of each sip I’m getting strong mineral notes and a wet, dark earthiness. It’s clean and tastes like spring water. River stones. Rocks. Midway through sipping it takes on a roasted flavor, then notes of cinnamon and cream appear. The finish is smooth and buttery. Silky! It’s not heavy at all. It’s very light on the tongue. Maybe medium-bodied, since I used SO much leaf. As the liquid cools the mineral and earth notes step back. It tastes like lightly buttered, slightly charred cinnamon raisin bread. Very darkly toasted but not quite burnt.

2. There is much less mineral in this cup. It’s slightly earthy with a taste like autumn leaves. The dominant flavors are cream, butter, cinnamon and honey. The roastiness is still present, but it’s toned down a bit as well. The buttery cream taste coats my mouth as I continue sipping. At the bottom of the cup, the lukewarm liquid brings back the mineral/spring water flavors I was getting earlier. Now my tongue is coated with honey sweetness and a touch of malt.

3. Earthiness and mineral notes have all but dissipated. This steep is very soft, creamy, and slightly floral. There is a fruity undertone: it’s like raisins or maybe plums. A little tart. (Just a little.) Finish is long: notes of butter, cream, honey, and flowers. Lingering cream/floral flavor. Cinnamon spice is barely present in the background. Impressions: Dairy. Lightly sweetened whipped cream. Fleece. Light peach/coral color. Greek yogurt. (From the thickness of the dairy flavor.)

4. Stronger honey taste. It’s at the beginning of each sip. Rocky, mineral notes are back but rather than being dark, they’re light and sparkling. Like gray stones splashed with spring water, glistening in the sun. There is honeysuckle and cream at the end of each sip. Honey persists throughout. I think I taste a golden delicious apple somewhere in there…but I can’t tell if I’m imagining it or not. Long finish, again. A lot of dairy. And honeysuckle flowers.

There is a lot more complexity to this tea than I remembered. Holy crap. I’m glad I came back to it. This could be a sign of me getting back into oolongs! GREAT for gong fu, or bastardized western versions of gong fu. (Which is usually what I do.)

Leaves are still going strong…but after drinking this all afternoon, I’m in the mood for something different. I’ll probably throw this into a mason jar in the fridge overnight. We’ll see what happens. (:

Flavors: Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Milk, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Toast, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks

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I am still relatively new to loose leaf, as I have only been drinking it since 2013. I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, kind individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

Pure black teas are my favorite. I drink black tea daily and I try to keep a variety on hand. I also enjoy white tea, puerh, and the occasional oolong. Matcha is something that I love though I haven’t tried a large variety. The very good matcha that I’ve had is quite expensive. In general I try to stay away from flavored teas—especially those with artificial flavorings—but I will make rare exceptions, and I do enjoy a well crafted blend of straight teas. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, straight green teas.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea

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