Experience buying from DeRen Tea http://steepster.com/places/2836-deren-tea-online-portola-california?visit=1354
Age of leaf: Advertised as spring 2011. Received samples late September. Brewed up the day after I received it in mail.
Packaging: Samples: silver translucent bags with simple label.
Dry leaf: smells carmel-ly. It looks as shown on website, like a standard Yunnan black tea: a mixture of light and dark brown curly leaves and buds.
Brewing guidelines: two 8-oz cups of water used, leaves loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added.
………1st: Temp – a few minutes off the boil, Steeping time – 2.5 minutes (Great, strong flavor)
………2nd: Boiling, 3.5 minutes (Still strong flavor)
………3rd: Boiling, 6 minutes (the next day) (Still good flavor)
Aroma: Pleasant: sweet and rich.
Color of liquor: Dark amber.
Wet leaf: A number of medium and small chopped pieces, but also quite a few nice buds and whole leaves; a consistent brown color throughout.
Flavor: Similar to one other Yunnan black I have had before, but possibly more flavorful. It has what I believe to be the characteristic Yunnan flavor, which I don’t know how to describe, other than it has what I believe is known as ‘a full body’ and a carmel-ly taste. It still had good flavor even on the third steeping; that is impressive.
Value: normally about $4/oz. I am not too familiar with the standard price of quality Chinese black teas, but I think this is fairly reasonable for the quality.
Overall: I do like this tea. I drank the first two steepings in the early evening—-which I normally don’t do—-and yet I don’t remember feeling jittery (as I commonly do when I drink more two cups or more of any red/black tea. Hmmmm That’s a bonus in my book!). I think I may be hooked on Yunnan blacks!