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- 1992 Tibetan Kang Brick Tea from Yunnan Sourcing
Hello hello! Earlier last month, I was fortunate enough to meet Yunnan Sourcing in the flesh! I got to hang out with Scott and his wife, along with another tea friend, and we brewed many teas. We even filmed a few youtube videos together as well! After spending a great afternoon drinking tea with Scott, he and his wife broke out a large chunk of 1992 Tibetan Kang Brick Tea and sent me home with a small sample! Today, I took it out of the sample bag and decided to dive right in. This brick is a Tibetan tea from 1992, and is considered hei cha (which means 'dark tea'). So what’s so special about this tea? Let’s find out! Dimensions — 6.5g of tea for a 100ml vessel Brick price — $80.00 for 450g Water Temperature — boil Number of steeps — 12 Steeps 1 - 6 Kang Brick opened up to the soft earthy tasting note of dirt, followed by an autumn leaf pile. After a few more infusions, the leaf pile tasting note turned into the tasting note of hot hay, which brought out a light sweetness that lingered on the sides of the tongue. By the fourth infusion, Kang Brick’s sweetness became stevia-like and became stronger and stronger. As well as the stevia-like sweetness, a light undertone of fruit punch made itself known which came out from under the earth and hay-like tasting notes. By the sixth infusion this tea was savory and mouthwatering. Steeps 7 - 12 As this tea got stronger, it turned gold in colour and developed a new tasting note of cotton/fabric. However, the sweet and noticeable tasting notes of stevia began to lighten up, as well as the fruity undertone. The earthy and hot hay tasting notes became mellower and softer, as this tea’s body continued to lighten up. As this tea’s body continued to lighten up, its tasting notes strongly resembled a shou puer. However, by the twelfth infusion, Kang Brick was showing signs of being too mellow and it was time to be put away… Conclusion 1992 Tibetan Kang Brick is a brick of hei cha, sold by Yunnan Sourcing, which appeared to be made with larger leaf material. One thing about this tea that I liked was its many different tasting notes, and for being an older tea, was surprisingly sweet. Another aspect about this tea that I liked was its ability to resemble shou puer. Despite that it reminded me of shou puer, and the fact it’s from 1992, I was surprised at how strong it became halfway through the session. Overall, my experience with Kang Brick was a positive one and is one I’ll be having again in the near future. Thanks to Scott for getting me hooked this tea, I’ll certainly be ordering more of it in the near future. So when I drink this tea in the future, I’ll reminisce about the time I had meeting the wonderful people of Yunnan Sourcing…
- 2018 Secret Garden by Bitterleaf Teas
Hello hello! In 2016, Bitterleaf Teas released their first spring production and part of that production was 2016 Secret Garden — a tea sourced from right outside of Yiwu and made from an actual secret garden, and is a 2.5 hour hike into the forest to reach these 100 y/o tea trees. However, due to a price increase in material, Bitterleaf Teas sourced a Manzuhan region tea tree material for their 2017 version of Secret Garden. However, due to popular demand, they went back to the original secret garden for their 2018 version of this tea. Since I drank the entire 200g beeng of the original Secret Garden in just a few months, I knew I had to buy the new version of this tea. So how does it hold up to its original version? Is it really worth the near-double price increase? Lets find out! Dimensions - 4.6g for a 70ml vessel Beeng Price - $135.00 USD for a 200g beeng Water Temperature - 190ºf Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 6 2018 Secret Garden first opened up to a light medicinal forefront with a faint sweetness in the back of the mouth. After another few steeps, the tasting notes of milk and cream made itself known as its soup was clean and clear. By the fourth infusion, this tea kept opening up as it held a light green-grass base that mixed with the medicinal forefront, which left a light lingering stevia-like humid sweetness in the throat. Steeps 7 - 12 2018 Secret Garden was in full swing, as its medicinal creamy body was hitting heavier than before. It’s green-grass tasting notes turned into tasting notes of hot hay, and left a very faint fruity aftertaste on the sides of the tongue. Although this tea was getting thicker, by the ninth infusion, it felt like it wanted to keep pushing a thicker mouthfeel forward, but still tasted relatively wet (from recent pressing) and couldn’t go forward. Despite that, it left a everlasting steamy sweet impression of sugar in the throat, and seemed to last for a lengthy period of time. However, by the twelfth infusion, this tea was starting to lose stamina and was time to put away. Conclusion 2018 Secret Garden is a new sheng puer released by Bitterleaf Teas, and is a come-back from their 2016 production of the same name. Right off the bat, when brewing this tea, I was reminded of the 2016 version due to its tasting notes. One thing I liked about this tea is how clean and clear the soup was. Another thing that I liked about this tea was its ever lasting throat sweetness which seemed to linger longer and longer as the infusions went on. However, despite that this tea has a lot of positive attributes, it came up a little thin and still showed evidence of being wet from recent picking and pressing. Overall, 2018 Secret Garden is still very fresh and could heavily benefit from resting for another few months before being consumed. You see, when it comes to teas that are on the more delicate side, they seem to be more affected by pressings and need to cool off for a while. However, despite it still being wet tasting, I still broke out in a hot sweat from this teas energy — which is something that I don't remember from the 2016 version. So while this tea is nearly double in price, is it worth the money? Well, since the 2016 version of this tea was one of the very first beengs that I ever bought (when I first started drinking tea), it brought up many memories of being a young tea drinker. So I must ask, can you really place a price on nostalgia? To me, it’s priceless….
- 2018 In Bloom by Bitterleaf Teas
Hello hello! First and foremost, I want to congratulate Nicole of Tea For Me Please for winning Tea Blogger of the Year at the 2018 World Tea Expo! Anyways, last month, Bitterleaf Teas released their new version of their 2017 ’In Bloom’ (which I reviewed here), called 2018 In Bloom! In Bloom is a sheng puer tea which is harvested from the Jingmai region of Yunnan. The 2017 version of this tea, as I recall, was woodsy and sweet. However, this year, Bitterleaf Teas released 2 versions of this tea — one sheng puer version and one huang pian version (larger leaf material). So how does this year’s In Bloom compare to last years? Lets find out! Demensions — 4.6g in a 70ml shibo Beeng Price — $60.00 for 200g Water Temperature — 190ºf Number of Steeps — 14 Steeps 1 - 6 Upon my first infusion of In Bloom, the wet leaf sitting in my shibo gave off a strong fruity aroma that seemed to leave a memorable presence. Anyhow — the first impressions of this tea left a medicinal and green grass forefront with an aftertaste of a orchard grove. After a few more infusions, a new sweet warm undertone of ripe plums quickly made itself known. By the way, when I say warm, I mean ‘warm’ in the same way that cinnamon is warm. After another few infusions, In Bloom’s body became more and more floral, as the warming plum-like undertone became stronger and thicker. By the sixth infusion, this tea’s texture was frothy and slightly oily. Steeps 7 - 14 By the seventh and eighth infusion, In Bloom’s body was stronger with its medicinal floral body, and was as rich and thick as a chicken broth. In Bloom’s grassy tasting notes were completely gone, but lightly resembled hay at this point in the session. By the tenth infusion, this tea was smooth, and left a faint astringent mouthfeel on the sides of the tongue. By the fourteenth infusion, In Bloom began to settle down and began to dilute in taste. However, despite going for fourteen steeps, this tea was ready to be put away. Conclusion 2018 In Bloom is a new sheng puer released by Bitterleaf Teas and is a sequel to their 2017 version by the same name. In Bloom is a Jingmai region tea, and is blended with both small and big tea tree material. One thing that stood out with In Bloom 2018 is its tasting notes were more floral, sweet, and fruity than it’s 2017 counterpart. One thing I like about In Bloom was how noticeable and upfront its floral tasting notes are. Another aspect about this tea that I like is how much depth it held as far as tasting notes and body goes, becuase for a single origin tea, I felt like it could have been a blend (which is really saying something). However, without making claims that the 2017 version of this tea was bad, 2018 In Bloom was noticeably different and is an immense improvement. Overall, when I first saw that 2017 In Bloom was getting re-vamped, and just based on how memorable the 2017 version was, I decided to blindly beeng the new version of it. Without a doubt, I can say that I made the right decision and don’t have any regrets with it. In Bloom highlights the Jingmai reign so well that all Jingmai lovers across the board will fall in love with this tea. So if you’re into sweet sheng and want to own one that wont break the bank, while still tasting like it might, In Bloom might just find its way into your cup next time around…
- 2018 Naka Sheng Puer by Bitterleaf Teas
Hello hello! Bitterleaf Teas released their 2018 spring productions just a few weeks ago. After teasing their new releases for the past few months on social media, I had no other option but to dive in and buy a few things from their site… Okay, to be honest, it was one hell of a doom-cart (which means shopping cart of doom). So my doom-cart included three beengs, five dragon balls, two mini bricks, and a lot of samples. A part of this mega-haul included one of their most expensive offerings to date — 2018 Naka sheng puer. This tea comes in two different forms: a beeng and a dragon ball. Since i’ve been a fan of this region, I decided to snag some of the dragon balls and an entire beeng for myself. Since it’s Bitterleaf Tea’s second most expensive tea in their 2018 spring lineup, what’s it all about? Well, lets find out! Dimensions — 7g tea ball for a 70ml shibo Beeng Price — $128.00 Water Temperature - 190ºf Number of Steeps - 22 Steeps 1 - 10 In this session I brewed a dragon ball of Naka. Anyways, on the first infusion, Naka immediately gave off an oil-like texture with a faint tasting note of green grass. After another infusion, this tea ball quickly thickened up, and brought forth an undertone of sugarcane which left a thick and humid impression on the back of the throat. Naka continued to open up with a thick and viscous body, which brought a medicinal forefront with a light floral and sweet undertone. By this point (around the 6th infusion), this tea already hit a bliss point with its combination of flavors. However, by the 8th infusion, this tea continued to change, as its texture turned more milk-creamy and vegetal, as compared to it’s oiliness. By the tenth infusion, Naka was leaving a steamy aftertaste that continued to linger longer and longer in the back of the throat. Steeps 11 - 22 Naka’s creamy medicinal body kept leaving a trail of light green grass, sugar-snap peas, and a very faint tasting note of flowers behind it. Infusion after infusion, this tea kept going and didn’t let up. Its bliss point kept going on and on, and by the fifteenth infusion, it was just as creamy and rich as it was in its earlier infusions. However, by this point, I was starting to feel heavy in the head and broke out in a hot sweat. This tea’s energy was creeping its way all over my body as I was overcome with a sense of placidness. However, by the 20th infusion, this tea was already at the 8 minute mark and was starting to dilute. By the 22nd infusion (the 12 minute mark), this tea had given its all and it was time to be put away…. Conclusion 2018 Naka is a spring tea released by Bitterleaf Teas, and is the second most expensive tea in their 2018 spring production. One thing I liked about Naka was that its hella complex, and right when I though I figured it out, it subtly changed again (for the better). This tea’s body was right-off-the-bat thick, which continued to get stronger and creamier as the infusions went on. Another aspect about this tea that I liked was that it left a heavy fragrant aftertaste in the back of the throat, and the longer the infusion, the longer the aftertaste. However, I tried this tea at a boiling temperature for one infusion and it came off very aggressive. Since this tea is still so fresh, I highly recommend brewing it at a lower temperature (like 190ºf). In conclusion, Naka is a tea that needs a lot of careful attention when brewing. Considering that this tea is so complex (and when considering its price point), this isn’t just something that you can brew on the go. This tea needs careful attention to be fully appreciated. While that might be off-putting for some, taking your time with this tea will only add to your experience because the more you put into it, the more it’ll give back. So when you go to brew this tea, close the curtains, put on a favorite record, turn off your cellphone, take a deep breath, and close yourself off from the world and let yourself be consumed by Naka…
- Jingmai Sun-Dried "Three Aroma" Bai Mu Dan White Tea Spring 2018 by Yunnnan Sourcing
Hello hello! Yunnan Sourcing’s Jingmai Sun-Dried “Three Aroma” Bai Mu Dan is a 2018 spring tea that was released earlier in the year, and is a tea that I’ve been drinking a lot of. After going through 50g of it in less than a week I placed an order for 300g more a week later. Now that I have a large stock-pile of this tea (and since I keep raving about it on social media), you must be wondering what all of my hype is about. Well, what is it all about? Let’s find out! Dimensions - 4.6g of this tea for a 70ml shibo Tea Price - $5.75 per 50g or $21.00 per 200g beeng Water Temperature - 190ºf Number of Steeps - 14 Steeps 1 - 6 At first, Three Aroma was light and watery, which left a faint echoing floral aftertaste on the tongue. After a second infusion, this tea’s body quickly thickened up as it left a sugarcane-like sweetness lingering on the lips. Three Aroma continued to thicken up and by the fourth infusion, turned into a distinct broth-like texture that left the mouth feeling dense and humid. By the sixth infusion, this tea kept expanding into a brass-like base tasting note that kept getting reflected in its body. Steeps 7 - 14 Around halfway through my session with Three Aroma, this tea’s body kept expanding further and further into the mouth. It seemed that the longer the steeping time, the longer this tea lingered a brass-like floral sugarcane tasting note in the mouth. However, within this brass-like tasting note and broth like body, a faint undertone of agave nectar and bell pepper skin made itself known. After a few more steeps, and around the tenth infusion, this tea began to settle down and lighten up on its viscous body. By the fourteenth infusion, Three Aroma gave it its all and it was time to be put away. Conclusion Yunnan Sourcing’s Jingmai Sun-Dried “Three Aroma” Bai Mu Dan is a 2018 spring tea that was released earlier in the year. One thing I liked about this tea is how flavorful and how complex its tasting notes are. The tasting notes kept changing throughout the session while maintaining a strong yet meditative backbone. Another thing I liked about this tea is its adaptability to maintain a flavorful profile regardless of how long or how hot you brew it for. It seemed to be easily accessible, and although being complex, is quite easy to drink. Overall, I’m a fan of this tea. In the past three to four weeks, I’ve consumed over 100g of this tea — quicker than any other white tea or sheng that I’ve ever come into contact with. Am I just going through a phase, or do I simply like this tea because of how fresh it is? It’s too early to tell. However, I am fairly certain that my admiration for this tea is something that wont go away anytime soon. So next time I visit Yunnan Sourcing, I might just grab a few beengs of Three Aroma to see what a bit of aging does to this tea. But in the mean time, I’m just going to sit back, relax, and enjoy tea tea in the present moment, and of course, be blissfully tea drunk….
- 2017 Yunnan Sourcing "Tofu Village Rooster" Mini Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake
Hello hello! Earlier this year, Yunnan Sourcing released a 100g mini-beeng of Mengku Sheng Puer — ‘Tofu’ Village to be exact. According to Yunnan Sourcing, this tea was pressed from 2017 autumn sheng material, and was pressed later on in the year. It was harvested from 20-30 year old plantation tea trees that grow naturally without the use of pesticides. However, this tea is $5.00 USD per a 100g beeng. So for the price, is this tea worth bothering with or is it going to be an unexpected surprise? Lets find out! Demensions - 4.3g of tea for a 65ml gaiwan Beeng Price - $5.00 USD for 100g Water Temperature - 190ºf Number of Steeps - 14 Steeps 1 - 6 Tofu first started out light and medicinal, and left a freshly cut green grass aftertaste on the tongue. After a few more steeps, a broth-like texture arose from this tea’s body, which gave off a cotton-like mouthfeel. Despite the thick mouthfeel, there was a light undertone of sweet moss that lingered in the back of the throat. Steeps 7 - 14 Tofu continued to press on as its thick body seemed to mellow out a bit, but still retained its medicinal backbone. Its green grass tasting notes from earlier turned richer, which best resembled an autumn leaf pile. By the tenth infusion, this teas texture turned from cotton to oil along with a light sweet undertone. However, by the fourteenth infusion, this tea was finished and I was ready to move on… Conclusion 2017 Tofu Village is a autumn sheng puer sourced from 20-30 year old tea tree material from Mengku, and is from Yunnan Sourcing. One thing I liked about this tea was how clean and clear the material was. Another aspect I like about this tea is its surprisingly thick texture — especially considering this tea’s price point. Although I didn’t get a lot of qi (energy) from drinking this tea, it proved to be a relaxing session nonetheless. Overall, Tofu is a great daily drinker that’s easy to drink and hard to over steep. I think that new tea drinkers will find this sheng to be very accessible. I also think this was worth the $5.00, and turned out to be an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise! Although Yunnan Sourcing didn’t pay for this review, or send me this tea for free, I can say that this was a fun experience and is one Ill look forward to having again in the future.
- Follow the Jade Rabbit
Hello hello! Many tea companies are getting puer productions underway, and some have even started releasing new teas! One of the companies to release new tea is Crimson Lotus Tea. Last week, they released a new beeng of multi-year tea material, which was sourced from multiple different mountains. Crimson Lotus Tea called this blend the Jade Rabbit. Luckily I was able to obtain a 7g sample of this tea, provided buy Crimson Lotus Tea, right before they pressed the material. So what makes the Jade Rabbit so special? Since Crimson Lotus Tea hasn’t released any new teas since last year, was it worth the wait? Let's find out! Dimensions - 6.5g of tea for a 100ml vessel Beeng Price - 200g for a $79.99 beeng Water Temperature - 190ºf Number of Steeps - 15 Steeps 1 - 6 Jade Rabbit first started out light and savory, and held a soft and fluffy texture. After a few more infusions, Jade Rabbit gave off a hay-like tasting note with a light undertone of mushroom. As the steeps went on, this tea became richer and more smooth, and had a body that was velvety to the tongue. By the sixth infusion, a faint sweetness appeared on the sides of the tongue, but didn’t last long. Steeps 7 - 15 By the seventh infusion, Jade Rabbit unleashed one hell of a beast and became heavy and burly. It turned more aggressive and carried a heavy punch that brought forth the broth-like tasting notes of hay with an undertone of mushroom. Along with the undertone of mushroom, Jade Rabbit left a mild bitterness on the base of the tongue. However, by the eleventh infusion, Jade Rabbit seemed to mellow out into a smooth and sweet-like nectar which left a lasting sweetness on the tongue. Jade Rabbit continued to hit this bliss-point up to the fifteenth and last infusion. By that point, this tea had no more to give… Conclusion Jade Rabbit is a new puer blend released by Crimson Lotus Tea, and according to them, this is a blend that they will never be able to recreate again. One thing about Jade Rabbit that I liked was its complex tasting notes which seemed to continually change throughout the session. Another thing about this tea that I liked was the number of infusions I was able to get out of it. Hell, if my kettle didn’t run out of water, I probably could have made this tea last for a sixteenth infusion. However, I obtained the maocha (loose leaf) version of this tea before it was pressed into a beeng, so since it was so recently pressed, the beeng version of this tea might be more humid and might come out with slightly different results than I did. Overall, Jade Rabbit was another memorable experience for the books and is a tea that I would recommend for puer lovers alike. If this tea is any indication for what Crimson Lotus Tea has in store for the rest of us with their 2018 productions, then I can say with confidence that we’re going to be in for a real treat.
- Yunnan Sourcing's 2017 Gong Ting Certified Organic Shou Puer
Hello hello! Earlier this year, Yunnan Sourcing released two new certified organic shou puer teas! One of them is a 200g beeng, while the other one is a 100g beeng. Whenever I placed my last Yunnan Sourcing order, two of them were included in my order — one for me to keep and the other one to give away! So for today’s review, we’re going to go over Yunnan Sourcing’s 2017 Gong Ting Certified Organic Shou Puer! Dimensions - 4g of tea in a 60ml gaiwan Beeng Price - 100g for $13.80 USD Water Temperature - boil Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 6 At first, this tea started out light and earthy, which left an undertone of dirt and stevia in the mouth. After another few infusions, this tea’s color quickly turned dark as the texture turned rich and frothy. The tasting notes of sweet dirt took over this tea's palate as it left a distinct light aftertaste of cola (soda). After a few more infusions, this tea was so thick that it started to become minutely bitter. Steeps 7 - 12 Around the sixth infusion, this tea’s base consisted of dirt with the lingering sweet aftertaste of cola. This tea’s texture was still thick and soft, but around the eighth infusion, this tea’s color and body began to lighten up. Around the tenth infusion, this tea began to quickly taper off and only tasted like cola. By the twelfth and last infusion, this tea was completely used up and was ready to be put away. Conclusion Yunnan Sourcing’s 2017 Gong Ting Certified Organic Shou Puer is a 100g beeng that was released earlier in the year. One aspect about this tea that I liked was that its texture was soft and smooth. Another thing I liked about this tea was that it had a strong, yet pleasant, distinct aftertaste that reminded me of soda. However, this tea shows evidence of being recently pressed because of how humid it is, and can greatly benefit from resting a bit longer before drinking again. Overall, this shou was a memorable one because of its distinct tasting notes, and is a shou that I would recommend to anyone. Beside needing more time to rest/air out, this tea has a lot of promising signs of being great as time goes on. So now that I have a second beeng of this tea in my possession, I might as well give it away (randomly). Below is a link to my Instagram post with more info. on how to win it… https://www.instagram.com/p/BiX5PGlnHvr/?taken-by=theoolongdrunk -Blissfully Tea Drunk
- 2017 Year of the Rooster by White2Tea
Hello hello! Cock-a-doodle-doo! Wake up, because it’s tea time! For today’s tea, we’re going to pay close attention to the cockiest tea in White2Tea’s fall line-up. That’s right, this tea is not just any cock of the walk, it’s the 2017 Year of the Rooster. After settling in the roost for the past several months, I figured that this feather needed to flock into my tea pot. Since this tea is named after the year of the Rooster, does this tea cluck or giblet when brewed? Lets find out… Water Temperature - Boil Demensions - 6.5g in a 100ml glass tea pot Beeng Price - $49.00 USD Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 4 Year of the Rooster first started out with a light texture as a hay/grass-like tasting note made its way past my tongue, and echoed an ever-so-slight sweetness in the throat. After a few more steeps, a light medicinal undertone made itself known. By the third infusion, this tea began to get a little thicker as it’s texture started to feel a lot like velvet, and by the fourth infusion, it was beginning to take on a broth-like body. Steeps 5 - 12 Year of the Rooster continued to expand as its body kept thickening. By the sixth infusion, this tea resembled a broth — not only because of its velvet-like texture, but because of how savory the medicinal and hay-like tasting notes became. However, around the tenth infusion, it finally began to lighten up. After the twelfth infusion, I was starting to feel light-headed as this tea’s energy made its way though my body. After nearly two liters of water later, this tea was completely spent and was time to be put away… Conclusion Year of the Rooster is a 2017 Fall sheng puer by White2Tea. One thing I liked about this tea was how thick this tea’s body was. At one point, it was more of a broth than a tea. Another aspect about this tea that I liked was how long this tea stayed thick for. Even though I only got twelve infusions out of it, this tea was still bold for nearly every single infusion. However, it seemed evident that this tea blend was made with the intent of having texture, mouthfeel, and energy. Overall, Year of the Rooster was a good send-off to White2Tea’s 2017 Fall production line, and left a good impression as far as energy goes. I would recommend this tea to those who love strong characteristics of being thick and savory. With the 2018 productions underway, one can only expect that Year of the Dog will bring many great things with it…
- 5 Things You Didn't Know About Me
Hello hello! In today’s blog post, I go over five different facts about myself that you probably didn’t know! Last year, the tea blogging community had a trend where they posted five interesting facts about themselves, and now that it’s a year later, I thought I’d jump in on the trend and give it a go! In my grandmom’s opinion, I’m a pretty cool guy, so hopefully you’ll think so too. 1. I work at a Tea Shop I live in the heart of the South and I work in a tea shop! In fact, it’s one of the only tea shops located in the metroplex. Without specifically saying where I work (for privacy reasons), I can tell you that my shop sells lose leaf tea, iced tea, hot tea, and boba tea! Before this, I briefly worked at Teavana for two months. One thing I liked about working at Teavana was the lack of restriction we were given on how much tea we could drink in a single setting. I took advantage of that, and often drank four to five drinks per shift. However, at my current job, I we’re only allowed one free drink per shift… It’s safe to say that I make the largest size. 2. I collect vinyl Besides tea, my second passion is music. I try to listen to as much music as I possibly can in any given day. Since I love music, I even own a turn table and often buy vinyl records. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll often see (in my stories) some of the photos of vinyls that I buy. I own a lot of alternative music vinyls, and mainly listen to alternative rock, alternative pop, and some electronic music. Currently, Arcade Fire, Foster the People, St. Vincent, M83, and Lorde are my favorites, and often find their way to my record player…. 3. You’ve probably seen me on TV Back in my blunder years, I made a cringe-inducing video of myself making a prom proposal to Kristen Stewart… Besides the cringe-inducing video, and the sad reality that I used to be a major fan of Kristen Stewart, Daniel Tosh’s team picked up on the video and included it in a segment of Tosh.0. I walked into school one day and had multiple people tell me that they saw me on TV. After scratching my head all day and wondering what they meant, I finally asked my principal what everyone meant by it. Safe to say, a piece of me died when I turned on Comedy Central and saw myself on Tosh.0… 4. I’m Gayly Homosexual I came out one week after I graduated high school. It wasn’t a huge revelation, really. I just woke up one morning and it ‘clicked’. I was never attracted to the opposite sex, and often wondered why my hormones weren’t working right. Then, after watching Miley Cyrus perform at the VMA’s, half-naked and bald, I knew right then and there there that heterosexuality would never be my thing. Okay, in all seriousness, It was something that I struggled with for a long time, but once I made that realization, I decided that I needed to be living truthfully and honestly. So about five minutes after I realized who I really was, and without hesitation, I came out. 5. God is a woman and her name is Elizabeth Grant (AKA Lana Del Rey) These Beyonce fangirls need to move out of the way with their chants of, “Queen B”. You need to pull yourself together and face the facts because the real queen is Elizabeth Grant — a literal angel that was sent to us from the heavens to bless our ears with musical euphoria. My soul was blessed with the musical stylings of Lana Del Rey back when I was in the closet, and maybe its her fault that I didn’t come out sooner because, seriously though, have you seen how beautiful she is?! Lana Del Bae enchanted the world with her third-studio album ‘Ultraviolence’, and sings a hard and painful truth which so many people have faced in their life. She sings about a love that hurts and a love that isn’t fair. I think I relate to it so well because when I was younger, my father became ill and turned into a verbally abusive person. When he died, he was no longer the same person that I used to call ‘father’. He was as stranger that I didn’t know anymore. In the end, when he died, I drove eight hours to the beach and spread his ashes while listening to ‘Ultraviolence’ on repeat. On that day, and in that moment, I finally felt like someone understood what it felt like to miss the toxicity of the person you still loved so much. Besides connecting to the woman on a personal and emotional level, I look up to her because she is FABULOUS. Seriously, look up the definition of ‘classy’ and you’ll see a photo of her. It’s not just her music that I’m a fan of; I’m also a fan of her esthetic. It’s the tragic and old Hollywood themes that she presents in her older music that made me adore her. Throughout the years, she’s continued to mature to an even more fabulous, and a happier version of herself. Her latest album, ‘Lust for Life’, is what every pop album should strive to be. Okay sis, lets go over the facts. Lana is bae, Lana is queen, and lastly, God is a woman and her name is Elizabeth Grant…
- 2017 Fushoushan High Mountain Winter Oolong
Hello hello! For Christmas this past year I splurged and purchased a wide-variety of winter Taiwanese oolongs from Taiwan Tea Crafts. Out of all of the high mountain oolongs that they had, I wanted to be ‘wowed’. In doing so, I just happened to add one of their most expensive winter teas to my cart… for science. This tea is the 2017 Fushoushan High Mountain Winter Oolong, Lot 651. This oolong is described as being rich and exuberantly floral. So how does this oolong hold up to other high mountain oolongs sold at a lower price? Was the $17.00 price tag worth it? Lets find out! Water Temperature - 185ºf Dimensions - 5g of tea for a 100ml glass tea pot Price - $17.00 USD for 25g Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 6 I started this session with a thirty-second infusion. Upon taking the first sip of this tea, the tasting note of sugarcane hit the tip of my tongue, as a fragrant floral body made its way past my throat. After a few more infusions, the brilliant floral notes of gardenia took over every aspect of this tea’s palate, as it left a faint jasmine and sugar snap pea aftertaste. Along with the extraordinary floral tasting notes, this tea was also as smooth as butter, and resembled dairy cream. By the sixth infusion, this tea was as rich as could be. Steeps 7 - 12 Around the seventh infusion, the tasting notes of sugarcane took a back seat as the new tasting note of freshly harvested green spinach made its way forward. After each infusion, this tea became more and more vegetal while retaining a ever-so-less dominating floral body. As the steeps went on, the cream and butter-like texture dwindled. By the last infusion, the taste of sugar snap peas, along with spinach and gardenia, echoed in the cascade of my mouth. It wasn’t as thick as the middle steeps, but it was still pleasant to the tongue. Conclusion Fushoushan High Mountain Oolong is a 2017 winter oolong sold by Taiwan Tea Crafts. This oolong is was described by Taiwan Tea Crafts to be rich and exuberantly floral. In the session I had with this tea, I can certainly confirm this tea was incredibly floral — brilliantly so I might add. One of my favorite aspects of this tea is how pungent and luscious the liquor was. Another aspect I liked about this tea is how rich and flavorful it was. Compared to other teas grown at a high elevation, this one certainly seemed to hold a better presentation compared to other high mountain oolongs. Overall, this oolong was definitely with the $17.00. I may not be drinking this tea on a regular basis, as I want to try and savor it. This oolong is a great oolong for those who like greener teas, especially favorable to oolong lovers. I just hope that you get the chance to try this tea for yourself sometime in the near future…
- Losing More Than Just Weight - LGBT Work Place Descrimination
Hello hello, Today’s post isn’t really tea related, but I came across a troubling accusation about a popular tea company that really struck a chord with me, and it’s something that I cant stop thinking about. I lived through an unfortunate experience, and today, I’m here to share with you what I went through… In late 2015, I graduated from a Texas high school and one week later, I came out of the closet. I first came out to my mother, who didn’t take the news very well. In fact, her reaction was so negative that I feared for my own safety. In reaction, I started applying for work opportunities so I could move out and live away from the toxic environment I was in. While browsing the internet, I came across a job posting from a company called ‘Mary’s Weight Loss’ — a very popular weight loss company I had previously been to (and lost 80lbs with). Since I was so successful in their weight loss plan, I thought it would make for a perfect match. I applied for the job, and a few weeks later, I had two separate interviews. That following week, I got the job. By the time I was hired as a weight loss counselor, and the only male in the entire district, my situation at home was improving as my mother was adjusting to the idea of having a gay son. However, I just started dating my now-current boyfriend, so I still needed to move out to get much-needed privacy. After being hired at Mary’s Weight Loss for part-time employment, I started training on the other side of town. It was relatively close to where my grandparents live, so I stayed with them all week so I could easily make the commute to training. During that week, I learned a lot about the job of being a weight loss counselor and learned more and more about the program. When the week ended, and before I went back home, I sat my grandmother down and came out to her. I was welcomed with a hug, and after telling me that she loved me, I went back home to start my career in health. The very next Monday, I was greeted by Heather. Heather was the director of the Mary’s Weight Loss location that I was working at (to be even more sentimental, the same exact location I had visited when I went on my very own weight loss journey). Heather laid out all of the rules of the center and said that we were allowed to keep one memento in our personal office. For my memento, I placed a photograph of my now-current boyfriend to the side of my desk, and from there, started my first day of work. Over the course of the next month of working at Mary’s Weight Loss, I started building my clientele. At first, I only saw a few people a day. However, after a month of employment, my days we’re being booked. And since I was continuing to see clients, my part-time hours turned into full-time hours. Hell, even at one point, I asked Heather to promote me to full time so I could partake in the company benefits. I was told no because you had to be working at the company for an X amount of time before being promoted. A month had gone by and I had moved out into a place of my own. I was room mating with a nurse who was always gone, and I had the entire second level of the house to myself. I was actually feeling happy and more confident about myself. Fortunately, one morning I walked into work to find out that, in the entire district of Mary’s Weight Loss, I was seeing the 2nd highest weight loss among clients. Another month had gone by and I had won two in-center sales contests, along with being recognized company-wide for the highest sales in the district. I was receiving the highest possible monthly bonus and was making enough money that I started saving up with the prospect of going to college. After the second month had gone by, and working full-time hours, I again asked Heather if there was a way that I could officially be promoted to ‘full-time’ status. She said that it was up to her boss, and would report back to me. In the meantime, my co-workers and I were getting closer, and after seeing the photo of my now-current boyfriend on my desk, would often ask me unwarranted questions regarding my sexuality. At one point, they would only talk to me about gay media, and often talk about ‘woman problems’ in front of me and often would say, “Oh you're gay — you don't care if we talk about this stuff openly.” The often talked about sleeping with other men, their hook-up’s penile sizes, and vaginal-related topics in front of me and always would say, “Oh Cody doesn't care if we talk about this kind of stuff around him — he’s gay”. After having a few more successful months at Mary’s Weight Loss, and after being more comfortable with my identity, I was starting to be bothered by my co-worker's comments about my sexuality. However, only being 19, I kept quiet because I didn’t want to get my coworkers in trouble and create issues between us. Anyhow, I woke up on the morning of June 26th, 2015 to a few text messages saying ‘congratulations!’. It wasn’t my birthday and nothing special was planned in my calendar, so I got dressed and went to work. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by two of my clients with congratulatory statements. Upon asking for further elaboration, they said that the United States Supreme Court had overturned the ban on same-sex marriage, and congratulated me. Throughout that day, I had several more clients express their happiness for me, and how I was now viewed as equal in the eyes of our government. Until Heather stepped in. I just finished closing the center, and on my way out, Heather stopped me and asked that she have a word with me. When I asked her what it was about, she further demanded explanation on why my clients were celebrating me and asked why they knew that I was gay. I told her that I keep my conversations with my clients on the topic of their weight loss, and admitted that when clients saw the photo of my boyfriend on my desk, I’d admit to them who he really was in relation to me. My boss then told me to keep my business to myself, and that my lifestyle could run-off clientele. She then explained that since we live in a religious community, my lifestyle could be offensive to others and told me that my lifestyle could drive away clients. When I went back home that night, I went to bed feeling confused by Heather’s comments. One week later, she called me into her office for a meeting regarding my ‘behavior’. In the meeting, Heather wrote me up for having ‘inappropriate conversations’ with my clients. She then explained that I was being offensive, and I should have known better. She then proceeded to tell me that my request for being promoted full-time had been denied, and now that I was written up, I wouldn’t be eligible for any promotion in the future. The second the meeting ended with Heather, I called Mary’s Weigh Loss’s Human Resources department and complained that I was being discriminated against, and claimed that I demanded that the write-up be reversed. HR reassured me that the discrimination would stop and that they would have a sensitivity meeting with the entire staff at my work location. Two days after I called Human Resources, the district manager called me and told me that I should have gone to her and that I shouldn’t have gone to Human Resources. I told her that I was embarrassed, and wanted to report the situation to someone who didn’t know me. Then, a week later, Heather called me into her office. Heather told me that the entire staff had a meeting with higher up and that I was to no longer invited to weekly in-store sales meetings. When I asked her why I wasn’t allowed to attend meetings, she said it was because it would cause a problem and it was best I not attend. In the following weeks, my co-workers quit talking to me altogether. My co-workers didn’t even look in my direction, much less tell me when one of my clients have arrived for their appointment if I was in the back stocking items. They all started going out to lunch without me, and I made it very clear that I was not welcome. After being excluded from all further team meetings, I had another conversation with Human Resources. I explained to them that, whatever they did before wasn’t working, and that I was being shunned by everybody. Human Resources said they would investigate as to why I had been excluded from sales meetings. After I had my conversation with Human Resources, I had sat down with a new client named Penelope. After talking to Penelope about why she wanted to start losing weight, she told me that her husband and son we’re both killed in a car accident, and that she gained weight over the course of her mourning. Penelope began to cry, and in the midst of her crying, I closed the office door to give her a moment to weep. She had continued to tell me that she wanted to make sure that I would stick by her side, because she couldn’t deal with losing anyone else in her life. Right then and there, I promised Penelope that I would be there for her, and we can tackle this journey together…. That was the last time I saw Penelope. The next morning, I walked into Heather’s office to another write-up. She claimed that one of my co-workers overheard my conversation with Penelope, and claimed that I was running down the company to my new client. Dumbfounded, I refused to autograph the write-up. Heather backed-off and said that she’ll reinvestigate the allegation made towards me. Before I left her office, she told me that she left a copy of the next month's schedule on my desk. I walked into my office to find that, for the month of August, my hours had been cut from forty hours to ten hours a week. I didn’t know why my hours had been cut to ten hours a week, and upon asking Heather why my hours were cut, she said that she didn’t have the hours to give out. In the meantime, I couldn’t afford my rent, car payment, or even my cell phone bill with my new paycheck. While searching for new places to live, my boyfriend agreed to let me move in with him — an hour South of where my work location was. However, there was a Mary’s Weight Loss located right by where he lived, so I put in a request to transfer. My request was denied because, according to them, written up employees weren’t allowed to transfer within the company. I was beaten. I used the remainder of my savings, including my college fund, to try to live in my home. When I ran out of money, I was forced to move and moved in with my boyfriend and resign from my position. I lost every cent I owned, and couldn’t make payments on my car or cell phone bill. After losing my home, and being jobless, I almost lost my car. Thankfully, my mother stepped in to loan me the money to make payments until I was able to find more work. In the meantime, I set an appointment with an attorney who wanted to take a closer look at my case. However, while job searching, I came across an ad for a full-time position at Mary’s Weight Loss (which was insult to injury, considering they cut my hours short for not having ‘enough hours’)… I saw an attorney who took my case, and a few months later, we filed suit against Mary’s Weight Loss for retaliation. After months and months of going back and forth with Mary’s Weight Loss, they refused to settle and argued that we take them to court… Unfortunately, my case against Mary’s Weight Loss was rejected by the courts because, according to Title 7 Discrimination Laws, LGBT persons aren’t protected in the state of Texas. Although we filed for retaliation, there was a discrimination aspect of the suit, which is why it got rejected. Two years after filing suit, and after being forced out of this job, I lost. I lost to Mary’s Weight loss… I was devastated. I felt suicidal and was thrown into a major depression. Feelings of anger, sadness, and loss took over as I stayed in a cloud of misery. I often had nightmares about all of the clients that I let down by not being there for them. I often think back to Penelope and how much I let her down, especially considering I promised that I’d be there for her… Currently, I’m trying to recover and accept myself as a proud individual. I'm treating my depression, and I currently work at a tea shop where I’m accepted by my boss and co-workers. I stopped feeling suicidal, and over time, started to see my self-worth again. Although I’m still recovering from the incident, It will never leave me and will always be apart of me. I pass the time by writing tea reviews, posting photos to Instagram, and drinking as much tea that I can get my hands on. Every now and then I see commercials for Mary’s Weight Loss on TV, and even see ad’s posted from them on social media. Hell, I even got an email advertisement saying they wanted me back. It used to really bother me at first, but I’ve since become numb to it. If there’s any consolation to any of this, I received news that Heather was fired from Mary’s Weight Loss two days after we filed suit. Although I lost the case, in some ways, I feel like I won…..
- Discrete by Kuura
Hello hello! Kuura is an Australian-based tea company that sources sheng, shou, white, and black tea. Kuura has become one of my new favorite tea companies for several reasons. To start, they stay out of reddit drama. Second, they don't need to make glossy claims about their tea to sell to their customers. Third, unlike other companies, they’re not racist against Native Americans… Anyways, in a recent review, I talked about one of their sheng puer titled: ’Vector’. However, in this review I will be talking about their shou puer titled ‘Discrete’. So whats so special about this shou puer? And considering that it’s their very first shou, how does it hold up? Lets find out! Water Temperature - Boil Demensions - 4.5g of tea for a 65ml gaiwan Beeng Price - $22.50 for a 200g beeng Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 6 First, Discrete started off light in taste, and also left a light sweet earthy aftertaste on the tongue. After a few more steeps, this tea began to open up as its texture quickly turned from watery, to velvety smooth as a cocoa sweetness emerged on the sides of the tongue. By the fifth infusion, the sweetness took a back seat as a black-pepper spice took center stage of this tea’s palate. By the sixth infusion, this tea was in full swing as a mouthful of flavor hit me in the face. Steeps 7 - 12 Discrete kept going full force as a mouthful of earth and spice kept making its presence in my mouth. As the steeps went on, the smoothness of this tea seemed to keep increasing. However, by the ninth infusion, this tea began to settle down and lighten in color. By the eleventh infusion, the only tasting note left was a light amber sweetness, and by the twelfth infusion, the tea was gone and ready to be put away… Conclusion - Discrete is a beeng of 2016 shou material, which was pressed in 2017 and sold by Australian-based tea company Kuura. First, one thing I liked about Discrete was how rich and flavorful it was. Another thing I liked about Discrete was it had a lot of backbone and tasted great, even if overstepped. However, despite that this sample was a gift given to me by Kuura, I do regret not ordering a beeng of this tea already. You see, one of the highlights about this tea is its price point. Considering this teas depth and complexity, it makes this beeng’s price point is a steal. Overall, Discrete is an easy shou puer to drink and I’d recommend this tea to anyone who is a fan of puer. I’d also recommend this tea to anyone who is new to puer, because not only is this tea full of flavor, its easy to brew and isn’t very picky. So next time you visit Kuura’s site and want to spend your tax return money, consider adding a beeng of Discrete to your shopping cart... Would I Beeng This Tea? - Yes
- Little O by White2Tea
Hello hello! White2Tea released a small selection of shou puer with their 2017 fall productions. Two of these teas are called Little O and Big O - which are both a shou puer mixed with orange peel. This kind of shou puer is a kind of puer called ‘Chenpi’, and comes in two different sizes. The ‘Little O’ is a mini tea coin thats anywhere from 6g-8g, and the ‘Big O’ is a larger tea cake that’s 200g in size. However, for me, I like the convenience of having the coin-sized shape because it easily fits into my vessel, so I ordered twenty of the Little O’s and have been making my way through them. So how exactly does this tea taste? Was it worth buying 20 of them? Lets find out! Water Temperature - Boil Dimensions - 6.6 coil for a 100ml vessel Beeng Price - $1.25/$29.00 Number of Steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 6 For previous sessions with Little O, the coin took a while to break apart since it’s so compressed, however for this session, I broke it into smaller pieces so it would brew faster. Anyways, at first, Little O gave off the tasting notes of Earth with a light dirt-like aftertaste. After a few more steeps, this tea became increasingly smooth as it began to leave an undertone of citrus zest on the tongue. By the fifth and sixth infusion, this tea turned almost pitch black in color, as its strength went skyrocketed through the roof. Steeps 7 - 12 By the 7th infusion, this tea’s strength began to lighten up — almost just as fast as it came on. The taste of compost and dirt began to lighten up a bit as a light sweetness came out. By the eighth infusion, the light-zest undertone from earlier began to resemble orange peel very heavily. By the tenth infusion, the shou was nearly running out of fuel, but the taste of orange kept persisting. By the last infusion, any remnants of the the shou were gone except for the taste of sweet orange peel. It was time to put this session away, and have another go another time… Conclusion Little O first started out very earthy in taste. However, the longer Little O steeped for, the more it tasted like sweet orange peel. In fact, by the last infusion, the taste of orange peel was still going strong even though the tea leaves we’re spent. One thing I liked about this tea is its complexity, and the fact its taste and texture kept changing throughout the session. Another thing I liked about this tea is its sweet notes of orange peel. Although the notes of sweet orange peel were strong, they were relaxing and gave this tea a wonderful aftertaste. Overall, I’d recommend this tea to people who like shou or flavored teas in general. This tea is very easy to brew and was tasty, even when over steeped. To recap my earlier question, was I correct to order 20 Little O’s? I think I was correct to purchase 20 Little O’s in my last White2Tea order, and in the future, will continue to add more to my shopping cart…
- Vector by Kuura
Hello hello! Kuura is a new tea company that specializes in puer, white, and black tea. Kuura has been slowly gaining popularity through social media — in part to their aesthetic. They’re based out of Melbourne Australia and source their tea from China. A few weeks ago, I was surprised to see that they sent me a box of tea, and included in this box was a beeng of 2017 Fall Xishuangbanna sheng puer titled ‘Vector’. So I must ask, what is this tea all about? Lets find out! Water Temperature - 185ºf Demensions - 4g in a 60ml gaiwan Beeng price - $34.50 for 200g Number of steeps - 12 Steeps 1 - 4 At first, Vector opened up to the faint notes of green grass which left a light floral aftertaste. After another steep, the green grass tasting notes began to transform into the notes of hay with a medicinal undertone. By the fourth steep, this tea was turning more and more savory, and had a light sweetness to compliment these notes. Steeps 5 - 12 The tasting notes of hay took over this teas body, as it held a leaf pile undertone. Vector held a broth-like texture, and seemed to be slightly medicinal in its aftertaste. This tea held these tasting notes up to the tenth infusion, which is when this tea’s strength began to lighten up a bit. By the eleventh infusion Vector was phasing out and by the twelfth infusion, this tea was finished and ready to be put away… Conclusion Kuura is a new tea company that started out by releasing a small amount of pressed teas for their fall collection. A part of this collection included a beeng titled ‘Vector’, which was pressed in November of 2017. One thing I liked about this tea is its accessibility, and had an overall pleasant texture to its body. Another thing I liked about this tea is its cleanliness and seemed to be pressed with great care. However, this beeng is compressed tighter than most other beengs that I’ve had, and took a good minute to pry apart. Overall, Vector is a great introduction to puer and is a tea I’d recommend to people who are new to sheng. For a tea company that is new, I’ll be looking forward to trying other teas from their catalogue…