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Another of the Canton Tea Co sample packs to try out! Once I opened this up, I was immediately reminded of the Tie Guan Yin from Chicago Tea Garden – it has a similar look: glossy dark green chunklets, and scent: fresh and grassy. I’d say this particular tea has more in the way of vegetal in the scent however; it’s reminding me more of sencha in that way.

The first steep at one minute, 190 degrees: the leaves have started to expand, and I’m left with a clear, light golden liquor with just a hint of green in there. The aroma is very light, encompassing fresh mown grass and something just a little savory/buttery. The flavor is very nice; there’s some of the sweetness I associated with the Tie Guan Yin, though not to such an outstanding degree. There’s also a degree of rich mouth feel to it, which may be what others characterize as milkyness (that’s one descriptor I don’t think I would have come upon on my own).

2nd steep, 190 degrees and 1.5 minutes: The liquor comes out a little more greenish yellow this time, and the leaves have mostly all unfurled now. The aroma and flavor are more vegetal, but there is still some of the overall sweetness that I like so much. I’m also getting a little fruitiness in the background, which is quite yummy.

3rd steep, 190 degrees and 2 minutes: Still a strong golden/green color, but the flavor is markedly more subdued now. Still getting vegetal and small sweet tones. Pleasant enough, but it’s lost most of its shine by now.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!

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