13 Tasting Notes
This is a very unusual tea, but I like it. The brew is a nice orange color, with an aroma that’s sweet with a hint of smokiness. It’s medium-bodied with a very smooth texture and a fairly mild flavor: a sweet, roasted, almost malty taste. It’s almost similar to a weak pu-erh, particularly in its sweetness, but without any of the earthiness. It’s also quite similar to a fully-roasted all-twig kukicha, but with less of a bark-like flavor. It has a very long aftertaste.
This is an interesting tea, with a flavor I enjoy. It’s very difficult to categorize — it isn’t really grassy, nutty, flowery, salty, spicy, smoky, twiggy, mulchy, or any of the other adjectives that normally fit green, black, or pu-erh teas — but it’s definitely recognizable as tea. This is the kind of tea I push on people who say things like “I don’t like tea” or “all teas taste the same”.
A quick pre-rinse really helps the first infusion; I often do two pre-rinses. It does offer multiple infusions, but not very many: after two infusions the leaves often still have some flavor in them, but it takes a long time to extract that flavor. This tea is almost impossible to overbrew, though, so I’ll do one ‘leftover’ infusion at the end with an unbounded brew time. After 10 or 15 minutes, this ‘leftover’ infusion becomes strong and tasty without the bitterness such a long infusion would normally bring.
I didn’t include this in my numerical rating, but I do have one very negative comment: This tea comes in individual-serving foil packets, and those packets are horrible. They’re difficult to open, they contain too little leaf (for my 16 oz teapot), and they make the price outrageously expensive. While I do think this is a tea worth trying, the current price is simply not worth it.
This is a decent tea, but it’s not my favorite. Leaves are thin — not quite wiry or needle-like, but close. Aroma is nice: robust, rustic, and nutty. Flavor is very grassy, and very “traditional green tea”-ish. It’s noticeably astringent, but not unpleasantly so. This reminds me more of a darker green tea, or maybe an age-worthy oolong which hasn’t been aged. It certainly feels like a quality tea, but it’s not my personal style.
This is definitely a food tea; better with dinner or dark chocolate than by itself. I could see some people absolutely adoring this tea, but I don’t plan to order it again.
It took some experimentation to find brew settings that worked well. I had more success with a short brew time, and pre-rinsing the leaves twice seems to improve the texture. I usually got 3-5 infusions out of it, depending on brew time.
Light and airy, with some earthiness. The leaves are soft and velvety, with plenty of tiny hairs to make their way into the infusion. Aroma is rather weak. The flavor reminds me of cut grass that’s been left in a pile for a few days: herbal and grassy, but with some light mulchy, compost-like overtones. This is a flavor profile I enjoy, but it’s very light and mild so you might enjoy it even if old grass isn’t your thing. :-)
This isn’t a superstar Long Jing by any stretch, but it is good. A nice, very light everyday tea.
Improves over multiple infusions. I usually get 4-7 brewings, depending on how strong I make it.