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25

I’ve been drinking this tea at work pretty steadily, but I brought one home so I could give it enough consideration to write a tasting note. I first tried this tea back in 2009, and I think something about it has definetly changed since then. The tea I remember was very vegetal in smell, and produced a pale, distinctly green liquor. It tasted sweet, and very much like fresh cut grass. It was love at first sip, and I’ve judged every green tea against that one since then. It’s been a while, though, since I last tried it, so I was excited to open a fresh 2013 purchased packet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the tea I remember any more.

Although the packet still makes the claim that the liquor will be green, it isn’t. It’s yellow. Definetly. If you over-brew it even slightly, it turns brown. The dry leaves still smell like I remember — very sweet and almost hay-like, but this doesn’t carry through as well to the brewed tea as I feel it used to. The taste is light and vegetal, but it’s not the summer-grass taste I remember so well. It seems to have lost some of its character. It’s still a very fresh, delicate green tea, though, and one I can enjoy drinking almost any time of the day. I’m just disappointed that it’s not as amazing as I remember it used to be. There’s no bitterness or astringency if you’re careful how you brew it, but one false move and it develops a very dry mouthfeel and aftertaste.

It’s palatable, but no longer fabulous. I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for the Mao Feng of my memory.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is not to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norwich, UK

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