The dry leaves of this tea look beautiful, and smell delicious. Looking at my notes here (I took notes!), I remember the leaves smelled like lime, basil and sweet grass. Once steeped, you get more of a barley or corn pancake aroma. The tea itself (at least on the first steeping), smells clean, bright and decidedly vegetal.
If you’ve tried Verdant Tea’s other green offerings, you’ll know right off the bat that this is a very different kind of green tea experience. While Lao Shan greens tend to be hearty, beany, warm and robust, this Jing Shan offers the lighter and more delicate side of Chinese greens. This side is just as legitimate, and helps remind me how gentle and powerfully quiet greens can be.
Once steeped, I got three good steepings out of the buddy leaves, and I kept going for five or so (lost count, and didn’t write that down in my notes). Basically, steeped until I was quite satisfied and sated; unlike some lighter greens, this didn’t tempt and inspire me, only to run off at the second steeping and leave me feeling like I’ve been abandoned at the altar.. The taste is sparkling, bright, and almost fruity (I can’t put my finger on what that fruit could be). The sweetness reminds me of steamed buns, and while drinking, I’m reminded of greens dusted with sweet matcha powder. There is a pleasant tangy aftertaste, and as I continue with later steepings, there is the very light taste of sweet asparagus. Underneath is a pleasant mineral-ly base.
All in all, the tea feels like a cleansing sigh of relief. Yum!
I suspect I will always have a preference for the LaoShan-esque green teas, but this is a wonderful and delicious reminder for me to keep trying Chinese greens. I look forward to drinking this in the morning, especially as summer starts to cool down. I am also really looking forward to a drizzley morning, so that I can open the windows and try steeping this “Jing Shan style” (pour water into a glass, then sprinkle in the leaves… drink when they’ve floated to the bottom). When I do, I’ll let you know how that way of steeping is different from my normal pouring-between-two-glass-pitchers.
just finished a tasting of all of Verdant’s newest teas, so expect a lot more notes over the next few days. Hooray for new teas and remembering to take notes!