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This is one of the teas I picked up at the start of autumn when I was creating base parameter sets for Korean Green Tea for the Tea app. I really hadn’t been exposed to Korean tea at all before this, though I’d tasted something someone told me was Korean tea. There’s a really good reason to not be familiar with Korean Green tea – there isn’t much, production is constrained to a pretty small area, and there’s much less of a tea culture spread there compared to China or Japan. There are two books I can find dedicated to Korean tea, though, so at least information is out there (though mostly lacking on the internet).

This is a wok-fired and tumble-dried tea with pretty attractive curled leaves with nice consistency and little occurrence of broken bits. This is the very last tiny bit of this tea that I have – only 1g so I broke out my little 60mL gaiwan and used 48-52g of water per infusion, using a scale rather than relying on water depth.

The retailer actually has a good picture for this tea (linked to description on Steepster, but go to www.shanshuiteas.com for a bigger, better one with images of wet leaves and liquor). Glossy little curlycues with even mossy green color.
Wet leaves are slightly yellowed green and incredibly tender. For having two leaves and a bud, the leaves are remarkably tiny and soft.
Liquor is clear, pale yellow. Actually looks like a light cooking oil.

Dry fragrance doesn’t say a lot. Kinda toasty-nutty overall with a whiff of green beans and carnation undertone.
Wet leaf aroma similar to the smell of a lid being lifted off a pot some snap peas were steamed in… Or edamame. Yeah, edamame pops up in my tasting notes for this several times.
Liquor aroma is similar to those soy beans as well.

I brewed four infusions back to back starting with 86C water and letting the temp steadily drop without reheating or refreshing the water. First three infusions I let brew for 2 min and the fourth infusion I let go for 4 min. The flavor, liveliness, and body of the first three infusions are really indistinguishable and the fourth is just a little different.

Very mellow with creamy mouthfeel, grape-like crispness, and very little discernible astringency (pretty darn smooth). Most obvious characteristic is honeysuckle – both the flower and nectar. Both chestnut and water chestnut are prevalent in the overall delicate flavor, lending a toasty but crisp impression. The latter is more obvious in the fourth infusion. Artichoke heart and pollen tend to be obvious flavors when brewed with a tad higher concentration around 3g/100mL but here there is more stir-fried bamboo and much more obvious sweetness. The first three infusions also have a light ginger hint to it, which goes really nicely with the toasty-sweet flavor and soft aroma. Again, edamame makes a pretty good backdrop across the board for the base vegetal flavor these other characteristics come out to play upon.

This was my favorite of the green tea offerings I bought from this company, though the other (more polleny and artichokey) teas were also pretty darn good for mellow teas. As a whole, they were pretty intolerant of hotter water, with a tendency to develop a cottony mouthfeel if brewed too long and back-of-throat astringency presenting with even very short times using temps even around 80C. This one can handle a bit more heat and time, but the best results I got for the group as a whole was using about 3g/100mL with 1 min at 70C for the greatest expression of flavors.

If you are interested in a tea with a toastiness level around a Yunnan “Bi Luo Chun” combined with the mildness of a Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun and some flower-like expressions more typical of Taiwanese light oolongs or white teas, this is an interesting tea to give a try to. Not used to green teas of this delicacy being so consistent across three infusions – let alone lasting for four. In most of my tests of the Shan Shui green tea offerings I got three infusions each unless the first was horribly overbrewed. Pricey, but nice and a new experience.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Kashyap

thanks for the insight, I’ve never had a tea from Korea…

Spoonvonstup

Excellent- I’ve been looking around for Korean teas just this week. I’ve only had some once in a teahouse in NY, so I’m eager to be reintroduced. Sounds interesting.

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Kashyap

thanks for the insight, I’ve never had a tea from Korea…

Spoonvonstup

Excellent- I’ve been looking around for Korean teas just this week. I’ve only had some once in a teahouse in NY, so I’m eager to be reintroduced. Sounds interesting.

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Bio

Tea Geek.

My focus is on Chinese Wulongs and Pu’er but I’m all over the place. I tend to follow a seasonal progression of teas, following the freshness curve of greens through summer and rounding the cooler months out with toastier teas and Masala Chai.
With the exception of Masala Chai milk tea I’m a purist at heart. While I was originally snagged by Earl Grey with bergamot and make blends for gifts, I very rarely go for scented teas or herbals and can’t remember the last time I bought a tea that was blended. Pure tea is just more interesting to me than the product of mixing flavors. I do understand and appreciate their existence, though.

I upload some blends I make or special prep teas I nab under the company name “Green Raven Tea and Coffee” and the vast majority of these posts will be blends crafted to create flavors/characteristics not inherent in any one particular tea.
I’ve worked as a tea buyer for a smallish cafe and try to keep apprized of shifts in offerings even when not selecting for a business so I wind up sampling a ton of wholesale samples from a couple companies in particular but try to branch out to as many companies as I can find. Until Steepster integrates some form of comparative tasting feature, none of my cupping notes will make it onto my reviews unless wrapped up into something I feel compelled to drink multiple times on its own.



Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my big fat ratings scheme:

0-12…..Ugh, don’t wish on anyone
13-25….Bad, won’t touch again
26-37….Huh, not worth the effort
38-50….Meh, unremarkable
51-62….Okay, good tea
63-75….Tasty, really good tea
76-87….Yum, wonderful
88-100…Wow, really spectacular

There shouldn’t be many postings at all from me ranked 26-50 since unremarkable teas are unlikely to make me remark on ’em but to “earn” a score 37 or below I have to be disappointed to the point where others may ask for a refund or turn down offers even when free or offered as a gift (beyond stale).

I’ve got a ton of respect for anything rated 63 or higher.

For a tea to get 71 or more, it has to be pretty special and kinda blow my socks off.

The 90s are reserved for wonders that make me reevaluate my views of the world of tea as a whole.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States

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