Amazing Green Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
I was thrilled and disappointed to find an unopened foil package of this in one of the tins on my tea shelf – thrilled because I occasionally treat myself to this (very expensive) tea and it’s one of my favourite Dragon Wells, and disappointed because my pack had a harvest date of 2012.
I’m not sure how I forgot I had this for a year and a half – the perils of having dozens of tins and ziplock bags of teas.
It’s a very delicate tea even when it’s at its freshest, so I brewed, in a glass jug, about 5g in 300ml near-boiling water for about 4-minute steeps to try to compensate for any diminished taste. With the fresh leaves, I’d usually use about 2-3g.
The leaves are very small and light green, the liquor a nice clear pale yellow, and the taste and smell are softly grassy. I got a lovely oily mouthfeel, and the aroma and flavours were the same as with fresh leaves, but much fainter as I expected.
I’m rating this highly based on experiences with fresh leaves, and how well it has stood up over time – its characteristics were faint, but it had no staleness, and the flavour and scent, though not as vibrant as when I buy and drink this around harvest time, still tasted beautiful and fresh.
Overall this stood up very well; I only managed to get 2 infusions from the leaves before the taste and aroma vanished, whereas with recently harvested I can get 3 or even 4, but I’m still as impressed with this tea as ever, and will be searching my tea tins for any more forgotten treasures.
Special steeping instructions for this fresh tea resulted in a pleasant surprise. About 2 grams of leaves, 2 dl of hot water in a gaiwan and steeping until the leaves sink.
I did not manage to wait until all the leaves had sunk, but when the most had and the rest were hanging from the surface, I decided to it was ready. I poured 2/3 to a pitcher and left the rest as a seed for the next infusions.
The intensity of the flavour was not completely unexpected, considering the time of over 5 minutes. But how balanced it turned out, was indeed. There was the bitterness anyone could predict, but it did not take over completely. Along came that familiar vegetal long jing taste — that in my opinion is greatly enhanced by a good amount of bitterness. Also I found prominent a pleasant sweetness and to balance it, some lemon or lime like sourness.
Drinking long jing prepared like this reminded me more of drinking gyokuro than anything else. The resulting liquid is a very potent extract of the essence of the leaves. I still have to repeat this with the Wang Grade I have waiting.
Ahhhh, now this is fresh quality green tea.
I won’t be writing a long note now, I got a packet of teas from AGT today, and I drank them all today without concentrating really much in the analysis.
Vegetal, grassy, sweet, complex. Taste is quite archetypical chinese green, in a really good way. This will probably be my “default” green tea this spring, the one I’ll be drinking regularly.
Qi is especially strong, even for a quality green. Or maybe I just haven’t drank anything this fresh and good for a long time.
As I tasted the tea only in February, I was a bit suprised how well it had retained it’s aroma during the winter.
Taste was good, nice sharpness, maybe even slight something I’d describe as sour. It took a few tries to do it right, bad infusions resulted in strange unpleasantness. Goes also very well with different foods.
First testing. Very sweet scent, almost disturbingly so. Taste also very typical classic biluochun, sweet and soft, round. I probably oversteeped, I found slight bitterness toward the end. (2 dl / 2 g).
Will try later with my season 2010 standard steeping, 85°C / 1,5 min.