79
drank Lan Gui Ren by TeaSpring
39 tasting notes

I am a bit perplexed. I found a new jar at Central Market last week that had a tea called ’King’s Jewel’, and was classified as a green tea from Republic of Tea, sold for a steep $149.99/lb. I couldn’t resist the intrigue of the little pellets, so I bought a couple teaspoons ($3!). I came home and did a little research, and apparently Republic of Tea isn’t aware that they are selling this one, but I found more info on this type of tea, more commonly known as lan gui ren, or lady orchid, and it is actually an oolong. This entry is the only mention it I found on Steepster. The tea is coated in a powder of ginseng and licorice grass. Although my tea is from a different manufacturer, it looks identical to the picture above.

On to the tasting! The dry pellets don’t offer much aroma. After a minute or so of steeping, they started to crack and unfurl. After two minutes, it yielded a golden yellow liquor. The first noticeable quality was some spiciness and a little sweetness. It almost reminded me of a ginger tea, but ‘thicker’ and more subtle. I definitely get the aftertaste of licorice, and just after swallowing, I taste plastic! Weird. The second infusion was a bit more complex and less plastic-y, and most of the leaves were about halfway unfurled. The powder coating seems to be mostly dissolved, though some pellets are still intact! The leaves smell roasted and a little spicy, but I can recognize the vegetal smell of a green or lightly oxidized oolong. Now on the third infusion, the liquor is getting darker, although I’m not increasing the steep time. The tea doesn’t taste as thick, and a peppery flavor is dominating. Some of the pellets still haven’t opened up. I’ll probably steep a few more times this afternoon, see if I can’t coax the last few pellets to blossom.

This tea is interesting, and I’ll enjoy it a couple more times, but once it’s gone, I don’t think I’ll be looking for it again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Like the raw pu-erh cake and the phoenix mountain oolong, that one is a “Central Market exclusive”. If you email RoTea’s staff they can give you specific details, but they don’t publish them on the website.

I would highly recommend much shorter steepings for this tea. Do an initial “rinse” to start the process of opening the leaves (3-5 seconds) and then begin steepings at 5 seconds, then 3 seconds, then 5, 7, 10, 15, 30… until you stop getting something worth drinking. For this to work you need a generous ratio of leaves to volume of water.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F58dWrhTkRo and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkhdJoZUUh0&feature=related

The latter is specific to Lady Orchid tea.

Katie

Thanks Jim, that’s very helpful. With so many short infusions, I’ll probably use the same amount of tea, but with only a couple ounces of water each time.

Jim Marks

So long as the ratio is generous, the exact quantity of each doesn’t matter.

I hope the results improve for you!

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Jim Marks

Like the raw pu-erh cake and the phoenix mountain oolong, that one is a “Central Market exclusive”. If you email RoTea’s staff they can give you specific details, but they don’t publish them on the website.

I would highly recommend much shorter steepings for this tea. Do an initial “rinse” to start the process of opening the leaves (3-5 seconds) and then begin steepings at 5 seconds, then 3 seconds, then 5, 7, 10, 15, 30… until you stop getting something worth drinking. For this to work you need a generous ratio of leaves to volume of water.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F58dWrhTkRo and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkhdJoZUUh0&feature=related

The latter is specific to Lady Orchid tea.

Katie

Thanks Jim, that’s very helpful. With so many short infusions, I’ll probably use the same amount of tea, but with only a couple ounces of water each time.

Jim Marks

So long as the ratio is generous, the exact quantity of each doesn’t matter.

I hope the results improve for you!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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I am lucky enough to make my living as a martial arts teacher and as a barista. When I’m not training or making cappuccinos, I relish cooking, reading, growing plants, and of course, drinking tea.

I love greens the most… the grassier the better! I also love oolongs and whites. I have a weak spot for anything with jasmine, mint, or lavender.

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Austin, TX

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