This review is for the 2012 Spring Harvest version of this tea, for which I don’t think there is a page. David Duckler generously sent me this tea and a couple others due to some issues I had with a previous order, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to try this tea far sooner than I would have otherwise, since I’m trying to avoid too many more orders until I’ve drank my way through a bit more tea. Although I haven’t yet compared this to the Autumn 2011 harvest, I get the impression that the flavour will be a fair bit stronger, just based on the stronger aroma from the bag. Whether that’s related to freshness or not, I’m not sure. I used probably about 3g of leaves in my tiny glass teapot, which is more than I have used in the past, so I can get a bit more flavour out.
First infusion (175F/1:30):
Smells strongly of cooked green beans/boiled veggies. Strongly enough that I’m concerned I may have overleafed/oversteeped. However, there’s not even a touch of astringency. This is seriously delicious. Sweet and vegetal. I think I probably tried this at a stupid time as I have killed my tastebuds temporarily by eating a lime teriyaki sauce with copious raw ginger/garlic, so I’m not catching flavour nuances at all. This same sauce ruined my second day of cheese panel tasting, because I couldn’t tell the bitter samples apart the next day due to the tastebud-killing action of the raw garlic – so I think the same is perhaps occurring now. Anyhow, I can tell this is delicious, and has exactly the sort of primary flavours I want in an excellent green tea.
Second infusion (2min/175F):
Similar aroma, but lighter. Moving into a more mineral taste here, with veggies as more of a supporting flavour. Again, I’m having some trouble – it’s like my sense of taste is foggy. I can tell it’s good though, and I think there’s more lingering green tea aftertaste here. There’s maybe a hint of astringency, but perhaps keeping the infusion at 1:30 would have helped with that.
Must say that the first infusion of green teas is most often by far my favourite, so the more reliably I can get a delicious first infusion, the more highly I think of a tea. Verdant’s greens have yet to disappoint in that respect! Mmmm…
ETA: A third infusion, at I think 175F for 2 minutes, was actually quite good! Still no bitterness, and lost the intense vegetal flavour, but nutty and quite tasty. Likely a consequence of using more leaf. I’m impressed :D