A sample that came with my recent order of Longjing. I was curious what one of Teavivire’s most expensive greens tasted like. I was struck by the long spear-like vibrant green leaves, uncharacteristic in comparison to the other greens I’m used to.
Overall I’m pleased, but wasn’t knocked out. I initially steeped for about 30-45 seconds, and I’m imaging I should have let it be, but I was hoping for something more overt and allowed it to brew another 30-40 secs. I think that was a mistake. I ended up introducing a bitter note to what had been a smooth, lightly sweet, mellow vegetal, milky brightness. I think what I was hoping for would have been better corrected with more leaf and less time.
2nd stepping, I backed off and played it safe at about 40 secs.. Not quite enough flavor for me and I introduce a bit more steeping time (10-25 more secs). I’m playing on the edge of bitter, but I like where this tea is going. My tastebuds don’t appear to be so dialed in today, but I’m getting the continued sweet notes and a dry mouth feel. That bitter is just hanging there…. I’m not sure I’d make an investment, but if I had some more of this, I’d certain enjoy and afternoon of playing with quantity, steeping times and temps, getting to know it. But alas, it’s price and with my first impressions, I’m not inspired. But let’s see where this tea continues to go.
My 3rd steep and I think my impatience with this tea has stripped it of what it has to offer. Flavor is weak. There’s not much left to this. I’m tempted to request another sample next time I order from Teavivre.
This tea comes in a 5 gram sample, unlike most of their other teas which are usually 7 grams. I think they’re doing themselves a disservice. Brewing in a my little Finum, which is like a 5 oz cup, I think I would have had a better experience with 7 grams of tea. But then the nature of the size of these leaves would have made it difficult to fit them all and get an even steep.
I’m going for it with the 4th steep leaving it in for a solid 2 mins as recommended by Teavivre’s gaiwan instructions. There is certainly a long-lasting sweet aftertaste, bordering on saccharine. Even as I have abused this tea, there’s still a distinct vegetal smell. Bitter is gone, and surprisingly enough, I find this steep somewhat satisfying. What a weird little trip.
From a caffeine/theanine standpoint, I’m honestly a bit jacked from this tea. But then that might have been all the dark chocolate nibs I had earlier…. Or it might be that these leaves are considered more mature. Who knows. Interesting experiment overall, results inconclusive.