4 Tasting Notes
I do love this tea brewed hot, but being a resident of one of the more warm and humid regions of the US, I really need to recommend cold-brewing this tea. What I’ve done is to take pinch or two of leaves and put them in a mason jar with spring water and leave them covered (foil, saran wrap, something non-permeable) in the fridge overnight. Heating the water before adding is unnecessary. You end up with the best cold green tea you’ve ever had the next morning, and you can keep the leaves and do the same thing the next day with similar results. Add a pinch or two more and dilute if you want to entertain more guests. Fifteen years ago I’d probably cut your grass for free if this stuff was available for refreshment – it’s really that good.
Compared to recommended steeping instructions, I’m using a ton of tea and very short steeps in a gaiwan instead of a more western-style approach. In general I’m adding just enough recently-boiled water to cover the leaves and pouring it out as soon as I can manage.
steep 1 – Leafy, fresh, sweet, a little astringent.
steep 2 – smell is very deep and woody, astringency overwhelms any flavor at first but some sweet notes as my mouth adapts. Will try to be quicker with future steeps.
steep 3 – I can’t imagine steeping much more quickly, but the astringency is still fairly overpowering. There is, however, a hint of a pleasant aftertaste coming along that I hope will express itself more fully soon.
steep 4 – The aroma is really coming along but it’s still promising more than it can deliver in flavor. There’s definitely a hint of deliciousness that hits the palate briefly but it is quickly overcome by the more bitter chlorophylly flavor that the initial astringency has morphed into.
steep 5 – same as 4 but less bitter, equally flavorful
steep 6 – astringency is gone; there’s a fleeting fruity flavor on top of the steady woodsy leafy notes that’ve been around for awhile; will extend steep time from here.
steep 7 – finally it’s not unpleasant in any way. this cup is decent.
Unfortunately I need to stop for now. I don’t recommend brewing this tea like I did.
Almost every (quality) black tea I’ve tried has a sort of chewy richness to it that can in many cases be a little too much for me: Sometimes when I get to the 5th or 6th steeping my stomach feels like I just ate one too many bites of a super-rich dessert.
This tea is different—I don’t get any of that stop-you’ve-had-too-much feeling. There’s that refreshing, almost cooling feeling you get with some oolongs with the depth of flavor you expect from a good black tea.
This tea was the solution to a problem I didn’t know I had. It’s different and interesting enough for me to recommend to anyone.
Came with my first tea-of-the-month package on Christmas. Steeping temperature was slightly cooler than boiling (wait 5 seconds and pour from a bit higher than normal). Just enough water to cover leaves-start steeping at ~10 seconds and by the end step as long as 30-40s.
I’ve only had a couple white teas, and I’m beginning to think that I’m not a big fan of white tea in general. This one, though, has more flavor than the white teas I’ve had before. There’s a pretty substantial astringency, and early steepings had a lot of that damp woodsy mulch flavor. Later on with longer steeps, the smell becomes amazing and almost sweet (I think I’ve tasted a hint of something similar in an oolong I’ve had)- it takes a while for that particular flavor to come through the astringent texture and dominant damp-wood flavor, but it gets there. I definitely prefered the later steepings.
Overall it’s a very interesting tea—a little more astringent than I prefer but the flavor is a sort of changing mix of the simpler tea flavors I’m used to.