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This is the 2012 Spring Harvest.

Tiny, gently curled dark green leaves. The first steep smells lightly green, and sweet. Sugar snap peas is not a bad way of describing it – it’s a fresh garden green, but not the rich heaviness you get in summer. I’m not getting creaminess or milk, exactly, but it does seem to fill my mouth in the rich way of fresh milk. The second steep has a richer flavor and color, and makes my mouth water.

Finishing the first two steeps while eating some leftover homemade pasta alfredo seems almost blasphemous… but they go really well together :D The heavy cream sauce is making all of the light green tea flavors more distinct in comparison.

2.5g leaf (about 1 heaping tsp) in my 3.5oz glass teapot, gongfu style

This lasted well through six infusions, adding a couple seconds for each, and started getting weak around the seventh. I think I’ll steep one more time – longer, a minute or two – then see if the leaves are indeed a tasty snack!

ETA: the last steep was still quite mild, but the leaves were tender and sweet, not the least bit bitter (as I expected). I’m not normally a leaf chewer, but if you are I’d expect these to be a tasty treat!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 15 sec
gmathis

Homemade alfredo…yum!

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gmathis

Homemade alfredo…yum!

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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