This wild green tea is surreal. The flavor is just so unlike anything else I’ve tasted and no matter how familiar with it I become, I feel like I’m experiencing this tea anew every time I come back to it. I’m always pleasantly surprised all over again.
I tend to prefer it best brewed 2’ 00 at 194F/90C. I’m not sure why this Green Tea likes it hot. It may be because it is a Tie Guanyin varietal, which are normally used for wulong. I use 2.25g of leaf for a 100ml sized gaiwan and get a perfect first steep every time with this formula. I don’t add time for additional infusions because with the quantity of leaf I use it becomes too astringent. I used to brew this tea slower and cooler for a more mellow and sweet cup, but I’ve found that I prefer the zesty vegetable flavors and mild bitterness that emerge if you give it some heat.
In a few words I would say this tea reminds me very much of a broth. The buttery texture is generous. It’s quite herbaceous and vegetal with lots of umami and there are grassy tones underscored with a rich sweetness and hints of roasted seaweed. All the flavors come together to create a very complex taste that is well-balanced and multi-faceted. There is a top note of lemon that adds a fresh, bright quality to this tea.
At the time I am writing this review, this is my absolute number one tea, the favorite I keep coming back to. I had a little trouble initially getting the brewing formula right to get the most out of it, but after I figured out what worked best for me, I have had a perfect cup every time. It is wonderfully soothing and it overtakes my senses in such a welcome way. I get so excited about it whenever I first taste a new cup that I joke that this tea is my catnip. Purr, purr, purr.