Went camping in the North Dakota badlands this weekend! We go there to mountain bike the Maa Daa Hey trail, which is always an adventure! We brought along several friends, some who had never done anything like it before. It started out so great..and then it got BLAZING hot. We were about 5 miles from our campsite when it was over 100 degrees. And when I say 5 miles, I mean 5 miles of crazy difficult uphills and hairy downhills. Being from up north, we just aren’t used to that kind of heat, especially while exercising!! Let’s just say, even though I brought along my tea, I didn’t get any tea this weekend. Too stinking hot, and no energy to make iced tea. Advice for any aspiring bikers: go in the early morning, or evening! Even though we felt like we had just survived the end of the world by the end of the bike ride, we had seen some pretty amazing scenery. Stuff you just don’t see unless you get out there and find it! I was hoping to see mountain lion tracks, but alas. We saw some scat however that we thought was probably mountain lion..that’s just not as cool. :P We did see a little horned toad tho! Everything else was probably too smart to be out in the sun. :)
On to the tea. This is my first Lu An Gua Pian. The leaves are dark green, long and twisted. Aroma of the dry leaves is nice.
First steep, I am sadly underwhelmed. Perhaps I didn’t use enough leaf? It has a very nice full mouthfeel but little flavor. Any flavor I am picking up is mildly vegetal and sweet. I notice the leaves haven’t un-twisted yet, so maybe that’s why.
2nd steep I went for two minutes. The leaves are unfurling more now, so maybe now the taste will amp up a bit……..There is more flavor than the first steep but it’s still very light. My tongue is tingling a little, and the sweetness is still nice. It’s just so mild! It’s a little strange. It feels so full in the mouth but the taste is so quiet……I am liking it more and More as it cools. The mild vegetal taste reminds me of good garden cucumbers. Very fresh. No bitterness as of yet.
3rd steep 3 minutes. This is probably my favorite steep. Very pleasant. Very silky. Nothing about this tea is over the top. I would view this as a contemplative tea, one to take the time to sip while sitting on the front porch. I don’t have a front porch, but that’s what this tea is made for. :)