OK so I figured at some point I’d start working through my Christmas tea backlog… Here’s the first!
Since it was my first order from Teavivre I decided to get a number of sample packs to see what I liked and what I didn’t. I really love the sample pack idea, it gives a person a chance to get to know the company and try out teas at with very little risk. This is the first tea I tried from the Green Tea Sample pack and it was interesting… I’ve never had a Dragon Well Long Jin tea and I was curious about the reputed chestnut flavors that it contained.
Dry the tea is intriguing, straight and long they almost reminded me (visually) of over sized Fur needles. The scent was fresh but yet warm, much warmer than I was expecting. And there were definite nutty notes, including the chestnut that I was hearing about in other reviews.
After a quick rinse I steeped this (in my brand new glass gongfu pot! Yay for Boxing Day sales!) for 20 seconds; the resulting liquor was a light yellow-green color and had a very fresh scent to it with a number of savory undertones. The flavor profile was filled with chestnuts and butter with just a few darker vegetal flavors. The chestnut lingered on the tongue and while the mouthfeel was quite rich I got a mildly astringent feeling as part of the finish.
The liquor from my second steeping (40 sec) was the same color and warm, fresh scent as the first one. Flavor wise I got a few more buttery notes mixed in with the chestnuts, it was almost like drinking a chestnut pastry filling without all the sweetness (granted the tea was quite sweet on its own, but you know how much sugar is in those fillings!) The mouthfeel was a bit heavier this time around and the chestnut flavor lingered longer.
My next steeping was for a full minute and the scent profile for the pale butter yellow liquor was mellowing out a bit, still warm and nutty but just not as fragrant as it was before. Similarly the flavor profile has shifted a bit as well, warm the vegetal flavors were now showing up more and the chestnut was just a bit softer than previous steepings. This infusion also was a bit bitter while still having that touch of astringency on the finish.
I found the last steeping (2 min) almost too bitter and astringent for my tastes. The yellow liquor had a mellow fresh scent but I just wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as the previous steepings.
I’m going to have to try this one again at a later date… Personally I’m not sure about the chestnut flavor (I’m not a huge chestnut fan but I enjoy it in some things) and how it mixes with the dark vegetal notes. I could see it growing on me though and at the very least though it might not end up being a regular tea for me I could see reaching for it when I’m looking for something different.