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Cutting open the first 250g bag of this tea, heat-sealed at the farm just after it was picked a few weeks ago, was a burst of pure nostalgia. The aroma of the tea seemed to ‘waft’ me across the ocean towards Laoshan.

My wife and I were living in a pretty average apartment building in the city of Qingdao near Laoshan while I was conducting research on tea. Every morning before we went to teach classes on western literature and philosophy at Qingdao University, we would stop at a back alley restaurant set up outside with folding car tables and little plastic stools. There were lines down the block to get a bowl of their famous steaming homemade soymilk made from fresh picked soybeans grown on the mountains of Laoshan. This was not your average soymilk thickened with xanthan gum and artificially sweetened. No- this was pure frothed sweetness of soybean, full of hearty earthy flavor. You would pick up a basket (or plastic baggie for those on the go) of fried sticks of dough, hand stretched to order. In Qingdao, the wheat is good and fresh- so these fried “doughnuts” were some of the best. You would dip them in the steaming soymilk. The aroma of the milk, the sweet dough, and the ocean air heavy with morning mist is exactly that aroma that the tea evoked for me.

The flavor is strong and decisive, and very resilient to oversteeping. The rich, confident body of the tea reminds me of the temperament of my friends in Laoshan. The He family is kind beyond belief, but like many in Shandong province, proud, and unafraid to speak their mind. That is the tea I am drinking now.

Yet, just when I think I understand this new harvest, and its frothy sweet flavor, it shifts. There is a cooling and tingling quality like chewing fresh peppermint leaf and basil. It is as though the tea knew that it would be sipped in the summer and offered a cooling balm for the heat. Thank you Laoshan. Thank you Mr. and Mrs He. Even as I sit in Minneapolis, you have extended your hospitality, bringing me back to your home through the care you put into your tea.

Tea_is_wisdom

Okay, even though I am a big Oolong drinker and as for greens I really enjoy Long Jing this one sounds very good.

David Duckler

Definitely worth a try. I actually thought that the body on this one had a thickness similar to Tieguanyin, which is why I recommended the Spring Tieguanyin as a related product on the page. It is a very different and very worthwhile side to green tea far from what Long Jing offers.

Bonnie

I could almost taste and smell the fried dough and fresh soy milk….and having lived where the ocean wind blows, your description makes me desire a cup of this tea in the morning sitting outside with my daughters homemade homeground bread.

chadao

Thank you so much David for bringing your customers closer to the source of this (I assume) spectacular tea!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I loved your story in this note. It makes me long to travel.

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Comments

Tea_is_wisdom

Okay, even though I am a big Oolong drinker and as for greens I really enjoy Long Jing this one sounds very good.

David Duckler

Definitely worth a try. I actually thought that the body on this one had a thickness similar to Tieguanyin, which is why I recommended the Spring Tieguanyin as a related product on the page. It is a very different and very worthwhile side to green tea far from what Long Jing offers.

Bonnie

I could almost taste and smell the fried dough and fresh soy milk….and having lived where the ocean wind blows, your description makes me desire a cup of this tea in the morning sitting outside with my daughters homemade homeground bread.

chadao

Thank you so much David for bringing your customers closer to the source of this (I assume) spectacular tea!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I loved your story in this note. It makes me long to travel.

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Bio

I fell in love with tea while doing work on classical Chinese language in China. I loved it so much that I went back for a year to research tea instead! Over a year and several summers in China I have had the chance to train in gongfu tea ceremony, and test the limits of my palate in tasting competitions. I was privileged to spend large chunks of time with farmers on their tea gardens, and was exposed to some of the smallest and most honest operations out there. It only made sense to go into business and deepen my relationship with tea and the farmers who make it with such care and humility. Now I own a small, but unique tea business importing the best teas that my farmer friends in China have to offer. Some of these teas are from regions that have never exported before. All of them have a story.

I will review teas on Steepster, because I think this is an awesome site, and a great community, but I won’t give them a numerical rating, as I don’t want to skew the system. I am having a great time here, and look forward to meeting more tea folk.

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Website

http://www.verdanttea.com

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