A series of warm days toward the end of October. The birds are having a last frolic and song as the days get shorter and the nights get cold.
A tea fit for the moment.
May 2019 harvest. Bluish-grey-green twisted/rolled pebbles smell like chestnut, bamboo, cream, seaweed, sweet-grainy like Grape Nuts cereal.
First several steeps are fairly pungent and savory, presenting a well integrated array of flavors. Lemon, mineral, chestnut, cream, grass, bamboo, grain, oats, soybean, light gardenia florality, hints of malt. Medium-bodied with lots of clean salivation and tingling. Lightly drying umami finish with cooling mint in the throat. The color is spring green. A pleasant bitterness comes in on the second steep, adding another dimension and persists through the final infusion. Moderate chestnut-bamboo aroma. Bottom of the cup smells strongly of anise, almond and pine. I feel the energy. Calm, contemplative, accepting.
With the fourth infusion, the umami-chestnut character of the tea drops away, leaving lighter green tea impressions of cucumber, lemongrass, and straw and hints of spinach and seaweed with a light honey-nectar sweetness in the back of the mouth. The tea finally gives way to only green grass and minerals with butter on the swallow and in the aftertaste.
A unique organic green tea from the under-represented Guizhou province. There was enough character to keep me engaged, with a sort of grounding effect from the umami and bitterness while remaining playful with lemon, minerality and mint. I enjoyed its rather smooth transition into the final infusion. This tea also has some great longevity for a green, giving 9 solid steeps and another 3 more that closed out the session gently. I can see this tea being a bit jarring for those inexperienced with umami-heavy greens but at the same time I think it’s a good first step to exploring more pungent and bitter Chinese green teas.
Song pairing: Modest Mouse — World At Large
How 15 years pass. Too much thinking lately.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Bamboo, Bitter, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Cucumber, Gardenias, Grain, Grass, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Oats, Pine, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Straw, Umami