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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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIJKJdsAszw
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

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Always open to gifting or swapping teas. I do send international when feasible. Please follow and send a message if you see a tea in my notes or cupboard that piques your interest.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng puer, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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