I have gotten so far behind on my reviews over the course of the last three days. A lot of it has just boiled down to laziness on my part. I’ve had the time to catch up, but have been busy with other projects, and when I have been sitting at my computer, I have not been able to motivate myself to write about tea. Right now I am taking a break on a slow workday in order to catch up a little. I have been focusing on Yunnan green teas for the past week and am in the middle of making a concerted push to finish the numerous 2017 green teas I still have on hand. This was one of my more recent sipdowns. I found it to be an excellent green tea with some very unique qualities.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. Yunnan Sourcing recommends a water temperature of 185 F as a starting point for their green teas, but I am more used to sticking with temperatures in the 175-180 F range and will very likely continue to do so for each of the Yunnan Sourcing green teas I will be reviewing in the coming months. The initial infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea emitted aromas of asparagus, grass, and chestnut with some salty, brothy umami character, hints of flowers, and something spicy, almost peppery, in the background. After the rinse, I found emerging scents of beechnut and malt. The umami character and the pepperiness were both stronger on the nose as well. The first proper infusion brought out something like chrysanthemum. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of peppercorn, beechnut, chestnut, malt, grass, and asparagus that were stronger than anticipated given the short infusion time. There was also a clear umami presence, some floral hints, and a little bit of corn husk flavor on the finish. Subsequent infusions offered clearer notes of chrysanthemum and marigold with emerging notes of cinnamon, minerals, lettuce, spinach, basil, toasted grain, lemon zest, and sea salt. The corn husk notes were a little stronger in the mouth as well. The later infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, grass, sea salt, and spinach with some umami character and hints of peppercorn on the palate after the swallow.

Compared to many of the other Yunnan green teas I have tried to this point in my life, this tea struck me as being more than a little odd. It was spicier, saltier, and more savory than many other green teas I have tried. I was most definitely into it. It would be the perfect green tea for people who prefer green teas with lots of aroma and flavor, but not necessarily an overabundance of grassy, vegetal notes. If spicy and/or savory teas are your jam, this would be a tea for you. As for me, I liked this tea way more than I thought I would, but then again, I do tend to be a huge, huge fan of Yunnan Sourcing’s green teas, so I do not know why I was expecting to be less than impressed.

Flavors: Asparagus, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Corn Husk, Floral, Grain, Grass, Herbaceous, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Nutty, Peppercorn, Salt, Spicy, Spinach, Umami

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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