I am very quickly getting caught up on my reviews. I should be able to completely clear the backlog within the next three days. This was another of my recent sipdowns, and I have to say that I was sad to see this tea go. It was an impressive and thoroughly likable green tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 additional 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 leaves emitted aromas of honey, toasted rice, and roasted chestnut. After the rinse, I detected emerging aromas of spinach, asparagus, and roasted walnut. The first infusion then brought out something like a combination of soybean and sugarcane on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of roasted chestnut, roasted walnut, asparagus, spinach, soybean, and toasted rice balanced by more delicate impressions of honey and sugarcane. Subsequent infusions introduced impressions of maple candy, vanilla, lettuce, grass, malt, peas, seaweed, minerals, and roasted barley. The final infusions presented lingering notes of minerals, seaweed, and grass chased by fleeting toasted rice, soybean, and sugarcane impressions.

Though I have seen some tea snobs thumb their noses at the green and black teas coming out of Laoshan, I am a huge fan of them and find them to be some of the most consistently pleasant and accessible teas on the market. This was yet another high quality Laoshan offering, one that would make a fantastic daily drinker or a great introduction to Chinese green teas. As I found this to still be a great tea nearly a year after harvest, I would recommend that those who just have to have a large amount of green tea around for regular consumption make a point of picking this one up if it is still available.

Flavors: Asparagus, Chestnut, Grass, Honey, Lettuce, Malt, Maple, Mineral, Peas, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Walnut

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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