This green tea was something of a curiosity buy for me, as it was produced from a cultivar normally reserved for the production of Wuyi black teas. As everyone who reads my reviews is likely aware, I am a huge fan of traditional Chinese green teas. I, however, also have a big soft spot for odd and/or experimental teas, thus I simply could not pass on this one. In the end, I found it to be a rather likable, if somewhat delicate and temperamental, green tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. What-Cha recommended a water temperature of 167 F for this tea, but I normally brew Chinese green teas around 176 F, so I opted to go with my usual water temperature. The initial 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 grass, hay, malt, and corn husk. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of smoke, straw, and roasted chestnut. The first infusion then introduced a slight creaminess to the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented corn husk, grass, hay, straw, roasted chestnut, and cream notes chased by hints of sugarcane sweetness. Subsequent infusions saw a citrus presence develop on the nose alongside hints of spinach, herbs, and sugarcane. New flavors of butter, lemon zest, spinach, hazelnut, seaweed, and minerals appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging malt and smoke notes and hints of fennel and umami. The last few infusions were dominated by mineral, cream, spinach, and seaweed notes, though some underlying impressions of sugarcane, roasted chestnut, and fennel could still be found.

After reading What-Cha’s description of this tea, I was expecting it to be minty or at least a little more herbal, but I found it to be more grassy and nutty with a pleasant sweetness and pronounced seaweed notes. That may have just been me, or it may have been due to my decision to use a water temperature that was higher than the vendor’s recommended water temperature. I cannot say for sure. What I can say, however, is that this was a pleasant enough green tea. If it were ever to be restocked, I have no clue if I would go out of my way to acquire more of it, but I did enjoy it for the most part. The only real complaints I had were that it faded rather quickly, and it was neither unique enough to consistently hold my attention nor powerful enough to hold its own against some of China’s other Bi Luo Chun green teas. Honestly, I am glad that I took the opportunity to try this tea, but I doubt I would ever rush back to it. Others who enjoy milder, nuttier, and/or more marine green teas may love it though.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Cream, Fennel, Grass, Hay, Hazelnut, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane, 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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