This is the last of the pre-chingming teas I ordered fron Upton Tea Imports, and I have to say this tea is quite memorable. The dry leaves smell lightly creamy and fruity, and the leaf sets are beautiful-consisting of two leaves and a bud. The lower part of the leaves are green, but there are lots of white, extremely furry (fuzzy) leaves. This Snow Dragon looks alot like a high quality white tea!
I used roughly 2.5-3 tsps of tea in my glass press and an 8 oz cup. The steeping leaves looked beautiful, and smelled faintly of melons. The steaming hot, wet leaves smelled like…….Nori seaweed sheets: http://www.stashtea.com/Yamamotoyama-Toasted-Nori-Sheets/dp/B006E9T566 , mildly cooling with gentle spinach-like aromas; until, at their coolest, having more of a starchy green bean aroma.
The cup was a light yellow, and only after cooling a bit, could I detect slight creamy and fruity notes. This light character in the cup was somewhat deceiving, as the flavors washed my tongue and palate. As the tea flowed over my taste buds, my expectations were awakened and surprised by the gentle, yet full mouthfeel as a delicious creamy sweetness greeted me. Melon-like notes of cantaloupe mingled in harmony with the delightfully sweet, creamy texture and flavor of this tea! :))
For my second cup, I used roughly 1.5 tsp of tea added to the previously steeped leaves. The steeping leaves truly reminded me of lightly buttered lima beans. The wet leaves still exhibited aromatics of seaweed (to a lesser extent), cooling to a dry green bean aroma. The cup was a little darker, and had a slightly more fruity nose. Flavors were similar, with a little more depth on my palate. This depth seemed to sharpen the fruity melon flavor a little, along with a delicate vegetal quality, while the tea still retained its sweet and smooth character.
Of the five pre-chingming teas I sampled, Snow Dragon is one I would seriously consider repurchasing. From the beautiful leaf to the aromas, to the gentle and very satisfying, smooth, sweet, fruity cup-this is a special tea! Snow Dragon is….in a word…SUBLIME! :))
Cupped & Reviewed: Thursday, May 24, 2012.