This isn’t random actually, it’s Eco Cha’s Tsui Yu Jade Oolong. But for some reason a couple companies’ entries—Eco Cha, Vintage Tea Works—just won’t let me add to cupboard or write tasting notes; any time I try it just redirects me to my dashboard.
And it’s a shame here, because this tea is wonderful. I have this weird kitchen set-up where when the dishwasher’s on I can’t use my electric kettle (shorts the electricity) nor use the kitchen sink as a water source (our dishwasher hooks up to the faucet…I knew that’d be a huge pain and begged my husband to bother connecting it directly to the water tank but he wouldn’t, so here we are :b). This gets really annoying this time of year when by the time I have a guaranteed free moment for some real tea time right after dinner it’s hard because the dishwasher needs to be on doing the day’s load. I think I’ve figured out a decent solution for now though—I prewarm my king thermos and then fill it with the right temp water from my electric kettle, seal it nice and tight, get out the gaiwan and a tea meant for resteeping (so oolong or green usually), and then turn on the washer. As it does its thing I have a little private gongfu session. Very nice!
Anyway, got this as part of Eco Cha’s recent promotion. The site directions for gongfu brewing are kind of confusingly unusual, so I didn’t follow them exactly but did what I’m used to doing (quick rinse, more leaf and less water, short steeping times, a bit cooler than boiling). Figured if it wasn’t optimal and I should follow their directions I have enough left to do so. But I was pleased with my setup—the first few cups yielded a marvelous true-fresh-flower fragrance, a little like jasmine but also like honeysuckle or summer flowers. Remarkable stuff, not unlike some of Verdant’s best spring offerings (Hand-Picked Early Spring Tieguanyin, White Jasmine). The flavor is sweet and clean and slightly herbal, smelling a bit like clean hay as the flower scent tapers off. Eco Cha mentions this is great cold steeped, and I can definitely see that—it has a lot of the qualities the tastiest cold steeped green teas I had this summer (like Bilochun Green) have. It edges towards grassy as it cools, but the sweetness and true-flower aroma make that pleasant. In the middle of winter this is a fantastic way to transport yourself to a warm sunny field out in the country on a late spring or early summer day. This is a spectacular tea that merits the hype of the company’s copy. The price is quite reasonable considering the quality too—under $4 an ounce or (if I’m calculating right) about $1 a session.