We have another sample sipdown here. I received this with an order from Whispering Pines Tea Company sometime during the summer of 2016. I found it in the very back of one of my tea cabinets yesterday evening, enjoyed a couple of cups, and then finished the rest of it off this morning. It was a nice Laoshan green tea, though it lacked the fruitiness of some similar teas from other vendors.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick 3-4 second rinse (I don’t always rinse green and black teas, but felt like doing so here), I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 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 produced aromas of freshly cut grass, hay, soybean, peas, and spinach. After the rinse, the aforementioned aromas were joined by roasted grain and asparagus. The first infusion produced a more balanced bouquet with all of the elements listed above. I detected robust notes of freshly cut grass, peas, soybean, spinach, and hay underscored by less prominent notes of roasted grain and asparagus in the mouth. Subsequent infusions saw the grassiness and the pronounced soybean character mellow a little, as the notes of peas, spinach, and asparagus grew stronger. The roasted grain character began to remind me more of toasted rice at this point, while a subtle mineral presence began to pop up on the finish. The later infusions were mostly dominated by minerals and lingering traces of peas, asparagus, and toasted rice. Very faint impressions of soybean, hay, and grass could be found at times as well.
I have made it no secret that I tend to be a huge fan of Laoshan teas, but I have grown accustomed to Laoshan green teas that provide something of an underlying fruity sweetness. I did not find that characteristic in this tea. It was a very grassy, grainy, vegetal tea. I imagine that it would please fans of grassy, vegetal Chinese green teas, and while I found it to be a satisfying tea overall, I still cannot help feeling that it was missing just a little something.
Flavors: Asparagus, Freshly Cut Grass, Grain, Hay, Mineral, Peas, Soybean, Spinach, Toasted Rice