Going back to school is such a pain. I was looking forward to it so much, and now with classes starting Monday, I’m dreading it more and more. I also keep looking at my now barely manageable backlog of tea reviews and feel extreme trepidation with regard to the process of getting them all posted. I suppose I may as well start here since I have not reviewed a green tea in about a month. I think I finished a pouch of this tea back around the end of April or start of May. I can’t be sure at this point. I tend to love the Laoshan green teas Yunnan Sourcing offers, and no surprise, I loved this one. As a matter of fact, I am more than a bit shocked that this tea only has two prior reviews and that it’s reception to this point has been so mixed. In my opinion, this was an excellent green tea and a slight step up from its sister offering, the Laoshan Classic Green Tea from Shandong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed 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, I detected pleasant, fully-formed aromas of grass, soybean, seaweed, and roasted walnut. After the rinse, I found a stronger soybean scent and new aromas of toasted rice and spinach, though the latter was rather subtle. The first infusion then introduced scents of bamboo and sugarcane along with a hint of roasted chestnut. The tea liquor offered notes of soybean, grass, spinach, seaweed, and bamboo that soon faded to reveal impressions of sugarcane, toasted rice, and surprisingly enough, both honey and butter. Subsequent infusions revealed belatedly emerging impressions of roasted chestnut and roasted walnut as well as stronger sugarcane and honey notes. Squash blossom, umami, mineral, nectar, lettuce, and asparagus impressions emerged as well. The final infusions offered lingering mineral, grass, umami, and butter impressions underscored by hints of nectar, sugarcane, seaweed, and toasted rice.
Though this tea did not offer anything out of the ordinary for a Laoshan green tea, it was extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Compared to its aforementioned sister tea, it demonstrated a bit more smoothness and staying power while also displaying admirable depth and complexity for a tea of its type. I cannot fault this one much at all. It definitely made me want to try this year’s version, though I doubt I will be able to spend much more on tea this year. Definitely give Yunnan Sourcing’s Laoshan green teas a chance if you are at all interested in Shandong teas. I doubt they will disappoint.
Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Butter, Chestnut, Grass, Honey, Lettuce, Mineral, Nectar, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Umami, Walnut