To set the scene, yesterday in Minneapolis was perfectly sunny, just hot enough to make you move a bit more slowly than usual. Humidity was hanging in the air, and the smell of grass and new flowers was wafting in the windows. The fan was on low with a soothing hum in the background. That is when the last box of our spring shipment arrived at the door, and we cut it open to see those vacuum sealed shining gold bags of Tieguanyin.
We had ordered enough Spring Tieguanyin to last a few months, or so we thought when our last batch came in. It sold out in two weeks and we had to rush ship the freshest picking of Tieguanyin in this week. The sensible side of me thought, “this batch will surely taste like the last one,” but the trained taster knew that a few weeks difference in picking time can make a huge difference in flavor. Luckily Weiwei never lets us down with Tieguanyin, so we were not nervous at all to cut open the first bag.
The aroma of creme brulee, saffron, lilac, and flaky pastry burst forth from the bag. Oh, yes, this was something different entirely. The first steeping was juicy, and had the fruity tones of goji berry. There was a tingling spearmint sweetness on the tongue. This was an exciting tea!
That is where it took a sharp turn towards rich and creamy. It really tasted like a saffron and almond laced rice pudding reduced on the stovetop for hours. It was silky and completely enveloping. If the last batch was the essence of a sunny spring day, then this is a later spring day in the afternoon right after a heavy downpour of rain with steam rising off the grass and flowers.
As soon as the orchid flavors, the sweet parsley green notes, the mango juiciness and the vanilla came in, we were in real trouble. It was the first time since college that I had an overwhelming desire to play hooky, ditch work for the day and go pick flowers along the Mississippi River. Seriously- be careful with this one. I was so close to skipping off with a bag of this tea in hand, pulling my wife from work for a “family emergency” and taking off. The tea just does that to you.
Luckily, I came back to my senses despite my strong desire not to. Why, you ask? Because I wanted to get this tea, and the new spring greens up on the site so that I can share the experience around. It wouldn’t be fair to hoard this tea ll to myself, as much as I might want to. I would rather see other people connect with the tea instead.
All the support for our Tieguanyin here on Steepster has really shaped the way that Weiwei sources it. I pass on all the compliments, and she feels more honor-bound to follow up with an even more stunning tea each season. I am not always sure why the farmers part with tea like this, but I am more than pleased to share the tasting experience.