Indonesia Harendong Twisted Green Tea: the tea that made me fall in love with green tea. Gentle, exquisitely balanced, easy to brew. Light sweetness, smooth texture, rounded mouthfeel, that Harendong cleanness, the slightest bit of floral and vegetal — this tea is all of these and yet in other ways none of them, since they harmonize so perfectly that no single characteristic announces its presence.
Even now that I have embraced — even craved — astringency, bitterness, smoke, and other acquired (for me) tastes and sensations, it is wonderful to return to this tea. I’m excited by the comparable exoticism of teas that I once ran from, like the Vietnamese greens Fish Hook and Wild Tiger Monkey, yet still delighted by a quiet evening with Harendong Twisted Green.
Alistair recommends 75°C / 167°F water for this tea. My Zojirushi’s 175°F setting may seem like it’d be close enough, but on the occasions that I’ve forgotten to cool the water before pouring it over the leaves, I have noticed that the hotter temperature results in a hint of sharpness and a thinner mouthfeel. All is not lost, but I do prefer to first cool the water: I dispense the 175°F water first into a pitcher or teacup, wait a few seconds, and then pour it into the teapot.
Western is my usual brewing method for this tea. I use a glass teapot, one heaping tsp or two flatter tsp of leaf, 5-6 oz of water, and 1 min to start. My most recent session went 4 steeps, though I’ve done more at other times. I’ve also tried 3g in a 150ml ruyao teapot, which I enjoyed also, and for a larger number of steeps.