[Autumn 2018 harvest]
I am treating myself to a special tea today, a competition grade TGY. Straight after opening the pouch, I can tell it’s a great one. It is the strongest smelling ball rolled tea I have encountered. The aroma reminds me of a conifer (spruce?) forest after summer rain, with some extra hints of cabbage. It is very “green” smelling. In a preheated pot, I get an unreasonably strong asparagus aroma, followed by apricot, apple and custard. Once the leaves open up, they exude a mixture of cooked vegetables (carrots predominately), lemon skin and later on throughout the session also cannabis.
The taste is very delicate, mineral and sweet. The first infusion has flavours of custard, cream, warm grass, spinach and fish broth. Second steep gets more metallic and vegetal, while the third one has a stronger umami flavour mixed with notes of melon and grape skins. I pushed infusions 4 and 5 a bit more and found them to be a little flatter in the flavour profile, but more spicy. Steep 6 is more grassy and has a new flavour which reminds me of courgette.
The aftertaste is slightly biting and quite crisp. It is floral and has a nice sour touch to it, nothing abrasive like so many of the lower grade TGY I have had. There are notes of seaweed, vanilla ice cream and moss too in the aftertaste. The sensation is warming at first, but becomes cooling in the throat after a while. The mouthfeel is generally very soft, velvety and lubricating with medium body.
As for the cha qi, it’s mild and very pleasant I’d say. It is quite body warming and mind focusing, as well as elevating.
This is undoubtedly the best TGY I have ever tried, it’s not even close. Now, the question is: Is it worth the price? I am not sure. I think maybe yes, as long as I haven’t found a comparable tea at a more competitive price. I don’t drink TGY often, but when I do, I would like to be able to drink this one. The 7g yielded about 1.3l of tea in 8 steeps, which is about what I would expect from a high grade TGY.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Apricot, Asparagus, Biting, Cannabis, Cream, Custard, Fish Broth, Floral, Grass, Green, Lemon Zest, Melon, Metallic, Mineral, Moss, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Rainforest, Seaweed, Spicy, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal, Zucchini