From: http://steeptimes.blogspot.com/ (includes photos and links)
Today I’ll be reviewing a tea from Red Blossom (Congratulations on 30 years of business!). I purchased The Discovery Collection which comes with four sample teas, all of which I’ll review. I’ll be drinking the Pre-Rain Dragonwell 2015 today.
I’m at work while drinking this so I’ll be using my Adagio ingenuiTEA cup to infuse the tea and drinking from a regular ceramic coffee mug.
Here are some shots of the leaves.
They smell of straw/hay bales with a sweetness that lasts after you exhale. It has a soft smell that slowly fades. The color of the leaves are a mix of dark greens and browns. I’m not educated enough yet in Dragonwell to know what this might mean for taste later. The leaves mostly look full and have a quarter moon blade shape and are completely flat.
I brewed the tea as instructed by Red Blossom on the tea’s page.
The amount of tea might have not been right as I was just guesstimating. I heated the water to 175f and let the leaves steep for a few seconds beyond 1 minute. After I drained the ingenuiTEA I could smell a nutty sweet aroma coming from it with a slight wet straw smell. It reminded me of days spent working 12-14 hours on a farm to earn 3$ an hour! The aroma is soft and disappears from your nose quickly. 99% of the leaves remained floating during the infusion.
The color reminds me of a Granny Smith green apple (not the apple below) but a very light shade of it.
It’s a soft and gentle color. The aroma is soft and sweet with a nutty overtone. The fragrance disappears from your nose quickly leaving a small hint of hay mixed with a creamy butter smell behind. The aroma is soft like the color of the liquor. The taste of the arrival is sweet and nutty and feels buttery in your mouth. It then begins to transition into a slight and faint astringent straw finish. It is smooth and simple and doesn’t last long on my palate. I don’t get any throat or chest feel and over two steeping didn’t feel any qi or alertness. The taste stayed consistent throughout the full mug with a little bit of they straw taste slightly coming forward towards the end of the first steeping and was leaving a sweet and buttery aftertaste.
The 2nd steep lost a lot of flavor even after I wanted to push the tea a little.
I upped the temperature to 180 and brewed for 2 minutes. The sweet taste was almost gone and had transformed into a vegital flavor. I’m didn’t do a third steeping as a lot of the flavor had vanished.
I’m going to give this a shot using a gaiwan to see if I can push the flavor a little more and will post about any significant changes. I’d like to try and compare this to a Dragonwell I bought in Oakland Chinatown from Golden Tea Shop, which is also where I bought this gaiwan: