82

First flush teas are supposed to be highly prized but for me, the taste doesn’t always live up to the hype. Second flush greens and darjeelings are often more robust than early picked tea. Take for example this Imperial Grade Laoshan green tea. I tore through 25g of the “Classic” second flush version of the same tea in no time but I haven’t been able to muster the same enthusiasm for its 1st flush counterpart. This has the familiar vegetal notes of soybean, fennel/anise, and green bean however they were washed out and the tea had little depth of flavor. The anise note in particular is a little too strong at times bordering on astringent. I also get fewer steeps from this than I do from the Classic laoshan green tea.

Lesson learned, higher grade doesn’t necessarily translate to better taste and I’m happy that I can save money by buying second flush teas.

Flavors: Anise, Fennel Seed, Green Beans, Oats, Soybean

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
tanluwils

Good point. Late-spring harvested huang shan mao feng is one of my favorite greens. Have you tried YS’s Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai green tea? It’s probably the most robust of their greens.

eastkyteaguy

I have been arguing this for at least two years. If I recall correctly, I liked past year’s version of this tea slightly better than the classic second flush, but both were neck and neck to be honest. I would not have turned down either. On a similar note, I also recall a certain vendor and blogger slamming me because I expressed a preference for standard dragonwell over the more expensive and prized first pickings due to the more robust aroma and flavor of the later picked tea. Glad to know I am not the only one who sometimes prefers second flush over first flush.

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, I’ve tried a few of YS greens but with the exception of Laoshan green tea, I’ve found them to be a little more pungent, more aggressive than other Chinese greens. But I’m always up for new green tea recommendations and the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai looks interesting and is cheap to boot. I’ll save it for my next YS order.

@eastkyteaguy, my feelings towards dragonwell are pretty much the same as yours. I too prefer the heartier flavor of second picking. I no longer bother first flush dragonwell because it’s a little too delicate for my taste and just doesn’t justify the price it commands.

eastkyteaguy

I forgot to do so earlier, but I can also vouch for the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai. I am sure you are well aware that I am a huge fan of Yunnan green teas, but it really is an excellent tea. One great thing about it is that it is processed in such a way that extends its shelf life, so if you are looking for a green tea you can sit on for some time, it would be one with which to go.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, I have a problem, which is that there’s only 24 hours in a day which limits my tea consumption to one type per day (herbal in the evening). I’ve had some really nice second flush long jing that was still sophisticated and very thirst quenching. In general, fresh long jing is hard to beat.

@eastkyteaguy, the 2017 Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai was the best harvest I’ve had yet (I still remember how complex and refreshing it was). That tea has so much going for it. The only reason I didn’t purchase any this year was because I had already bought some gyokuro at Yuuki-cha.. :)

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, yeah the struggle is real to manage caffeine when tea is your hobby. I find myself grandpa steeping more often and moving to smaller tea ware so I can have have more than 1 tea session in day.

Sqt

I have the same problem with vendors acting all haughty when I mention that I prefer second flush darjeelings over first, and less bud heavy dianhongs. The most delicate and “technically superior” teas aren’t always the most pleasing, depending on personal taste and mood.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, using smaller-sized tea ware is a good idea. I’ve also been grandpastyle-ing it at work, so sometimes I can throw in another type of tea if I get started early enough.

@Sqt, it’s an interesting fact that oolongs and raw pu’er are intentionally harvested a bit later in the spring than typically bud-heavy teas in order to maximize flavor and ensure the leaves will take the abuse that’s incurred during processing.

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Comments

tanluwils

Good point. Late-spring harvested huang shan mao feng is one of my favorite greens. Have you tried YS’s Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai green tea? It’s probably the most robust of their greens.

eastkyteaguy

I have been arguing this for at least two years. If I recall correctly, I liked past year’s version of this tea slightly better than the classic second flush, but both were neck and neck to be honest. I would not have turned down either. On a similar note, I also recall a certain vendor and blogger slamming me because I expressed a preference for standard dragonwell over the more expensive and prized first pickings due to the more robust aroma and flavor of the later picked tea. Glad to know I am not the only one who sometimes prefers second flush over first flush.

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, I’ve tried a few of YS greens but with the exception of Laoshan green tea, I’ve found them to be a little more pungent, more aggressive than other Chinese greens. But I’m always up for new green tea recommendations and the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai looks interesting and is cheap to boot. I’ll save it for my next YS order.

@eastkyteaguy, my feelings towards dragonwell are pretty much the same as yours. I too prefer the heartier flavor of second picking. I no longer bother first flush dragonwell because it’s a little too delicate for my taste and just doesn’t justify the price it commands.

eastkyteaguy

I forgot to do so earlier, but I can also vouch for the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai. I am sure you are well aware that I am a huge fan of Yunnan green teas, but it really is an excellent tea. One great thing about it is that it is processed in such a way that extends its shelf life, so if you are looking for a green tea you can sit on for some time, it would be one with which to go.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, I have a problem, which is that there’s only 24 hours in a day which limits my tea consumption to one type per day (herbal in the evening). I’ve had some really nice second flush long jing that was still sophisticated and very thirst quenching. In general, fresh long jing is hard to beat.

@eastkyteaguy, the 2017 Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai was the best harvest I’ve had yet (I still remember how complex and refreshing it was). That tea has so much going for it. The only reason I didn’t purchase any this year was because I had already bought some gyokuro at Yuuki-cha.. :)

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, yeah the struggle is real to manage caffeine when tea is your hobby. I find myself grandpa steeping more often and moving to smaller tea ware so I can have have more than 1 tea session in day.

Sqt

I have the same problem with vendors acting all haughty when I mention that I prefer second flush darjeelings over first, and less bud heavy dianhongs. The most delicate and “technically superior” teas aren’t always the most pleasing, depending on personal taste and mood.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, using smaller-sized tea ware is a good idea. I’ve also been grandpastyle-ing it at work, so sometimes I can throw in another type of tea if I get started early enough.

@Sqt, it’s an interesting fact that oolongs and raw pu’er are intentionally harvested a bit later in the spring than typically bud-heavy teas in order to maximize flavor and ensure the leaves will take the abuse that’s incurred during processing.

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Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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