Thank you so much for the samples, Nannuoshan! I hope my reviews do these teas some justice.. I’m not the most eloquent writer. Already, I’ve noticed there are no steeping instructions on the site for my mug/brew basket infuser/ electric tea kettle type steeping, only for teapot & gongfu methods. So I’m already not able to follow the parameters, which I would have really liked to do. But Gabriele at Nannuoshan guided me to the best way of steeping them. On nannuoshan.org, a teapot method suggests 6grams of leaves for 500 ml of water. Since my mug holds about 350 ml of water, I will use half the sample and fill the mug 2/3 of the way with water, for all Nannuoshan samples. To get the right temperature, I also boil the kettle and wait the amount of time for the water to cool, so waiting 30 minutes after boiling the water should give me a steep temperature of 176 degrees. The steep time on the site also seems a bit long for these teas… I want to follow Nannuoshan’s instructions but I really want to get the best taste possible. I won’t be explaining this every time I review a Nannuoshan tea, but I thought I should the first time. I’m not sure I’m what Nannuoshan is looking for in an official Nannuoshan tea reviewer (I didn’t know that’s what they were looking for when they sent out samples) but I would like to do the best job I can reviewing the teas they sent to me.
To the tea…
I loved the idea that this tea was planted around fruit trees and the fruit influences the flavor of the tea. The dusty green and white dry leaves are actually surprisingly fine and coiled. As I’m accustomed to a Bi Luo Chun looking, but with smaller bundles. The steeped leaves in the brew basket are actually uniform colored and sized green leaf shapes. It’s almost magic that the leaves can transform like that. I filled the mug halfway, added 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves to the brew basket, and added some more water to make the mug 2/3 full. The flavor of this bright yellow brew is a fantastic green tea. Anything over a three minute steep for this brew method was almost too much. There was a hint of astringency, but nothing that ruins the other complex flavors. It certainly tastes fruitier and sweeter than your average green tea. At first, there is a creamed corn vegetal flavor. Then buttery and nutty notes are consistent through the cup, with a brothy aftertaste. A light pineapple note goes along with the sweet fruity flavors. I don’t think there would be as many fruit notes in the cup if they hadn’t been grown next to fruit trees. Green teas are not usually this noticeably fruity to me. I like that the flavors of this one are so complex and the different flavors are all equally represented. It makes for a delicious, unique cup! The following steeps might not have as much complexity to the flavor, but the first steep was perfect. This tea rates very high up there with my favorite green teas.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp// 12 oz mug filled 2/3 // 32 minutes after boiling (should be 176 degrees)// 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 30 min after boiling // 3 min
Flavors: Broth, Butter, Fruity, Nutty, Pineapple, Sweet, Vegetal