It’s time for me to celebrate another sipdown. I finished the last sachet of this tea shortly after I got up this morning. At this point, it doesn’t look like I will be able to completely clean out my hoard of stuff from Steven Smith Teamaker by the end of November, but I should be able to finish everything before the end of January.
I prepared this tea using a two step Western infusion process. I steeped 1 sachet of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 175 F water for 2 minutes. I then followed this infusion with a second infusion at 3 minutes. Note that this preparation method is a significant deviation from Steven Smith Teamaker’s recommended method (one infusion at 3 minutes in 190 F water).
Prior to infusion, the dry leaves produced a subtly sweet, mildly vegetal scent. After infusion, I picked up on aromas of oatmeal, toasted rice, corn husk, bamboo, asparagus, soybean, and snap peas. In the mouth, I detected the expected notes of oatmeal, toasted rice, corn husk, bamboo shoots, asparagus, soybean, and snap peas, though I also detected fleeting impressions of vanilla creme, malt, honey, hazelnut, and chestnut. The second infusion was very smooth and savory on the nose and in the mouth. I detected more pronounced aromas of corn husk and bamboo, as well as vanilla creme, oatmeal, toasted rice, malt, and nuts. Oddly, the vegetal scent was somewhat lacking. In the mouth, I got robust notes of vanilla creme, malt, toasted rice, oatmeal, honey, chestnut, and hazelnut up front. There was also a hint of minerality that was most noticeable toward the finish. I was just barely able to pick up on faint notes of bamboo and corn husk in the background.
This was an interesting Dragonwell. It was much sweeter, creamier, and maltier than expected. To me, it was a very savory green tea, though it lacked some of the more pronounced vegetal qualities I typically look for in a tea of this style. Still, I thought this was very good and very approachable. I do not think I would have much difficulty recommending it to fans of Dragonwell or newcomers to this type of green tea.
Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Peas, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla