I’m not actually sure what year this is from but I’m pretty sure that it is 2014. I have a lot of teas at the moment so I am trying to drink my stash down to more manageable levels.
“I’m not actually sure what year this is from but I’m pretty sure that it is 2014. I have a lot of teas at the moment so I am trying to drink my stash down to more manageable levels.” Read full tasting note
“I had an absolutely lovely gong fu session with Dinosara this afternoon- my first gong fu experience ever! We began with this tea, since she had been raving about it so much, and I found the...” Read full tasting note
“Last year’s early spring picking, completely unopened (#23). I think I had been waiting until I finally finished my 2013 pickings, which I did recently. I’m only a year behind on my pickings; guess...” Read full tasting note
“As Verdant suggested, I started with a rinse, then did several steeps, starting with 15’ and increasing by 15’ each time. The pale liquor was green and vegetal, the leaves just short of neon green....” Read full tasting note
On our last spring trip to China, we were lucky enough to meet Master Zhang, a native of Anxi and lifetime Tieguanyin farmer. In mid-April, the very earliest harvests were just being finished. We sat in Master Zhang’s family home and drank the early Spring harvest just three days after he finished it. The early spring Tieguanyin from Master Zhang’s 1000+ meter terraced mountain tea fields in Daping, Anxi has a fresh vibrant quality unlike any Tieguanyin we have tried before.
While most Tieguanyin is simply floral, this early spring harvest tastes bright, wild and engaging with juicy lychee & nutty almond, buttery saffron and full cream. The body of this tea is as creamy as can be, full and thick with vanilla notes. The creamy body lingers on the palate in the aftertaste.
The floral lilac notes of this Tieguanyin are balanced with notes of juicy fruit and citrus like candied guava, sweet tangerine or key lime and even blood orange pudding. In third and fourth steepings, the florals seem to blossom on the palate, leaving behind caramel sweetness and engaging hints of schisandra berry. Sipping this tea is uniquely refreshing and quenching, an exciting embodiment of this unique, early spring harvest, picked a full three weeks before the majority of the crop.
Master Zhang’s tea fields stretch across the side of a mountain that is almost always covered in mist. It is so high up that the day we visited, it was actually in a cloud. The spring water feeding the tea is pristine, crystal clear and sweet as sugar. You can pick leaves right off of Mr. Zhang’s tea plants and eat them fresh, revealing the sweet, pure chlorophyl-packed nature of his tea. Master Zhang and all the farmers in his hillside in Daping are committed to fully organic farming techniques. The fresh flavor of the tea shows off their hard work.
Company description not available.
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I had an absolutely lovely gong fu session with Dinosara this afternoon- my first gong fu experience ever! We began with this tea, since she had been raving about it so much, and I found the normal spring picking so lackluster. We used our aroma cup sets from Tea Ave throughout.
She started with a short rinse, then a first steep of 5 seconds, adding 5 seconds to each subsequent steep.
First steep: I got the impression of flower pollen on this one, with a vague sweetness and creaminess.
Second steep: Sweeter, with the sweetness starting to stick on my tongue like a good oolong should. The flavor is more like the petals of fruit trees, but still diffuse.
Third steep: This is the first steep that the aroma cup really contributed to- lilacs! A full nose of lilacs! The flavor overall is much more of a fresh springy floral.
Fourth steep: The florals are still everlasting, but a buttery note to both the aroma and the flavor has crept in. I can feel the minerals on the way.
Fifth steep: A sweet steamed veggie flavor has arrived. Dinosara related that once the veggie flavors creep in, that is pretty much the end of the flavors for a tie gwan yin. But it was still delicious.
Compounded steeps: We each drank one small cup of each steep, but her gaiwan was big enough for two cups each, so we dumped the leftovers into a larger mug and finished it off later. This was the “steep” that was my favorite. All the flavors of the above steeps compounded lead to a much more complex cup. Sweet and buttery, with tons of floral notes and sweet minerals lingering on your tongue. Truly delicious. I will be pre-ordering some!
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Sweet, Vegetal
Last year’s early spring picking, completely unopened (#23). I think I had been waiting until I finally finished my 2013 pickings, which I did recently. I’m only a year behind on my pickings; guess I shouldn’t order any of the spring picking this year, and maybe next year I will actually be ready to order fresh oolong and drink it.
Today I did a lazy man’s gongfu. I didn’t feel like the whole rigamarole so I did a bunch of gaiwan steeps but dumped them all into a big 16oz mug to drink together. It was amazing, as I would expect. Sweet, floral, like oolong candy. Mmmmm. Honestly I didn’t spend too much time thinking about this one while I drank it (too busy knitting and re-reading Game of Thrones), but it was very similar to the amazing 2013 early spring picking.
As Verdant suggested, I started with a rinse, then did several steeps, starting with 15’ and increasing by 15’ each time. The pale liquor was green and vegetal, the leaves just short of neon green. It didn’t really hit its stride until the third or fourth steep, with a soft, though not buttery, mouth feel. I’m no oolong maven, but this seems like a good exemplar of its type. If I wanted to introduce someone to tieguanyin, this is what I’d give them. It doesn’t knock my socks off, but it’s really solid.
Flavors: Green, Nutty, Vegetal
I asked my husband what type of tea he wanted tonight, he said 0olong, so I asked gongfu?or gaiwan? He said Gongfu. My next question was green oolong? Or dark oolong? He went for green. And without the blink of an eye I went to my tea shelves and pulled this one down. I wise choice, I believe.
The oolong balls are small/medium in size with some stray leaves amongst them. They are a dark/medium green colours and have a toasted grass and sweet hay scent.
I can taste grass, toasted nuts (chestnut if I had to pick), sweet flowers (lily) and cream. All before a mineral (kale) after taste with some dryness.
Further steeps bring out a more floral side than previously and with more cream. Now there is a bouquet of floral flavours: lily, violet, gladiola, honeysuckle. It’s as though it’s turned into a different tea part way through. Not better, nor worse…just different.
A rather complex Tie Guan Yin that became more complex and flavourful with each steep. As nice as it was I did note some holes and mild discolouration on the leaves once they had opened up post-steep.
Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Grass, Toasted
Marco Polo TTB
I’m assuming this year’s is the one in the package, although no year is specified.
The name of this tea makes me wonder. I always assumed that most all tea is hand picked, but I guess not? Hehe, that gave me a vision of someone using some sort of lawn mower type contraption to cut leaves. But doesn’t tea grow on trees? =P
The taste of this is light, and I would say that it’s slightly faded a little. The dried leaves were tightly curled into little caterpillar like shapes. They didn’t fully unfurl until the second steep, but those leaves were quite large! Maybe an inch and a half from tip to stem.
As I said though, the taste was somewhat faded for me. The liquor was a pale green and turned more yellow as the steep grew longer. It was faintly sweet and faintly floral, just pretty light all around even when I just let it sit in the cup, it was still quite light. The taste was actually rather one sided for me, but I can’t even tell you want that note is.
The mouthfeel is not full, nor creamy, but it leaves a satisfying finish, clean.
A tea to sake the thirst, but not one that leaves me guessing, or really wanting more.
I made a pumpkin bread with cranberries. It looks quite pretty. I was hoping that this tea would be a robust enough to drink with it, but I guess I’ll have to go look for something a bit heartier.
I got one steep into a gongfu session with this and then realized I was far too busy and distracted.
Rinse and then a 6 second steep.
So far, very, very lovely. Intensely floral, very light, with notes of fruit and hay.
I’m going to set these leaves aside to dry and steep them more another day.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay
I recently ordered an ounce of this tea.
Its certainly a good quality tea as usual with verdant. For some reason the dry leaf aroma and and potency of aroma and flavor of the tea itself was not nearly as strong as early spring tieguanyin that I have had from verdant a few years back. I suppose this could be due to many factors, including the time that passed between harvest and when I sampled the tea, as well as temperature influences during shipping.