Backlogging (so based almost entirely on my notes from late summer 2011; I think I previously had something written electronically and stored about this tea but it was accidentally deleted. Bummer.)
Experience buying from Harney & Sons http://steepster.com/places/2779-harney-and-sons-online-millerton-new-york
Age of leaf: I don’t have it in my notes, but I remember that all of the samples from H&S I bought over the summer of 2011 had a relatively recent lot # on them.
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Amazing. Looks like pine needles; the aroma was both very unusual and yet familiar, definitely fresh and good: possibly like pine needles?
Brewing guidelines: Loose in glass Bodum pot, Stevia added.
……….1st: 170; 1.5’
……….2nd: 172; 1.75’
< I only see two steepings in my notes, but I am certain I did at least four steepings, as I almost always do the first time I steep a new green >
Color and aroma of tea liquor: Light green, (and I don’t have it in my notes, but I think it had an aroma I really liked).
Flavor of tea liquor: Note after second steeping, “still incredible flavor, fresh, spring, incredible”
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: “looks fresh, smell eludes me: vegetal, but some other smell is beneath it, hiding from me!”
Value: VERY expensive ($20/oz), but definitely worth trying once as a sample (it was only $2, as all of their samples were, but now it’s either $3 or $4).
Overall: Based solely on memory, this was the most amazing green tea I have ever had. I have had nothing since to match it (although some of Verdant’s green teas come close). It was so amazing, when I originally sat down to write the review, sipping at it and taking in its amazing flavor, wrestling with how to describe it, I was moved to write this little piece (I had to really dig to find it, but thankfully I finally did. I think I made edits to a version of this that was lost. Again, bummer). I hope you will allow me to share it with you as a tribute to this incredible tea:
I imagine my wife and I, having wandered peacefully along a mountainous-forested path, discover ahead a clearing, and finally, a ridge. As we approach hand in hand we stop at the rim, and wonder at the beauty of the deeply forested mountain range that stretches away from us, quietly giving way in the distance to a hazy multicolored landscape as it meets the azure sky. Then, closing our eyes, we slowly and deeply take in the scent of pine, feeling the firm yet moist earth beneath our feet. And, upon hearing a beautiful song, we look out and into the windswept vista before us. Tiny movements catch our eye as we look skyward to witness the graceful song sparrow with her colorful mate, both spinning and weaving, freely trilling out their bliss at the wonder of the day as they soar up, up into the deep blue sky. And we, simple beings bereft of the gift of flight, allow ourselves to be transported with them, sharing in the simple joy of being alive.