This delicate Chinese green tea comes to us from the south of Anhui Province. Normally, Lu Mu Dan leaves are strung together and sold in a form that resembles a green peony flower, but this version is sold unbound like other standard Chinese green teas. Since Lu Mu Dan is not one of the more popular types of Chinese green tea, seeing one made available in such a nontraditional format is automatically eye-catching.
To prepare this tea for consumption, I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 175 F water for 2 minutes. I followed this with a second infusion lasting 2.5 minutes. I also tried slightly longer infusions (3 minutes, followed by 3.5 minutes) and the results were similarly pleasant. For the purposes of this review, I will only comment on the first preparation described above, but I will say that the longer infusions produced a slightly more focused and slightly more vegetal flavor.
The first infusion produced a light ecru cup with slight aromas of minerals, flowers, honey, and roasted vegetables. In the mouth, I picked up delicate notes of honey, nectar, flowers, and oddly enough, sorghum molasses underscored by notes of char, roasted Brussels sprouts, hay, and minerals. The second infusion produced a similarly light cup with a somewhat more honeyed nose. I noted slightly stronger notes of honey and nectar chased by slightly stronger notes of char, Brussels sprouts, hay, and minerals.
Overall, this is a solid enough green tea that should appeal to fans of lighter teas. Although I tend to prefer stronger, more vegetal green teas, this is unique. Do not be put off by the combination of flavors I noted, as this is the first tea that has given me some difficulty with identifying individual flavor components in a long time. Just know that no matter how strange it may seem, it kind of works, at least for me. I would say try it if you are looking to start experiencing some of the lesser known Chinese green teas or looking for a light green tea that shares some similarities with white teas.
Flavors: Char, Flowers, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Nectar, Roasted, Vegetal