Another great tea sample from Nicole! Yay! Super thanks for this.
what I wrote on FB earlier:
“think Robert gave me his durn cold (this always happens but I always act like somehow I can avoid the inevitable if I just try hard enough, alas), got the classic itch in my throat. worked like a demon early this morning so hopefully i can do a protracted gongfu tea brewing session this afternoon (someone on steepster sent me a buncha verdant oolongs, oh baby) before he comes home (and before the cold renders me tea-dumb).”
So here I am. I’m still very clumsy/ungraceful about doing things gongfu—the job gets done I guess, but with zero artfulness on my behalf alas—but I love how it forces you to really respect and pay full attention to your tea. And I am getting better at using a gaiwan without looking ridiculous, so there’s that.
In the brewing video for this one, David’s not kidding about the aroma and explosion of spring in this one. Growing up with the lilac festival in Rochester every year, this one really spoke to me as there’s tons and tons of true-floral aroma, especially of lilacs. The awesome thing is despite being very floral and spring-y, this tea is not wimpy at all. It has a lot of backbone, with some sweet, fresh-cut grass (as opposed to the harsh, older grassiness in some Japanese greens), just a little bit of hay, and pine! Reminds me of summers as a kid hiking and canoeing in Vermont around B&B country (my parents had close friends up there), farmhouses with straw in the yard and wooden bridges and rocky caverns and streams of cold, rocky but sweet water. There’s also a creamy sweetness to this which comes as a surprise with the upfront floral elements. That vanilla-y aspect lingers and grows, which is lovely and tied up with those Vermont memories in that our friends ran an antique shop with a candy store within, so this conjures up the smell of those creamy caramels along with everything else Vermont. More mineral comes out after a few steepings as well, along with a mysterious element I can’t quite name, something more savory than sweet, heady and frankly a little sexy…hm. Saffron’s listed on the site, and I can see how that might be what I’m sensing. Whatever it is I really like it, and to go into detail would possibly be TMI it’s so alluring, ha. Appropriate for spring, let’s just say.
If you could bottle these exact aromas as a perfume, with their depth and evocation and gradually unfurled complexity, I’d wear it, and I hate perfume. It would have all of that going on yet also the freshness (and mysterious flowers-and-the-whole-world’s-getting-it-on sexiness) that’s here too.
Definitely worth doing gongfu style.