Okay, time to get another review out of the way and then head for bed. This was yet another early spring 2020 sipdown. I recall it being a tea I had been looking forward to trying for some time prior to actually making time for it. How did I end up liking it? Well, I enjoyed it tremendously. It actually exceeded my expectations. Though Qing Xin is a cultivar that is primarily used for oolong production, it actually is quite versatile, and while I was well aware of that prior to trying this tea, I was somewhat surprised to discover just how well it can work in the production of a green tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 158 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cream, custard, baked bread, grass, lilac, and snap peas. After the rinse, I detected aromas of butter and zucchini. The first infusion introduced aromas of lemon zest and asparagus. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented delicate notes of butter, cream, grass, zucchini, asparagus, and sugarcane that were chased by pleasant hints of custard, lemon zest, lilac, orange blossom, baked bread, violet, and sweet corn. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of cooked lettuce, spinach, cucumber, sweet corn, and lightly salty vegetable broth umami. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of lemon zest and sweet corn came out in the mouth alongside impressions of brothy umami, cooked lettuce, minerals, spinach, pear, green apple, yellow plum, and cucumber. I also picked up on hints of honey, vanilla, and seaweed. Notes of minerals, grass, cream, cooked lettuce, cucumber, spinach, brothy umami, and zucchini remained obvious as the tea faded, though they gave way to hints of butter, seaweed, lemon zest, honey, sugarcane, snap peas, and asparagus after each swallow.
While I wish that some of this tea’s lovely floral characteristics had been a little more apparent, I really could not find much else to fault with it. This was a truly lovely green tea from a place not typically renowned for its green tea production. The tea was aromatic, flavorful, balanced, firm, crisply textured, and very, very drinkable and relaxing. Overall, this offering was an absolute gem.
Flavors: Asparagus, Bread, Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Grass, Green Apple, Honey, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Lilac, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Pear, Plum, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Violet, Zucchini