For some people, the first flowers unfolding, or the smell of wet earth mark for the senses the true beginning of spring. For me, it is the taste of the fresh spring harvest Tieguanyin. This one was certainly one of the most beautiful yet. The first picking we got in was very floral, sweet and tingling, light and “spring-like.” When that ran out we got a second harvest that was more creamy, more rich, and fruity, like spring edging in to summer.

Yesterday our latest shipment of tea arrived with 18 pounds of the most recent picking of Tieguanyin from early summer. We have never had the chance to try a late spring / early summer picking from this farm because last year our spring harvest lasted all the way through to autumn. This year the tea is so popular that we ordered more. I am so glad we did.

The taste of this Tieguanyin is fully within the spectrum of summer. My tasting notes include warm mist, chilled cream, sweet green beans, velvety young grass, saffron unfolding to lychee, slivered almond, amaretti cookies, amber incense, and Redwood bark. Very interesting tea with an aftertaste that builds up with a tingling sensation on the tongue over several steepings.

The exciting thing is that for the next 2-3 weeks we will have both the early spring and late spring Tieguanyin available. If you loved the early spring harvest, stock up soon, as it won’t be replaced with the same tea. If you are looking to try something new, wait for our Friday 12 noon CST release of the new Tieguanyin to be the first to try it.

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I fell in love with tea while doing work on classical Chinese language in China. I loved it so much that I went back for a year to research tea instead! Over a year and several summers in China I have had the chance to train in gongfu tea ceremony, and test the limits of my palate in tasting competitions. I was privileged to spend large chunks of time with farmers on their tea gardens, and was exposed to some of the smallest and most honest operations out there. It only made sense to go into business and deepen my relationship with tea and the farmers who make it with such care and humility. Now I own a small, but unique tea business importing the best teas that my farmer friends in China have to offer. Some of these teas are from regions that have never exported before. All of them have a story.

I will review teas on Steepster, because I think this is an awesome site, and a great community, but I won’t give them a numerical rating, as I don’t want to skew the system. I am having a great time here, and look forward to meeting more tea folk.


Minneapolis, MN


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