Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Jingshan is a little-known mountain village in Yunnan province that has quietly been producing some of the best green tea out there. Anyone who enjoys the more delicate Chinese greens like Dragonwell, will love these sun-dried downy buds. The aroma of the leaves evokes lime, basil and sweet grass. Steeped, the tea is perfectly clean, bright and almost sparkly. It has a distinctly fruity sweetness, and tangy aftertaste. It shares some of the thicker sweet asparagus flavor of matcha powder, but without the intense grassiness. Overall, this is an extremely cleansing tea, and a great way to start off a day, especially brewed up in a glass cup to watch the leaves unfurl.
On Steepster, several of the drinkers of this tea talk of this tea dancing. They pour hot water into a tumbler, sprinkle the dry leaves on top, and wait for the leaves to dance. I steeped my tea in a gaiwan, so I missed the dance, but, even though I missed the opening act, I am thoroughly enjoying the main event – the brewed tea.
The first two infusions of this tea are light and sweet. There is a clean, crispness to the cup. The above description suggests a “sparkly” kind of taste to this, and I am getting that too. I taste a sweet and tangy kind of fruit flavor that is almost citrus-y, a flavor that is further emphasized a moment or two after the other flavors have subsided in the aftertaste. This does have a vegetative flavor but it is not a strong one, and I wouldn’t categorize it as grassy tasting. It is more like the flavor of a sweet, steamed vegetable.
The next two infusions delivered slightly less of the sweetness. This is still a pleasantly sweet green tea, but it just isn’t quite as sweet. In it’s place, I get more of that sparkle – it is very crisp and vibrant. There is some change to the vegetative flavor as well, this is less of a sweet taste, and more of a savory vegetable.
For the final two infusions, I notice a little more sharpness here than in the first four infusions. Not at all an unpleasant sharpness, but more like the tea leaves saying “all right, I’ve been soft, sweet, and smooth with you, and now it’s time for some serious tea flavor.” I taste more of a “Dragonwell” flavor from these two infusions than with the first four, it is more vegetative, less sweet (but there is still some sweetness weaving its way throughout the sip), and a bit more astringency than in the first four infusions.
Of the six infusions, these last two infusions taste more like green tea to me than the first four, if that makes sense. The first two were especially sweet and really tasted nothing like “green tea” as I might’ve expected it to. That is to say, it didn’t have a strong grassy tone. It was mild, sweet, and lightly astringent. With the subsequent infusions, I notice more of a savory tone emerge while the sweeter tones retreat slightly.
Overall, a very pleasant green tea, one of the very best I’ve ever had the opportunity to taste – if I were making a list, this one would be in my top 3!