I needed a tea experience tonight. My husband wanted to know what I meant when I asked if he wanted to join me for a tea experience, and I told him, “You, me, the kid, on the floor with the tea tray and NO ELECTRONICS!”
But I had to choose a special tea to gong fu, and I really wanted to try something new. This one looked interesting, with its thin, twisted leaves that are such a dark green.
The first steep was really smokey. The company calls it toasted chestnuts and I’ll buy that. I don’t think I have ever had toasted chestnuts so I can’t say for sure. But definitely woody, nutty, toasty, and earthy come to mind. There is a long lasting aftertaste reminding me of the liquor from cooking mustard greens or turnip greens, a Southern favorite in the USA.
The second steep changes pretty remarkably. As the stronger flavors step back, a light floral taste comes forward – very light, with Southern greens still in play. My husband liked the second steep much better, and the kid did, as well. We plowed through four or five steeps and still wanted more tea, so I got fresh leaves and a new kettle of water and we started all over again.
This time I gave the leaves a ten second rinse to try to duplicate the taste of the second steep in the first. But even with the rinse the first steep had a lot of smokey flavor, which my husband noticed right away. After my “I told you so” we moved on to the resteeps again.
Again, these are earthy green and lighter. Husband and the kid say they enjoyed it, and preferred the later steeps over the first. I have to say that I enjoyed wending our way through all the flavors this tea had to offer.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: The Spice and Tea Exchange
Special grade of green tea produced in high-elevation gardens of Hubei, China. A smooth and mellow cup, with a sweet aroma and the slight flavor of toasted chestnuts.