2018 Autumn Laoshan Pine Needle Green / Verdant Tea

Laoshan.

A mountainous area on the east side of China. South east of Beijing and due north of Shanghai.

My appreciation for Chinese and Japanese tea is higher than that of others after visiting both countries. What I acknowledge more than anything now though is a family tea farm, such as the He family that grows, harvests, and processes this tea.

Flavors of vegetal, sweet grass, almost a lettuce type of flavor are heavy on the palette. It finishes with an interesting sweet note. They reference a light herbaceous cooling in the aftertaste in the letter that came with the tea box.

I wish I could explain this to you but it literally has a cooling feeling with a flavor of a bunch of mixed herbs.

Also worth a mention is the dry smell and look. Called Pine Needle green because it resembles a pine needle. The leaves they use require plumper leaves due to the process this tea goes through to receive the pine needle look.

They require a bit more work than other green teas. The smell, though fleeting, was an intense waft of vegetal and grassy bliss. If you enjoy green teas I highly suggest giving this one a try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Description

This innovative tea is first carefully curled before being pulled straight – all by hand. The result is a delicate, nuanced, and flavorful brew that lasts through multiple steepings. He Qingqing loves the way the leaves dance in a glass pitcher for brewing and the way that the hand finishing shows off Laoshan’s delicate deep-green buds and leaves at a glance. This tea is fed by mountain spring water, picked by hand, and cultivated sustainably using traditional chemical-free farming techniques including growing rows of soybean between rows of tea to restore nitrates to the soil. The extreme northern climate means cold winters and short growing seasons, but the He Family perseveres, protecting their tea in greenhouses over the winter. The result is a deeply sweet and delicate green tea unlike any other in the world. This year’s harvest is particularly notable for the deep minerality that shows off Laoshan’s rocky soil.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bi Luo Chun/Beantown Tea. . . .

Beantown Tea describes this green tea as “resembling snail meat,” but don’t let that deter you. Put the snail thing aside and give this a try.

This green tea is on the very airy end of green, practically a white. In fact, some of the balls’ coloring is white, and fuzzy, which means it was plucked early in the season.

The flavor’s balances green and white: a mix of earth, leaves, pollen, and electricity.

This tea tastes like a moon setting and dawn’s birds chirping. It tastes like waking up very, very early for an event and walking toward your car in the meandering morning breeze, everyone asleep around you. It’s being the only person at the intersection at 5 a.m.

I got this tea from Etsy, and there was a mix-up with my address (my fault, not theirs). The customer service, I have to let you know, was TOP-NOTCH. They followed up and offered to send me a follow-up package right away — even though the mistake was NOT their fault. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE. (The second package wasn’t necessary; the post office on my end figured out what to do. It arrived safely.)

Thumbs-up on this one. I have another one I’m going to try in the next week or so!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Beantown Tea and Spices

Description

Bi Luo Chun is regarded as one of the best green tea China offers. It brews a refreshing cup that is floral, slightly earthy with nutty notes.  Bi Luo Chun literally means “green snail spring”. It is called “green snail spring” because it is a green tea that is hand rolled into a tight spiral, resembling snail meat, and is plucked and produced early spring. The annual productions span of the Bi Luo Chun is very short. It is picked between the Spring Equinox (end of March) and Qing Ming (early April). Our ‘Choral Bi Luo Chun’ tea is made from the finest tender buds, gathered and processed exclusively by hand.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Dragon!/52Teas. . . .

The Dragon! is a blend of Chinese Dragonwell tea and Japanese Sencha. It is blended with marshmallow root and lime, blackberry, and raspberry.

I have tried a lot of flavored green teas that frustrate me no end. The flavors will be nicely done but there is something grating about the green base. I wish I could tell what exactly it is that puts me off, but I only know to describe it as a sour taste and I have found it across brands and price ranges. My heart breaks a little when a tempting blend of wonderful flavors turns out to be ruined by whatever base it is that I dislike.

This blend, however, is LOVELY. Since the green base I dislike has an effect like pure unsweetened lime stabbing my tongue I thought I may not like this one, and that it might be too astringent. Instead, it is quite smooth and drinkable, not bitter or sour, and the flavorings are very little and amiable.

I find the berries flavors to dominate and the lime is quite subtle. It is sweet and fluffy and goes down quick and smooth.

This tea was a special blend for the anniversary celebration of 52teas. It is not available at present, but check them out for scrumptious teas that are!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Turmeric Glow/Pukka. . . .

I bought this on a recommendation. The person who recommended it did not say it was delicious. She said it had turmeric in it and she liked that for health reasons. Also, you can steep it for fifteen minutes with no harm done, and she forgets that she is steeping tea a lot. So win/win. Ha ha!

So I bought it! I saw the three main ingredients listed on the front and figured there was only a little turmeric (maybe) and surely the lemon covered up the turmeric. Then I looked at the full ingredient list, the proportions, and the instructions. Boiling water on green tea? Fifteen minutes? Okay, I am going to trust you, Pukka! Don’t let me down!

My eyes grew wide at the full list. Silly me, thinking it was just turmeric (40%), lemon, and green tea (20%). There is cardamom, lemon verbena, and licorice root as well. I made a small pot using three teabags. I didn’t go for a full fifteen minute steep, but having tried this tea, I think you definitely can. When I poured my first cup, the color was already a rich gold. Howdy, turmeric!

My eyes grew wide at the full list. Silly me, thinking it was just turmeric (40%), lemon, and green tea (20%). There is cardamom, lemon verbena, and licorice root as well. I made a small pot using three teabags. I didn’t go for a full fifteen minute steep, but having tried this tea, I think you definitely can. When I poured my first cup, the color was already a rich gold. Howdy, turmeric!

My youngest daughter is drinking this with me. She doesn’t get the broth comparison. She says it just tastes savory to her and she likes it. And I suppose I like it, too. But I feel a strong compulsion to add rice and carrots and onions.

Bottom line – 1. I can drink this easily to see if the turmeric will do me as much good as friends tell me it does for them. 2. I will almost certainly try using it in cooking. I think it would be awesome for a small pot of soup. And 3. it will be fantastic when you are sick because it has a rich and savory satisfying flavor for when you don’t really feel like eating.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Pukka

Description

Golden turmeric – the queen of protective herbs whose nourishing yellow sustains life’s majestic glow. This is a tea to celebrate life – lemon fruit, aromatic cardamom and whole leaf green tea expertly blended with one of nature’s most powerful herbs. The elegance will leave you feeling renewed as each cup lets you don turmeric’s shield.

A golden tea that will colour your life but not your teeth. Good news for bringing a golden glow to your day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lily Yin Hao/Simple Loose Leaf. . . . .

This is a green tea with lily blossoms. The blossoms stand out as a gorgeous orange against the deep, mossy green and white needle twists.

The resulting flavor is light, with a delicate vegetal tang. I think that I can taste trace amounts of the flowers, but this might be in my head because I saw them. The tea is a bit astringent, and leaves a light aftertaste.

I think it’s a pleasant way to start a morning. It’d go nicely with some meditation or the reading of a compelling nonfiction book. (I always associate green tea with spirituals, yogis, and intellectuals.)

Lily-infused tea is “thought to help with blood pressure,” which sounds dubious (SHOW ME THE PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES), but I feel very mellow today as I sip it. Very nice.

This is part of my last box of Simple Loose Leaf’s sample box, and I must say, I’ve been pleased with the offerings overall. It’s a fairly inexpensive box (as they go), with varied options. I feel pretty comfortable recommending the service if you’re interested in sampling a few different options without fully committing to full-size servings, un-tasted.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company

Description

This tea was part of Simple Loose Leaf Tea Co’s monthly tea subscription.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!