I got this absolutely divine tea in the mail, courtesy of Tea Vivre! I won 50 g in their review contest! Lucky Me!
This Nonpareil She Qian is the highest grade of Dragon Well, at least on the Tea Vivre site, and is roughly 10x the price of any other tea in my cupboard. Pure luxury! I feel like royalty! It also wins for “longest name”!
Opening the bag, the fresh nutty aroma sends me flying through the Gardens of Paradise on Dragon’s wings!! I don’t know what they put in this tea, but it makes me hiiiiiiiigghhhhhh….
The leaves are clearly different from the Premium Dragon Well and the Organic Superfine Dragon Well. This one has flat, glossy, pale green leaves, all the same length and shape. They are so smooth! This just LOOKS like a very fine tea! And did I mention the smell?? Divine!!
July 30, 2014
OK, here’s what happened… I’ve just deleted my original description, and am re-writing history. I’m going to re-publish this updated post. It’s my blog and I’ll delete if I want to.
I had a hard time getting the steep ‘just right’ on this tea. The package suggestions were way too long and too wrong, and despite the fact that I kept reducing the temperature and the steep time, it was coming up bitter every time. I knew that this tea was supposed to be exquisite, so I knew I was doing something wrong. Today, I finally got it right, and it is just pure ecstasy! Absolutely sublime!
I brewed one teaspoon of tea in a gaiwan, using filtered water. I didn’t rinse. I gave it a 30 second steep at about 80 degrees. The tea is extremely pale in colour, so you hardly know it’s tea. But the taste! OMG! Absolutely fantastic! It’s a clean, sweet, nutty flavour, reminding me of pistachio nuts… my favourite!
I leave the second steep for 40 seconds. Again, it’s a very clear tea. The taste is completely different! It’s richer and deeper. Amazing! The creamy pistachio/chestnut flavour is there, but over the top is now a gorgeous floral aroma that just…. wow… it’s bliss! I don’t even have words! The layers of flavour are in perfect harmony and the taste that lingers is a clean, airy, floral, chestnut… waaaaayyyyy beyond delicious!
Going for steep #3. I go for 55 seconds. Hmmm… very delicate and mildly nutty, and almost creamy. I think the perfume is actually stronger than the flavour now, but I just love that lingering nut flavour.
It took a while for me to understand this tea, but now that I’ve got it, this is definitely going to the top of my faves list! Do whatever you have to to get your hands on some. It’s worth every penny! But be gentle with it. Treat it with love, and the rewards are enormous! Too heavy handed, or careless, and you will ruin it! I think this tea, more than any other that I’ve tried, teaches me to respect the tea. It has its own will and its own way. If you learn to listen to the tea, it will guide you… you cannot bend it to your will, or your preconceptions. Oooohhhh… the Zen!
Organic Nonpareil Super Big THANK YOU to Tea Vivre for providing this elegant cup of heaven!