Wow! I think I am the luckiest girl on earth! Today I met my new class (17 Chinese students) for the first time. We played a name game to get to know everyone. I told my new students that I love tea and I write a blog about tea. When we came back from break, one of my students brought me this beautiful gift of Huang Shan Maofeng Tea from his Grandfather’s estate in China! What?!?!? That’s crazy awesome! My student told me that he is here studying English because he wants to go on and study marketing – so that he can develop this tea brand and market it all over the world! How cool is that! You just never know who’s going to show up in your classes!
So, in my stunned amazement, I neglected to ask the name of the company… hence the “tba” in the title. Must ask student tomorrow! Anyway, I’ve brought it home, and I’ve opened it up, and the aroma coming from the bag is just heavenly! It is fresh, and green… nutty (chestnuts and pistachios), grassy, a wee bit smoky, and is just making me happy as I sit here sniffing. The leaves are little wiry twists of a leaf and a bud, and coated in fine white hairs.
I steep a whole pile at 80 degrees for about 40 seconds. I’m afraid of oversteeping it. I tend to ruin green teas, thinking they aren’t strong enough… and then steeping them too long! I’m treating this one gently! The tea smells sweet with notes of hay and nuts.
The first sip is wow! Just beautiful! I got it just right! There is a gorgeous warm, grassy sweetness like fresh straw baskets, or tatami. There is a delicate nuttiness like chestnuts or water chestnuts. And, there is a wee touch of earth, or smoke that just gives a little bit of solidity and roundness to the flavour. It’s not all air, and it’s not all earth… it’s a really beautiful, clean, sweet taste. The aftertaste leaves a sweet creaminess that is just fantastic! I need more!
The second steep, at 30 seconds is just as clean and clear. OMG! This one has a more developed depth of flavour… sweet, hay, grass, and something else… like creamed corn… it’s a bit creamy, a little fragrant, and a little buttery. There is no astringency at all. I would have another cup, but at 10:30 PM, I’m getting a bit worried about bedtime!
I must seriously thank my student for this wonderful gift! This is a beautiful, sweet, clean, and flavourful tea that I will be delighted to drink as often as possible. I think I will brew some up for the whole class! It’s just excellent! Aren’t I lucky?!