First of all, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people at Teagini for making this tea review happen. They have given me the opportunity to try so many different teas over the past few days. If you get a chance, you should check out some of their stuff. Many of the teas are quite rare, and difficult to find elsewhere.
This tea comes to us from Qian Dao, literally translated as 1,000 islands because of the 1,000 mountains that encircle the land. This area is known for its beautiful scenery and for Qiandao lake, which is one of the best places for planting tea. The tea here is organic, pollution free and it is very mild. The weather here stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, which makes it a great environment to grow some awesome tea.
Qian Dao Yu Ye Tea is translated as Jade Leaf tea because the leaves are as green and as precious as Jade. Unlike other green teas of this region, the Qian Dao Yu Ye tea is a very long lasting flavor and an orchid like aroma. I was really excited to try this particular Grade of tea, because prior to this I had tried the three other grades the company offers. I started with Grade "D" and worked my way up to "C" and "B". It was fun to see how the flavors evolved as I moved up the ladder. This was the final showdown, and I was excited to try it after all of the buildup.
Again, I used the same temperature and steeping time as I did with the others. 175 degree water and 4-5 minutes. The aroma coming off of the tea was quite fruity, just like with the others, but this time there was also a slight aroma of fresh cut grass. This caught me by surprise, because this was a flavor that none of the other teas had. The color of the tea was also unique. This was beginning to look more like a green tea. The other teas were pale, almost clear in some cases. The cup soon turned a bright yellow after 5 minutes of brewing.
The taste is a lot smoother and milder than I would've thought. Although it is mild, it does encompass some of the best elements of all of the other teas. It has a sweetness to it that is quite pleasant. There is a tiny bit of astringency to it that you feel on the sides of the tongue. There is a tiny bit of grassiness to it, but it is one of the more subtle notes. I like how with this tea the grassiness blends right in smoothly with the fruitiness. The flavors don't clash like you might think they would.
The aftertaste is sweet and smooth. This tea probably has the most memorable and longest aftertaste of all of them. There is a tiny bit of grassiness at the end that finishes the tea up very nicely as well.
The second steeping of this tea really brings out the astringency. Here you get a really mouth watering, almost citrus note. This note hangs on for a few seconds afterwards, and is really quite a nice way to finish off the tea. Overall, the second steeping is a flatter flavor than before. The fruitiness isn't as noticeable and it begins to take a back seat to the astringent, and to a lesser extent grassy notes. The aftertaste is probably sweeter in the second steeping.
I think the Grade "A" is by far the most complex tasting tea, but it is not my favorite. I think the grade "B" is actually slightly better, because the flavor is so intense. With the grade "A" tea, there is so much going on it is difficult to settle in to any one flavor. It is a very nice tea, and better than the grades "C" and "D", but I have to say I did really enjoy the grade "B".
This was a fun adventure for me. Starting with the lower grade teas and then working my way up allowed me to enjoy each subtle flavor they had to offer. I felt that drinking the lower grade teas allowed me to have a greater appreciation for the higher grades.
Thank you guys so much for reading this tea review. I will be reviewing more of these rare Chinese teas in the next few days, so please keep checking the "Green Tea" and "Oolong Tea" sections. Enjoy!