I wanted to first take this opportunity to thank Teagini for the opportunity to try these amazing teas. In the past week, I’ve gotten to try so many amazing teas and it wouldn’t have been possible without my friend from Teagini. Check them out on Instagram!
This tea comes to us from the Sichuan Province of China in a country called Pu Jiang. The tea is called sparrow’s tongue (don’t worry, it’s vegan I checked) because the shape of the leaves resembles the tongue of a sparrow. The needles consist of one bud and two tender leaves, and it is carefully harvested about 10-30 earlier in the year than some of its counterparts. This is known as one of the ten famous teas of China and it’s cultivation dates all the way back to the Song Dynasty.
With all of this history and fame, I couldn’t wait to try this tea. I was looking forward to trying all of the teas this week, but I was looking forward to this one in particular.
The aroma coming off of this is subtle and grassy. As the leaves begin to open up more and more, the aroma becomes even stronger. Towards the end of the steeping time, I am starting to notice a bolder aroma coming out. I am really excited to try this!
This tea is really incredible. The first sip really caught me off guard. I though it would taste similar to the Dragonwell green teas I have had in the past few days, but it was entirely different. There is a subtle sweetness in the beginning that is quickly overtaken by a smooth smokiness. I know the word “smoky” may turn some people off to this tea, but it is really quite good. I notice a hint of fruitiness in this tea, and very little grassy or vegetal flavors.
If I were to drink this tea with my eyes closed, I might mistake it for an oolong. It has a bitter smokiness and a sweet aftertaste, which is more common with oolongs than it is with green teas. It does however have some green tea flavor to it, almost similar to a high grade gunpowder. The smokiness is blended in well with the bitterness to create a really smooth flavor.
After taking a few sips, I’m starting to notice there is a tiny bit of a floral note here. It is very subtle but if you search around for it, you might find it.
Overall, I would characterize this tea as one of the more bitter teas I have tried this past week. This isn’t saying much, however because all of the teas I’ve tried have been very light. The bitterness of this tea works out quite well, it compliments the other flavors rather than distracting from them. This was so good I wanted to try a second steeping.
I steeped the tea at the same temperature for a longer period of time. The second steeping of this tea loses a lot of the original flavor. I find far less smokiness and bitterness to this one, which may be good for some. There is a slight bite to this one, which I would characterize as more of an astringency rather than a bitterness. Like I saw with one of the earlier teas I tried, I think what is cool about this tea is how light the color of the liquor is and how much flavor it produces. I think this is indicative of a high quality tea. With other teas, you would barely be able to taste anything if the water was clear, but with this one there is still a complex flavor profile. I think this makes the tea unique.
Thank you guys for reading this tea review! There are plenty of other reviews like this if you check out the “Green Tea” and “Oolong Tea” sections of my blog. Enjoy!