I’d first like to start off by thanking Teagini for the opportunity to try some of these amazing teas! They offer some amazing and unique teas, and I feel so lucky to get the opportunity to try them!
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 they 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. With all of the lore behind this tea, I was excited to try my first cup!
The first thing I noticed about this tea was obviously the shape of the leaves. I had not seen this in a tea outside of Dragonwell, and I knew they tea leaves took on this spear-shaped design because they have been pan-fired rather than rolled. Going in expecting the tea to taste like Dragonwell, I was quite surprised. Here are my notes from the tasting:
As the tea is brewing, I am starting to pick up on the sweet vegetal taste of the Long Jin. The water is starting to turn a pale yellowish color.
There is a very light pale liquor, similar to that of a white tea. The tea has some fruity notes to it. It has a slight tartness to it, although the vegetal taste of the green tea is still there. I notice a little bit of a bitterness towards the back of the tongue, but it’s not too noticeable.
Even though this tea is so light and clear, there is actually a lot of flavor to it. I have gotten used to the shaded Japanese green teas, so this tea doesn’t taste as vegetal to me. Instead, the tea is very unique for a green tea and takes on a fruity note. I notice most of this tea on the roof of my mouth, and afterwards, I start to feel the bitterness on the back of the tongue. This tastes very different from green teas I’ve had in the past, even different from Chinese greens I’ve had in the past.
This tea loses a lot in the second steeping, and is even paler than before. The flavor is subtle, but you can still notice it and appreciate it. In the second steeping, you actually notice the fruitiness of this tea a little more. The bitterness goes away almost completely, and the vegetal flavor of the green tea begins to fade into the distance. The color of this tea at this point is almost completely clear, and it is actually surprising to see how much flavor comes out of a clear liquid. This is actually one of the most unique properties of this tea.
I wanted to start by tasting the grade “D” tea first so that the teas I try continue to get better and better. I will be tasting some of the grade “A” teas later this week. Stay tuned for more!