Fresh, Crisp, Balanced — Everything green tea should be.
The packing is plain compared to other brands. I found this tea packaged part of a gift box. Offering 8 individual boxes each with a seal foil bag of tea. The boxes are green with grey and black lettering. The large “cha” 茶 symbol is prominent yellow with a dark green diamond background. The box contains basic information about the leaf and where it's from. (宁海 Ninghai) The box is thin and not intended for long term storage. The foil bag inside is air-tight. This extends the freshness of the flavors. I see many “white hairs” clinging to the bag. A sign these leafs were in a room filled with fresh tea and these hairs must have been in the air. It gives a little glimpse of the teas journey from mountain to cup.
The leafs are well dried and they are intact from tip to stem. This gives me the impression this is high quality product. They are mid to smaller sized showing me they used fresh growth. Instead of last years larger (and more bitter) leafs.
The first brew is a transparent yellow green color. (4g of leaf in 90C water. Brew for 30 seconds.) Looking in the center of the cup it's hard to see any color. I notice many “white hairs” suspended in the cup. Another gauge of how fresh, high-quality leafs are in the bag. The taste is almost light enough to be white tea. I can detect no oxidation or processing beyond wilting and drying. The flavor is so light, it’s like drinking hot water with an aftertaste of tea. The mouthfeel is not present but I think it will develop once the leafs “wake up.”
Moving to the second cup I see the color is a golden green. A large flurry of white hairs float in the cup. The first sensation is leaf and water which blooms into full leafy flavor. It ends with a light mouthfeel. The taste has become balanced from start to finish. This trend continues with the third brew. I know many people who will brew this tea in the morning and continue brewing all day. This tea has a lot to give but it is always balanced. Never too bitter or astringent.
The first brew fills my nose with leaf flavor. The leafs are not yet unfolded. The scent is light. It has an enticing aroma that combines with the steam rising from the cup. The second brew has more leaf with the smallest hint of earth. The third brew loses much of the aroma.
I acquired this tea in the spring of 2015. It was fresh and filled with aroma. The scents have diminished in the past year but the taste has remained. I find myself returning to this tea whenever I seek high-quality green tea. Long lasting flavors give balance to the day. Perfect for sunny and light breezes. A refreshment to the senses.