Continuing my mission to plow through more unflavored teas, I came to this green tea from Shandong Province. A product of the He family in Laoshan Village, this is one of the more unique green teas that they produce. Knowing that I had yet to have a tea from the He family that I found to be bad, I figured I would enjoy this one. I was right.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. Rather than following Verdant’s guidelines, I used them as a starting point and then just let the tea tell me where to go from there. I started with 5 grams of loose tea leaves and steeped them in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 13 seconds, 17 seconds, 21 seconds, 25 seconds, 35 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

The dry leaves had a wonderfully vegetal, grassy aroma. It was like a combination of soybean, snap peas, kale, lettuce, spinach, and freshly cut grass. After infusion, the grassy, vegetal aroma intensified and was joined by a subtle hint of spice. In the mouth, I picked up strong notes of soybean, lettuce, snap peas, kale, spinach, butter, cream, grass, vanilla, and minerals. Subsequent infusions saw the vegetal notes increase in strength and the minerality play a slightly larger role on the finish. The later infusions were increasingly mild, creamy, and buttery, offering delicate notes of lettuce, butter, vanilla, cream, and minerals with faint traces of soybean, spinach, and snap pea in the background.

I was greatly impressed with this green tea. I found its strength and complexity very appealing. I am always on the lookout for savory, vegetal Chinese green teas and this one is definitely that type of tea. I would recommend it highly to those who enjoy more vegetal green teas.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Grass, Kale, Lettuce, Mineral, Peas, Soybean, Spinach, Vanilla

175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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