Monday, September 14, 2015

MeiMei Fine Teas: Meng Ding Sweet Dew, A Tea Review

It is a beautiful day today, a strong breeze and cool air (though alas, not as cool as yesterday) a crisp blue sky, and the wonderful sound of leaves rustling around outside. I have my windows open (throwing caution to the wind regards to allergies!) and I am just loving the breeze, though I do admit it made varnishing my miniatures a real nightmare earlier. There is a 70% chance of storms this evening, and if it does storm, I will decry this a perfect day weather wise...start out snuggling in a sweater, finish in a t-shirt. Total win.

So, remember a while ago I mentioned MeiMei Fine Teas as a tea shop that would be opening soon? Well, good news everyone, they opened! So that means it is time to look at another one of their teas, specifically Meng Ding Sweet Dew (or Meng Ding Gan Lu) a gloriously fuzzy and very delicate green tea. Seriously the leaves are so tiny and curly, with a delicate coating of silver trichomes, they are very pretty little things. The aroma of the little leaves is very green and vegetal, strong notes of artichoke and asparagus mix with parsnip and greenbeans, with an addition of a sweet touch of sesame seeds and a crisp note of celery at the finish. I am pleased to announce while sniffing I did not manage to get any up my nose, victory!

I decided to brew these in my green tea pot, and not just because I tend to go giggly when I see the beautiful contrast of red clay and green leaves. The aroma of the less fuzzy but very vibrant leaves is a fresh burst of vegetal greenness. Notes of fresh spinach, celery, and artichoke with a distinct note of parsnip, which is entertaining since it is both sharp and sweet, and not a note I encounter very often. The liquid is a blend of parsnip, spinach, and a hint of sesame, just a touch on the sweet side and very green and fresh.

First steep is buttery while also being light, not a tea that coats the mouth, more like it dances on the tongue light as a breeze. It starts out surprisingly sweet, with notes of sesame seeds and honey, this moves to parsnips and spinach, the finish is where it is at though. Perhaps it is the placebo effect of the name, but the taste reminds me of the taste of morning dew off leaves, refreshing and clean. This pleases me.

Onward to the second steeping, the aroma is sweet and vegetal, sharp notes of parsnip and rich notes of spinach. The mouthfeel is a bit thicker this time, the taste does not really change from the previous steep, the parsnip and spinach notes with accompanying sweetness remain, but the notes are more intense this time around. The dew like cleanliness at the end is still there as well, but it is not stronger since stronger dew would be a bit odd.

Third steeping time! The aroma has a stronger parsnip note this time, sweet and sharp with a slight hint of greenness from spinach. The taste is very sweet this time, honey sesame and parsnip notes dominate with a lingering spinach note at the finish, no more dew this time, looks like the sun dried it up. This tea did not evolve very much over steeping, but I did not find myself bored, the tea tasted clean and so I went away from it feeling very refreshed.

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