Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What-Cha: Vietnam 'Dragon Cloud' Green Tea, A Tea Review

Well I finally did it, I finally sent my camera off to get repairs, after much dilly-dallying. I know, I know, waiting this long is certainly not going to get my camera back any sooner, but part of me is terrified something will happen to it...also I feel really naked without a camera. My phone's camera only barely counts, for so many years I have always had a camera with me, so it just feels really weird. Hopefully it will come back soon, all shiny and flashy again!

Today my addiction to Vietnamese teas continues with What-Cha's Vietnam 'Dragon Cloud' Green Tea. This tea is fascinating, it is a hybridization of the native 'Ta' cultivar and the 'Long Jing' Chinese cultivar, a coming together of tea cultures, which I think is cool. The leaves are really quite pretty, deep green with a silvery sheen, the name dragon cloud seems very fitting. Sniffing the dry leaves is quite a treat, it is both very nutty and very green, blending crisp bell peppers and bok choy with sesame seeds and peanuts. It has a real freshness too it, reminding me of freshly stirfried veggies where they still have just enough crunch to be extra yummy.

Into my clay teapot the leaves go for their quick steeping, and I mean quick, this is a 10 second steep. Usually I just ignore vendor steeping instructions because I have my own system, but when they recommend something extreme like a really short time or low temperature I tend to listen, because I don't want a cup of yuck. The aroma of the wet leaves is deliciously vegetal and nutty, again reminding me of stir fry with notes of bell pepper, broccoli, bok choy, and sesame seeds. The liquid is pleasantly mild with sweet sesame and fresh bell pepper and spinach leaves.

The first steep is quite smooth and light, with a sweet nutty start of cashews and sesame seeds. This moves to crisp bell pepper and bok choy with a finish of spinach leaves and broccoli. It is refreshing and sweet at the finish, like gentle notes of honey.

Second steeping has a mixture of sweet and savory for the aroma, notes of honey and cashew blend with bell pepper and spinach, though this time the spinach smells cooked rather than a leafy salad. The taste is much sweeter this time around, with notes of cashew butter and honey, combined with the smooth and slightly thick mouthfeel, it is very pleasant. After the initial sweetness there is a burst of bok choy and spinach with a touch of bell pepper crispness. The finish is a touch of tarragon and sesame seeds, the sesame seed taste lingers. Pardon me, I got lost in the tea, it is quite tasty and vegetal without ever getting bitter.

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