Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gramercy Tea: Mengding Ganlu Green Tea, a Tea Review

I...am a monster. I have my three desks set up as a sort of cubicle, giving me access to my computer, Xboxone, tea desk, and painting station all at once (since I am always doing a million things at once.) Well I was sitting at the computer and rolled my chair straight back to get some tea...and heard a noise. I was unaware that Espeon was sleeping on the floor behind my chair, so I just smooshed my chair right into her. She is fine...glaring at me...but fine, and I feel like a jerk, sorry Espeon.

Feeling guilt for inconveniencing the cat aside, it is time to move to day two of the Gramercy Tea week with Mengding Ganlu Green Tea, a delicate, fluffy, green from Sichuan and a fairly recent discovery for me(recent as in the first time I had this type of tea was only about a year ago.) I've developed a real love for teas from Sichuan, and this tea has become a favorite. The aroma of this tea is vegetal, blending sauteed bok choy, artichokes, bamboo leaves, cut grass, and a touch of fresh broccoli. Alongside the veggie notes is a nutty starch quality blending cooked rice, sesame seeds, and the most distinct aroma of water chestnuts I have ever run into short of smelling a water chestnut!

Brewing the fuzzy leaves bring out even stronger vegetal notes, really ramps up the savory quality with notes of Lima beans, sesame seeds, water chestnut, bok choy, and edamame...it kinda smells like stir fry and the umami quality is making me hungry. The liquid is a bit of a contrast, with sweeter notes of snap peas, Lima beans, water chestnut and fresh bok choy rather than cooked.

The name Ganlu translates to sweet dew, and you know, it is a pretty apt name, the sweet and green taste is reminiscent of morning dew on plants. The first steep is thick in the mouth, with a slight tickle from all those fuzzy trichomes, It starts with a mildly savory quality of Lima beans and cooked Brussels sprouts. It them moves to notes of edamame and artichoke, with a sweet finish of snap peas and water chestnut. The aftertaste is also snap peas and lingers for a short time with a sweet vegetal quality.

Onward to the next steep, the leaves are really unfurling at this point! The aroma is quite green with notes of lima beans, snap peas, and asparagus with a tiny water chestnut finish. Second steep is super vegetal, strong notes of asparagus, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts, artichoke, and edamame. It is very savory and has a subtle sweet finish of snap peas that linger, though not overly long.

The third steep is starting to show its age, the aroma is mostly sweet snap peas and water chestnut with a dew like quality. The previous steep was all about the savory vegetal quality, this steep brings the gentle sweetness, notes of water chestnut, fresh spring water, and snap peas dance around in my mouth, with a slight sugar cane sweetness at the finish. There is only a light aftertaste, like the fleeting morning dew disappearing with the afternoon's sun.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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