Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Dragon Boat Green Tea, A Tea Review

No real intro to today's blog, I feel a migraine that has been threatening to show up for the last couple days is finally hitting, and I can only barely see out of my left eye at the moment. Good thing I had most of this written earlier in the night!

Oh man, I am so behind on writing about the tea clubs I am in, which is one of the best examples of #teabloggerproblems (or #firstworldproblems, both count.) This one came in July, Eco-Cha's Dragon Boat Green Tea, named for the day it was picked on the Dragon Boat Festival between 10 am and 2 pm, because this is the most Yang time of the year, so it is thought this tea will be excellent for removing damp cold from the body...Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about balancing heat and cold, dry and wet, or at its most distilled form Yin and Yang. I knew from the little spoilers that Eco-Cha gives about their monthly club that July's box of goodies held a green tea made from Jin Xuan, but waited until it arrived before I spoiled myself on all the interesting details. When I opened the pouch I was honestly very surprised, it looked just like a rolled green Oolong, not a twisty leaf green I was expecting. I've only had one other green tea that looked like this before and it was from Indonesia, the Taiwanese green teas I have had looked more like Baozhong. I of course then proceeded to stick my nose in the leaves and inhale, I then proceeded to let out a very 90s 'whoa' in response. The aroma is immensely sweet, I can certainly tell this is a Jin Xuan with its sugar cane almost creamy sweetness, hints of buttery sugar cookies and sesame seeds. There are green notes as well, of crisp lettuce, fresh bamboo leaves, and snap peas. Seriously though, this tea is so sweet, it smells exactly like what I would hope a green Jin Xuan would smell like.

Into the gaiwan the leaves go, I decided to use my serpentinite gaiwan for this session, because I love the way green pops against the dark stone. The aroma maintains its sugar cane sweetness from the dry leaves, but takes on more green qualities with stronger notes of snap peas and lettuce and a touch of buttery asparagus. The liquid is buttery sweet sugar cookies and sugar cane with an accompaniment of bamboo leaves and a bit of lettuce. The liquid is where the sweetness shines the most. sugarcane and gentle butter cookies with a crisp undertone of bamboo leaves and snap peas.

This is a surprisingly tea, it truly is like a green and an oolong had a wild night and this is the result, combining notes from both. The first thing I really noticed and found not so much distracting but very intense was the thick oily mouthfeel, it is seriously thick, coating all my mouth with buttery sweetness. For all that the mouthfeel is super intense, the taste is fairly light. Gentle notes of fresh sugarcane and bamboo leaf with a snap pea and lily blossom finish. The aftertaste is a distant remnant of the blooming lily that lingers for a while.

The second steep really amazed me with how balanced it is, blending notes of buttery peas, asparagus and bamboo leaves with sesame seed candies, sugarcane, and lilies. It really is like a combination of a green (specifically I am reminded of Liu An Gua Pian) and of course a Jin Xuan Oolong, with notes of both, though more of a mouthfeel of the Jin Xuan. The aftertaste is like the first, a ghost of lily flower lingering after the cup has been emptied.

One thing about this tea that struck me (ok that is a lie, the mouthfeel knocked my socks off as well) was how refreshing it was. It tasted like the way swimming in a mountain stream on a hot summer day feels like, energizing and just happy, this tea made me happy while drinking it. The few times I have enjoyed it I kept finding myself having a hard time paying attention to the taste of the tea and just enjoying the cheery disposition it seemed to leave me with. I have decided to reserve the rest of my stash for days where I am in a foul mood!

This tea was purchased by me.

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