Recently I was contacted by Leafy Green Teas, a budding new company with a small, curated collection of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese teas. They kindly offered samples for review and they arrived in a nicely packaged box with a thank you note and brewing guidelines, which I assume they send with all orders.
While I suppose that a new tea drinker might be glad to have one, personally I find brewing charts/infographics like these to be a bit silly. The correct temperature for brewing is pretty subjective (I find most of the temps in Leafy Green’s to be pretty low) and the brewing time doesn’t mean much without a leaf to water ratio. Anyways, the packaging was quite nice, and they used this straw-like stuff instead of of bubblewrap, which I haven’t seen before from a tea company and I think it’s a nice touch.
Ali Shan Jin Xuan
I decided to go for the Ali Shan Jin Xuan first. Taiwan jade/high mountain style oolongs were my first tea love, though these days I prefer roasted oolongs, so I thought I’d save the Dong Ding for later. I used the whole sample, a little over 8g, into my 120mL gaiwan. Maybe a bit much, but what can I say, go big or go home. 🙂
The dry leaf smells sweet, fresh, and slightly vegetal. I heat my kettle to 195F, the suggested temperature on their website, as opposed to the 176F listed on the brewing sheet. I give it a quick rinse and allow the leaves a few minutes to open up. The tea brews a nice light yellow green color and smells like spring.
This is a very refreshing tea that tastes of cream, kale, and wildflowers with a light sweetness. Light minerality. The sweetness and floral note linger in the mouth and cheeks for quite a while. The sweetness is very “green”, like biting into a juicy plant.
Very tasty tea! It’s been a while since I’ve had a good, fresh Taiwan jade oolong, and this is certainly one. Not super complex, but very refreshing and enjoyable, even for someone (me) who prefers there oolongs more roasted.
Dong Ding Light Roast
The dry leaf appears (big surprise) lightly roasted and smells of brown sugar and baked bread. Again I use the whole sample, this time nearly 10g in my 120mL gaiwan.
It brews a light-medium yellow, but with no hint of green in the liquer like in the Jin Xuan. The flavor is creamy with notes of brown sugar, dry wood, candied citrus, and incense alongside greener vegetable flavors.
This is some really good stuff! It doesn’t strike me as being typical of Dong Ding, more like a cross between Dong Ding and a high mountain jade oolong. The roast is subtle and adds complexity without taking away from the green, “natural” character of the tea. The Jin Xuan was pretty good, but this one is great gets a hearty recommendation from me.
Overall I enjoyed both teas from Leafy Green and thank them for the samples! I look forward to seeing their company grow.