Several post ago I shared with you some information about Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha.
The dry leaves…
Were really like pine needles – green, straight, and slightly pointed at the two ends with some downy feathering on them- they were very pretty. Those “pine needles” had a somewhat floral aroma, which surprised me. An aside here- over the years I have kept a journal that is filled with interesting “things” about tea that I have come across, and I vaguely remembered something about this tea and low and behold – my memory had served me correctly. There was a poem about perfect Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha leaves:
Straight spine blade-like taper,
Thin and pointy like hair,
White fuzz and green balance each other,
Round bottom like on end of the pine needle.
Be careful when brewing Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha – measuring the amount of leaves is critical; using too much leaf and you will have a bitter cup, use too little and you will be drinking something that is not particularly interesting. Also, the water temperature is important – it should be cooler right around 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The steeping time needs to be short- or the tea will quickly become bitter. My first steep was just 90 seconds.
In my cup…
The first infusion steeped to a very, very pale greenish, yellowish color- almost like water that had been lightly tinted. Oddly enough, the aroma of the tea seemed slightly salty, but with my first taste I found those sweet floral notes, that I had noticed in the dry leaves. That sweet, sightly salty combination was light, but the saltiness didn’t overpower the delicate sweetness. The light floral taste was very pleasant, with a pleasing balance of sweet, floral and a subtle hint of salt
I re-steeped the leaves several times (adding an extra 30 seconds per steep). The second and third steeps that flavors were more pronounced, with those luscious floral notes the strongest in the third steep. For me the fourth steep was the lowest in flavor, and really not worth the effort of that steeping.
As you know, I am not a green tea enthusiast, but I really didn’t mind this cup. My first few sips, which I took tentatively, were delicate with a light, smooth and sweet flowery taste. That sweetness lingered pleasantly, with a soft almost velvety mouthfeel. I have to admit, it surprised me – a green tea that didn’t actually taste like grass! On our scale, I would give it a three.
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase