Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: What-Cha Tea
A unique tightly rolled green tea with a citrus nose and well defined lemon blossom taste, a rare and unusual tea which is not to be missed.
Learn more about this tea here.
These leaves look very unusual, looking like the pellets of a Tie Guan Yin Oolong, but the leaves are not quite as large. The pellets are not uniform in size, some are quite small, while others are rather large. They have a vegetal aroma to them.
Since they looked to me like they’d be fun to watch unfurl, I decided to brew them in my glass teacup (the same one I use to watch a flowering tea bulb brew). The first infusion proved to be rather … lacking in show, to be quite honest. The leaves didn’t unfurl very much at all. But they did produce a very flavorful liquid after steeping for 2 minutes in 180°F water.
Nice! The tea is sweet, with a nice, buttery texture and a light flavor. Notes of citrus, flower and hints of vegetation. The citrus is especially noticeable toward the finish and this bright flavor lingers into the aftertaste. By the time I made it to mid-cup, I started to notice more buttery flavors than citrus and flower, the flavor becomes smoother as it cools.
Since the leaves hadn’t really opened up much with that first infusion, I decided to have another infusion and see if I would get more of a tea leaf dance from the leaves that were still looking more like tightly wound pellets.
During the second infusion, the leaves didn’t do much. Oh, they’ve unfurled quite a bit more, but they don’t really do much of a dance that I had hoped for. But that’s alright, the flavor is well worth the lack of showmanship. (Showteaship? Showleafship?) When they infused this time, it looked a lot like a seaweed garden at the bottom of the sea – not a lot of activity, just the motion of the water just barely causing the leaves to sway a little.
But as I said, the flavor is well worth what little show the leaves provide. After steeping for 2 1/2 minutes, the flavor is sweet with notes of tangy citrus and whispers of flower. I don’t taste as much buttery taste or texture this time, and the vegetal notes have emerged, offering a savory quality to the cup which contrasts with the aforementioned sweetness. As the cup cools a little, the buttery flavors are more discernible, but they are still considerably lighter than with the first cup.
This cup is a little more astringent than the first too. I didn’t notice a lot of astringency with the first cup, only the slight tangy note toward the finish that melded with the citrus-y notes that it barely seemed astringent at all. Now, there is a distinct separation between the citrus flavors and the astringency. This is still what I’d consider a mild to moderate astringency.
I decided to try a third infusion. With this third infusion, the leaves are now completely unfurled. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes. The flavor is amazing. I think that this third cup is my favorite of the three! It is soft and buttery. The astringency I noted in the second cup has smoothed out. The citrus tones have also become softer and sweeter, reminiscent now of a citrus curd rather than a bright splash of fruit. The floral notes are not as sharp and the vegetative tones less focused, creating instead a very unified flavor that is very palatable.
While this Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea from What-Cha Tea shares many common characteristics with other green teas, I find it to be a truly unique green tea in ways that should be experienced by the tea connoisseur to be fully appreciated. It’s a remarkable tea, one I really enjoyed and am thrilled that I had the opportunity to try.