Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Cannon Ball Green Tea from What-Cha Tea

NepalCannonBallGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.

This is what the leaves looked like after the first infusion. Still some unfurling to do!

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.

NepalCannonBallGreen2This 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.

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