This delicate green tea, grown in the Chinese province of Hubei, is hand harvested in mid-April. This early picking brings a fresh green taste of seaweed and buttery spinach. Dark twisted green leaves that are steam dried in the Japanese style delivers a fresh, iridescent brew.
We strongly suggest using freshly boiled water that has cooled for a couple minutes. If the water temperature is around 175 degrees (or 80 Celsius), this will bring out a much sweeter flavor than if boiling water is used.
Sample provided by Single Origin Teas.
This is my second tea from Single Origin Teas. This time I am reviewing Palace Needle, a Chinese green tea. The generous sample is hand packed in a brown paper windowed bag. It is resealable with 2 twisty wing tabs. I removed one scoop of tea to examine. The leaf is very dark, almost black, and shiny, with green stripes. An interesting looking leaf.
I used water heated to 180 - because I didn't read the 175 they recommend first - and the scoop of leaf in my press. The steep was about 3 minutes. The resulting color of the liquor reminded me of chamomile tea. It is creamy yellow with just a hint of gold. I can see to the bottom of the cup easily. The wet leaf scent is of spinach which has been typical of many Chinese green teas I've reviewed. A very nice start.
In the sip, I notice first that it is sweet, then I catch green veggie notes. I do get the buttery spinach. There is no grassiness in the taste. Late in the sip I get a small amount of bitterness. It is the good kind that gives a cup character. The aftertaste lingers pleasantly. I find this to be slightly drying. Again, that is not a bad thing when it is done correctly. Here it simply makes me crave a second cup.
On the re-steep the cup is slightly darker and the taste turns decidedly seaweed. I had written in my notes to myself on the first cup that I wasn't getting seaweed. I was too impatient because it is obvious now. The wet leaf is fully relaxed and is revealed to be broken pieces of leaf.
This tea is $6.50 for two ounces. I find that to be a very reasonable everyday tea price. Would I recommend this Chinese green tea to others? Why yes indeed I would. In fact, I think I just did.
Visit Single Origin Teas website.