Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teasenz, Xin Yang Mao Jian

Teasenz Description:
The most flavorful and fragrant of all Chinese green teas. Xin Yang Mao Jian’s small, roundish leaves with fine, white hairs develop into an intense green color when brewed, producing a refreshing liquor that transports you to a relaxing, calming world after a long day. Robust flavor, lingering fragrance and an invigorating taste.

Sample provided by Teasenz

My Review:
It is cool outside today like fall. I'm sure it will warm up again soon, at least for a few more weeks, but it sure is crisp out there today. That makes this a good day for tea!

The Teasenz teas I have tried so far have been wonderful. The resealable sample packaging is simple and to the point - what's inside and how to prepare it.

Cutting off the top and breaking the seal takes me to far away places for a moment. The nose is a hefty dose of malt along with a sweet and sour aroma like fresh cut dewy grass.

Removing some leaf for examination and brewing has me feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. The picture only kind of tells the story. Reaching in the bag it is like pulling a birds nest out of a birdhouse. The leaf is so tightly wound it looks like long stems or almost pieces of wire. It is very dark green with some lighter green accents and a silvery cast from the fine bud hair. This is kind of a long paragraph just about the leaf, so I think that is a good indication of how I enjoyed playing... er, examining it.

Because it is so loose and wiry, it is hard to judge how much is there. The directions say to use 2-5 grams. Yeah, that's probably how much I pulled out.

Into the press it goes. I added about 10 oz of water heated to 175 F and let it steep for 5 minutes.

The aroma of the pot and the wet leaf is much more green leafy plants now.

The liquor is bright yellow with a tint of honey.

The wet leaf is a bright and alive shade of green. There are some whole leaves. Some are torn. There are also stems present.

I have had Xin Yang Mao Jian before, without looking back at my old reviews it has been long enough I can barely remember. Tasting the tea is almost going to be a new adventure.

The first thing I notice is the bite. More accurately, it is bitter, but it is what I consider the good desirable kind. It opens your eyes to make you notice but doesn't cause you to pucker. It is a crisp refreshing note. Along with the bite is a sweetness that is a good contrast.

This begins to feel thick about mid sip. As it trails off a strong vine like taste kicks in and really lingers.

I was curious how today's review stacked up against my previous tastings of this tea. Most of what I wrote today agrees with a review from a few years ago. One notable exception is that I noted this as sweet. In the past I sweetened everything, which I seldom do today, so only a sugar overload was recognizable as sweet back then. Progress.

The other thing I noticed was the steep time. I thought 5 minutes seemed a bit long. Previously I steeped this only 2 minutes. My thought here is Teasenz has given a steep time based on normal western teapot brewing. I really think a shorter steep would tame this a little. It is not out of control wild by any means, yet I feel a less intense cup would enhance the cup making it more meditative. I plan to go with a shorter steep next time.

Once again Teasenz has provided a very solid tea. Experiment with the steep times and see how you prefer it.

You can find Teasenz, Xin Yang Mao Jian here.

I just published this and I'm already updating? Yeah, I just noticed on Teasenz website the recommended steep time is ONE minute. Well, that makes a lot more sense. I'm glad I checked and impressed I recognized the issue - which was the primary reason I looked up the old review. Definitely should make for a more relaxing cup.

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