A tea friend of got his February 2017 White2Tea Club box early and I thought he was trolling when he told me what were the teas that month. GREEN TEA?????? From 2016 with preorders for 2017? This month – Long Jing Green tea and 200X Traditional Storage Qing Bing.
Soooooo… green tea. I am really out of practice on how to green tea. I just don’t drink the stuff other than torture sessions with various bad or good matchas. I have been finding the more I get into young puer, the less green tea appeals to me. I can resteep young puer more, it has longer shelf life, and less fussy to steep. When I was researching tea ratios, I often saw 1 gram leaf to 20-30ml vessel ratio for green tea. White2tea mention using the whole packet… ehhhhh I’m lazy so in goes ALL the green! That worked out to 1 gram of leaf per 11ml of vessel. Oh, I did follow 175F water temperature.
Tasting of February 2017 White2Tea Club Long Jing
First and Second Infusion: The texture is heavy and buttery, almost greasy stick of butter tea without actual grease. The flavor is also buttery with a soft vegetal note of snap peas. Despite leafing overly hard, the flavor is quite nice and soft. The second steeping gets a stronger pea note, as if I’ve been chewing on my peas for longer.
Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Infusion: I messed up and did too long of an infusion at steep four, otherwise these are all flash steeps. Steep 4 was not drinkable, but the rest are pretty potent green bean, mushy peas, and buttery. The 6th infusion I am getting some bitterness in the back of the throat, tasting like a build up of a lot of green tea.
This is a lot of leaf…. all you regular green tea drinkers probably think I’m crazy.
Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Infusion: This is fussy. If I flash steep all I get is my water with a hint of flavor. If I steep it a few seconds too long it is bitter snap pea flavor of doom. It reminds me on some diet I did as a young and foolish college student of eating nothing but bags of raw snap peas. So much vegetal! This tastes too healthy with the strong vegetable bitter taste.
Twelfth Infusion: I grew tired of this game of flash steep roulette and did a 3 minute power steep. I’m sure you long time readers know I’m also slightly masochistic. The Long Jing sipped in fine – it was light, buttery and beany… then the strong bitterness came and my throat felt like I should be slamming down some cough syrup. Though there is no way I could possibly drink more, flash steeping this much green tea, plus the rate I drink, was 12 infusions, 2 liters of water, consumed very quickly. I find 175F pretty easy to drink fast, so now I am bloated and hydrated.
GREEN TEA MOUNTAIN
So how was the Long Jing? Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t drink green tea much these days and what I do is generally cold steeped. The tea was buttery and beany, so I didn’t mind it as much. I could see this being more crisp of flavor when it is the fresher 2017 stuff. The super leaf steeping method? Uhhhh it was more entertaining as it felt like a full on tea binge session. The notes didn’t change too much, but the volume of liquid and pace was high. It is a good way to churn through a high amount of tea – I would do this again for a work setting gongfu.
200X Traditional Storage Qing Bing
Opening the package of this tea made me regret not letting it air a bit first. It smells dank wet basement that I fear to walk in, recalling my childhood dank basement being full of disgusting spiders.
I steeped up 1 gram of leaf to 15ml of vessel, boiling water with a single rinse. Steeps up a clear walnut color that smells nutty.
Tasting of February 2017 White2Tea Club 200X Traditional Storage Qing Bing
First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion: This is smooth and syrupy, giving a slick mouth feel and a throat clogging feel. The flavor is very clean woodsy, tree sap, and mineral. This tastes like chewing on some delicious clean wet wood and that squeezed like a sponge into your teapot.
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Infusion: Flash steeps are needed here, this tea is potent in flavor. The flavor is adjusting slightly, becoming a bit more syrup and sweet. I don’t see the end in sight for this tea, it is still pumping out flavor with very short infusions. The last couple rounds here I started to slowly increase the times.
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Infusion: WHY WONT YOU DIE?!?! This tea is very good, so I am drinking every drop, but this is taking forever! I finally am steeping around 2-5 minutes here, and the tea is still dark and giving out plenty of flavor. The flavor has shifted with the woodsy gone, and all I got is dank basement and mineral notes. However, with each steeping the dank note slips and the mineral ones take over. The texture lost thickness, but is still slippery feeling.
I got to steep 17 and had to quit for the day. It is 7pm and like other teas, I figured I’d be done at my caffeine cut off time around 5pm.
Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Infusion: The next morning, I did a flash wash then resumed steeping, doing 5, 15, and 30 minute infusions. The colour is light but the flavor is strongly wet stones mineral. The last infusion had plenty of flavor but was lukewarm. The leaf smelled like it had more in it.
Twenty-First Infusion: Boil on the stove! DIEEEE NOW!
If boiling doesn’t kill this tea, the next step would be going to my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I did a 7-10 minute rolling boil on the stove with 250ml of water, losing around 100ml of water during the boiling. I got a lot of colour, but the flavor is very light with a touch of mineral. The leaf smells a bit, but I think further efforts won’t pay off much.
That said, the 200x Qing Bing has a lot of longevity. If I knew this tea was not going to end, going for a 40-60ml gaiwan or leafing down to 1 gram/17ml-20ml would of been smart so I could of finished in a day. You could also of used a bigger gaiwan and had this tea for a week.
This month’s White2Tea Club was odd. Total contrast between the spring vegetal green and never ending unknown age puer. Not much more that I can say about this.