This spring harvest is a beautifully creamy tea with the sweetness of oat cereal and vanilla soy milk . . .
This spring we had the privilege of visiting Mr. and Mrs. He in Laoshan Village to help with the spring harvest, and work with them to bring out everything we love most about Laoshan Green. The He family leads a farmer’s cooperative devoted to fully organic farming methods and traditional hand picking. Their tea, grown between the slopes of Taoist holy Mountain Laoshan and the ocean is shaded by mist helping it grow sweet and rich.
Mr. He leads the whole village in innovation, constantly working to grow better and better tea, not only sharing the techiques with fellow farmers but investing in equipment for the whole cooperative. His devotion to the land is unwavering, resulting in what we think is one of the absolute finest green teas in the world.
The body is perfectly smooth, silky and creamy, while the aftertaste lingers in the back of the throat with a sweetness that only an early spring tea could achieve. The dominant flavor is that of oat cereal and vanilla soy milk. The green qualities of the tea come through not as an assertive grassiness, but more as the sweetness of hearts of Romaine or crisp, refreshing cucumber. In later steepings, there is the taste of green soy benas, along with fresh, fragrant notes of sugarcane and lychee.
The leaves are so tender that after the tea is steeped out, you can eat the leaves whole for a sweet, delicate snack.
ICED: Flavor note of sugar snap peas. Cool and refreshing cucumber aftertaste, with a hint of mint.
Date of Picking:May 10th, 2013
Location of Picking:Ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village, Shandong Province He Family Farm 15-20 acre plot fed by the mountain spring running down from the rock face of Laoshan.
What Was Picked:Young leaf material with buds, wilted in bamboo baskets, dried over a carefully tended wood fire and curled.
Sourcing Agent(s):Mr. He of Laoshan Village hand selected this batch of leaves as an ideal picking to show off the best his cooperative can offer.
If possible, use filtered or spring water, freshly boiled.
Western Brewing: Use one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water. If possible, use a glass tea pot or brewing pitcher to enjoy the performance of the leaves as they unfurl and begin to dance around. Steep for no more than one minute with 175 degree water, or until most of the leaves have sunk to the bottom of the vessel. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait for the smallest bubbles to start coming up, and the water will be ready. Enjoy at least 3 infusions. Try to limit your vessel to one cup of water or less for the best experience.
Preferred Brewing Methods:
Gongfu Brewing: Do not heat your gaiwan. Add 4 grams of leaves for a medium gaiwan. Use 175 degree water. No need for a rinse. Steep for 3 seconds. Increase steep time after the third steeping by 3 seconds or to taste. Enjoy at least 6 infusions.
Laoshan Style: Cover the bottom of a tempered glass tumbler with leaves. Pour 175 degree water along the edge of the glass so that it does not splash over the leaves, but slowly submerges them. Drink as soon as you can handle the hot cup. Refill with boiling water throughout the day.
Jingshan Style: Boil water to 175 degrees, or until the smallest bubbles start rising to the surface. Fill a tempered glass cup or teapot 2/3 full with the water. Sprinkle 2 tsp of leaves per 8oz of water used in the vessel. Swirl lightly and watch the leaves slowly unfurl and sink. Drink right out of the cup, blowing the leaves to the side, and experience the tea first very light, and then stronger as it continues to steep.
Iced Tea (Cold Brewing)
Use about 4 grams of tea for every 12oz of water. Combine with room temperature water in a covered vessel and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Enjoy!
Iced Tea (Flash Chilled)
Use 1TB (5 grams) of tea in a 6-8oz vessel. Steep for 30 seconds with filtered water at 175 degrees. Fill a martini shaker (or equivalent) with ice, then add brewed tea and shake until well-chilled (usually 10-30 seconds). Pour out through martini-shaker top over fresh ice in a new glass and serve.
What is Green Tea?
"Following a few simple green tea brewing techniques can elevate your experience and make it easier to understand how green tea captivated China and Japan in early history, with whole ceremonies developing around it....An Afternoon in Laoshan Village
"Those who approach high quality tea from a business perspective first will forever have doors closed to them. Those whose relationships are based on an equal cultural exchange are welcomed....