This brutal winter has me longing for everything green. Outside everything is gray, grayer, grayest, with some white thrown in. Lately I've been staring at our house plants long after watering them, trying to soak up some of their color.
I've been greedily clinging to the green teas in our cupboard, hoarding vibrant colors. Recently Palais des Thés sent their new grand cru green teas to sample, and the little envelopes felt like a sunny life preserver thrown into a sea of frozen numbness.
For this tasting I decided to try the Long Jing Premium. The leaves are a shade of green that sing springtime. The dry leaves are vegetal and grassy, slightly nutty. The brewed tea is extremely subtle. It has a gentle mineral flavor, a slight bitterness and a green vegetable flavor reminding me of steamed asparagus.The flavors slowly opened up on the palate and lingered for a very long time.
A note on the designation of 'grand cru'. I've previously mentioned this is a term used for wine. One thing I hadn't thought of before is how randomly this term can be thrown around. I recently read a post from JAS eTea about it, and found it interesting that in the tea world grand cru seems to be a subjective label. It basically means the tea is exceptional. I'm curious to see if this term will become more widely adopted in the tea industry.
I don't doubt that this long jing is very high quality. It may not be for those that are looking for a tea to loudly cheer its flavor, but very nice for those that enjoy a subtle green tea that slowly reveals its flavors. It's a peaceful sip that reminds me spring is just around the corner.