Gong-go Sessions: Spring Teas

Growth, renewal and fresh new teas are what spring is all about.

Everyone loves spring, especially us green tea lovers. The burst of growth sends tender shoots reaching for the sun and eventually into our favorite cup.

If your not careful though, its easy to miss them. Considered some of the best green teas of the year, they usually begin shipping in May and can easily sell out by June. One trick I’ve learned over the years is to be sure to subscribe to your favorite vendors email lists. Once they notify you the new spring green teas are ready, order the best one you can afford immediately.

Gu Zhu Zi Sun (Purple Bamboo Shoot) from Seven Cups Fine Teas

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on three teas I’ve never tried before all from Seven Cups Fine Teas:

I listed them in my order of preference. Purple Bamboo Shoot is with out a doubt one of the best green teas I’ve ever had. Rich with deep buttery aroma and strong vegetal notes without any bitterness, I was able to get five infusions out of it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to reorder a big bag in June. Big Buddha Dragon Well was also another fine tea. Though not as rich, it too kept on giving and I lost count of the number of cups I was able to extract from the leaves.

Green Snail Spring was tricky. A very delicate tea, I haven’t yet been able to get the brew quite right and it was a bit more astringent than I like in my green tea. However, the flavor profile was deep with alfalfa notes that I particularly enjoyed.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.      

Japanese Proverb

Tea Tips: Green Tea Temperature

Brewing green teas is probably the biggest challenge most tea lovers face. If not done properly they can be extremely bitter. The big rule of thumb is not to have your water too hot. While adjustable temperature teapots are helpful, I honestly don’t think they look so great when your setting out all your best for a tea party.

My solution has been to lean to use my Tetsubin (Japense Iron Kettle) to regulate temperature. One third full of boiling water to a cold pot and enough heat is released into the pot to bring the water to the perfect 175° -180°for green tea.

To regulate water temperature with your kettle, start with thirds or fourths of water volume and place a thermometer in the spout. If your like me, you’ll soon be wanting a larger one so you don’t have to keep going back to the electric pot. My cold 24-oz kettle at one third full produces the perfect temperature for green teas.

TEA ART – Spring Tea 2019 Series

Big Buddha Dragon Well #012

I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of layers lately, especially glitch layers. Of course since one of this weeks teas was named after the Buddha I couldn’t leave him out of my art. Here’s some of my favorites. You can find all of this Tea Art Series on my Instagram account.

This years Spring Tea Haul has been one of the Best. Join me next time as I sit down for a session of white2teas 2018 Little Lullaby.

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