Reviews

Exploring Spring Teas with Seven Cups

Spring is my favorite time of year for many reasons. It’s a welcome break from the long, dark and dreary winters here in the North East. Spring also means an exciting new harvest of teas to explore. Green teas are really the star of the show (though yellow teas aren’t far behind!). That is why I jumped for joy when I had the opportunity to try some new spring teas that had just arrived at Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas.

Da Fo Long Jing

Long Jing, aka Dragonwell, is one of my absolute favorite types of tea. I hadn’t had any from the 2019 harvest yet so this was the tea that I was most excited to dive into. The dry leaves were the distinctive flat shape of Long Jing. They were mostly whole with an almost glossy sheen to them. It can be hard to make out in the picture below but patches of trichomes clung to some of them.

The taste was toasty and nutty with a lingering sweet finish. Dragonwell is often said to have a chestnut aroma. Not every tea ends up that way in the cup but that classic tasting note describes this one perfectly. The mouthfeel was so soft it always came across as buttery. I couldn’t resist brewing it in my glass gaiwan but it did well when brewed in a larger teapot as well as sipped grandpa style.

Find out more about this tea: here.

Bi Luo Chun

The leaves of a good Bi Luo Chun are always small but these were impossibly tiny (and fuzzy!). It took many attempts just to snap a picture that wasn’t blurry. Once they had unfurled I could see that even the largest bud sets had just barely opened. It must have taken so many buds to make enough to fill just a single pouch of this tea. I used a glass infuser to brew this tea because Bi Luo Chun always comes out better if you pour the leaves into the water rather than the other way around.

The fuzzy look of the leaves translated to a soft mouthfeel that could almost be described as fuzzy. There were so many trichomes in the water that it gave the water a cloudy appearance. The taste started out quite delicate but gained strength in subsequent infusions. It was vegetal with hints of sweet toasted rice that faded into a surprisingly fruity finish. It was somewhat drying toward then end but never became unpleasantly astringent.

Find out more about this tea: here.

Mo Gan Huang Ya

I really do love green tea but it is rare that a yellow tea crosses my path. This was one was harvested in a mid-April, a bit later than the previous two teas. The dry leaf consisted mostly of smaller buds. They were fairly dark in color but different shades of green could be seen depending on the lighting. Yellow tea is slightly oxidized so that wasn’t very surprising. As soon as I opened the bag I noticed a wonderfully fruity aroma. For some reason, it reminded me very much of watermelon rinds.

The taste was definitely vegetal but in a soft way without the grassy character that you might expect from a green tea. My second infusion turned out significantly stronger so I probably could have dialed back a bit. It was still super tasty though! Lingering floral aromas and a hint of nuttiness popped up in the midpalate. The third round was lighter bodied but had a fruitier lean.

Find out more about this: here.

Which one of these three would you want to drink the most? Have you tried any of Seven Cups’ spring teas from this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.