Before spring sneaks away from us I want to introduce you to Steven Smith Teamaker’s Spring Harvest. This blend is made from Mao Feng, a green tea that grows in Zhejiang, China. As much as I love Japanese green teas for their clean and grassy taste, I think that Chinese green teas tend to have much more depth and complexity in flavor. This could mean differences in how the tea is grown, how the tea leaf is picked, or how the tea is processed after picking. In general, the process for creating Japanese green teas is considered more mechanized than the making of Chinese green teas.
The best word I can use to describe the flavor of Smith’s Spring Harvest is bright. The brightness of this steep is the result of it having been grown at a high elevation. It is thought that teas grown at higher altitudes also grow slower, and thus have more time to develop complex flavor profiles. Even better yet, these high altitude teas are richer in antioxidants!
I also want to tell you something really neat about the Smith Teamaker’s website. If you buy some of their teas, you will find a batch number at the bottom of each box. The Smith Tea’s website has a button called the “Batch No. Lookup” in the upper right corner of their homepage where you can discover the origin of the tea, who packed the tea, and date it was packed on. This is a neat feature for those who want to know exactly how the leaf traveled from tea bush to tea cup!
Tasting Notes for Smith Teamaker’s No. 6 Spring Harvest:
BREWING TIPS: 3 minutes @ 190 degrees F.
THE LEAF: Full, dark green, twisty tea leaves.
THE SCENT: Like steamed bok choy or other similar green leaf vegetables.
THE STEEP: Brews to a very light buttery yellow. Sweet, fresh, and bright with a nutty finish.
GET IT: The No. 6 Spring Harvest blend is only available at Williams Sonoma. However, at the Smith Teamaker website you will see an option for No. 8 Mao Feng Shui, which is a very similar blend if you’d like to order from Smith Teamaker in Portland, Oregon directly.
FOOD PAIRING: Char siu bao, also known as Steamed BBQ Pork Buns…the classic Chinese Dim Sum specialty.