UPDATE: The Radella Ceylon Young Hyson Green Tea is now available for purchase at The Tea Journeyman Shop! Click Here to view and purchase this unique green tea from Nuwara Eliya district, Sri Lanka.
Here is a Young Hyson Green Tea sample that I received from a source in the Uva District of Sri Lanka. This tea is from the Radella Factory, located near the town of Nuwara Eliya. One thing that is great about the tea industry is the great people that you interact with along the way. The man who provided these samples, Eranga, is one of those people. He has introduced me to many interesting Sri Lankan teas, and several of these Young Hyson green teas have been very unique. Eranga has become a friend of mine, as well as a great resource in the industry. Thank you very much, Eranga, for your generosity and assistance along the way.
I originally opened this sample packet to use during a tea tasting event with some friends, when I noticed how large and impressive the infused leaves were. This tea was in the top three favorite teas among that group of ten people. For the past two weeks, I have been excited to get around to doing this review.
Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a light green to dark green color. The leaves are quite large, and most appear to be unbroken, rolled leaves. There are few bare stems in the mix. The aroma has scents of dry grass, sea mist, and forest floor.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, pale yellow color and a light green tint, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh kelp and sea mist. The body is light, with a soft, clean, refreshing feel. The taste has notes of kelp, sea mist, and mineral (wet stone). The aftertaste is soft and floral, and a mineral (metallic) feel is left on the tongue. Drinking this tea gives me the sensation of taking sips of water from a fresh, clean spring. It is incredibly refreshing and uplifting, despite a fairly brief list of tastes.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a deeper shade of pale yellow and light green tint. The aroma retains the grass, kelp, and sea mist scents. The body and feel have thickened slightly, to a light brothy state. The taste has strengthened slightly on the grassy kelp taste, but the sea mist and mineral tastes remain, as well. Although I did like the first infusion better than the second, I think the third and fourth (if possible) may balance out to resemble the first infusion. This second infusion was quite tasteful, but not as clean and smooth as the first infusion.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a color that is quite similar to the first infusion. The aroma retains the kelp, grass, and sea mist scents. The body has lightened, and is more similar to the first infusion. The taste has balanced very nicely, with the grassy/kelp notes lightening and the mineral notes holding even. The metallic feel on the tongue also returned in the third infusion. This infusion was overall better than the second infusion.
The fourth infusion lost very little strength in all aspects. If I had time to keep infusing these leaves, I would have loved to see how many infusions they could provide.
The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. Many of the leaves are whole and unbroken. Some of the leaves measure over two inches (>50 mm) in length. The leaves still have a leathery feel, and some appear to be more mature leaves. The leaves have a fresh grass, hay, and wet forest floor aroma. There is a very light sweetness in the aroma, but it was too light to identify.
This is an intriguing green tea. The large, seemingly mature leaves, and the clean, refreshing feel of this tea puts it high on my list of preferred green teas. This tea would be a perfect beverage to enjoy on a brisk spring or fall morning while in the woods. The energy of this tea calls me to nature. Unfortunately, my bamboo plant in the vase full of river rocks and spring water is the closest I can come to that calling right now.
Thank you again, Eranga, for providing such an amazing green tea. Cheers!