Back to the samples from Vietnam, as I am in the mood for a green tea, and these Vietnam samples are the most unfamiliar and interesting teas on my review list. Today’s review focuses on the Tan Cuong Green Tea. This is among the more famous green tea products in Vietnam. The tea is grown and produced just north of Hanoi, in the Thai Nguyen province, near the Red River delta.
This is the first of the “specialty” green tea products that I will be tasting from this supplier. The sample packet has been opened. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a uniform pale dark forest color. The leaves appear to be mostly medium to large fragments, and possibly some whole leaves. The leaves are rolled, and curled. There are few bare stems, and some buds in the mix. The aroma has scents of sweet dry grass and light brown sugar.
Ten grams of dry leaves were placed in an eighteen ounce (530 ml) cast-iron teapot. 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 light golden-green color, clear and transparent. The aroma had scents of fresh cut grass, toasted nuts, and a very light brown sugar. The body was light, with a smooth, easy to sip texture. The taste had notes of fresh cut grass, toasted nuts, and light wood. The aftertaste is vegetal and grassy, with a nice flowery essence being left on the breath.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly bolder shade of golden-green color. The aroma lost no strength, retaining the scents of fresh cut grass and toasted nuts. The body retained the same level as the first infusion. The taste balanced out well, and retained all the same notes of fresh cut grass, light wood, and toasted nuts. The aftertaste and essence retained their strength, also. I was quite impressed by the second infusion.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a very slightly lighter color than the second infusion, but slightly darker than the first. The aroma lightened slightly, but retained the same scents. The body and taste also thinned slightly, but all retained the same general notes, with the toasted nut note diminishing more than the fresh cut grass or light wood notes. This was still a very good tasting infusion.
The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color, with some slight variation in the shade. The leaves are mostly medium to large fragments, and there are more whole leaves than I originally estimated. The pluck is two leaves and a fine bud. There are also a few young bare stems in the mix, as well as young buds. The leaves have a soft, smooth texture, and are fairly delicate. Many of the leaves have not fully unrolled, and I believe these leaves may produce a fourth worthwhile infusion.
Overall, I find this tea to be very comparable to several styles of Chinese green tea in taste and aroma. Besides the bright and attractive color of the infusion, I would have to say I am most impressed by the consistency and strength of the aroma and taste of this tea through all three infusions. The third infusion had plenty of taste, and I imagine a fourth infusion would still produce an acceptable flavor. The flavor of this tea would allow it to be a very suitable daily green tea. Generally, I have nothing negative to note on this product, other than perhaps the fact that there is not necessarily a characteristic that really stands out over other teas. Regardless of that fact, I really enjoyed this product.