Keep Moving Forward… 08.09.10

Today’s Tea

Fèng Huáng Shān (Mì Lán Xiāng: Fēng Mì Tián Weì) Wū Lóng Chá, 凤凰山 (蜜兰香:蜂蜜甜味) 乌龙茶, Phoenix Mountain (Honey Orchid Fragrance: Honey Sweet) Oolong Tea

Spring, 2021; var. Honey Orchid; Wudong, Fenghuang, Chaozhou, Guangdong; 300 y.o. trees, organic, hand picked, manual oolong process; 1000m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.
This tea was sent to me by my tea Tea friend in Guangdong, #引海茶业.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 50 sec.@95deg. C;
Dry Leaf Aroma: mild, sweet, honeyish;
Wet Leaf Aroma: aromatic, spicy, peppery, orchid, peach;
Liquor: pale yellow liquor with a mild, spicy scent;
Mouthfeel: moderate thickness, peppery, mouth watering, somewhat astringent;
Taste: floral, fruity, followed by a notable retronasal sweet spiciness, and a sweet honeyed finish.

Opinion: The wet leaves are insanely aromatic which follows thought into retronasal notes in the taste. There is also a late onset of minerality and earthiness, which I hope is a characteristic of the 300 year old, organically managed tea trees.

Jí Biān Yǒu Jī Wū Lóng Chá, 极边有机烏龍茶, Jibian Organic Oolong (Black Dragon)Tea

Summer, 2018; var. Qingxin (soft stem); Teng Chong, Yunnan; organic, Taiwan Style Oolong process; 1900-2500m. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 4g in 150ml for 20sec.@90-95 deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: subtle, mango, butterish;
Wet leaf aroma: strong, spicy, peppery, resinous;
Liquor: yellow, with faint, sweet stone fruit scent;
Mouthfeel: watery, metalic, viscous, syrupy, tongue coating, with distinct peppery, prickly ash tingling;
Taste: apricot, cinnamon, lingering retronasal floral , raisin, and spicy hints, underpinned by a distinct minerality, and lingering honey sweet aftertaste.

Opinion: This tea uses fresh leaves of the Qingxin Oolong (soft branch) varietal: a soft stemmed “oolong” tea tree originating in Fujian Province.

Seedlings, or cuttings were then taken to Taiwan where a distinct tea style based on this varietal was developed.

Then seedlings, or cuttings were transplanted from Taiwan into the volcanic, mountainous region of Yunnan to take advantage of the distinct minerality that underlines the flavour of this tea.

Xuě Shuǐ Yún Lǜ (Lǜ Chá), 雪水云绿(绿茶) Snow Water Cloud Green (Green Tea)

Spring, 2021, pre-Ming; var. Dāng Shuǐ Green; Baijiang Union Village, Tonglu County, Hangzhou, Zhejiang; bud only, hand processed; 75-150 meters. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 4g in 150 ml for 20 sec.@90 deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: hints of melon, and stone fruit – white peach;
Wet leaf aroma: vegetal, green peas, baby corn, and a hint of apricot when cool;
Liquor: pale yellow colour, with faint, barely discernible sweet, fruity aroma;
Mouthfeel: thick, viscous, oily, with lingering fresh, spicy, tingling, astringency;
Taste: florist-shop vegetal taste with a mild sweet fruitiness, a mouthwatering bittersweet finish.

Opinion: This tea is all tips, very small and fine buds. Its taste is refreshing and light, which lingers delightfully long on the tongue. This tea is worth savoring, drinking slowly, to enjoy the full experience of it. Highly enjoyable.

Yǐ Shēng Gǔ Shù Bái Chá, 野生古树白茶, Wild Ancient Tree White Tea;

Post-Spring Festival, 2017; var. 300+ y.o. wild trees; Dayao Shan, Lingcan, Yunnan; very young juvenile buds, Sun Dried, minimally processed White Tea; 1800+ m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiānDeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 50-60sec.@90-100deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: lemon, apricot, tangerine peel, hint of fresh ginger;
Wet leaf aroma: spicy, black cardamom, smoked ham;
Liquor: pale lemon yellow, with a dusty, cinnamon, vanilla, and slight candy cane aroma;
Mouthfeel/Taste:thick, viscous, creamy, mildly tingling, sweet, with a mild fish bone, prickle the throat aftertaste;
Flavour: milky, floral, sweet spice aromatics, with a mild florist shop vegetal finish.

Fèng Huáng Yā ShǐXiāng Wū Lóng Chá, 凤凰鸭屎香乌龙茶, Phoenix Duck Shit Fragrance Oolong Tea

Spring, 2017; var. yashixiang; Lingtou, Fubin, Raoping; Chaozhou, Guangdong; leaves only, no buds (xiao cai mian, small opening), dancong, nongxiang roast, oolong; 1400m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá#TeaDay.
Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 10-15sec.@90deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: scantily pungent, stone fruit, black dates, raisins, taunting hints of wood smoke, aromatic;
Wet leaf aroma: fragrant, aromatic, spicy, long pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried apricot,;
Liquor: orange-tan colour, the aroma is elusive, fruity, spicy, a touch of jasmine, late elusive hints of coal tar after drinking;
Mouthfeel: buttery/creamy, peppery, mildly astringent, prickly ash;
Taste: delicate, xmas biscuit, sweet;

Opinion: Today is #InternationalTeaDay. This is a pleasant, spicy, aromatic tea, with an interesting and entertaining name, and drinks very well.

Yǎ Ān Cáng Chá 【Hēi Chá】雅安藏茶【黑茶】Ya’an Tibetan Black Tea

Autumn, 2017; var. laochuan; Ya’an, Mendingshan, Sichuan; bud and 4-5 leaves; protected, “UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage,” fermented Hei Cha tea process, moderate pressure tea brick formation; 800m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 5g in 200ml, percolated for 3-4 cycles;
Dry Leaf Aroma: aromatic, earthy, woody, syrupy, dried plums and dates;
Wet Leaf Aroma: mildly musty, damp, like a forest floor;
Liquor: deep ruby red with almost no perceptable aroma, very faintly “damp;”
Mouthfeel: viscous, mildly tannic and peppery, with a almost buttery-sweet finish;
Taste: delicate, neutral, “tea” like, wet wood and tobacco, with a lingering minerality;

Opinion: #TibetanTea is a post-fermented tea, or #HeiCha style tea. It originates from Ya’an, in Sichuan province. This style of tea was pressed into bricks and traded along the “Horse and Tea Road” throughout the Tibetan Region. The history of tea in this area goes back over 1300 years, giving rise to the claim that Ya’an is the origin source for “black” tea.

Zhèngshān Xiǎozhǒng Hóng Chá, 正山小种红茶, Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

Spring, 2018; var. xiao zhong (small leaf); Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian; bud & 1-2 leaves, pinewood smoked; 1100-1400m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: a) 10g tea, b) 20g tea 100ml hot water flashed, topped up with 9000ml chilled, Nongfu Spring water and steeped overnight in the refrigerator, then carbonated with a sodastream device.

Opinion: At CBCE 2021, I recently learned that carbonated tea is becoming more and more a thing. Apparently, a China-based, beverage maker, (Daniel de Smedt,) is exploring the marketability of carbonated Zhèngshān Xiǎozhǒng Hóng, which is, fascinating!

There is quite a substantial difference in taste with a change in the amount of tea steeped. Interestingly, there is a notable tartness, sourness, that stimulates the sides of the tongue which may be due to the tea’s interaction with the carbonation.

Lóng Jǐng Lǜ Chá, 龙井绿茶, Dragon Well Green Tea

Lóng Jǐng Lǜ Chá, 龙井绿茶, Dragon Well Green Tea; Spring, 2020; var. #43; Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province; one bud and leaf, green tea process; 200-300m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 6g tea, 50ml hot water flashed, topped up with 550ml chilled, #NongfuSpring water and steeped overnight in the refrigerator, then carbonated with a #sodastream device;

Dry Leaf Aroma: aromatic, fragrant, cotton candy, eggy;
Wet Leaf Aroma: vegetal, grassy, buttery;
Liquor: pale yellow colour with mildly spicy, peppery and floral aroma;
Mouthfeel: light, thin texture, mildly carbonated, mouthwatering
Taste: light, refreshing, pleasant.

Opinion: Summer is here and I’m looking for something different. I’m looking to see how brewing method changes the character of a tea, its flavour and body. I’m also looking to see how carbonation impacts taste and mouthfeel. This tea is floral on the nose with every sip, but carbonation seems to overly thin the texture.

Táiwān Jīnxūan Gāoshān Chá, 臺灣金萱高山茶, Taiwan Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea

Táiwān Jīnxūan Gāoshān Chá, 臺灣金萱高山茶, Taiwan Jin Xuan High Mountain Tea; Spring, 2020; var. Jinxuan #12, Milk Oolong; Alishan, Taiwan; 1 bud 2 leaves, light roast (naixiang) oolong process; 1400m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3-4g in 200ml for 2-3min.@90-100deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: subtle, herbaceous, hints of apricot and sweet melon;
Wet Leaf Aroma: butter and mildly floral;
Liquor: pale yellow colour with faint almond, nutty aroma;
Mouthfeel: smooth, viscous, creamy, mildly stimulating, peppery, with a sweet and mildly bitter finish;
Taste: floral, mildly herby, hints of orchid, with a refreshing aftertaste and minerality on the tip of the tongue;

Opinion: I believe this is an unscented, milk oolong, its aroma and flavor is more muted that precious milk oolongs that I’ve sampled. For that it is a much more refined and pleasant tea to drink.

“Vahdam” Darjeeling Spring Black Tea, 大吉岭泉红茶. Dà Jí Lǐng Quán Hóng Chá

“Vahdam” Darjeeling Spring Black Tea, 大吉岭泉红茶. Dà Jí Lǐng Quán Hóng Chá; Spring 2019; var. Assamica; single origin, Darjeeling, India; hand picked, blended black tea; elev. various. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.
Infusion: Steep for 2-3min in 375ml@100deg. C

Opinion: This would have to be one of my goto favorites from #Vadham Tea. It has a light and delicate flavor, is hard to overbrew, and has a pleasant aftertaste. It is a great tea for the afternoon but if you prefer something strong for the morning, this is not that tea.

Twinings English Breakfast Tea, 英式早餐茶, Yīng Shì Zǎo Cān Chá

Best Before: 13.07.2023; var. Assamica blend (Kenya, Malawi, Assam, Indonesia, China); Prod. Poland; Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF) in folded paper bag without metal staple, black tea process; elev. unknown. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 2.07g for 2-3min. in 375ml@100deg. C.

Opinion: Twinings of London’s history as a tea supplier and blender goes back to 1706. It certainly has a reputation for “premium” tea for a premium price, yet it is also a flagship target, in the battle against, “teabag tea” by traditional or orthodox tea producers, and proponents of whole leaf, single origin teas.

Is such a situation fair? Absolutely! Especially when its tea bag offerings hit the store shelves at more than twice the price of its competition, without noticeable difference in quality either in packaging, or in the cup.

There is no doubt that this tea is convenient, but in spite it occupying a pedestal for my entire life, to date, there is nothing about it to recommend its place there, other than open faced, shameless, bragging rights that one is happy to waste money, on nothing more than a brand name. Luxury in name only, unfortunately.

Gāo Shān Gòng Méi Chá, 高山贡眉茶, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, Alpine Tribute Eyebrow “Old White” Tea

2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 5g in 250ml, steeped for 5min. @90deg. C

Opinion: From Five Element Tea Theory, Old White Tea can be drink anytime. This tea, today has a beautiful glowing, golden amber colour, a creamy mouthfeel, sweet, honeyed taste with hints of tangerine and grapefruit, and a mouthwatering, freshmint finish.

Shēng Tài Chá Lǜ Chá, 生态茶绿茶, Ecological Tea Green Tea

Spring, Mingqing, 2020; var: Ya’an Lao Chuan Tea; Mending Shan, Sichuan; one bud & 1-2 leaves, semi-manual green tea process; 1000m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 10-30sec@90deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: spiced egg biscuit;
Wet Leaf Aroma: spicy, peppery;
Liquor: pale yellow-green liquor with a buttery, bready, mildly cinnamon spiced aroma;
Mouthfeel: moderately viscous, creamy, smooth, stimulating, mouthwatering, with a metallic, sweet finish;
Taste: bready, malty, light, peppery, mildly astringent, with a sweet, lingering lemon-citrus aftertaste;

Opinion: The lingering fresh aftertaste of this tea is highly enjoyable. My initial response was, “Wow! Lemon Biscuits…”

Vahdam Tea Darjeeling Spring Black Tea, 大吉岭泉红茶, Dà Jí Lǐng Quán Hóng Chá

#VahdamTea, #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: Steep for 2min in hot copper pot.

Opinion: Teabags! For several years all I’ve heard is that, “Tea Bag Tea” is bad tea because it’s alleged that the paper bag contents are tea dust and floor scrapings. Not a pleasant image.

Yet, over that time, various companies have tried to gussey-up their bags with cotton, silk, and nylon, changing the shape in different ways, even pyramid shaped!

The issue however, is not the bags per se but the contents. It always has been. Today, I find the argument against Tea Bag tea to somewhat loose its power as the contents have vastly improved especially with whole leaf teas.

IF Tea bags are still an issue? THEN they are so, for environmental reasons. Being made from nylon, one must consider what happens to the waste bags after consumption?

With millions in the making, and their small size, what stops them getting into the environment and our water and sea ways? What stops them becoming micro plastics and fish contaminants?

The shape of the pyramid Tea Bag is great and it does facilitate good brewing of whole leaf tea, but perhaps manufacturers and the tea industry needs to revisit the waste management side of the equation?

Gāo Shān Gòng Méi Chá, 高山贡茶, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, High Mountain Tribute Eyebrow Old White Tea

2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf;, Gaoshan Gongmei Laobai Cha, High Mountain Tribute Eyebrow Old White Tea; 2017, Autumn; var. Dabai; Fuding, Fujian; bud & 2-3 leaves, white tea processed, aged, loose leaf; elev. unknown; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Opinion: Today’s tea is loose leaf aged white tea WITH dried tangerine peel, stepped for 4-5 min. I’ve been told that whilst on the vaccine I should not drink strong tea. Now, from published, Chinese research, tangerine peel may be good at combating the Corona Virus, and from Five Element Theory, Old white Tea can be drink anytime. So, needing something more than just warm or cool water, I’m drinking this tea.

Gān Lù Chá,甘露茶, Mending “Sweet Dew” Green Tea

Pre-Qingming, Spring, 2021; var. Xiaoye Zhong Lao Chuan Cha; Mendingshan, Sichuan; bud only/mainly, 3x frying & rubbing green tea method: Tea Master, Liu Wang Cheng; 1000-1450m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3.3g (1 sachet) in 150ml for 1-2min. @80-90deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: bready, biscuity, buttery, nutty;
Wet Leaf Aroma: slightly sweet, vegetal, cooked peas & lentils;
Liquor: pale yellow straw colour, with a sweet and slightly floral aroma;
Mouthfeel: moderately viscous, syrupy, mild spicy tingling and freshness, with a sweet finish;
Taste: mildly nutty, buttery, slightly vegetal, with retronasal orange/tangerine floral finish;

Opinion: Sweet or Honey “Dew,” “Manna,” or “Tea of the Immortal” (吴理真Wú Lǐ Zhēn,) is one of the oldest and revered green teas in China with almost 2000 years of continuous production history.

This is an overall pleasant tea but is susceptible to over brewing, which results in an orange pith-like bitterness. Whilst not entirely unpleasant, is not desirable either. When brewed correctly, this is a very pleasant drink.

Méndǐng Huáng Yá Chá, Mending Yellow Bud Tea

2021, Spring pre-Qingming; var. Sichuan Xiao Ye Zhong, small leaf; Ya’an Mountain area, Mendingshan, Sichuan; single bud, hand roasted by Tea Master Lìu Wànchèng, yellow paper wrapped, yellow tea process; 1000m. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: pre-steam, 3g in 150ml for 15-20sec.@90-95deg. C

Dry leaf aroma: buttery, nutty, and hints of unscented white rice;
Wet leaf aroma: fresh, steamed snow peas, with a bright, high, elusive note;
Liquor: very pale straw colour, with a vague buttery, almond scent;
Mouthfeel: viscous, syrupy, stimulating, with a lingering sweet melon finish;
Taste: creamy, buttery, with nutty, toasted/puffed rice notes, and subtle, retronasal maltiness.

Opinion: Preparing this tea today I tried a technique for Mogan Huangya: pre-steaming before the first wash. The leaves are placed into an infuser above some 90deg. C water for a short period of time to steam then they are washed, followed by first infusion. Looking back my tasting notes, this year’s tea tastes and drinks differently from last year, it seems to have a more earthy, mature character. It’s very pleasant to drink.

Lì Yáng Tiān Mù Hú Jīn Yá Bái Chá, 溧阳天目胡金牙白茶 , Liyang Tianmu Lake Golden Bud White Tea

Spring, Mingqian, 2020 ; var. bai ye yi hao – white leaf No. 1; Tianmu Lake, Liyang County, Jiangsu; Bud and 1-2 leaves, green tea process; 250-350m. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Dry leaf: alfalfa, straw, hints of dry biscuits, pea shoots or sprouts;
Wet leaf: strong vegetal aroma, fading to a mild fishiness;
Liquor: light yellow straw colour with a faint, honey blossom aroma
Mouthfeel: creamy, thick; lightly astringent, soft lingering hints of white pepper;
Taste: Chestnut, green, snowpeas, sweet, floral, honey;

Opinion: This is a confusingly described tea. It’s a, “golden bud” tea, which sometimes translates as, “yellow tea,” it’s called a, ”white tea,” and it is processed as a, ”green tea.” This really does my head in just thinking about it. Would love to have a more detailed understanding of this particular tea.

Méndǐng Huáng Chá, 蒙顶黄茶, Mending Yellow Bud Tea

2020 & 2021. #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

I just recently took delivery of a 2021 Handmade Yellow Tea from Sichuan. I still have tea left over from last year, so it’s a great opportunity to compare the same tea from the same farm and the same tea master, where the difference is one year to the next. Happy!

Nán Jīng Yǔ Huā Chá, 南京雨花茶, Nanjing Yuhua Tea, (Rain Flower Green Tea)

Early Spring, 2021; var. Camilia sinensis; Jiangnan Tea Market, Nanjing, Jiangsu; bud and leaf, traditional hand-made tea, pine needle shaping; 20-50m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 200ml for 30-40sec.@85 deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: short bread biscuits or Danish cookies with a pronounced, buttery greenness;
Wet Leaf Aroma: watermelon rind, with a hint of Clementine segments, pasionfruit, and Monstera deliciosa;
Liquor: pale yellow-green liquor with light, sweet, fruity scent;
Mouthfeel: thick, viscous, creamy, mildly stimulating and fresh, with a sweet finish, followed by a lingering, gentle, minerality;
Taste: bready, biscuity, buttery, fruity, sweet;

Opinion: This tea… this tea has me chasing down the rabbit hole of a faint and ancient childhood memory. My mum had a Monstera deliciosa which fruited once. She told us kids it was a Fruit Salad Plant. Eventually it ripened and she picked it. Tropical fruit salad, pineapple, banana, mango, mildly sweet smelling, and surprising taste.

Yě Shēng Qī Yè Jiǎo Gǔ Lán Chá, 野生七叶绞股蓝茶, Wild Seven Leaves Jiaogulan Tea

2018; var. Gynostemma pentaphyllum; Dayao Shan, Guangxi; leaves only, sundried; 800-1500m;

Infusion: 5g in 200ml for 10 sec.@85deg. C

Dry Leaf Aroma: herbal, raisins, prunes;
Wet Leaf Aroma: strong, sharp, spicy;
Liquor: golden yellow with a faint mineral aroma;
Mouthfeel: thick, viscous, sweet with a prominent bitter finish on the tip of the tongue;
Taste: sweet, oily, medicinal, vaguely fishy, with a sharp, mineral pungency, and lingering mouthwatering finish;

Opinion: Known as, “Southern Ginseng“ and the Tea of longevity, this tea does have a ginseng-like character to it. I have a kind of love-hate relationship with this tea, I know it’s good for me but it tastes like medicine. I guess this is one of those teas that, like a new pair of shoes, is uncomfortable at first, but grows on you with time.

Shú Pū Wǔ Jī, 熟普五级, 5th Grade Shu Pu’er Tea

Autumn, 2020; var. Camelia sinensis (blended sub-varietals); (Lucy Wang YNteas Agri Tech Co., Ltd.) Menglian, Yunnan; bud and 1-2 leaves, EU Organic, Pu’er Wo Dui process; 1400-1800m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 40-60sec.@100deg. C;

Dry Leaf Aroma: musty, damp, compost;
Wet Leaf Aroma: damp, wet, muddy;
Liquor: deep amber color with faint red-pink tongue & slight wet forest floor aroma;
Mouthfeel: viscous with a watery finish, minerally, dusty, tingling, biting, slight sweet and fresh finish;
Taste: earthy, slight retronasal hints of camphor, mildly sweet;

Opinion: This is the third of a set of pu’er teas that differ only by tea grade. This particular tea has a closer profile to the 1st Grade tea and is a little more funky compared to the 3rd grade tea.

These three teas have really challenged my views about tea and my rationale for drinking particular styles of tea. Clearly, I am still a Tea Newbie and need to spend much more time sampling Pu’er teas to get to know and appreciate their challenging aromas and flavors. Don’t get me wrong though, I have enjoyed drinking them.

Shú Pū Sān Jī, 熟普三级, 3rd Grade Shu Pu’er Tea

Shú Pū Sān Jī, 熟普三级, 3rd Grade Shu Pu’er Tea; Autumn, 2020; var. Camelia sinensis (blended sub-varietals); (Lucy Wang YNteas Agri Tech Co., Ltd.) Menglian, Yunnan; bud and 1-2 leaves, EU Organic, Pu’er Wo Dui process; 1400-1800m; #TodaysTea#今天的茶#JīnTiāndeChá.

Infusion: 3g in 150ml for 40-60sec.@100deg. C;

Dry Leaf Aroma: earthy, touch of malt,
Wet Leaf Aroma: damp earth, forest leaf litter;
Liquor: browny amber colour with a dusty, dried tangerine peel aroma;
Mouthfeel: viscous, mouth coating, minerally, grainy, tingling, biting, slight fresh finish;
Taste: earthy, with a short vaguely malty hit, followed by a lingering fresh aftertaste with murky retronasal aromas;

Opinion: The primary difference between this tea and its First Grade (Grade 1) counterpart is in overall aroma and flavor.

This is possibly due to the bag of tea sitting out on my table for the last 2-3 days or so allowing for some of the funk to gas off. Whilst it hasn’t won anything in the “Favorites” stakes, it is definitely not umpleasant to drink, far from it.

I’m curious now to cup all three at the same time to see if there is any discernible difference purely due to Grade.

Méi Zhàn Jīn Jùn Mèi, 梅占金骏眉, Mei Zhan Golden Eyebrow Black Tea

Spring 2020; various cultivars; (Hydron Gao Tonglin Tea) Nanping, Fujian; bud only; elev. unknown;

Infusion: 4g in 180-200ml for 20-30sec.@100deg. C;

Dry Leaf Aroma: rose, lychee, hint of soft citrus;
Wet Leaf Aroma: slightly acrid like cold fire place, slightly floral, slightly sweet;
Liquor: pale amber with a slightly vegetal presence;
Mouthfeel: thick, creamy, viscous, tongue tingling, metallic;
Taste: buttery, pear, melon, some honey notes, hint of breadiness;

Opinion: Compared to yesterday’s tea, this couldn’t be more different, colour, flavour, aroma, texture; is like chalk and cheese. On first impressions, this tea kinda reminds me of Turkish Delight. It is quite noticeably floral but subtle. It has body and understated elegance. It is indulgent, like a full body oil massage, under the shade, in the mountains, on a warm Spring afternoon. In essence, it is a rather contemplative tea.