First buds of the harvest offer the most pronounced flavors and aromas of the season. As late winter temperatures begin to warm, particularly in the mountains, dormant tea bushes awaken and sprout dense, compact buds, the first new tea. Harvested by hand and limited in quantity, these buds provide the tea maker the opportunity to craft a high-grade lot. Black Bud is this class of tea, a tea to savor in all its natural and crafted complexities. Lot #1.
Tea Notes. Lot is made by a teamaker, Mr. Wen, who farms tea in the mountains near Fuzhou. Wen's farm produces only a limited quantity of tea using the Mei Zhan cultivar (origin in the WuYi Mountains). Each year, Wen produces select lots of white, green, and black varieties. Lots are crafted, we visit and taste and, with agreement, bring this year's black offering to our customers. Handpicked, painstakingly made, Black Bud well reflects of art of timing the pluck, handling and shaping this unique tea.
Tea Facts. Harvested Pre-Qing Ming in first week of April 2021. Mei Zhan is the origin varietal. Cultivar is considered slow growing with a dense leaf structure. The result is high aroma and rich, nuanced flavors.
Tasting Notes. In sampling, we use a steep time of 2 minutes at 205 F. The idea with a short steep is to find the range of flavors the leaves offer at the front and back of the tasting. As this tea is a bud, it is strong; there is astringency yet it is controlled and serves to accentuate the tea's varied sweet notes. Naturally sweet, coppery, exceptionally clean with a wonderful lingering finish.
Brewing Suggestions. Use 3 grams (one teaspoon) of leaf per 8 ounces of water. Water temperature can range from 195-205 F. Steep 1.5 to 2 minutes and taste. Multiple steeps are the rule.