"Reminiscent of nectar from heaven with a rich finish and a lingering, sweet aftertaste." A famous tea buyer's comment after cupping.
One of China's finest green teas, Mei Lan Chun is crafted with skills that are becoming increasingly rare in the tea world. The cultivar, Mei Zhan, offers highly aromatic leaves and a taste that is complex - rich in flavors of melon and hints of anise. Grown in Fujian Province, this year's "Spring Bud" was plucked in the first week of April. It is made primarily of buds with an occasional first leaf, thus the recognition as a "fine pluck". It's growth is nurtured by the clouds and mist that shroud the mountains (an environment referred to as "yun-wu" - a perfect place to grow tea). This combination of elevation, soil, clouds and spring rain, warming temperatures and mists followed by cooling air as night falls serves to produce this compact and very aromatic leaf. The processing of the raw leaf requires skill and patience as its production requires a deft touch to maintain and bring out the rare flavors the leaves offer. This lot was harvested April 7, 2019. Lot # 9.
As with any specialty, single-origin, handmade tea, each year the offerings change, bringing new twists to the flavor and the palate. The 2019 version of this tea is round in its flavor perhaps reflecting the heavy early spring rain and gradual warming that brought generally very good teas to market. The buds are dense, packed with complex flavors (polyphenols). The leaf aroma is vegetal and clean with a hint of anise. The liquor is bright. The naturally sweet notes of the leaf to come through. In cupping, we found depth, plenty of vegetal and sweet notes and a lingering clean aftertaste.
The liquor is bright, the cup boasts flavors of anise, cinnamon, and warm spice. A sweet vegetal aroma greets the nose. Balanced & sweet, the flavor uplifts, then leaves a wonderful lingering finish on the palate. Note, the leaves produce a high concentration of chlorophyll and nutrients which result in its rich flavor.
This tea is strong, use 3 grams for 8 ounces of water at a temperature of 185-195 degrees F. This tea offers a very pleasing, round taste at these temperatures. Steeped at higher temperatures, the leaves will release more flavor quickly and provide a deeper cup taste but more subtle flavors may be lost. At 1.5 minutes, there is a wonderful blend of flavors and notes. At 2 minutes, the cup is admittedly fuller and denser in flavor. Longer steep times will "crowd" the notes, more flavors are lost. Drain all water from the leaves after steeping and you will assuredly have multiple steeps.