Drum Mountain Clouds & Mist (Mei Lan Chun) - Aged Lot

"The best green tea I've ever tried. Rich and satisfying, but, being a green tea, it's also light and refreshing." Clairemarie

Single-origin, small-farm grown using traditional farming methods then hand processed to capture the naturally wonderful attributes of this high mountain varietal. Crafted with skills that are becoming increasingly rare in the traditional tea world, this cultivar offers highly aromatic leaves and a complex and rich taste like no other green tea. At the suggestion of the tea farmer, we have aged this particular lot for one year (it was harvested in 2015) to deepen its rich vegetal and melon-like flavors.  Grown in Fujian Province, this tea is locally known as "Mei Lan Chun" and is made using the slow-growing "Mei Zhan" varietal.  At the farm's elevation of approximately 900 meters, this varietal grows slowly and at harvest time (it is generally harvested in early April) the leaves are comparatively small, deep green and tight in shape.

It's growth is nurtured by the clouds and mist that shroud the mountains (an environment the Chinese refer to as "yun-wu" - a perfect place to grow tea). This combination of elevation, soil, clouds and spring rain, then warming temperatures and mists followed by cooling air and colder nighttime temperatures produces this very aromatic leaf. The processing of the raw leaf is tricky and slow, requiring skill and patience as its production requires a deft touch to maintain and bring out the rare flavors the leaves offer. As a result, fewer farmers are making this tea and it is becoming increasingly rare with supply never quite equal to demand.

Why we selected this lot.  Each year a single origin tea's aroma and taste profile will change. The new crop brings new twists to the flavor and the palate.  Our 2015 lot of this tea is high-grade by all measures. The leaves are a deep green coloration, the leaf aroma is sharp and clean.  A deft hand in the firing of the leaves has allowed the natural & sweet notes of the leaf to come through.  Cupping the lot, we found depth in flavors, plenty of vegetal and sweet notes and a lingering clean aftertaste that truly marks this tea as an exceptional green. Aged lot # 5.

Tasting notes. The liquor is pale straw, while the cup boasts flavors of herbs and anise balanced with a natural and wet sweetness; flavor is uplifting, invigorating, leaving a wonderful lingering finish on the palate.  Note, the leaves produce a high concentration of chlorophyll and nutrients which result in its rich savory flavor.

Brewing suggestions.  This tea is strong, use 3 grams for 8-12 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.  At 2 minutes, there is a wonderful blend of flavors and notes.  Longer steep times begin to "crowd" the notes and some of the cultivars subtle notes are lost. Drain all water from the leaves after steeping and you will have 3-4 steeps.  

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