"Reminiscent of nectar from heaven with a rich finish and a lingering, sweet aftertaste." A famous tea buyer's comment after cupping.
"Sweet melon taste and a complexity that is beautiful." Steepster Tea Review
This is one of China's finest green teas. Crafted with skills that are becoming increasingly rare in the traditional tea world, this cultivar offers highly aromatic leaves and a taste that is complex and rich in vegetal flavors & melon and hints of anise. Grown in Fujian Province and known as "Mei Lan Chun", it is made with the slow-growing "Mei Zhan" varietal and uses the first bud of spring, thus the local name "Chun Ya" for the leaves. 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 compact and 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. This lot was harvested first week of April 2018.
Why we selected this particular lot. As with any specialty, single-origin, handmade tea, each year the offerings change, bringing new twists to the flavor and the palate. The 2016 version of this tea is everything a truly high-grade, rare tea can offer. The leaves are deep green and long with touches of grey-white. The leaf aroma is sharp and clean with a hint of anise. There is no trace of the firing process allowing the natural sweet notes of the leaf to come through. Cupping the lot, we found it had depth, plenty of vegetal and sweet notes and the lingering clean aftertaste we have come to appreciate. We noted the taste of this tea remained in our mouths well after we had tasted it. We tasted a number of lots from this season and found this our favored one. Rare lot #8.
Tasting notes. The liquor is pale straw, while the cup boasts flavors of anise, cinnamon, and other warm spices. Balanced with a perfect sweetness, the flavor is uplifting, full and balanced, leaving a wonderful lingering finish on the palate. Note, the leaves produce a high concentration of chlorophyll and nutrients which result in its rich 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 1.5 to 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 multiple steeps.