Made in the tradition of classic needle-shaped teas from Northern Fujian Province, this lot is unusual in appearance and flavor. Tea makers in the Panyang area, have long produced famed, wonderful black teas of which the needle shape is but one. Working with processing methods and taste profiles honed over many, many years, the styles of the Golden Needle class are numerous. In this case, we found a lot of a less well-known leaf-shape offering cocoa and roasted fruit tastes.
It started with the color and size of the leaves. Leaves are long, flat and thin. Pluck is primarily the top two leaves and a bud. Leaves are large & long in size (not a classic shiny needle style). and a golden-brown color. Aroma is sweet, like straw but rich. Given the date of the lot’s harvest and the leaf pluck, we felt this tea would offer a new taste opportunity.
This lot was grown in Northern Fujian Province in the famous Panyang area. Tea gardens in this area were established more than 300 years ago. This style of Golden Needle is not common and perhaps its presence in the market once again reflects the growing demand for black tea in China’s domestic market. Pluck is two leaves and a bud. The tea was harvested in April 2019.
Plucked early in the harvest window, the taste is clean and smooth. We find it cups to a lush sweetness, filling the mouth with muted fruity notes. The finish is quite nice, smooth and lingering! This style of black tea ages does well in holding body & flavors with aging.
Brewing suggestions. We suggest 3 grams per 8-12 ounces of water at a temperature right up to 205 degrees F. Steep for 2-3 minutes and taste. The flavors will gradually grow on the palate. Leaves will offer 2-3 steeps.