Tea growing in China is predominately done on small farms, cultivating local varietals using traditional methods and processing leaves to local taste preferences. These small lots teas are rarely found outside the region in which they are produced. Often, the harvest takes place in the wild, that is, outside the boundaries of a farm - no fences, no rows!
Wild Green is a "fresh tea" harvested from wild tea bushes growing in the mountains along the coast of Fujian Province. Harvested in the first pluck of spring, the leaves are processed to the local custom for appearance, aroma and taste. The result is a "fresh" green tea offering a very distinct aroma and a range of flavors from asparagus to anise to stone fruit. The cultivar is MeiZhan, which over time, has adapted to the local terrier (soils, moisture, climate) developing characteristics unique to its mountainous area. This lot was wild harvested in the first week of April 2018. No certification is available for these leaves but as the tea is grown wild, the farm believes no chemicals or pesticides have been applied. Lot #W-1.
The aroma of this tea will spike one's interest. It is comparatively high-fire as one will note in the aroma. Given the high elevation at which these bushes grow, the taste is clean and sweetly vegetal. In cupping, the complexity of this varietal comes through, flavors are varied and grow in the second steep as the leaves more fully open. This lot captures the essence of the spring harvest - bringing something unusual to the palate, unique to the season to be enjoyed.
The varietal is Mei Zhan. This lot was made from wild tea bushes growing in the mountains near the coast of Fujian Province. Varietal is a comparatively slow growing leaf. It is also a difficult varietal to process well as it is high fired according to local custom and the leaves can turn very quickly become "bakey" in the firing process. This lot was not made for export as the annual harvest is quite small. The varietal originated in the Wuyi mountains and has been cultivated in the coastal regions for generations now.
First impressions are of clean, sweet vegetal notes. Think flavors of asparagus, anise and stone fruit. Grown at an elevation where the bushes are exposed to stark temperature changes from day to night that serve to clarify the liquor and create clean tastes. At the same time, note this tea is strong, offering multiple steeps.
Use approximately a teaspoon for 8-12 ounces of water at a temperature of 195 - 205 degrees F. Steep for 1.5 - 2 minutes and taste. The flavor should be full & sweet with no astringency. In the second steep you will note a fuller and rounded flavor as the leaves open. It will steep multiple times.