Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mabian Qiaoba Hei Lu Cha (Black Green Tea)

We just bought this tea at the new Focus Market in downtown Emei City. I am always on the lookout for interesting teas, much to my wife's chagrin. On the second floor of the market, there is a new tea house which sells mostly green teas but has some other interesting teas from Sichuan.

As soon as I saw the Black Green Tea (in Chinese), I became very interested. Here is the write up on the back of the 250 gram package:

The product is made from Mabian Qiaoba area which has predominant natural condition as has flaky exuberant thousand year old tea tree up to now, , tea mountain is over 800m altitude, mountain green water beautiful, cloud and mist wreathe. The nutrient tea has water endurance to infuse, fragrant and mellow taste, sweet long aftertaste. It was ranked as Tribute from Ming and Qing Dynasty. It was offered to Zhongnanhai of Beijing in 1959. Now Qiaoba has been cognizance as green food producing base for national green food manage center. "Qiaoba Tribute Tea" is recognized "famous excellent produce" by Sichuan China West produce fair in 2002, evaluated "high quality famous tea" by Sichuan province AGriculture office in 2003, and assessed Leshan city well-known brand at January 2007.

Little bit difficult to grasp the exact meanings in the above label but I think we can all get the idea that this tea came from mountains where there are a lot of mist and clouds and it is pretty high. According to the back label the ingredients consist of "one sprout two or three leaves to make high fragrant bake-fry type green tea."

In addition, the shelf life is supposed to be 18 months. The date of its production was 2008/05/6 or June 5, 2008.

Ok, so what did it taste like?

The tea looks a lot like Mao Feng Green tea but looks to be much more substantial. The leaves are dark green with light green mixed in a little.

Check out the tight curl of the leaves. Nothing special in their dried appears, similar to a Mao Feng or even a Mao Jian tea. Probably came from about the same altitude if the back panel can be believed.

The tea produces a liquor that is similar to all the other green teas from Emei. Light bodied with hints of green and slightly amber in color. The tea is light and refreshing with a slight bitterness at the front followed by a semi-sweet aftertaste that lingers a bit longer than the normal Mao Feng or Mao Jian. This tea is OK but it is not a great tasting tea like my two favorites from Emei: Zhu Ye Qing and Xue Ya. The tea costs 18 Yuan for 250 grams so it is about the same price as the common Emei Mountain Mao Feng we bought at different stores in Emei City.

Here you can see the expended leaves. These made seven infusions before I decided to take the pictures and blog it. The first infusion, I admit, was astringent due mostly to the fact that I put too many leaves in the pot. After the third time, the tea was quite pleasant and it is this third infusion that I am basing my opinions on concerning the tea. The tea is OK. The name is interesting and the write up on the back was cute. Overall, a pretty interesting tea to get to know.

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