Thursday, July 26, 2012

Xiaotian Lanhua Green Tea

We bought this tea from the same family in Qimen City where we bought most of our Qimen Red Tea and the previously tasted wild green tea. It is from the nearby town of Xiaotian and comes from the mountains that encircle the town. From what I was able to find on the internet, this tea has won some local awards. The lanhua or orchid refers to how it tastes, reminding one of the smell of orchids. We spent around three hours talking about tea and tasting the various teas they had from the region. I remember this one was especially sweet and pleasant. I have not been drinking this tea as much as the wild tea but occasionally we will try some. It is really orchid sweet and mild.

This tea looks a lot like the Huangshan Mao Feng we bought in Anhui Province. It was obviously processed in the same manner and exhibits the hair that the mao feng teas have. It is very dark with only hints of green in it.

One can see the hair on most of the stalks like Mao Feng. The tea is processed like Mao Feng but with a little tighter wrap, making the tea look almost like sprigs of grass.

A little closer and one can see the just how the leaves have been wrapped and the hair on the stems. This tea looks like it could almost be a more oxidized tea than a green. It as kept very nicely in our refrigerator this past year but it is most definitely time to drink it up.

To steep this tea I used the glass tea outfit we bought on our last trip to China. I bought two of these "tea devices" and they work really well. I used boiling water that had sat for about three minutes to get the temperature down.

The color of the liquid is a pale gold and taste magnificent. The tea is sweet from start to finish with no real aftertaste. As with all sweet green teas, it reminded me of the artesian well a couple of miles from where I grew up in north central Oklahoma. Lots of mineral taste, flowery, sweet and very refreshing. This is a much better tea than the Huangshan Ye Tea I tasted yesterday. Believe I will have this tea for the rest of July. Makes a nice morning tea!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Huangshan Ye Cha

We bought this Mt. Huangshan Wild Green Tea in Qimen, Anhui Province when we were searching for the authentic Qimen tea. We have been drinking this tea now for sometime so I thought I would do a tea tasting with it before it was all gone.

The leaves are shorter and more tightly wrapped than the famous Huangshan Mao Feng. The color tended toward a golden brown with a small amount of stems among the leaves.

This close up reveals just how brown and golden most of the leaves are. The tea is very much like a tightly wrapped Qimen but not as short and obviously not nearly as fermented.

We bought this Mt. Huangsha Wild Tea in Qimen, Anhui Province when we were searching for the authentic Qimen tea. We have been drinking this tea now for sometime so I thought I would do a tea tasting with it before it was all gone.

So how is this tea? Since we have been drinking it for some time now, I can say I like it. I did three steepings and each came out almost identical in taste and strength. The first time around was the weakest (not enough time and a bit too hot water)but it was very refreshing and tasted clear with hints of vegetables and spring. The aftertaste was pleasant and long-lasting.

The liquor is dark yellow to golden brown. Each steeping presented almost identical color in the liquor. The taste is actually a bit stronger than what I expected based on this color. Generally, I drink this tea very light in the morning and do not use boiling water. I let the boiled water stand for about five minutes before I pour it over the leaves. It works great and I end up getting around five steeping with the tea which works out well for a morning tea.

I never drink green tea in the afternoon as it bothers my stomach, forcing me to take Zantac before I go to bed. Oolong tea or Puerh tea is what I drink in the afternoon. Absolutely no problems with the stomach and these teas.

This is the third time around and I let it steep for about four minutes. Came out as nice and strong as the first two without any serious bitterness. I once read that a good tea will tend not to go bitter quickly, no matter how long one steeps it. Not sure if this is correct. I do have some cheap teas which tend to be bitter the longer one steeps them.

The nice little green leaves show up well in the tea pot. Looks to be two very small and delicate leaves that have been processed on each stalk. They looked shiny and pale green. The taste matches the color of the leaves, pale and refreshing yet slightly strong in its aftertaste. It starts out refreshing and tastes like unidentifiable vegetables until it is swallowed. The aftertaste continues for several minutes after swallowing.

Here you can see the leaves a little bit better. They are very uniform and precise. It took a long to pick these leaves. The family who sold us the tea said it came from near the top of the mountain on uncultivated tea plants. Nice sounding sales pitch.

Overall, this tea is a good little green tea, great for drinking at around noon. Been doing it most of 2012 and will do so for a few more months.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clay Tea Pot

A clay tea pot so old, yet picturesque
Sits empty on the corner of my desk

Surrounded by cups in a porcelain bowl
Awaiting the water now in my control

Boiled perfectly to the exact right degree
Ready to be poured on waiting green tea