Dry tea leaves: Small, wiry tea buds with white tips
Liquor: Bright green
Brewing: Gongfu style using a small tea pot
Last month I ordered some black and green tea samples from Teavivre. Green teas I ordered have been produced this year so I’ve decided to review two of their green teas. Not that I did not like their black teas, to the contrary they are great. Yet nothing like fresh tea, right? In this post I review one of the famous Chinese green teas which is originally grown in the Dongding Mountain in Jiangsu: Bi Luo Chun (aka Green Snail Spring).
Dry tea leaves are light green with silvery buds. They are curled similar to a snail as its name suggests. You can get lots of floral tones alongside with a hint of grassiness.
I brewed it Gongfu style using a small glass tea pot starting with a little over a minute for the first infusion which resulted with a little bit of bitterness. The liquor is dominated by grassy flavor with floral notes in the background. In order to get rid of bitterness in the first infusion I went exactly for a minute for the second infusion. Tea revealed its full potential at this infusion. There still is some bitterness alongside with its sweetness but not at a level that bothers me. Mostly I get is a very smooth and sweet tea alongside with grassy notes in the background. For the third infusion I increased brewing duration to one and a half minute to keep up with the taste of second infusion. There it’s again! Although grassiness started to fade away at this infusion; it’s now sweeter and smoother. I’ve made five infusions in total though it’s considerably lost its flavor and aroma in the fourth infusion.
In a nutshell it’s a fresh and refreshing tea with fruity, floral and grassy notes. Recommended to anyone who’s looking for some best teas of 2015!
Country : Pinglin, Taiwan Dry tea leaves: Ball-shaped tea leaves with nutty and floral aroma. Liquor: Crystal clear, golden yellow liquor with floral and fruity aroma.
Another good oolong tea from Global Tea Hut. This month’s tea, Buddha’s Palm (aka Fo Shou), coming from Pinglin, Taiwan. It’s a ball-shaped, highly roasted oolong tea. It’s roasted and donated to Global Tea Hut by a tea master named Master Lü Li Zhen who is also featured in this month’s magazine by Global Tea Hut.
When you smell dry tea leaves you get the feeling that it’s gonna be a bitter tea due to aroma of tea leaves, however it’s quite contrary. The liquor is very sweet and floral alongside with its crystal clear appearance.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never been a continuous Puerh tea drinker. I don’t even remember the last time I drank it. The underlying reason for that is I kind of get the impression that Puerh teas are the most complicated of all teas and it takes a lot of competency to really appreciate it. That unconscious belief has led me to stay away from enjoying this category of tea so far.
This month I subscribed to Global Tea Hut magazine and they sent me a box of Sheng Puerh Tea from Bing Dao village, Yunnan. Global Tea Hut is basically a tea magazine which is run by volunteers. When you get subscribed to their magazine you’ll get a box of tea and some tea accessories alongside with it each month. What tea you get is complete surprise to you which is good for breaking out of your rut. I myself mostly tend to drink my favorites and rarely get out of my comfort zone. The magazine itself is great source for those who want to get their knowledge of tea deeper. This month’s magazine is all about Puerh tea that includes how Puerh tea is produced, history of Puerh tea, types of Puerh tea and etc. So I highly suggest any tea lover give it a shot and see themselves. For those who’re into Puerh teas I think this month’s edition is a must-have.
As you know there are two types of Puerh Tea: Sheng (Raw/Green) Puerh and Shou (Cooked/Black) Puerh. The main difference between two is that Sheng Puerh is fermented naturally which takes a lot longer time than Shou Puerh. In order to meet the demand for Puerh tea, starting from early 1970s farmers started to accelerate fermentation process. This led to production of a new type of Puerh Tea which is Shou or Cooked Puerh Tea.
This month’s tea by Global Tea Hut was produced by Mengku Shuanjiang factory. It’s stone-pressed, air-dried and organic which is kind of rare for Puerh teas. I must say it was quite bitter and astringent. This tea is not good match for those who’re looking for sweetness in their tea. Following first infusion you can see the freshness of tea leaves. Watching dark black tea leaves turning into green is kind of an amazing experience.
Thanks to Global Tea Hut I once again met with Puerh teas and this time I’m quite determined that it’ll be a life-long journey. I’m already loooking forward to getting next month’s edition of Global Tea Hut.
Region : Alishan, Taiwan Price: $11.70 for 75 gr. Leaf Appearance: Semiball-rolled leaves with attached stems Steeping: Gongfu Style, six infusions. Liquor: Golden Green-Yellow.
I haven’t had much chance to try Taiwanese oolong teas so far. I’m mostly a black tea guy who have been into Chinese oolong teas more and more for some years. Particularly Wuyi oolongs are my favorites. On the other hand Taiwan has always been source of great oolong teas. Previously I wrote a post regarding the importance of Taiwan in terms of oolong tea production. I’ve come across Tea From Taiwan by chance while surfing on the internet. I’ve ordered one of their sample packs, Feng Fu, along side with Bai Hao tea. The sample includes Long Feng Xia, Shan Ling Xi, Tsuei Luan, Four Season and Aged oolong teas. I’ve gone for Four Season tea to review in this post and what a treat!
Four Season tea is coming from famous Alishan mountain, it’s a textbook example of high mountain teas of Taiwan. It’s lightly oxidized, rich in flavor and aroma. I’ve brewed it by Gongfu style and did six infusions, starting with 30 seconds and then adding 15 seconds for extra infusion. First infusion took about 30 seconds and produced very rich flavor and aroma, quite milky and creamy. It lacks any astringency and produces natural sweetness. You can still get creamy and milky flavor in the second and third infusions alongside with flowery taste. In the fourth infusion, you get only a hint of milkiness and creaminess; yet still strong aroma and flavor-wise. We’ve done six infusions and if you like you can do a few more.
It’s quite rainy here in Istanbul today, and this oolong tea from Taiwan put a great light on my day :)This tea is highly recommended. You won’t have any remorse!
P.S. I’ll review other teas that I’ve got from Tea From Taiwan in upcoming posts very soon.
I’m always fascinated with the gongfu style tea ceremony. It’s so artistic yet so simple.
As a novice I’ve been experimenting this style yet can not say I’m successful. This is great video how to brew tea with Gongfu Style!
What’s your best tea experience? You remember it? I remember mine. It’s in Nara, Japan. After a tiring day walking around in Nara, we’ve been looking for a place for refreshment. It’s that moment we had found a french restaurant which also happened to serve great tea. Perfect presentation of tea with high quality black tea.Still makes me smile and want to go back there:)