Monday, March 31, 2014

Tasting Two Green Teas

Today, I am drinking two green teas I had for a while. Green teas are valued for their freshness, so neither of these two teas I am drinking are at the peak of their flavors.

The first one is named “Taiwan Native Green Tea” that I bought at the “Double Fire Brand Store” in Yingge, a northern Taiwanese town known for its pottery. Taiwan is very Oolong-centric. Majority of the tea was made into Oolong for domestic consumption. Only a small area of northern Taiwan produces green tea.

The dry leaves are dark green, irregular string-shape, some tips with white hair. Dry aroma is surprising sweet and toasty.


... and turn!

I am using a competition / cupping style tea set, consist of a cup with handle and lid with a notch in the rim instead of pour spout, a bowl, and a dish.  

The liquor is clear pale yellow with very slight green tinge. The aroma is forest, seaweed, and cornhusk. The flavor is grassy and mineral. The mouthfeel is lingering and astringent, especially towards the back of the tongue and mouth. The returning sweetness is strong, reminiscent of honey and dry fruit. Overall impression is rustic and serious.

On to the next tea.

The second tea I am drinking is “Bilochun Green Tea” sold by Ten Fu’s Tea, that Kevin got as a gift. Bilochun is one of the best known Chinese green tea, originated in Jiansu province, especially around Lake Tai area, nicknamed “Fragrant Shock” for its intense aroma. However, this is not the real Bilochun. The description on the package called this a “Fujian Bilochun”, “using Fujian province’s fresh spring tea leaves, hand-made with unique Bilochun style process”.

The dry leaves are smaller, more uniform, with higher percentage of white hairy tips. Dry aroma is very floral.

The liquor is gold on the side of orange, with lots of surface chrystals. The aroma is cedar, cut grass and jasmine. The flavor is citrus and wood. The mouthfeel is less astringent, but slightly acidic. The returning sweetness is less strong, reminiscent of under-ripe strawberry. Overall impression is lively, feminine and slightly affected.

Looking at the steeped tea leaves afterwards, I am surprised that the Fujian Biluochun shows signs of oxidation: rusty-red edges. This kind of explains the fruitiness in the flavor. I don't really know if that is a common characteristic of Biluochun, or just a sign of careless tea processing.  Maybe I will investigate further.

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