Last week we had our long awaited April Tea Tasting, which was of five first flush teas
Welcome to our Flight of Teas, which included 5 very special, very fresh teas, all first flush teas, and all harvested in the Spring of 2019. These teas have been sourced by Seibiant from sellers in India and China, and were presented on this evening, eagerly anticipated!
We started off the evening with a white tea,
Early Spring Snow Flower Bi Luo Chun
This early Spring white tea is made from newly sprouted buds – hence the masses of little hairs, which give an amazing mouthfeel. A special varietal grown in Mojiang county of Simao. Picked just twice a year, in spring (mid February) and in autumn for a three day period. This tea was gentle, and delicate, as you would expect from a white tea, but the smell of the tea field was apparent – as you know, this is absolutely what I love about fresh teas.
Beautiful green colour when brewed, malty with hints of fruit and cane sugar, brew at 4g/200ml at 80° for 1 minute – normally you would brew white tea even cooler than this, but we found that this tea can cope with much hotter water, bringing out more of the flavour.
First Flush Mao Feng Yunnan Green Tea
The second tea was Mao Feng Green tea from Yunnan, a large leaf varietal. This tea is not rolled, and the leaves and buds stay largely unbroken. The flavour is bold and nutty, and if not overbrewed, is smooth and satisfying. This is the highest grade of Yunnan Mao Feng available.
Taste-wise, very tender and tippy with a vibrant umami and sweetness that both soothes and stimulates! Green and vegetal with notes of green chestnut and fresh flowers. Sweet aftertaste and nice mouthwatering effect.
Small batch, hand processed, harvested late February
5g/100ml at 60° water. Multiple infusions possible. Brew loose so you get the little hairs from the buds, which adds to the mouthfeel.
Zhu Ye Qing
A green tea from high in the mountains of Simao, processed in a similar way to the small leaf varietals elsewhere in China, but as this is a large leaf varietal it retains the distinct characteristics and bolder taste. It is high in catechins which give it a penetrating vegetal aroma and strong umami flavour which coats the mouth and throat.
Best brewed in a tall glass or chahai which shows off the tendency of the leaves to line up vertically, some floating and others sinking.
3-5g/100ml at 70° water for 2 minutes. Multiple infusions possible. Green tea from Yunnan, a large leaf varietal. This tea is not rolled, and the leaves and buds stay largely unbroken. The flavour is bold and nutty, and if not overbrewed, is smooth and satisfying. This is the highest grade of Yunnan Mao Feng available.
5g/100ml at 60° water. Multiple infusions possible. Brew loose so you get the little hairs from the buds, which adds to the mouthfeeln
Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun Yunnan Black tea
This exquisite black tea is made from first flush spring harvest tea leaves, harvested in March. The buds are processed with great care to produce this lovely rolled Bi Lo Chun. The name means ‘green snail spring’.
Legend tells of its discovery by a tea picker who ran out of space in her basket and put the tea between her breasts instead. The tea, warmed by her body heat, emitted a strong aroma that surprised the girl.
The taste is potent but smooth with hints of sugarcane and milk chocolate.
This tea was probably the favourite of the Chinese teas, those warming flavours of chocolate and malt are well suited to the chill evenings of spring.
4-5g/100ml at 90° water.
Singell Morning Mist – Darjeeling FTGFOP1 2019
Micro-batch tea, from the first flush in the third week of March. Carefully hand picked dried leaves consist of the most tender leaves and an abundance of silvery buds. The leaves have been given a gentle roll to preserve the full leaf appearance.
Fruity and floral, the infused liquor is light gold in colour, suggesting that the leaf has undergone very little oxidisation, so offering a light cup with all the hallmarks of a pure Darjeeling First Flush.
Picked from trees that are around 150 years old, in the Heritage section of the Singell Tea Estate.
2-3g/200ml at 90° for 3-4 minutes. Multiple infusions possible