maandag 26 maart 2012

Li Shan (Spring)

beautiful product
Today I was finished early with school and I drove  home with a friend of mine so I could enjoy a nice cup of tea now the weather is still beautiful. I didn’t have to think about which tea I was going to drink already because I knew it was going to be the Li Shan I received from George. It’s hard to explain but sometimes you are craving for this 1 particular tea without any reason, you just know it’s going to be the perfect tea for this moment.

Maybe this tea is not a special tea in a way of production proces, plantation height etc… but it is a very special emotional tea for me, sometime that’s even more important. It’s this something that even the most special, expensive tea in the World can’t give you. When I drink this tea I get flashbacks to that one day when we were drinking tea, talking about art and photography but most of all laughing and making fun because we barely could understand eachother.
Lately I’ve been using my new teapot more often but because it’s pretty big (250ml) I just fill it for a +- 150ml. More information about my teapots will be written in a next blog, this blog will go about the tea, not the pots.
This tea is from the Li Shan mountain and is from the Jin (Xuan) variety. Some lower quality Jin’s can have a very astringed taste if they steep too long which I really don’t like, luckily this tea is able to bring lovely longer steeps. It’s slightly more oxidized than the average high mountain oolong though the liquor its brew is very light coloured. (This could also be due the fact I don’t use a lot of leafs, I will test it in a gaiwan soon so I have a more objective view on this). The first steep was very light and floral, it is one of the most aromatic teas I’ve smelled sof ar. It’s very floral, even the dried leafs are very aromatic. In later steeps the leafs will have this smell of ‘nectarine’, mainly the smell it has around the big pit in the middle. The taste is similar to the smell in the first steep, very floral and slightly grassy with some hints of citrus now and then. The second steep is a lot sweeter and has some more of the fruitiness. The 3rd and 4th steep were slightly longer than usually and then it gets this typical taste I consider as being soapy. At first I detested this particulary taste but after some time I started to appreciate it as long it’s not disturbing (oversteeping).
While I’m writing this I’m doing a long brew fora bout 30-50min. Some teas have this totally different taste and aroma if you steep them with slightly colder water for a longer period of time.

so subtile

Just finished the longer brew. It has a much more complex taste. It starts off pretty sweet which evolves into a moer nutty tastes with a very longlasting, bitter(but in a good way) finish.
The leafs of this tea are seperated from the stems. I didn’t know why so I asked Stéphane from teamaster sand according to him it’s competition style tea which is removed from the stem to get a more concentrated flavour. The leafs are the toughest leafs I ever saw/touched. They are really thick and juicy and oxidated around the edges.

I’ve really enjoyed drinking this tea, it has a fascinating taste but the emotions and memories it brings with it are even more amazing than it’s refined taste and superb aroma.

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