donderdag 31 mei 2012

Qi Lai Shan spring 2011

I was very eager to try this sample from teamaster. As I mentioned in a previous blog, when I opened the package I was just astonished by its intense and sweet smell. I thoroughly tested this tea over 2 days. The first day I used a competition set and today I used my new gaiwan. Right now I'm in my examinations so I have to study a lot, 'luckily' I can always find some time to make tea! Though this is the main reason why I didn't write much lately.
Ready to start the testing!
 First some information about this tea (from teamasters blog). It's a luanze oolong tea from Central Taiwan grown on altitude around 2200m and harvest by hand on the 6th of May. This was his only 2000m+ oolong from that year because due lots of rainfall lots of the crops were ruined (or atleast of a much less quality) though the farmer of this tea managed to harvest before the rainfall(....and I'm so glad he did!!!!).

The tea was very tight rolled into rather small, dark green balls. In the beginning they had an amazing sweet fragrance, now they got more refined and smelled almost like a light, flowery parfum. I brewed around 3g in a competition set for about 5minutes to get an idea what this tea will give me. I had no idea what to expect because even the fragrance changed so much over the days. When I poured the tea into the big cup I already could smell the intense sweet,flowery aroma that was released into the air. I couldn't wait to drink it! I had a few different cups ready to see how the tea would behave in different cups and which one was suited best to drink this tea. Also I had a sniffcup ready so I would be able to smell the lovely aroma of this tea.
Which colour you prefer?
I poured the tea into 3 different cups and I was surprised by how different the tea looked in every cup. In the left one the colour was less intense, almost white but in the middle cup the tea was so concentrated and the colour was pale orange. In the right cup it almost looks like a green tea. So as you can see: cups do matter a lot!  The taste of the tea was sweet but still in balance and complex. There were some hints of banana but also this more bitter grassy taste I noticed but it was rather pleasant and balanced the tea. The aftertaste was very perfumy and refused to disappear. The leafs themselves smelled like nectarines. I let the tea cool down a little bit and then it became even more sweet and smooth. My saliva glants started to tingle and I could feel the qi going through my fingertips and my back. I thought that this had even some more potential in it so I brewed the remaining leafs again in a gaiwan and this time it felt like I was drinking orange candy. Never did I experience such a citrus, orangy taste in tea before and it left me sitting astonished about how versatile this tea was.

The leafs of this tea were rather small but thick/strong. It contained a few buds here and there. It wasn't too green like some high mountain oolong, you can't see that well on this picture but while brewing this tea you could see the iron coloured edges very well with some insects bites which means it's an organic farmer. Though I have to mention that I found another leaf in my cup which isn't from the teaplant but I guess it accidently was mixed with the tealeafs which is not a problem for me, doesn't change the quality of this beautiful tea at all.

Today I brew this tea again but this time with my new gaiwan that I bought on ebay for around 8 dollars. Ofcourse the quality isn't great but for my first gaiwan I don't need anything more, it's ideal for practising my brewingskills. This time the tea behaved totally different. The first steeps were very dry but had a very sweet aftertaste in the throat and was very full. In contrary to the taste of the soup, the leafs themselves smelled like peaches and oranges. I tried to capture these fruity tastes but it was harder than expected. This tea is so complex that I wasn't able to 'control' it. Sometimes I had these sweet, fruity flavors while another steep it was much more flowery. You will never get tired of this tea. It is very subtile but at the same time it's so extremely complex and fun to brew. And now Stéphane told me that this years harvest of DYL is even better than this tea... I cannot wait to try that one! For now, I do not believe him till I tasted it myself. I can honestly say that this tea is in my top 3.

But now it's time for me again to go study....the art of fertilization is on the menu today. Hope you readers enjoyed this blog. My apologies in advance if there are a lot of grammar/spelling mistakes, kind of rushed this blog. See you next time!

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