zondag 24 maart 2013

Hojo's Cui luo

My last sample... I'm officialy out of new teas, luckily Spring has arrived and soon I'll be able to enjoy some lovely Spring tea. Till then, I will have to try to be a bit creative in my blog writings. I always tend to stick to the same formula, just like 'House m.d.', if it works than it works!
I've had no experience with Chinese green tea so far, except one little cup long jing at teaworld last year. The translation of this tea should be 'jade snail', the reason why is because the leaves are rolled into a spiral resembling a snake. It's grown in the guanxi province, the typical cultivar in that reason is Ling Yun Bai Hao. It's a quite distinctive leave with lots of creases.

When opening the bag, I felt like a little kid waiting for his candy. To my surprise, it did smell like candy! It had such an intense citrus smell mixed with some hay and flowers, the smell of Spring! The smell when heated up in my teapot was quite the contrary, it turned a lot darker, honey-like sweetness and a slight hint of smoke, probably because of the pan frying. Today I felt brave enough to throw the whole sample into my teapot, I was up for an intense tea session.

I didn't expect this tea to be so complex, most of the time I just memorize the flavour profile during the session. This time I should have taken my notebook and pen because the complexity was overwhelming. The first 2-3 brews were intense, a tad too intense. It vaguely reminded my of young sheng puerh, the bitterness almost surpassed the pleasant part. From the start it was fragnant and aromatic, delivering a beautiful flowery aroma. Because of the high concentration, the meaty unami flavour was dominant and it reminded my mother of pork roast with peaches. The flavor was sweet, vegetal with a flowery bouqet - I should practise on recognizing flower smells, it'll be more accurate than just saying 'flowery'. After a few brews, the flavor started to lose intensity but the aftertaste became stronger with a peachy flavour lingering around in my throat that refused to disappear. Sometimes I was able to detect some spicy pepper notes, especially when it was close to overbrewing.

I've never had a tea with so many young tips and delicate leaves. It was so much fun examining the shapes, textures and colours. As a student of agricultural biotechnology with a specialisation in enviromental science, these things lean close towards my studying subject, especially the effects on fertilizers, climate and pesti/herbicides on plants ( and surrounding areas).

All in all, I loved this tea and I won't hesitate to buy it again. Next to my beloved Taiwanese oolong, I might buy some more Chinese/Japanese green teas. The wonderful thing about tea is that it's an endless journey with so many different tastes to explore. I've always considered whisky to be the most complex beverage on the planet, that idea changed when I started exploring tea.

I don't know where this blog will be heading in the future, perhaps I write nothing for a while or it could be something completely unusual. I will have to give it some thoughts.

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