Saturday, April 2, 2011
2010 Orchid Fairy Twig Wuyuan Green Tea
Depending on where you live, it is the time of year when it kind of feels like Spring but the new Spring teas have not yet been picked. It is also the time of year when the green tea from last year is dwindling and what very few greens are left don't manage to taste as fresh as you remember. Being so close to the new tea season, it is hard to rationalize new purchases of 2010 green tea. So it was quite nice receiving a box with this sample and others of last years favorites of Ginkgo at Life In Tea Cup.
This completely hand processed tea is from 800 meters atop Wuyuan mountains in Jiang Xi province. Upon taring open the package, the dry leaves emit a smell that is crisp, fresh, soft, sweet with light tones of cucumber and sugar. The quality of this tea is apparent right from the beautifully hand rolled twisted needle shape of the dry leaf.
The water is brought to a boil then is left to cool. When the water is ready it is added to the prewarmed pot now full of leaves. This first infusion is soft, smooth, and slightly creamy with fresh barely menthol and sugar aftertastes. This tea is light in the mouth but coats it in a light misty satisfying cover.
Slightly warmer water is used for the second infusion where creamy, sugary sweet approaches and then turns into a creamy, sugary, slight evergreen taste. The aftertaste returns as sweetness with a faint outline of something cool and green. The mouth feel fills out nicely.
The third infusion brings deeper, cool evergreens but mainly sugary tastes that hint at a starchy-roasted qualities but retreat into crisp, very sugary aftertastes. The qi is uplifting, light, relaxing, and cool. The soft but full mouthfeel satisfies long after the aftertaste has slowly faded away.
The fourth infusion sees snowy smooth sweetness melding into a relatively rougher body for seconds before presenting light pineapple fruit hints appearing in the aftertaste.
The fifth infusion is prepared. The result is a cool, crisp, not as sweet, burst that turns into a cool sensation in the mouth. The tea develops a relatively stauncher body of pine needles and tree bark. The mouthfeel is becoming just the slightest bit drying and the aftertaste is short but still sugary- almost minty. This infusion has much more noticeable cool qualities to it.
The sixth and seventh are more minty-evergreen in taste which hold on throughout the whole taste profile of these infusions. There is a certain crisp, slightly menthol, coolness still laying under this body.
This tea is taken for a few more infusions. The mouthfeel continues to support these tastes even as things weaken and become somewhat harsher.