16.02.2015

Wuliangshan: Expedition started!

Last week, I could retrieve a Yunnan Sourcing shipment from our customs office. So now everything is set for my expedition of the Wuliangshan - my quest to find "the mountain's tea character". Is there any such thing? Will there be a common denominator to the teas from that area - still recognizable after differing years of storage and varying vintages, individual methods of processing?
Loads of Wuliang Tea and 5 Tuos blended of Wuliang and Lincang Teas.

I have decided to try all the teas by the same standard: 5g to 100ml of boiling water in a neutral gaiwan. Rinse once, flash infusions up to at least infusion #5. 


My curiousity got the better of me, so I tried one tea from YS's parcel right after getting home. Not a good idea - perhaps it is just a superstition, but I believe it pays off to give a tea some days or even weeks to settle down after intercontinental shipping. So now I have chosen a sample which The Generous J sent me a while ago to assist me in my quest:


Yunnan Sourcings "2009 Wu Liang  Lan Xiang" - a sheng promising Orchid Fragrance. Esteemed Reader, please be warned: this tea is sold out. In case you are prone to shopping urges, this might NOW be a good time to stop reading.

Well, you have been warned.

The dry leaves are pressed quite tightly, at least in my 8g sample. They have gone about half way in transforming from green to brown and give off a buttery fragrance with lots of fresh hay. Yes, there is definitely a flowery tingling in my nose - but unlike most other sheng of 6 years age there is no fruity fragrance.

Upon rinsing, the leaves clearly display the fruity fragrance I have come to expect from teas of eastern Simao Prefecture: grilled bell peppers.  And loads of buttery and flowery fragrances. Perhaps the grilled peppers just stood out as I was waiting for it. Sniffing the leaves later on, the flowers certainly dominate the impression.


The first infusion is sunny yellow in the cup. Or should I compare the colour to buttercups? Well, "butter" is what comes to mind when the tea hits my tongue: extremely mild taste with a creamy mouthfeel. Slightly cooled, the flavour gets richer, reminding me of herbs and fresh hay. Some astringency joins in, giving a bit of backbone to the initially overpowering creaminess.


The next infusions show this complementing adstringency right from the start. Amongst the delightfully herbal hay there is a full-bodied, savoury Something, which reminds me of the two Wuliang teas mentioned in my last entry. How to describe this Something? The mouthfeel is full, a bit syrupy. The flavour reminds me of mirepoix, sauteed with tomato paste and soy sauce. No - it is not like drinking gravy, but there is this savoury umami in the background.

During the final infusions (10-16) the flowery taste supplanted the umami with a good helping of sweetness chiming in. The aftertaste was quite lively, changing from creaminess to a fresh & flowery impression.

To be honest, I was still a bit grumpy because of the hassle with customs about Yunnan Sourcing's shipment when I tried this tea. But it was so thoroughly pleasurable, that it convinced me of two things:
1. Scott can produce some tea tremendous tea, well worth some discussions at customs.
2. Seems I have a tendency to fall in love with teas that are no longer available.







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26.01.2015

Wuliangshan - getting acquainted

Recently I have stumbled over quite a variety of leaves from Wuliangshan. Over the last few years there have been a few sessions with Sheng Puer from that mountain range and recently I have been lucky at work: our tea tasters have established a relationship to a producer on Wuliangshan who is supplying us with fine green teas and Dian Hong. Though our company will not dive into the Puer craze anytime soon (yes, Puercha is purely recreational for me), that terrific supplier sent some samples of Maocha to us. Guess who finished off those samples...

Yet still it is hard for me to understand that-typical-wuliang-character (if any such thing can be defined). Some teas I could have mistaken for Jingmai products, others resembled Ailaoshan teas. Strange enough- Wuliangshan's western neighbour the Jinggu area always appeared to me to be absolutely unmistakeable.

If you are searching for something like a tea area's signature character, perhaps it might be a good idea to immerse yourself fully in that area. As I don't have the opportunity to go there in person, my Wuliangshan expedition will take place at my teatable here in boring old Germany. A variety of teas from Wuliang is on its way to me from Yunnan Sourcing, but before the grand scale comparison commences, I am easing into the topic by tasting samples given to me by tea friends.

Luke's Wuliangshan Tea

A few days back Luke and I spent an evening enjoying some teas. Luke unwrapped a sample of a Wuliang 2010 sheng which is unfortunately sold out at all the online shops we searched. Believe me, we searched THOROUGHLY as befits such a satisfying tea. Surprisingly dark for a 2010 harvest, the leaves had a warm, full and sweet fragrance. In the cup the tea performed marvellously: it had so much body, you might even call it chewy. The taste was a vast blend of sweet memories. Luke was reminded of fruit compote he had in his childhood and I found flavours of my favourite pipe tobacco back from my smoking days. There was also the slightly smoky and fruity sweetness of grilled bellpeppers - a trait I find in both Ailao and Wuliang teas. What a fantastic tea! Luke implored me to let him know if my Wuliang-expedition discovered something similar.

Well Luke, better brace yourself for some bad news: I found just what we are looking for.

Today I am having a little session with a sample of "Wuliang Wild Purple 2009" from Essence of Tea (thanks a million, Miig!)

Looking at the dark leaves I was instantly reminded of the above mentioned 2010 Wuliang. Was that tea a purple leaf variety too? Then sniffing the dry leaves I was nearly knocked out by a fruity sweetness interwoven in a full tobacco body. To make a long story short: this tea is at least as good as the one Luke and I shared. Add a healthy helping of muscat grape aroma to all my enthusiasm about the 2010 Wuliang and you will only be halfways to the pleasure I get from this tea.
seems the photograph's quality is reciprocal to the teas perormance - sorry!

Luke, it is time to brave the bad news: this tea, the Tea you have been looking for, is sold out, too. I will keep the second half of my sample so we can share it next month.

Note to myself: don't shy away from purple teas, though they are   ...  purple (yuck).







01.01.2015

Yiwu Laoshu 1992

Einen guten Start in ein gesundes, erfolgreiches und köstliches Jahr 2015!

Auch wenn das neue Jahr schon begonnen hat hier noch ein Rückblick auf eins meiner Highlights des letzten Jahres:
Heute werde ich einen Tee beschreiben, den ich schon im September gekauft habe. Ein (in meinen Augen) wahrlich famoser Tee aus einer Quelle, die ich nun auch oben rechts im Blog-Menü eingefügt habe.

Im September habe ich Herrn Thamm in seinem Chadao in Neu-Isenburg besucht und wunderbar mit ihm gefachsimpelt sowie herrlichen Tee genossen. Wenn es einen in die Frankfurter Region verschlägt, sollte man auf alle Fälle einen Besuch bei Herrn Thamm im Chadao einplanen! Es gibt in seinen Räumen mehr zu bestaunen als in manchen Tee-Museen, einen herrlichen Teetisch für ausgiebige Verkostungen und die Möglichkeit, sich über alles rund um die chinesische Teekultur auszutauschen. Übrigens ist Herr Thamm durchaus bereit, sich von einigen seiner Schätze gegen erfreulich bodenständige Preise zu trennen.
Tee, Bambustablett und Teemesser vom Chadao

Hier der Glaspitcher vom Chadao

Eigentlich wollte ich dort nur Zubehör kaufen. Aber dann haben wir so schön zusammengesessen und dabei auch diesen Yiwu-Ziegel von 1992 genossen ... da wurde ich natürlich schwach und habe zugeschlagen.

Trockenes Blatt: tief dunkelbraune, große Blätter. Keine goldenen Knospen, aber einige rustikal wirkende Stängel. An der Oberfläche sehr große Blätter, aber auch darunter sehr anständige Blattqualität - etliche Stufen über den Kleinkrümeln, für die Ziegel oft verschrien sind. Im Vorgewärmten Kännchen duften die Blätter nach ... ? ... alten Büchern ... ? ... ganz leicht nach antiken Möbeln ... ? ... und ganz deutlich nach geröstetem Getreide, Roggen!

Nach dem Spülen durften die Blätter zusätzlich nach Spinat und ein ganz winziges bisschen nach Keller. Aber sollte der Zeigel jemals in seinen 22 Jahren feuchte Lagerung erlebt haben, war das nur kurz und lange her.

Weil der Zeigel so sauber und sorgfältig verarbeitet ist, belasse ich es trotz seines Alters bei einer einzigen Spülung. Der erste Aufguss füllt meine Tasse mit einem satten Mittelbraun und duftet zart karamellig. Dahinter findet meine Nase die antik möblierte Bibliothek, den Spinat und Roggenbrötchen - aber der verblüffende erste Eindruck ist der von Karamell. Beim ersten Schluck muss ich nicht lange überlegen - heute habe ich den Tee tatsächlich überdosiert (das Gefühl beschlich mich schon beim Füllen der Kanne). Besser zu stark als zu schwach: einen überdosierten Tee kann ich mit Wasser verdünnen. Anders herum wäre ich aufgeschmissen.

Im verdünnten Zustand schmecke ich auch Details: Spinat, Roggenbrötchen und leichte Süße. Dazu ein Mundgefühl, welches zum Star in der Tasse wird: seidig, geschmeidig, fast ölig. Dieses Gefühl klingt auch länger nach als der Nachgeschmack. Mit der Zeit entsteht unter dem sanften, weichen, zarten Ölfim ein Kribbeln, welches wächst und wächst. Plötzlich ist der besänftigende, milde Eindruck des Tees umgekrempelt in ein vitalisierendes Gefühl. Nicht nur im Mund, auch in der Brust spüre ich ein Pulsieren. Wer sich seinen Tee rein naturwissenschaftlich erklären mag, wird wohl auf einen hohen Koffeingehalt tippen. Ich möchte nicht erklären, ich genieße einfach.

In späteren Aufgüssen wird die Süße deutlicher, nun wie dunkler Karamell. Dabei bleibt aber dieser herrliche Geschmack von Rahmspinat. Gleichzeitig spüre ich den balsamigen Ölfilm und das perlende Prickeln im Mund - sowie die entspannte Exaltiertheit. 

Ganz langsam klingt der Tee aus, wird blasser und leiser.


Wirklich ein erfreulicher Tee! Damit wünsche ich doch gerne Herrn Thamm vom Chadao und allen Lesern viele gute Teestunden in 2015.




07.12.2014

Time Travel made possible: 2003 Fengqing Lushi by 6FTM

Time seems to be my most precious ressource during this time of year. Actually I can browse my favourite online shops (in case I got time for that) whithout getting into fits about all the tea desires beyond my financial budget. Time restricts me in such a way, that I just know I can not sample any further purchases. 

But when Chris (Mr. Chenshi Chinatee) sends me samples, I warp the flow of time to create bubbles into which I can slip to taste those additions to his stock. A month ago, he sent me samples by that Grand Teaproducing Entity of bygone times: 6FTM or Six Famous Tea Mountains or Liu Da Chashan 六大茶山.



According to Hobbes, Liu Da Chashan used to be better in times gone by: "Some of their older cakes, though, can be really very proper."  Well, the samples I received range from 2000 to 2003 - all being rather delightful with this Fengqing Lungshi being best among them all (according to my personal preferences).

But what is this tea really like?
Dry leaves are really dark brown with just a few golden tips. Seems the bing was pressed quite tightly as even now (almost 12 years later) I would still describe it as being medium compressed. Sniffing at the leaves in my preheated zisha pot, I detect [FLASHBACK - a wormhole in time takes me right back to my grand uncle's living room when I was a child no older than 11. My brother and I searching for the toy cars my grand uncle had hidden for us. Taking books from the shelves to see if anything is hidden behind them. Always being fooled by the box of cigar labels tucked away beneath the couch. Though I don't remember him smoking his cigars during our visits, everything is permeated by cigar smoke. A smell deeply connected to excitement and a most benevolent relative.] fond childhood memories.

In the cup, the liquor looks less orange or reddish than I expect from a tea this old. In the mouth, I am amazed by the lack of sweetness. But this tea is far from lacking in other aspects! Its taste reminds me of Darjeeling First Flush mixed with my gand uncle's books. But honestly, who cares about taste in a tea like this! Though fragrance and and taste take me to ages long gone by, it is still full of energy that makes me feel young. My mouth feels vitalized, gums are pulsing, my mind is drifting through memories more than 33 years old yet fully awake. Actually the vitalizing effects can rival any Matcha I have ever tried.



Reversing my time travel, I look into the future: 24 days left of this year ... and I can not imagine to find a tea which can take the crown away from this tea: surely this tea has given me the highest tea pleasures this year, being my personal "Number 1 Tea of 2014".

If you do not mind (or even prefer) reading German tea tasting notes, I suggest this entry on teetalk.de. In case you would like some music with your tea, how about this one:


While you are busy reading and listening, I'll just lean back and enjoy the next dozen infusions of this fabulous Fengqing Lushi.

P.S. If you have already used up most of your tea budget, I suggest the 2002 Bangwai by 6FTM, being my second most favourite tea by that producer - at a lower price.


26.10.2014

Xiao Hu Sai (yi ke shu) 2014

For the last three months I've laboured with this post. The tea in question is not shy in stating its quality claims: "yi ke shu" - one single tree (link to product on bannacha.com). A tea made from the oldest trees in Mengku's competitor for Bingdao fame: Xiao Hu Sai. If you look it up on the shop page at Bannacha, you will find more background information.



Picture used with kind permission by William / Bannacha

Picture used with kind permission by William / Bannacha
My first impression of this tea can be found (in German language) on www.teetalk.de 
Since then I have had several more sessions with this tea (bought a 100g bag before finishing the initial sample) and all the while I wanted to blog about it ... but each session turned out differently, making it very hard for me to describe the tea. A diva?

my initial sample, this pic taken three months ago

too boring in this zisha pot

Finally I found out how to brew this tea so I get reliably good results during the last 3-4 sessions. What I call "good results" in this tea, might well be labeled "breathtaking bliss". This tea is way beyond terms like good, tasty, vitalizing ... it is all the strength true gushu tea offers, yet not being brash or loud. More like a glacier wrapped in velvet: smooth and gentle at first touch, but behind that lurks an unstoppable energy which slowly but unerringly opens my nose, dances beneath my tongue and makes me smile (i.e. paints an imbecile grin on my face).



How did I manage to get this horribly young tea to quit being rash and hard on my stomach? I had to change almost every aspect of my sheng brewing habits. A neutral gaiwan renders a brew which is far too harsh. My trusty zisha pot I use for almost every sheng is taking too much off the edges - leaving me with a slightly boring brew. So I had to dig out my much neglected hongni pot (fired high) which is mostly used for greenish baozhong. Next I experimented with water temperature - this tea is so young, it resembles green tea in many aspects. So I poured the hot water into a pitcher (gongdaobei?) to let it cool a little before pouring it into the pot. Much better! Perfection (or as close as I might get with young sheng) came, when I reduced the quantity of tea leaves and instead increased brewing time. Bliss!


Allow me to take you on a detour: I am married - happily! - to a wonderful wife who tolerates my nerdy tea enthusiasm. She likes Gyokuro (if brewed mildly), light Oolongs - but her heart is given to that other beverage (coffee). To her it seems that Puer is a substance, which belongs to the realm of compost and other uncouth materials I shouldn't drag inside our home. But today she complained of sleepiness and a headache, so I tricked her into trying the Xiao Hu Sai. This resulted in the grandest praise which could ever be bestowed upon a Puer tea - my wife saying:

"Sure, I'll have a second cup, please!"



10.08.2014

testing my puer storage

Ask any three collectors / consumers of puer tea about the right way of storing your tea cakes (=bing) ... and be ready to get at least four contradicting answers.
Wenn man drei Puer-Sammler / -Trinker danach fragt, wie man seine Teekuchen (=bing) lagern sollte, kann man mit vier verschiedenen Antworten rechnen ... die sich auch noch total widersprechen.

By lucky chance I got the opportunity to test my storage in a comparison to that of a well established tea vendor. End of last year I received a shipment from Chawangshop, to which a sample of a Mangfei 2008 sheng was included as a free gift. Yes! Exactly the same tea I bought in July 2012 from Bannacha, described here and here.
Durch einen Glücksfall bekam ich die Gelegenheit, meine Lagerung mit der eines renommierten Händlers zu vergleichen. Ende letzten Jahres erhielt ich eine Lieferung vom Chawangshop, der eine Gratisprobe vom Mangfei 2008 Sheng beigefügt war. Ja! Das ist genau der Tee, den ich im Juli 2012 von Bannacha gekauft habe, bereits hier und hier beschrieben.

What a fortunate coincidence: The bing has spent 2 years in my storage (terracotta jar, containing 9 teacakes and a bowl of water) - while the sample arrived eight months ago in ziplock bag, staying sealed most of the time (apart from one session I had previously before realizing why that tea tasted so familiar). So today I brew both specimen side by side, to check if my storage can live up to the standards of an established vendor.
Das war wirklich Glück: der Bing hat zwei Jahre in meiner Lagerung verbracht (Terrkottatopf mit 9 Teekuchen und einem Wasserschüsselchen) - während die Probe vo 8 Monaten in einer Ziplock-Tüte ankam, fest verschlossen bis auf eine Session (wo ich mich wunderte, dass dieser Tee so vertraut schmeckte). Heute nun bereite ich die Tees parallel zu, um zu vergleichen, ob meine Lagerung mit der eines etablierten Händlers mithalten kann.

Measuring of 5g of tea from each specimen, I realised how little that is. Usually I use more, surely 7g for the 100ml gaiwan serving as testing equipment today. The leaves looked quite similar - perhaps the portion taken from the bing was a tiny tad more brownish than the leaves from the sample bag. When sniffing the dry leaves in the preheated gaiwan, the bing leaves displayed a slightly smoky hint I did'nt get from the sample bag. Upon rinsing, the wet leaves displayed the same fragrances in both gaiwan. Perhaps the right hand sample pronounced herbal aromas while the left hand sample emphasized apricot fragrance ... but I found both herbal and apricot impressions in each gaiwan.
Als ich 5g von jedem Testkandidaten abwog, fiel mir auf, wie wenig das doch ist. Üblicherweise verwende ich deutlich mehr, vermutlich 7g für den 100ml Gaiwan, der mir heute mit seinem Zwilling als Werkzeug diente. Die Blätter sahen annähernd gleich aus - vielleicht waren diejenigen aus meinem Bing einen Hauch bräunlicher als die Blätter aus dem Probentüte. Beim Schnuppern an den trockenen Blättern im vorgewärmten Gaiwan zeigten die Bingblätter einen leicht rauchigen Hauch, den ich nicht bei den Blättern aus der Probe  fand. Nach der Spülung fand ich in beiden Gaiwan die gleichen Duftkomponenten - nur die Gewichtungen unterschieden sich: rechts dominierten die Kräuternoten und links war es der Aprikosenduft.


Who said "The truth is in the cup."? Dunno, but I am a firm believer of that credo. So I poured the first infusion to find out ... that I just can not tell any difference. Following infusions were just the same. I have reached infusion #8 by now, but still both cups seem to be nearly identical. Sometimes I detect tiny differences ... but as I can not pour both gaiwan 100% identically, those miniscule nuances in taste might derive from brewing variations.
Wer sagte "Die Wahrheit findet sich in der Tasse."? Weiß nicht, aber ich befolge dieses Glaubensbekenntnis. Also schenkte ich mir die ersten Aufgüsse ein um rauszufinden ... dass ich absolut keinen Unterschied finden konnte. Inzwischen bin ich beim 8. Aufguss und noch immer erscheinen beide Kandidaten nahezu identisch in den Tassen. Manchmal meine ich winzige Unterschiede zu entdecken ... aber weil ich nie beide Gaiwan exakt identisch abgießen kann, mögen die minimalen Geschmacksabweichungen auch durch Variationen in der Zubereitung erklärbar sein.

Didn't write anything about mouthfeel or aftertaste so far. Reason is: when drinking teas side by side, those slower effects blend into each other, making it impossible to say which tea provides the lingering aftertaste. So I can come to a conclusion without considering those topics.
Habe noch nix zu Mundgefühl und Nachgeschmack geschrieben. Der Grund dafür: bei einer Parallelverkostung vermischen sich diese langsamen Effekte der Tees, so dass ich die Eindrücke nicht klar der linken oder rechten Probe zuordnen kann. Also ziehe ich mein Fazit ohne jene Eindrücke zu berücksichtigen.

Evaluating the differences:
A) Difference in looks: honestly, if the bing really is a bit more brownish than the sample I can not say for sure - perhaps it was just caused by the light.
B) Difference in fragrance: biggest difference of all. Why did the bing appear to be a bit smoky? This is a non smoking household, so that can't be the cause. My only explanation: other bing in my jar are a bit smoky, flavoring other teas superficially.
C) Difference in taste: well, there is none I could detect.
Beurteilung der Unterschiede:
A) Unterschiede im Aussehen: ehrlich - ob jetzt die Blätter aus dem Bing etwas bräunlicher aussahen, mag ich nicht mit völliger Sicherheit sagen; das kann auch vom Licht beim Betrachten abhängen.
B) Unterschiede im Duft: deutlichste Unterschiede in diesem Aspekt. Warum duftete der Tee aus dem Bing etwas rauchiger? Dies ist ein Nichtraucherhaushalt, daran kann es also nicht liegen. Meine Erklärung: andere Bing in meinem Topf sind etwas rauchig und färben damit auf ihre Nachbarn oberflächlich ab.
C) Unterschiede im Geschmack: nun, da konnte ich nichts entdecken.

paper-wrapped bing go into the jar, samples are stored in the bag

Conclusion: Though there is the risk of one bing mingling its aroma with its neighbours in my storage jar, there is no indication of my sheng collection faring poorer in my storage than in a professional warehouse. Sure, my storage does  not accelerate maturation, but it keeps the tea in good condition - all I ask for.
Fazit: Auch wenn das Risikio der Aromenübetragung in meinem Lagertopf besteht, habe ich doch keinen Hinweis darauf gefunden, dass meine Shengsammlung mit dieser Lagerung schlechter fährt als in einem professionellen Lager. Okay, meine Aufbewahrung beschleunigt nicht die Reifung, aber der Tee bleibt in einem guten Zustand - mehr brauche ich nicht.

As a side effect I have noticed that the Mangfei is really doing quite nicely two years further down the road. So I am happy this tea is available from Chawangshop - giving me the chance to stock up on this reliably pleasing sheng! Though the price tag is about doubled from my first purchase, I still feel 36US$ is an adequate price. Now I just need to win the lottery and I'll order a tong! (And another storage jar)
Als Nebeneffekt habe ich herausgefunden, dass sich der Mangfei mit zwei Jahren mehr auf dem Buckel richtig gut macht. Also bin ich froh, dass es diesen Tee beim Chawangshop noch gibt. Obwohl er jetzt rund doppelt so teuer ist wie damals bei meinem Kauf, empfinde ich die geforderten 36US$ als angemessenen Preis für diesen Tee. Jetzt muss ich nur noch im Lotto gewinnen, und ich kann mir einen ganz Tong davon bestellen! (und dann brauche ich noch einen Lagertopf)

P.S. Having just read about sudden mould infestation in two bing of a teafriend on teetalk.de, I have decided to remove the water bowl from my storage jar.
P.S. Nachdem ich auf teetalk.de von einer plötzlichen Verschimmelung zweier Bing bei einem Teefreund gelesen habe, entferne ich jetzt die Wasserschale aus meinen Lagertopf.












Fool if you think its over. As if I would let you slip off so easily! It is time to confront you with my weird soundtrack for this entry - focussing on what effects the passage of time might have:


In case you doubt that age beats youth, compare this plastic remake to the well aged original posted above

Cute, but can't live up to the mature version.

04.08.2014

Daxueshan 2014: Big - Snow - Mountain!


Usually I order teas from William based on samples. When I found this Daxueshan on his website, I ordered 100g witout sampling. Somehow I've got the feeling that I can't go wrong with Daxueshan (1,2,3) if ordered from a reputable source. This assumption was strongly affirmated today.


Dry leaves are (guess what) ... beautifully healthy looking, olive green with lots of silvery shine to them. Pressed not too tightly, they separate without any perceivable damage. Their fragrance is fresh and flowery-fruity. There is none of the minty coolness I have come to expect from Daxueshan teas.
Do you feel tempted to take a bite? I did (well, felt tempted - didn't really sink my teeth into the bing)

Once the leaves are rinsed, their fragrance transforms into a surprise: crema di balsamico! As they cool down, the fruity fragrance changes into a more refined herbally impression, reminding me of both the Tengzi and Daxueshan which William offered back in 2012.

The light wasn't very good when I took this pic. Actually the tea looked much greener.

First infusion - light colour, quite green. Even for a sheng so young I was expecting more yellow. My nose is confused: neither balsamico nor Tengzi-like herbalness found before. Now it is slightly salty, like a breath of ocean air. Next is taste: slightly herbal, refreshing cool. Seemed to be such a pretty, dainty, neat tea of the extremely young type. But this is the real stuff - a grown-up tea despite its young age.


The next infusions turn out a bit darker, more yellow. Perhaps it is a bit more fullbodied now, with a hint of salt. Herbalness is less pronounced, taste is interesting, with slight hints of a Jinggu characteristic (always reminding of chewing gum that has been chewed out of any added flavours) which is faint enough to be intriguing instead of repelling. So the taste is somewhere between spring meadows next to thawing glaciers on one side and crashing ocean waves on the other hand ... but it doesn't get my full attention. That is given to mouthfeel and mood. Roof of mouth, gums, tongue, throat are pulsing with a sensation of cooling. But while sometimes lingering on aftertaste and mood makes me feel drowsy, today I am vitalized, invigorated.



This is how the tea marches on over the next infusions. Cool, fresh, vitalizing. After 11 infusions I transfer the leaves to a matcha bowl - now leasurely enjoying this tea in Grandpa Style. The only drawback I have found in this tea: I have to lengthen brewing times quite early. So Grandpa Style seems a natural choice in the later state of the leaves. Even without any gongfu, the pleasantly cooling effect still kicks in.

Well, as mentioned further above: this tea is really a good choice for a fan of Daxueshan teas like me. The biggest surprise to me is the fact that this tea is described as being "processed rather green" - something I am not overly fond of usually. 
This tea is not a frilly-fragile affair of flowers, it is BIG (Da 大)
Its cooling properties remind me of ocean spray and ice ... close enough to SNOW (Xue 雪)
And now I leave it up to you to figure out how the MOUNTAIN (Shan 山) fits in - while I sit back, relax and enjoy my tea with a cooling soundtrack provided by Solstafir.