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365 Challenge > Day 163 - Grape-sized green tea balls

Does shape matter? As far as tea concerned, the answer is not straightforward. Some shapes in the tea world were produced for practical reasons. Take pu-erh cakes, for instance. The maocha has been typically compressed to make the transport easy. I think it was such a genius invention to steam-compress teas which allows the leaves to stay intact.

As I discussed in this post, some shapes were created by accident (or at least this is what the legends suggest). In this case, it was the dragon well, the famous green tea which reached its current shape when the visiting Emperor left the leaves between the pages of a book and this shape became the trade-mark for long jing.

Some shapes are just for the eye like jasmine pearls in my view. Only the very skilful tea masters can roll the leaves so beautifully, and it’s a joy to watch the leaves unfurling.

This shape is bigger than pearls, I would say it is as big as a grape. It does look beautiful, but the labour that is required to produce this tea naturally draws its price up. I do not think this shape provides a different tasting note, correct me if you think otherwise. So, unless you can brew your tea in glass vessel which would allow you to enjoy it, I do not see why the shape should matter. Nevertheless, this was a fresh and pleasant green tea that I can drink daily.

Tea Profile:

Type: Green

Origin: Cayeli, Rize, Turkey

Harvest time: 2020

Leave colour: Tones of dark green with occasional golden tips

Liquor colour: Light yellow

Tea aroma: Vegetal (wet leaves), perfumed (dry leaves)

Tea taste: Refreshing, slightly floral with subtle grassy notes

Steeping/brewing:You can use around 80°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style.

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