We Turks are the largest tea consumers in the world per capita. However, 99.9% of the teas consumed in Turkey is black tea processed by machines. Turkey adopted a Russian way of drinking tea which makes sense considering that the tea saplings were brought from Georgia in 1930ies. Turkish people also inherited the Russian method of brewing tea.
What is special about Turkish teas is that the plantations in the Black Sea region receive yearly snowfall which serves as a natural pesticide. I sourced this tea from the farmer/tea master who does not use any artificial fertiliser. Therefore, it is correct to categorise this tea ‘organic’. The farmer/master has studied organic agriculture and has 10 years of experience in the tea business. He has been growing and making his own organic teas for three years now. He made this tea in May 2019.
I was surprised by how dark the colour of the leaves was. Possibly the darkest green tea leaves I have ever seen. When I asked the tea master about it, I learn that he keeps the leaves under shade after plucking to reduce the water in the leaves. This is different from the traditional Chinese way of processing green tea which starts with withering which helps the leaves get rid of extra water content while making them soft. My theory is that without withering the green leaves oxidise and turn darker.
This tea was plucked as one bud and two leaves. The lighter colour on the leaves was visible and indicates the existence of the buds. The smell of the dry and wet leaves reminded me of cherries. The tasting profile was very interesting. It had no astringency which is unusual for an artisanal green tea. The sweetness I got from this tea was reminiscent of that of an aged white tea. Very interesting indeed!
Harvest time: May 2019
Leave colour: Dark brown with lighter edges
Liquor colour: Bright yellow/light amber
Tea aroma: Fruity
Tea taste: Sweet with delicate fruity notes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 85-90°C water temperature (yes don’t be afraid) and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 24 months