I have been reading about this tea as it made it to the list of top 10 Chinese teas. I found three grades of it in a reputable teashop chain in China and bought the ‘middle quality’ one. I have to say it was still pricy. Especially, now I can compare the price online.
So this tea came with certain expectations, but. Yes, there is a but. Firstly, the dry leaves did not smell like anything, but some vegs. Not even grass. Secondly, it is admittedly the most astringent green tea I have ever tested, and I tried some below-average teas. I could not enjoy this tea at all.
What went wrong:
1- I am not the one to be blamed. They sold me a bad quality tea! Actually, the first infusions were cloudy, and I think that this might have some degree of truth.
2- I should have tasted the tea before buying. This was not an option. But at least I could have smelt the leaves.
3- I could not steep it properly. Not sure. I used 90°C water to brew about 4 g of this tea. Sounds pretty OK to me. But maybe I’m overlooking something.
This tea comes from the northernmost tea-production area in China, and it is said to have the most pungent flavour. Actually, like the tea fields in Turkey (by the Black Sea coast), in Xinyang, it also snows, and the tea fields are covered under snow. I have read that this tea should have a delightful and fragrant aroma. Oh my! I feel deceived so much.
I still do not know much about this tea. What I know is, I will taste the real stuff another time. I am sure of it.
Origin: Xinyang, Henan
Harvest time: 2020
Leave colour: Tones of green with some visible white fuzz
Liquor colour: Cloudy and vibrant yellow
Tea aroma: Vegetal
Tea taste: Astringent with vegetal undernotes
Steeping/brewing: Place 4 g in 100 ml gaiwan and add water at around 85°C. Rinse the first infusion after five seconds. Steep for 10 seconds for the second infusion, from the add an additional 5 seconds to each subsequent infusion. You can infuse it many times, until the taste is lost.
Shelf life: The fresher the better.