I wanted to include a tea from 2021 in this challenge, and I could source fresh green tea from Yunnan. It comes from tea fields (sadly not tea trees) in Fengqing however, the tea still belongs to camelia sinensis var. assamica (large leaf tea species). The leaves were hand-picked at the standard of one bud and two leaves. The vendor categorized this tea as second grade, and I wanted to understand the reason for this. Apparently, different factors include the degree of freshness (no idea what that is), aroma and quality of tea. Got you! This answer is far from enlightening, my guess is that the picking standard and the number of broken leaves in the finished tea may have also played a role.
This tea smelt a little raw, more on the vegetal scale of green teas. However, it was not grassy at all more like green veggies such as spinach or lettuce. It was smooth and easy to drink. What was sensational was the delicate floral scent I could smell when I was sipping the tea but more so on the empty fair cup and the teacup. I am not sure how to explain this scent, but I can say that apart from pu-erh material (mostly sheng pu-erh, I also had it on yellow tea from Yunnan and palace ripe pu-erh), I have not really experienced it before. It elevated this tea to another category for me and made me think that this tea might improve by ageing. I’ll keep a small part just for experiment sake.
Origin: Fengqing, Yunnnan
Harvest time: January 2021
Leaf colour: Tones of dark green with some golden buds
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea Aroma: Fresh and vegetal (floral on the tea cup and empty fair cup)
Tea Taste: Smooth, medium-bodied and slightly vegetal
Steeping: Place 4g in 100ml of water at 85ºC and rinse after 5 seconds. Steep for 10 seconds during the first infusion,and add 5 seconds to the subsequent infusions. You can re-steep this tea about four times.
Shelf life:18 months