Thursday, May 17, 2012

My first cup of tea

Growing up in the 80s, most fashionable grandpas including mine drank tea: gong-fu style complete with their prized Yi Xing pots, usually Zhu Ni or Hong Ni, and tiny tea cups that concentrate flavours and aromas. What usually goes into their pots then? Tiny dark bullets of high roasted Tie Guan Yin (TGY) bursting with flavours. This tea comes from Anxi in Fujian, China and has a very characteristic earthy and fruity aroma to it. Something I describe as the scent of my early growing up years.

I discussed the importance of terroir in this blog entry and after preparing this tea for myself at least 25 years after I first tasted it, I am able to see a real life example of the importance of soil conditions in determining the end result. Recent trending for TGY has moved towards light to medium oxidised with a lesser degree of roasting, at times to mimic high mountain Taiwanese oolongs, where the emphasis is on fragrance and freshness. In this article about 'modifying' teas, you can imagine the mind-boggling array of teas that can be made as a result of various processing methods.

Quite the opposite of its lightly oxidised and less roasted counterparts, this TGY that I brewed today in a Hong Ni pot is described as dark, deep and very complex in its taste and flavours. A freshly brewed cup of this tea has a very penetrating and sweet aroma that permeated my tea corner seconds within pouring out. It was amazing and definitely hinted that this has to be the most roasted tea in my stash. In that brief moment, I felt like I just walked into a shop where the owner is busy roasting his teas.

The infusion was yellow gold in colour and has a nice transparency to it. The taste is full-bodied and complex with some light notes of coffee, warming me up very quickly. The element of surprise lies in its smell at the bottom of the cup. Admittedly, this was the moment I thoroughly enjoyed - sniffing the scents left behind by this strong tea. Indulgently sweet, fruity and leaving you wanting more of it.

Blogeintrag auf Deutsch: Meine erste Tasse Tee

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