Friday, February 10, 2017

Fragrant, clear, sweet, and alive

Hello hello, I have been well, and alive but severely neglected my blog until recently. To make up for this long period of writing drought, here is an article about Wuyi Mountain tea, adapted from Teaparker's blog.

Wuyi tea is produced in Fujian Province, China, and thrives on rock gravel. It is naturally full bodied in aftertaste. This coupled with its unique processing that includes re-roasting, packing, re-firing and other tedious steps, is more than enough to make this tea more refined, and its aroma purer, resulting in a rather unique taste with mineral notes and floral scents. 

Wuyi tea is particulary affected by its roasting. The finished product in season still bears the marks of fire roasting that render it unpalatable. 

奇种 2016 年制
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If tea roasting is not executed precisely, the resulting tea will taste burnt and likely very bitter, hence the saying: Wuyi tea is consumed only in the year that follows its production. 

In his "Fujian tea song”, Qing Zhou Lianggong wrote: "Although YuQian (a period before the rainy season) tea is good, it is too new, let not your lips even come close to this tea until its fiery flare has receded, keeping this tea in storage till it evolves into a crimson red would allow its value to quadruple over the years. Every tea merchant starts to sing to the tune of old teas."

Selling Wuyi Yancha from the last year has its origins in history. Tea production areas in the past did not enjoy the convenience of different transportation modes. Through the mountains and pass the rivers, transportation takes up at least half a year’s time before tea reaches the hands of merchants and consumers. 

Tea farmers devised the method of preserving tea through roasting to ensure tea quality. In combination with Wuyi tea leaves mineral notes and full-bodied aftertaste, roasting and sufficient time to rest allowed this tea to transform and evolve into a better tasting product. The essence of Wuyi tea roasting with appropriate storage especially highlights the four cardinal qualities of fragrance, clarity, sweetness, and liveliness in this tea.