This was yet another tea that was included as a free sample in a recent order I placed over at House of Tea.
As the name suggests, this is a black tea, or Hong Cha / Red Tea.
The raw material is of the Chin Shin varietal, which is more commonly used as a base for Taiwanese High Mountain Oolongs.
I’ll cut to the chase – as far as I can remember this is only the second time that a sample has made such a favourable impression on me that as soon as possible I’ve ordered a full sized cargo. That, co-incidentally, was also a Taiwanese black tea.
Just looking at those pretty leaves I had high hopes for the mini-session I was about to have with them. I followed House of Tea’s included brewing instructions to the letter…
|Weight of dry leaf:||3 grams|
|Steeping vessel:||200 ml ceramic teapot|
|No. & duration:||3 infusions @ 40, 60, and 90 seconds|
Right from the off I knew that a short Western style session using a small 3 gram sample was never going to do justice to this tea.
The liquor was beautiful, lychee sweet with not the merest hint of bitterness, and packed a creamy, lip smacking body.
But there was clearly more, much more, lurking in those adorable spindly twists, something that was obviously only going to be teased out over multiple gong-fu sessions.
This was clearly another of those cases where processing a cultivar in another, non-traditional way had gifted the leaves with new levels of complexity, and this session was, if anything, a trailer, a teaser, a hint of what delights would be there for the steeping if you only had enough of this leaf to get to know it a littler better. Simply put, I couldn’t resist.
Because I ordered on a Friday my tea-mail won’t arrive until Monday afternoon, but I just know for a fact that it will be more than worth the wait.
Part 2 of this post will, mais naturellement, include a full write-up of my gong-fu shenanigans with this tea.
Watch this space, etc.