This is the second post in a series of four about the free tea samples I received with my first order from Moychay in Amsterdam.
Moychay’s notes tell us that this is a black tea made from summer harvest material from “…the highland district of Nantou…“.
They go on to say that although “…summer leaf has a less interesting bouquet in comparison with spring and autumn gatherings…” it has more tannins than leaves from the spring and autumn harvests, which is why material from the summer harvest is “…traditionally used for making black tea…” because those tannins will give the tea “…a depth of taste and astringency“.
They finish off by saying that “…in order to accentuate the high notes of the bouquet, the bits of bergamot zest (Citrus bergamia) were added…“.
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 5 grams
Steeping vessel: 100 ml porcelain gaiwan
Water temperature: 95°C
No. & duration: 10 infusions of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 70, and 120 seconds
The dry leaf smelled of spices and that bright citrus note from the bergamot zest, and after a few seconds in the warmed up gaiwan reminded me strongly of lemon drizzle cake.
The first infusion was dominated by the Bergamot note, but there was also a pepperiness there, too, as well as something else that was bordering on the kind of oddly sweet but slightly sour, medicinal feel you get from aged sheng. There was also a very Oolong like mineral roast honey aroma left in the empty cup, which had me wondering if the cultivar used here was one normally used in Oolong production.
The second steeping saw the citrusy qualities of the liquor take a step backwards, allowing the other tastes more room to shine.
Two rounds later that old familiar black tea maltiness came out to play, but just one steeping later I was turning the leaves over in the gaiwan to counteract a slight slip in the intensity of the brew.
From that point on it was all about tweaking the infusion times to coax as many rounds out of the leaves as possible, but after a final two minute long infusion we were all done. Moychay’s notes said we should be looking at 9-10 steepings, so that felt about right.
In conclusion, then – this session seemed to confirm what I found with the Moychay Lugu Dung Ding I looked at in my last post, that Moychay have a knack of putting their own spin onto old favourites, and coming up with something tasty as well as interesting.