Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
|"Somewhat like a mutant Long Jin, its profile combines nuts, broth and buttery greens. Vegetal tea aficionados might like to check this tea out, if only for the wow factor of the enormous leaves."|
This tea comes to us from Huang Shan Mountain, in the Chinese province of Anhui. According to Grand Tea’s website, the buds used here grow to be unusually large, due to the region’s geography and climate. These leaves are indeed unlike any other I’ve seen before. Extremely long and flat, like pressed blades of grass, they measure up to 4”! Their aroma is much more conventional however, mixing notes of hay, grass and honey.
The folks at Grand Tea recommend brewing this tea in a tall glass. I opt for a glass tea pot instead. I steep 3 grams of leaf in 8 ounces of water heated to 70 degrees Celsius for 1 minute. The pale gold cup has a slightly smoky aroma, along with a touch of buttery leafy greens. Taking a sip, the flavours are initially nutty and mildly sweet, followed by a good dose of astringent grass and hay notes. As it cools the taste becomes creamier and infused with broth notes. It’s good, but not as spectacular as the appearance of the leaves lead me to believe.
I brew the leaves again for 1 and a half minutes. The tea is more mineral in flavour now, along with some interesting broth and grass notes. The feel of the sip is still relatively astringent and dry, with a mildly bitter planty finish.
I steep the leaves a third time. After 2 minutes, the flavour is predominantly made up of green beans and grass notes, but with more bitterness to the whole of the sip. It’s not undrinkable but it’s not exactly pleasant either. However it does get smoother and less bitter as it cools, so I feel like I should give the leaves one more try.
Following a 3 minute-long brew, the tea is mellow and rather bland. The bitterness has mostly disappeared, along with the other flavours. It’s not bad but not memorable in anyway. I should probably have stopped after the second steep…
Vegetal tea aficionados might like to check this tea out, if only for the wow factor of the enormous leaves. Somewhat like a mutant Long Jin, its profile combines nuts, broth and buttery greens. This offering is also reasonably priced for the quality. I’m not sure that I would seek it out again just due to my own personal preferences, but I might be tempted to throw it in my basket to round out an order.
— To purchase Grand Tea Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.