Grocery store green teas are usually generic (unidentified and mass produced on a large scale) and anywhere from ho-hum to yek! Bottled green teas are typically beyond yek and well into yuk. Some people make a face and drink them just because they are supposed to be "good for you".
Have heart! Here are two quality loose leaf Chinese green teas, very different from one another, if you would like to forgo yek and yuk and explore the real thing.
First, the 2010 Jade Dragon - Yunnan Green Tea from NorbuTea.com.
Text and image used with permission by norbutea.com.
Link to map on norbutea.com.
-Harvest: Spring 2010
-Growing Region: Tengchong County, Baoshan Prefecture, Yunnan
This extraordinary green tea comes from Tengchong county in the Baoshan Prefecture of Yunnan. Tengchong is in the far west of Yunnan on the border with Myanmar, and is very well known as the center of the jade & jadeite trade in the region. It was grown at an altitude of approximately 8,200 ft (2,500 M) near a village known locally as "Village of the Returning Dragon."
Our Jade Dragon is a traditional Yunnan green tea, which is characterized by a quick, high temperature wok firing step in processing which creates a unique look, penetrating aroma and flavor.
This tea is comprised of a mix of very tender young leaves and buds. The dry tea really looks frosted or perhaps "dusty," and the aroma of the dry leaves is remarkably fruity and "toasty" at the same time. When infused, the liquor is quite aromatic when compared to green teas that are fired in a lower temperature wok, and the assertively toasty and fruity notes balance nicely with the grassy, more typically "green tea" type aroma. The flavor of this tea is nutty with toasty & fruity undertones balanced with the grassy, pleasantly bitter flavors typical of other green teas. It has a great and assertive Hui Gan (bittersweet aftertaste) that becomes apparent quickly after tasting.
The flavor of this tea is more assertive than other green teas, and can become overly bitter if steeped at too high a temperature or for too long. To start out, I would recommend steeping this tea at 160 to 170 Fahrenheit (slightly lower than normal for Chinese green tea) for about 3 minutes. As with all teas, adjust the time and temperature to your own personal taste (if you like a stronger tasting green tea, use more tea and/or a higher temperature, etc).
This was my favorite green tea by far that I got to taste during my recent trip to Yunnan, and I really hope our customers like it as much as I do.
For more steeping directions, see our Tea Steeping Guide.
The next post will describe the second Chinese green tea for this TT&D, and the third one will provide additional important information. Stay tuned!
Edited by Richard Kilgore, 15 September 2010 - 03:52 PM.
Add map link