Tibetan Hei Cha Ya Xi (Fine Bud) Grade

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Black Tea
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From Life In Teacup

Hei Cha, literally meaning “black tea” in Chinese, is produced in Hunan, Sichuan and a few other provinces and has supplied to Tibet, Mongolia and other Northwestern ethnic groups since the 7th century.

One of the highest grade Tibetan tea. In traditional Tibetan society, it was exclusively for royal families, Lamas and affluent merchants. The tea leaves are from all natural environment of above 1000m (3000 ft.) elevation. The tea is processed with tedious, traditional procedure of more than 32 steps, and wrapped in hand-woven bamboo encasing.

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3 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

I have been thinking about Tibet and the Lama lately and thought I would sip this in their honor.

When piping hot this tastes like a pu-erh but as it cools for just a few moments it’s like a blend of both worlds both worlds of pu-erh and black tea. I am enjoying it more once it has had a chance to cool a bit.

It did smell earthy pu-erh like prior to infusing and now that I am drinking it – it has a lovely hint of sweet. It’s a tad malty but smoother that I thought it would be. This is pretty good!

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144 tasting notes

After the epic letdown that was RIshi’s Osmanthus Silver Needle it is nice to be pleasantly surprised by the the quality of a tea, especially one which is, to me, uncharted territory.

The wet aroma is delicious and pungently earthy. It smells alive and welcoming with notes of wilted florals and virile soil. Everything about this tea is soft and striking. The mouthfeel is thick and coats the tongue with a low buttery “sweetness” that is not typically sweet yet not exactly savory either. Can it be the ever so elusive and ambiguous “umami” quality? Truly a rare species to behold especially in such a seemingly unlikely habitat. The woody malt sits heavily on the palate and a wet wood hui gan fills the throat leaving a lingering dark, nutty flavor in the mouth.

It is lighter, more complex and with a taste more like “tea” than most shu puer though with some overbrewing there can be a similar wo dui or piled fermentation greasy taste. It’s also softer and more pastoral in taste than typical Yunnan red teas. I know I’ve never had a tea from Sichuan before so this one stands out as unique to me.

And check this out: a 200 gram hand-woven bamboo package of this is, wait for it . . . $28.

Read more here: http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2011/03/tibetan-hei-cha-ya-xi-grade.html

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3230 tasting notes

Another Hei Cha, this one from Life in Teacup.
The main flavor here is a wood taste, some maltiness, & it reminds me somewhat of a ripe pu-erh, especially after a couple steeps when a minty kind of sensation in my throat developed.

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