Rated … points, not for the vendor, but for the maker, who manually controlled every single step in the processing of this tea, who also wrote a book about more than 70 varietals of Wuyi Yan Cha. I considered myself very lucky to have got this tea, and feel inadequate about describing it.
It is always hard to describe a good Wuyi Yan Cha. In my experience, a good Wuyi is often intertwining of youth and advanced age. The best tea leaves are from trees of 20 years or older, newer leaves and larger leaves mixed to a ratio that serves for the optimal flavor profile. The newly roasted Wuyi bears “breaths of fire” and should be “rested” for at least a few months before being used. When it rests for a year or more, the “fire” has faded and the taste becomes milder and smoother. At this time, the tea is like a perspicacious, senior man, with essence of age and vitality of youth.
About this specific Wuyi tea – it was made in 2008 and has rested since then in sealed condition. The first a several infusions yields a lighter fruity taste before the typical warm Wuyi flavor reaches your throat. After each sip, there is slight sweetness and fruity aroma lingering around. Within a few infusions, sweet aftertaste appears. One may not even realize existence of this sweet aftertaste, unless taking some plain water and finding the water tastes slightly sweet. Whether or not being consciously realized by drinker, this sweet aftertaste helps add flavor to each next infusion.
I would typically have 12 infusions or more in each tea session (with less leaf used and longer infusions, one may do fewer infusions than this). At the end of the day, I would love to soak the spent leaves in cold water. Then it becomes my first cup of tea the next day.
No matter how many infusions are applied, eventually the spent leaves always look so alive and in shape. I believe it’s a quality from the aged tea tree, young spring leaves, artisan roasting and patient resting all together.
7g leaves in 4oz. water
(I apologize if these notes look wordy. I am taking a writing class and having myself trained into describing every detail with a lot of words…)