I subscribed to the YS tea club about two weeks ago, and the first package arrived in record time about a week later – astonishing, considering the time of year; I didn’t think it would even be sent out before New Year, so kudos to YS for that (and to my long-suffering postman weighed down with all my tea parcels).
This is the first YS tea I’ve ever tasted, and I had high expectations of it because I’ve read good things about YS from people who are seriously into tea.
I was a bit mystified as to how to brew this – a white tea from camellia taliensis (that teapedia tells me is usually used for puerh by local people) processed like a black tea and made into a cake. In the end, after a bit of dithering, I used about 4 or 5g and steeped it in a small gaiwan with about 70-80ml of just off-the-boil water for short 20-30-second infusions.
Mostly, I try to dial down my unfairly high expectations when I try a new tea. I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve drunk enough tea by now to know that as gorgeous as it can be, it doesn’t actually have magical properties. But after the first couple of sips of this, my expectations dialled right back up again.
It’s sweet and soft and a little malty, with a darker taste of ripe black grape flesh and raisins, and I got a hint of a pepper-like spicy bite on my tongue. It’s a little bit unusual, and very moreish – I re-steeped the leaves about 6 or 7 times before I made myself break off and go finish off the Christmas shopping.
Flavors: Grapes, Malt, Raisins