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  • “I have a couple of different gaiwans around now. The one I use most often actually has fairly thick clay walls and a glazed interior. I love it because it holds heat in relatively well, and that...” Read full tasting note

From Dragon Tea House

Emei Mountain is called in the World Natural Relics List “No.1 Scene in the World” and is located in Emeishan city, 30 kilometers from Leshan region. It is situated in Sichuan province, southwest of China, and 156 kilometers from Chengdu, which takes 1.5 hour through highway. Emei Mountain is famous for its grand and splendid natural scenery and attractive and mystic Buddhist culture. Its main sceneries are “Bobbling-note Pavilion Two Bridges” and other attractions all together 10 sites. The altitude of the major peak Jinding is 3077 meters, and Clouds Sea, Sunrise, Buddha’s Halo and Sacred Lamp are its “ four wonders”. Emei Mountain is the religion place of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, one of the famous four Buddhist mountains in China, and also a park of natural rare animals and plants and a geological museum. In winter, the whole Emei Mountain is wrapped by snow. The trees look like being made of jades, transparent and white, and are of all kinds of shapes just like flowers. The beautiful scenery is just like the one in the north. The cliffs of the major peak Jinding stands toweringly under the sky, ascending into the clouds. When climbing on it, you can overlook the peaks covered by deep snow in the west, and get a bird’s eye view of the wide plains in the east. The spectacle is just marvelous, majestic and vigorous. Ridges and peaks waves In the middle part of Emei Mountain, the green trees get misted, the waterfalls jumps, the springs flows and the birds singing, the flowers give out fragrance. The trees and grass are exuberant. The whole scenery is just wonderful. Emei Mountain is a famous tourist attraction in China, which was listed into “World Cultural and Natural Heritage” by UNESCO in 1996.

High mountain produces good teas. Mt. Emei produces famous green tea, Zu Ye Qing and E Rui. According to Chinese legend, E Rui was a goddess and one of the keepers of the Immortals tea garden on mount E Mei in the Sichuan Province of China. This tea is named after her as it is believed that the tea plants were grown from a magical tea seed that was left by the goddess when a humble farmer stumbled upon the garden. It vanished instantly but the seeds remained. The farmer knew it was a gift of the heavens, so he took the seed back to his farm and planted them. After a time these seeds grew to tea plants which yielded the most wonderful tea he had ever known. And so he named the tea E Mei E Rui. The tea buds are almost completely covered with white down. When steeped these leaves slowly unfurl and dance within the water. The resulting infusion has a creamy fragrance and refreshingly light taste with slight nutty undertones.

Brewing Guide: use 3g of dried tea in 150-200 ml of water for red and green teas. The high quality of green tea, especially those with small sprouts, should avoid hot water of more than 100 degrees. It requires about 80 degrees (after boiling it should cool down a while). This way the color of the tea is a bright light green, the taste is better and has more more vitamin C in it. If the water gets too hot, the tea turns yellow and the taste will be bitter. If the temperature is too low, the tea wouldn’t brewed sufficiently, and it becomes too plain. Let it brew for 3 minutes, then pour water up to 70-80% of the cup and drink it before it cools down. When 1/3 of the tea remains, pour more hot water to balance out the cool water in your cup. You can enjoy the tea in this manner up to 3 times.

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1 Tasting Note

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I have a couple of different gaiwans around now. The one I use most often actually has fairly thick clay walls and a glazed interior. I love it because it holds heat in relatively well, and that heat is pretty important to bringing out some of the flavors in many of the teas I drink. But I also have a couple of very thin-walled porcelain gaiwans, elaborately decorated with pretty images. But I rarely use them, because they let heat escape so quickly that they’re better suited to the more delicate teas with low brew temperatures.

Usually I pick the tea out first, then select the appropriate brewing vessel, but today I just really wanted to use my little bird-and-flower printed gaiwan covered in mysterious Chinese characters that I imagine translate to, “Aiko, you drink too much tea.” So that narrowed my selection a lot, and I eventually settled on this Chinese green with cute mythology. I love teas with stories behind them.

I have a weird love/hate relationship with Chinese greens. I love their range of flavors, but on occasion, certain kinds make me sick to my stomach, for no known reason. It doesn’t seem to be a pesticide or quality thing, because I’ve had the same reaction to organic and high-quality tea in the past. Perhaps it is a matter of processing or something. But the strange reaction seems to be exclusive to Chinese greens— I’ve never had it happen with other teas.

Luckily, this tea does not make me sick. It has a very light, crisp flavor, of snow peas, I think. It’s a little one-note, but it’s a pleasant note. The leaves are of widely varying quality— some are tiny buds, some are broken pieces of older leaves. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much longevity in this tea; only five or so gongfu steepings in, it is little more than slightly astringent water. Oh well. It was very nice while it lasted.

(What is with my tea reviews lately; they’re like three paragraphs of backstory and then one regarding the actual tea)

Terri HarpLady

I actually have a similar problem. I can only drink green teas on a full stomach, or else they make me…how shall I say it…urp?

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