The needles of this tea were incredibly varied. A large portion were broken significantly and the color spectrum ranged from punishingly pale to a deeply hued golden to a near black. This was even more evident in the cup after a few steeps. The variance in processing showed through in the flavor and texture of the tea. The brief glimmering moments of delight came in the first wetting of the leaves, as they breathed out some apricot, muscatel, and white fig jam. After that it was all down hill, with an over-oxidized, weak black tea, and papery character. No pale fruits, little straw, and vanishing to non-existent sweetness.
I am honestly excited that regions are exploring tea styles that they have not historically produced, but as this example shows, some refinement is needed in the production process before these style-newcomers can create tea in the style that comes even close to holding a candle to the traditional producers. I look forward to that day, it will be a new dawn of tea terroir.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=167