May 9, 2013

Ginko's Great Buddha

I have the good fortune to be the ( very appreciative)  recipient of some of Ginko's (Life In A Tea Cup) Great Buddha Dragon Well. It has been a very long time since Ive had the pleasure of a cup of pre Qing Ming Dragon Well. Ginko was kind enough to send me a few teas from her current selection. These Pre-Qing Ming teas are not available in large quantity's, they are not going to last long. So,  I,m hoping everyone gets a chance to try these teas before they are sold out.

Pre-Qing Ming teas are the first leaves to emerge after the dormancy of Winter. Before the rain is what I remember it as meaning. Highly valued and sought after by tea lovers. But having said that, they are not to everybody,s liking. For some westerners the flavors are too delicate. I think of them as being teas with pristine clarity and focus.

Cute little tin isn't it? It contents are superlative. So green and vibrant. The aroma from the dry leaf is so fresh and sweet. And there is something that reminds me of pine. You can see in the picture below that the picking standard was very consistent. Practically every leaf and bud set are the same size. The dry leaf is still pliable. Not brittle and crumbly. This pliability is testament to its freshness.

My tea table is just about functionality today. No flowers or dramatic lighting. It is, what it is.  The tea has been brewed with loving care and attention. Freshly heated spring water that has dropped to 175 degrees. With Pre-Qing Ming teas I try to be careful with brewing time. A gentle approach pays off.

There are a lot of people that are of the opinion that you don,t have to be all that careful brewing these Pre-Qing Ming teas. I am not one of them. It's too easy to kill the tea by water that is too hot or too lengthy an infusion time. The end result of either of these scenarios is that what should the slightest bite of astringency can easily wind up being the more dominant aspect in the cup, you don't want that.

The aroma of sugar snap peas and pine as well as some very delicate florals waft from the pot and cup. The first sips are sweet as could be. The pine or maybe I should say sap like flavors contrast with the sugar cane sweetness, a perfect balance. Typically I think of Dragon Well teas to be kinda nutty, yeasty, toasty and slightly vegetal, but this one is different, so clean and delicate.

The color of the brewed tea is actually a tad lighter than the picture below. Crystal clear with an almost silvery sheen. Pretty darned durable too boot. I get 3-4 infusions before it starts to fade. The teas aftertaste is unrelenting. It's sweetness permeates the entire mouth and even the nasal passage. It's early spring and I am usually so congested this time of year due to allergies that I cant smell a thing, but this tea seems to have helped to clear me up a little. I wonder if there is any history of tea being used as a decongestant?

Thank You Ginko!  I cant wait to try the some of your other offerings. As this years teas are making their way to the states I,m keeping a close eye on  Life In A Tea Cup  to see what else you have in store for all of us tea lovers. The proofs in the pudding. Evidently, Ginko has some MOFO connections. Take advantage of it for crying out loud. For more information on this tea pay a visit to Ginko. She,ll hook you up!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Bret! Your photos are so much better than mine! Thank you very much for the puerh. I enjoy the "golden bamboo mountain" very much and look forward to tasting the others!