Thursday, January 19, 2006

Buddha's hand

Great name for a tea: Fo Shou or Buddha's hand. It sounds poetic and spiritual, very fitting for an Oriental tea ceremony. It even comes from Yung Chun, Eternal Spring, a town North of Xia Men in Fujian (opposite Taiwan). This sample is a gift from a reader (you're all welcome to send me excellent tea samples by the way! Half kidding!) Thanks! I had never found this tea in Taiwan and I guess there is a simple explanation for that (besides politics and lack of direct cross-straight links): this Buddha's hand is a semi-oxidized tea belonging to the oolong family. This sample is made of high grade leaves producing a very floral/green vegetable and yet mellow aroma. For me, it is very close to Taiwan's Wen Shan baozhong. Baozhong would just be even 'greener', less oxidized and/or roasted. This tea has a more honey and round feel, but both are quite close (as the appearance already suggests). This sample is indeed of very high quality, because this 'green' feel didn't come with sour or acid taste. Just a tiny little.

Buddha's hand has a great name that will make you want to try it one day. However, be careful with fancy tea names in general. Best is to research beforehand what tea that is. If the name is just the invention of a particular merchant, then be twice as careful.

Update: This picture is an answer to Lionel. Yes, this is a big leaf and that's where the name comes from. However, it didn't strike me until Nadim mentioned it. Why? Because I recently drank from even bigger tea leaves: big Mengku pu-erh. According to Teaparker (from whom I got the leaves) these are the biggest leaves in the tea world.
Update2: Another reason for the name is Fo Shou Gan, a citrus species also called Buddha's hand. This tea apparently has a similar citrus/bergamot flavor as this fruit, hence the name. But I think that size also played a role (as so many junk e-mails keep reminding me: "size matters"! Haha!)

6 comments:

Nadim said...

J'en ai un petit peu chez moi - chaque fois que je bois ce thé je suis fasciné par la taille de ses feuilles : elles sont géantes !

lionel said...

J'ai entendu parler de ce thé, mais n'ai jamais eu la chance d'y goûter...Est il vrai que les feuilles ont une forme ronde ? et non allongée...Pourquoi s'appelle t-il "Main de Bouddha" ?

Nadim said...

Est-ce que tu as pu goûter à ce pu-erh ?

Stephane said...

Oui:
http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2005/06/best-real-wild-pu-er-i-ever-drank.html

Photo:
http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2005/06/wild-meng-ku-tea-big-leaves.html

Meng-Lin said...

Der Name von Buddha Hand kommt von seinem Duft, der uns an Citrusfruch Bergamott (ich hoffe, dass ich es richtig geschrieben habe)!
Er sieht zwar ähnlich wie Paochung aus, ist aber eine andere Art von Oolong. Seine Blätter sind grün, weil sein Welkensporzess sehr lang ist. Eigentlich sollte die Blätter noch mehr rötliche Färbung aufweisen...
Er hat auch eine stärkere Röstung als die von Paochung.

buddha pendant said...

good post