Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Summer freshness

 Yesterday's brewing of the Xue Li Gankou green tea in 2 bowls has inspired me to make another experiment. Today, I'm using another green tea. This one is from Wenshan, made from the qingxin Oolong cultivar this spring.

Again, I compare how the same tea tastes when brewed in 2 different bowls.

The first bowl is yesterday's winner: the qinghua porcelain bowl.
The black glazed hare's fur Jianyang bowl (Fujian). This style of bowl originated during the Sung dynasty (960-1279), when green tea powder was whisked in such bowls.

That means that this bowl was specifically made for green tea. This makes this contest quite interesting, especially after the porcelain bowl proved superior to yesterday's woodfired natural clay bowl.
This time, the difference between the tea made in the 2 bowls isn't as obvious as yesterday. The green tea in the thin porcelain qinghua bowl is slightly better displaying the fresh and flowery fragrances. However, I feel that the Jianyang bowl improved the taste considerably: more sweetness, more harmony and a longer, thicker aftertaste. This more than made up the fact that the fragrance was slightly less pronounced. Also, the tea remained warmer in the Jianyang bowl than in the thin porcelain.

This temperature difference is a clue to what makes this bowl perform well: The good heat retention is explained by a clay with a high iron content and a thick glaze. More heat means a better extraction of flavors from the leaves. (This is an advantage only if the tea is of good quality and doesn't turn bitter!)
The other difference is the color of the leaves. The white background of the porcelain lets us see the light hue of the brew. With the black glaze, the brew is more transparent. The green open leaves look dramatic and shiny in the black bowl.
Let's enjoy Summer Freshness with a 10% discount on my green teas until mid August!

1 comment:

Miss Tea Delight said...

I was asking myself if Xue Li could be the same as snow pear, and yes indeed! Sounds like a delicious name :)