Thursday, April 04, 2019

The very green Qingxin Oolong

This tea is confusing, because it's a Qingxin Oolong green tea! Wait, what? An Oolong green tea? Do I mean it's one of those very lightly oxidized Oolongs sometimes called 'nuclear green'?
No these are still Oolongs. The explanation to this riddle is that this is a green tea (= with 0 oxidation). But it's made from a tea cultivar named 'Qingxin Oolong' (aka ruanzhi Oolong or soft stem Oolong). That's because you can process any tea leaf the way you wish. You could also make white tea or red tea with Qingxin Oolong leaves!
This spring 2017 Green Qingxin Oolong was harvested on April 25th, 2017. I have stored it vacuum-sealed and the freshness is still very present in the dry aromas. To celebrate spring, this tea now my gift for orders in excess of 60 USD (excluding shipping) and below 200 USD.
I'm brewing this tea in a (preheated) thin white porcelain bowl (by David Louveau). I make the leaves turn thanks to the pour of water from the (silver kettle) and, later, by lightly using a porcelain soup spoon to lightly make the leaves dance. This helps them to unfold and release their aromas.
 This method works well with green tea. Its purpose isn't a very strong cup, but a light one. Once you smell or see that it's ready, you can pour the tea in the cups with the soup spoon. And if it's becoming too strong, you simply add more hot water in the bowl.
This green tea is interesting, because it shows the character of the Qingxin Oolong (famous for Hung Shui and High Mountain Oolong) as green tea. Its freshly cut grass notes, typical of green, have a very high note, very refined. And in terms of taste, there's a good mellow taste feeling when brewed lightly, but it turns bitter if it's left to brew too long. It's full of 'green' energy!
The biggest difference with Oolong, is that the leaves are mostly buds or very small. This leads to this kind of beautiful picture. Imagine using the spoon to let these 2 buds dance!...

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