My tasting notes: Cha Wang Tai Ping Hou Kui
Many people believe that they don’t like tea. Exactly, what tea are we talking about? If you mean dust in a tea bag, you are right, I agree with you, I don’t like that either! (and it shouldn’t be called tea, anyway). I don’t want to open a Pandora's box here but sometimes I wonder whether the comfort of predictability is more enticing than the excitement of discovery.
What is so special about tea? (somebody who doesn’t like tea might ask – be prepared). If you think about it, tea is just leaves and water. It’s astonishing how simple it is and yet there is something magical about it. It’s the same plant and look how many variations there are! It's a sensory experience, you need all your senses to understand it. And it’s very much like traveling, like my friend Carlotta said in her interview. And just like traveling “it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.
Take this tea, for example. Its appearance alone makes it unlike any other. For some reason, by looking at it, it reminded me of seaweed. Incredibly, the steeped tea is almost colorless. It’s fascinating. Its flavor took me by surprise. Tai Ping Hou Kui leaves are really long and a regular gaiwan would be too small to hold them. A tall glass cup is recommended. I used my glass serving pitcher and covered it with a small saucer to keep the aroma inside.
Cha Wang Tai Ping Hou Kui, Teavivre, China
Tea Name: Nonpareil Cha Wang Tai Ping Hou Kui
Origin: Houkeng, Huangshan Mountain, Anhui Province, China
Ingredients: green tea
Harvest: April 2016
Water Temperature: 176-185 F / 80-85 C
Steep Time: 1 minute / 1 minute 30 seconds / 2 minutes
Preparation Method: tall glass cup
Leaves/Water Ratio: 10-15 pieces of leaves to 6 oz / 180 ml filtered water
dry leaves: flat, narrow, very long (2,3 inches / 6 cm) and straight, forest green with bright green hues, some leaves have a slight pattern from the mesh screens they are pressed and dried on
wet leaves: bright green
liquor: clear, very little color, very subtle green and yellow hues
dry leaves: vegetal, notes of sweet hay, slightly floral
wet leaves: notes of chamomile and honey
liquor: fresh and aromatic
liquor: fresh, vegetal, notes of sweet peas, asparagus with an ever so slightly hint of pine needles
MOUTHFEEL: fresh, silky smooth, mineral, subtle cooling freshness at the back of the throat, mouthwatering
FOOD PAIRING: delicate vegetables, asparagus dishes (to play on the flavor notes analogy)
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3 full-flavored steeps, yum! I love the amount of information and details specific to each tea provided on the Teavivre website!
Disclaimer: sample provided for review by Teavivre. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Teavivre nor with the manufacturer of this product. You can find this tea here.