My tasting notes: He Kai Shan Puerh
The weather in San Francisco is weird, there’s no other way to put it. We have a unique micro climate. So while the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is trying to survive the scorching heat of summer, we have to put up with the fog and lower-than-usual temperatures. August has even been renamed Fogust (= fog + August). It’s dreary and grey. For a tea drinker, it’s actually rather ideal. Did you know that the fog has a name? Karl the Fog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, the summer in SF has yet to come, in September and October the weather is going to be gorgeous! Just don’t be surprised if instead of cold brewing or brewing iced tea, I’m enjoying puerh and discovering new tea tasting terminology!
Today I’m tasting a raw puerh also known as sheng puerh by Imperial Tea Court in San Francisco. Do you know what "hui gan" is? Read on to find out.
Tea Name: He Kai Shan "Green" Puerh
Origin: He Kai Shan, Yunnan Province, China
Ingredients: raw puerh
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 4 gr to 5 oz / 150 ml filtered water
Water Temperature: 200 F / 93 C
Steep Time: quick rinse, 50 seconds, 1 minute, multiple steeps
dry leaves: loosely twisted leaves, 1 inch (2-3 cm) long, dark grey with lighter grey hues and golden and silver hues due to slightly fuzzy leaves
wet leaves: moss green with light green and light brownish hues, leaves are small and tender
liquor: yellow with pinkish, peachy hues
dry leaves: light notes of camphor and sweet hay
wet leaves: smoky, roasty, sweet, notes of camphor and green grapes
liquor: smoky, roasty, sweet, notes of camphor and green grapes
liquor: sweet, smoky, slightly astringent, notes of green almonds with a stone fruit and floral aftertaste
MOUTHFEEL: a little tannic and full bodied with a cooling sensation at the back of the mouth
FOOD PAIRING: 73% dark chocolate with fleur de sel. Somehow the chocolate on its own is a tiny bit too bitter and too salty for me, but enjoyed together with the tea they mutually enhanced their bold flavors notes. Pairing level: Connoisseur.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: I’ve often heard the term "hui gan" among tea lovers and tea bloggers. It is my understanding that it’s a bit of a controversial term. So I asked Roy Fong of Imperial Tea Court who kindly explained that "hui gan" refers to “the sweet cleansing finish in the throat”. I think this tea has it. I really enjoyed it. It’s the perfect San Francisco Fogust tea.
Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money and I was not asked to review it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Imperial Tea Court nor with the manufacturer of this product.