Review of Wild tea Orchid Fairy Twig, first day harvest

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 54 of 583 of 100
SuperbExcellentGood Value

I have only tried one other green tea from Wuyuan, but there was something very distinctive about this tea that reminded me of that first tea, Upton's ZG36, as soon as I took the first sip. Both teas share a particularly distinctive grassy aroma, with both floral and vegetal tones.

This tea, on the other hand, has a much cleaner flavor, although it was more sour. The aroma also has hints of mint.

I tried brewing this two different ways, and the way I preferred was to use very little leaf, and make two infusions. With this method, there was very little astringency, but the aftertaste was very tangy. The cup finishes leaving a creamy quality in the aftertaste. A second infusion of 5 minutes was very flavorful. Slightly less grassy, much less vegetal, but overall, similar.

I tried making 1-minute infusions, using more leaf, and, while the tea lasted through an astonishing number of infusions without losing any flavor (I think I could have made more), I didn't like the results as much. Using this method, each infusion was more or less similar in character. The first had stronger, almost skunky vegetal tones in the aroma, but a mild flavor, less grassy, still with the mint-like qualities. Subsequent infusions became richer, and still had the skunky vegetal quality, and then began to slowly diminish in flavor. Rich, with a grassy finish. For some reason, using this method, this tea was rather astringnent, however.

Bottom line? An outstanding tea. It seems pricey, but it has the quality to back it up: a tiny amount of leaf can go very far, and given how many infusions it can make, the cost-per-cup would be quite low if you use this method.

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Comments:

marlena wrote:
on March 28th, 2011

Alex, I never thought of the method os using very little leaf and going for a long infusion. It sounds really good.

Alex Zorach wrote:
on March 28th, 2011

I find that using that technique works better for some teas than others. In this case, when I was using the brief infusions, each cup was so similar to each other that I felt like I wasn't really learning anything new about the tea. I tend to prefer the gong-fu-style brewing for teas where each infusion brings out different qualities. For teas where the infusions are very similar, I prefer using less leaf and a longer infusion, because it produces a more complex cup.

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