I call this green tea Mr. Freshness. Its alter ego in wine is Roussanne.
This is one of very famous Chinese green teas – it used to be a tribute tea – less known in the West. If you look at dry leaves only, it’s actually easy to mistake it for a black tea. You have to move closer to these spiky fine leaves to see that actually they are very dark emerald colour.
All doubts are dispelled as soon as you steep it. The first scent of infused leaves is a powerful scent of freshly cut grass, followed by warm notes of chestnut and sweet potato, which almost replaces the primary herbal note. Along come whispers of woody and marine aromas.
This tea enjoys much more hype overseas than in China. Overseas, even people with very little knowledge about Chinese tea, would usually quote this one. I have mixed feelings about it: like it, but find it a bit unsophisticated… let’s see why.
This tea is sooooo special. Probably the tiniest whole leaves you can find. After having spent previous days with the samples of loose Pu’Er and its big leaves, now it feels like moving from Lego to Nanoblock… These leaves are exquisite and tender. Observing their irregular rolled shape this morning, I found that they remind me of calligraphy made with the finest possible brush. I opened an album by Qi Baishi ink paintings and – yes, it’s exactly that!!!