Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making Hong Pao Black Tea

How does the idea of mixing up Da Hong Pao with Yunnan Black sound? I came across this idea few weeks ago, and the blended tea turn out to be a blessing.

I mixed up our Heavily Roasted Da Hong Pao with Yunnan Black at 2:1 ratio, quickly rinsed the leaves then let them brew for 45 seconds. At first sipping, the familiar aroma of heavily roasted Da Hong Pao was prominent - toasty with osmanthus aroma dancing at back of the throat. The taste was soft, mellow, and sweet. The heavy rock mouth feeling of Da Hong Pao was balanced out by the softness and smoothness of Yunnna Black. What a pleasant surprise!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

West Lake Tea Farmers Grow Back Long Jing Varietal Trees

According to recent news from West Lake, local farmers started to grow back Long Jing Varietal trees last year. Long Jing Varietal is traditional Long Jing tea tree. Long Jing #43 tea tree was introduced in 1970s, and gained popularity among tea farmers due to its early harvest time, which in turn translate into higher profit. There was a period that many West Lake tea farmers cut down their Long Jing Varietal trees to grow Long Jing #43.

Although Long Jing made from Long Jing Varietal and Long Jing #43 share many common characters, they also have some differences. Many long time Long Jing drinkers prefer the taste of Long Jing Varietal.

It is estimated that about 90% of Long Jing trees in West Lake area will be Long Jing Varietal by end of this year. Although Long Jing #43 may start harvest in early March, Long Jing Varietal harvest normally starts around late March. This dramatically cut short Pre-Ming production period. People are anticipating a price increase of this year's Long Jing production.