|Reverse view of the boxes|
|Super Grade Yellow Box, note the tiny leaves.|
I brewed a good heaping tablespoon of leaves and just enough water to cover them in my Jian Shui teapot which I reserve for dark heicha and wetter shou puerh teas because the clay tempers the storage a bit and rounds out the sweetness. I use boiling water for all steeps. Need to be quick on the rinse and the pouring of this type of tea, because it brews up strong very quickly.
|Clarity is evident in the view of the spotty glaze on my cup.|
Surprisingly, this tea is still quite bitter despite the six years in damp storage, and well caffeinated. It is very powerful in the mouth with bitterness and hints of tangy dark fruits beneath the storage character. The tangy, metallic bitterness lingers in the mouth for about an hour or so, as well as the stomach and I feel hungry. Heicha like this is meant to supplement and digest a heavy meat diet. By “digest” I mean it gets the food moving through my digestive system, getting rid of that overly full feeling from a heavy meal. Drunk an hour after a meat meal, this will help remove the sluggishness and get mouth and stomach juices going with a bit of astringency. The storage character gets a bit minty after about three brews.
|Leaves show some green left to age in the Yellow Box.|
|A dark Jian Shui teapot is a must for black, damp heicha and shou puerh.|
By Crimson Lotus Teas who specializes in these.
This tea helpfully includes a can for storage, one of those with the second interior lid, making the can useful later on for storing oolong tea. The production date on the can is marked as 2010, Chawangshop states that the tea has “buds” from 2009 spring harvest, and the can also has 2011 on it.
|Unboxing the Premium Grade Liu Pao.|
|This type of can keeps tea dry|
and is useful later for storing roasted oolong.
|Premium grade has a little rougher leaf.|
|A reddish brew shows this one is more heavily fermented,|
but still qualifies as medium/heavy.
I did not see any golden flowers 金花 in, either of these teas, and I don’t know if they were inoculated to produce jin hua. Golden flowers called eurotium fungi are often grown using wheat as a base and then the wheat-grown spores are added to the tea, so something to consider for people of gluten sensitivity. Personally I love jin hua and crave that tangy flavor. My attempts to increase jin hua growth over the summer on my Fu Zhuan bricks produced a consistent growth of small flowers throughout, but not the huge flowers I see coming from more humid climates. I’m still chasing the fabulously crusted Fu from my friend in Washington, DC that I tasted last summer. My success in growing highly floral jin hua may be limited because of my drier climate but I plan to keep on trying.
|Some bits of green, but mostly ready to drink.|