Thursday, December 15, 2005

Silk Road Teas Green Mist (G-GMT-1)

I don't know what the Chinese name for this tea is, but Holy Mountain, which obviously gets it from Silk Road, say it's from Anhui.

This is an enjoyable green, but an unusual one for a Chinese green, as it has a lot of the character of a sencha. There's a fresh, grassy quality to it; it's almost like shincha.

This tea works with a pretty wide range of temperatures: from 140F to 170F at least. No matter what the temperature, the cup aroma and, especially, the brewed leaf aroma of early steeps will come out fresh, sweet and meadowy. You can depend on the first steep for a taste that's sweet and a rich, soupy mouth feel; cooler temperatures bring out the grassy side of the tea, and hotter temperatures lend brightness.

In the second steep, this tea loses some of the luxurious mouth feel, but its flavor gains complexity. At cooler temperatures, the grassyness becomes balanced with a slightly
fruity quality plus a manageable slight bitterness, though the aroma falls off. Hotter, the aroma loses sweetness but gains a minty sharpness; the taste is fairly sweet, a bit nutty but still bright, devoid of any grass at all, getting sweeter and developing a fairly long finish as the cup cools.

In the third steep, with cool temperatures I couldn't get anything beyond generic drinkability. At 170F, the aroma was somewhat sweet but with less bloom; the taste was still satisyingly sweet, with a minty onset but getting a little vegetal in a peapod way as I held the liquor in my mouth.

At 170F, I could still get a vegetal sweetness in both aroma and taste from this tea.

The brewing parameters I recommend are: one gram leaf per two ounces water at 170F; steep times of 60, 30, 60, and 120 seconds.

One last thing: As sometimes happens with the new, extra-shiny bags Silk Road now uses, the bag was useless once opened. The first time I opened it, the plastic inner bag pulled away from the foil outer bag in such a way that it couldn't be resealed.

1 comment:

anodyne said...

Yes, I have also noted that the new SRT bags are not nearly as substantial as the old ones. I have one that keeps popping open as well. They just feel overall more thin and cheap, don't they? Not made nearly as well or as functional for longterm use. Not a plus.