Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Anodyne on Ying De Gold and Ying De Red

I first tasted Jing Tea Shop’s Ying De Gold and posted comments July 07, 2006 in Anodyne on Pre Ming Ying De Gold and Special Grade Dian Hong Gold. I’ve just had a chance to taste the Ying De Gold and Ying De Red again this season.

The Ying De Red is from Guangdong Province and is listed on the website as “2007, Pre Qing-Ming (Ming Qian Cha).” It has a wonderful aroma with touches of floral, cocoa, and toasty grains. The cup itself is quite mellow with the toasty grain and hint of floral lingering into the finish. As the tea cools slightly, the floral note pulls forward more distinctly with a hint of dark honey.

The Ying De Gold, from Ying De, Guangdong Province, is listed as the “first pick” from early spring 2007. It has distinctly more of a high-register floral note to the dry leaf compared to Ying De Red, which makes me think that the tea will reflect this floral note more dominantly in the cup. There is something in the dry leaf’s floral note that reminds me of certain First Flush Darjeeling teas. That is not something I experience with the Ying De Red. There is still a deeper bass scent to this tea, but the floral note is more permeating and forward than in the Ying De Red. The cup itself has a slightly brighter character and a clarity that is connected to the floral, yet it still remains quite mellow. The floral notes meander more distinctly into the finish in the Ying De Gold making it a more ethereal experience. As the tea cools slightly, a sweet nectar-like note settles in against the floral.

In 2006 I had a very similar impression of this tea, though I wrote of “malt” in lieu of “toasty grains.” I don’t think this reflects a change in the tea’s profile. It’s merely my own discrepancy in finding and describing taste. I had not read my 2006 notes prior to tasting the tea this year, and I see that the word “clarity” came to mind both years. That clarity of the cup is a pleasing aspect to this tea as is the juxtaposition of the smoothness and depth of flavor against the very fresh spring-like floral notes. In tasting this tea in 2006, I expressed a similar pleasure: ”The aroma deepens and sweetens as it cools slightly. I like the way everything balances out in this cup. It drinks smooth and with a nice clarity, just the right pungent edge that doesn't cross over into anything harsh or muddy or metallic or green or overly earthy."

The empty cups of both teas are exuding a fresh floral sweet note. The Ying De Red has the most pronounced lingering scent—a darker honey than the Ying De Gold’s more ethereal floral-nectar. Source:

--Holly L. Hatfield-Busk

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