Tea offers lots of choices, and it would take a book of some length and depth to cover the entire subject of tea, so let us just focus on good quality green tea for the moment.
All tea comes from a single plant: a gnarly shrub with the scientific name Camelia sinensis. Whether a tea is black, green, white or oolong, all are different varieties or treatments of the same plant.
Lets bring into focus 3 very good quality green teas
- Dragon Well Green Tea from the famous area of West Lake in Hangzhou, China
- Wulu Green Jade from the Misty Mountains of Central China in the Enshi area.
- Pinhead Gunpowder Green tea, a small but mighty pellet of fresh green tea flavor.
Dragon Well (or Lung Jing) From a unique region in China called West Lake, which has been growing this style of needle shaped green tea for centuries. It is produced mostly by hand and renowned for its high quality. Before infusion, higher quality Dragon Well tea has a very tight, flat shape and light green color. Expect a roasted wheat flavor, with toasted chestnut over tones. This wok fired tea is prepared by expert craftsmen, who know by experienced hands just the right amount of roasting required for peak flavor. For best infusion results, water at around 75-80 °C or 167-176 °F should be used to brew the tea leaves.
Wulu Jade Green Location, location, location. Where tea is grown plays a huge part in the flavors, aromas, and complexities that come through the tea. Wulu Jade is grown in the misty mountains of Central China, in the Enshi region. This light floral green tea is harvested once per year. The delicacy of this tea is noticed upon first glance, with its fuzzy leaf nature and unprocessed look. With honey and light vegetal notes this tea stands out from other green teas.
Pinhead Gunpowder tea leaves are withered, steamed, rolled, and then dried. The rolling renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. The flavor of brewed gunpowder tea is often described as leathery-nutty with a bent to the earthy. Gunpowder yields a full-bodied cup, a little astringent and sweet honey on the finish. Don’t try to enclose these pellets into a bag or tea ball, as they will like to unfurl like flowers and fall gracefully to the bottom of the pot yielding more flavor with each steep. Gunpowder is more dense than other teas, so we recommend only one or two teaspoons for a full teapot, or a slight teaspoon for one cup.
Choose a good quality tea that looks and smells appealing to you. Look for Organic and Fair Trade where you can, and remember to savor the well crafted flavor profile of a fine green tea, and always experiment with new teas.
Cheers from Da Cha Teas