Bamboo Leaf, traditional green tea

Bamboo Leaf, traditional green tea

(1 customer review)

USD 27.00

Zhuye Qingding — a rare shoot leaf green tea

Some people like their green tea soft and sweet, others may prefer a good umami. Yet this leaf shoot tea is neither. Its brisk, lively full body is accentuated with a refreshing aroma and a distinct note of bitterness. After Longjing, of all the other green teas from the Zhejiang region, my personal strongest preference goes to this traditional green tea form of Bamboo Leaf produced in Kaihua. To me it is an alternative to a shot of single malt in the evening, or an afternoon kick of espresso. Maybe more pleasant and invigorating.

This style form is produced in a few other tea regions in China. The taste profile does vary from region to region, and even from farm to farm, tea master to tea master. In Emei Shan in Szechuan, the traditional form style name, Zhu Ye Qing, which transliterates as Bamboo Leaf Green, is registered as a brand name by a powerful local tea company. Other farmers and tea companies who have been producing in this same style form are then required by law to sell their products in different names. One of them is Mingshan Shihua.

Tea Hong’s Bamboo Leaf is a rare quality representing not only the broader taste profile of this style form, but also the intriguing intricacy that gives true quality tea its elevating magic.

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Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pillow

In stock


明前極品 竹葉青頂

Taste profile

Fresh bright aroma akin to the air after rain in a natural pine forest, with accents of some unknown distinctive truffle and slight hint of lily. Brisk, full body with a unique fragrant bitterness carried in an overtone of millet. Long, cooling and quenching aftertaste with notes of Mongolian milkvetch (aka huang qi).

Infusion tip

The true wonders of a fine Bamboo Leaf is revealed only through a longer infusion. That is because the shoot leaf is relatively compact and intact, unlike those varieties that are rolled or pressure pressed, where cell tissues are a lot more broken for easily releasing of the innate contents.

Adjust the leaf to water ratio to attain a liquor strength that you prefer, but do keep a minimum infusion time of 3 minutes. I often do this tea for at least 6 minutes.

When you are making a bigger pot, decrease the leaf amount and increase the time. On opting for this technique, expect a second round of infusion to be quite weak.

Personally, I prefer my Bamboo Leaf really sharp and enough bitterness. 90+°C infusion temperature will deliver that. If you prefer a softer taste, employ a lower temperature, such as 85°C. An alternative way to tone down the sharpness and bitterness, while achieving a full, lively body, is with a Yixing teapot.

Additional information

Weight 170 g
Dimensions 18 × 9 × 5 cm
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  1. Complex and intriguing… this is definitely the type of tea you want to drink a few times before you feel like you’ve had it even once. The flavor profile is sophisticated, especially considering how easy and straightforward it is to brew up.

    This Zhu Ye has a crisp and clean mouthfeel, like mineral-rich mountain spring water, with a pleasant lingering sweetness that gradually builds up and slowly fades away. It has just the right amount of bitterness to keep the flavor profile on the slightly-dry side, but without sacrificing the delicacies of its otherwise sweet layers of flavor.

    There’s a vibrant and apparent note of nettle; to me it’s the focal point of this tea, and it really ties the whole flavor profile together. I get overtones of pine needles with hints of green peppercorn & juniper berries, a mossy and slightly starchy body that has notes reminiscent of fresh peas and corn kernels, and undertones of truffles with cornflowers. This tea has a pungent earthiness, yet also a distinct silkiness, that makes for a really intriguing contrast of flavors and sensations.

    Notes of nettle weave their way seamlessly in and out of the whole flavor profile, adding a subtle herbaceous spiciness that is quite powerful yet so gentle at the same time.

    The aroma coming off the bottom of an empty cup, as it cools, reminds me of clover honey. It’s got a clear and focused sweetness, with subtle hints of nettle creeping back up and becoming stronger as the cup cools down completely to room temperature.

    The color of the soup is bright and clear, with tiny hairs suspended in the cup. In later steeps, the broth turns a bit hazy but the mouthfeel remains light and resists turning excessively bitter, even after a long final steep.

    The leaf quality is superb, it’s worth watching these leaves open up as they brew, and definitely worth looking closely after they’ve taken a nice long bath. It’s clear they were plucked well and processed uniformly.

    This is a powerful tea, with all of the correct nuances in the right places.

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