Bamboo Leaf, traditional green tea
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.
Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pillow
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).
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.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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