Sichuan Old Tree Green
Sichuan Old Tree Green
€ 20 to 26.67/100g
April 2018 Pick
magnolia, ghee, chestnut, dried apricot
Our Sichuan plantation’s classic highest quality green tea.
Our Old Tree Green is a maofeng style first flush green tea, only from the bud and first leaf of 100+ years old tea bushes on our favourite tea farm, organic certified and grown on 1300m in the mountains near Qionglai, Sichuan, China.
2018 was a special year. For many tea farms from Japan to Eastern China the weather meant major losses, but Sichuan had one of the best tea years in history. Just the right amount in rain and sunshine made this tea beautifully light while very complex and fragrant. Not especially sweet like this year’s later picks, but more creamy and nutty.
This is rather a tea to concentrate on, to gongfu brew and enjoy. It works as a daily drinker too, but I think more careful brewing techniques can bring out far more of it’s refined structure and complexity.
Qingfeng 青风/Green Tea from Qionglai, Sichuan
What to expect: very evenly sized, shaped and coloured young leaves, basically one leaf/one bud, but rather early pick. Similar to a Maofeng, but thanks to Sichuan weather, soil and high altitude of the plantation with it's very own touch.
Brewing tips: 5g of tea leaves in 75°C water, 4 to 6 steeps. Nice as a coldbrew and after several brews still the tender leaves are great as a vegetable in omelette oder Asian noodle soup.
Our Sichuan Old Tree Green is the green tea that made me a green tea drinker. I've never been too fond of those grass and algae flavoured green teas from around the East Chinese sea, with a few exceptions of mostly very expensive Japanese greens or sometimes a very good Longjing. But when friends brought me to the plantation of Mr Deng the first time in I believe 2010, I fell in love. With a green tea.
In a journal article I wrote more about the story of Mr Deng's EU-organic certified plantation and why it is heaven on earth for me, so here I will focus on the tea that is, next to the Old Tree Black, one of this plantation's two main products. Mr Deng started proucing it, when a customer asked him to produce a Maofeng. It's an open secret that Huangshan by far does not produce as much Maofeng as the market offers "Huangshan Maofeng", so this customer was one of these people who did not care about if the denominated place of origin of his teas is true, but still wanted it to be an organic certified, high quality tea.
Mr Deng produced Maofeng for this customer for the first year, the tea sold well, but in Mr Deng's eyes, it was not a real Maofeng, it actually had it's own qualities and was far better than just a "fake Maofeng". So he stopped selling it as a Maofeng and called it Qingfeng, "Green Breeze". It became the tea that made his farm a name within his province. And that for a good reason, as there is no other way apart from going there yourself to experience the perfect purity, cleanliness and calm beauty of this farm than drinking this tea.
It tastes like a mild and fragrant meadow full of white and yellow summer flowers, lightly nutty, creamy and beautifully sweet.
And it is quite easy to brew. Somewhere between a very mild and fragrant 70°C and a stronger, sweeter 80°C it tastes best. And it loves good water. I havent had many teas that are on one hand so forgiving about many factors, almost always taste good, but also reward you so much for finding the right brewing parameters and a well-balanced water!
The tea of many sleepless tea-high nights after drinking tea in high mountain air for eight or more hours straight, with little breaks for walks through the plantation or to enjoy some amazingly delicious completely self-grown meals, often including the tea of the previous sessions.
Try it yourself. And if you love this tea as much as me, join me on my next trip to the farm, learn how they make it and why I can't stop talking about it, even after eight years of going there at least once a year!