Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Young Mountain Tea Kumaon White
Leaf Appearance: large, somewhat broken with visible buds
Ingredients: white tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 170 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
When I heard the news that Tea Journey Magazine's Kickstart campaign was fully funded I was very excited. Partly for the magazine and partly because that meant there would be some Kumaon White on its way to me soon. I had long heard tales of this tea from +Geoffrey Norman and loved it when I tried some at World Tea Expo.
When I opened the bag I was struck by the intense sweet meadow aroma. It may sound strange but it reminded me of my days working in a barn (not in a yucky horse poop way). IThe dry leaves very much resembled what you might expect from a Chinese Shou Mei. They were quite pretty to look at with varied shades of greens and browns. There was a significant amount of stems but I also spotted buds scattered throughout. This is a tea that begs to be photographed!
I initially tried this tea using their western brewing directions in my glass teapot. The taste was wonderfully fresh with a lot of natural sweetness. Honeydew melon came to mind but there was also delicate floral quality. There was no astringency to speak of, even when brewed for longer times or with hotter water. It really hit the spot on a hot summer day. I still need my tea fix even when temperatures climb but there was a lightness to this tea that really helped me to beat the heat.
A few weeks later, I tried gongfu'ing this tea in a glass gaiwan and that just might be my preferred brewing method. I stuck with 170 degrees as per their recommendation but went with 30-second infusions. Concentrating the flavors really accentuated the complexity of the flavor profile. The leaves also don't quit. I was drinking late one night and was able to continue brewing (after a quick rinse) when I woke up in the morning.
Kumaon White received from Young Mountain Tea as a reward for contributing to Kickstarter campaign for Tea Journey Magazine.