In my last post I shared with you some information about Kekecha, a very special and rare yellow tea.
The leaves were very attractive – some appeared twisted while others were so scrunched they almost looked like were rolled – maybe even twiggy looking? They were beautifully multi colored – with various light and dark shades of bronze, brown, and green.
While exquisitely iridescent and translucent, I must admit I struggled with trying to make a decision as to the exact color of the liquor. After two cups and staring at the liquor for at least 15 minutes, I finally opted for a unique array apricot colors.
I used my gaiwan, with a water temperature of 80C/176F and steeped the leaves for 2 minutes. Yellow teas, such as Kekecha can always be steeped multiple times, at the same or slightly hotter water temperature than used for the initial steeping. Delightful flavor nuances can be discovered and enjoyed by adjusting the length of time your yellow tea steeps. Be bold and experiment – trying longer or shorter steeping times and see which you prefer.
Tasting Kekecha was a multi-layered experience! The aroma was very subtle with earthy tones. The taste was mild with hints of papaya or melon perhaps with an underlying spiciness and the light taste of hazelnuts? It was refreshing with a smooth and silky texture. The aftertaste was interesting because it felt (at least to my palate) that the flavor got stronger over time. I could begin to feel it on the back of my tongue, but at the same time an almost slippery kind of feeling on the front of my tongue – but not unpleasant in the least.
My second infusion I steeped for about 3 minutes, with the water temperature still at 80 degrees Centigrade. This infusion produced a deeper apricot colored cup with sweeter and more pronounced fruity notes.
Yellow tea doesn’t fall neatly into any of the given categories, so it even stumps the tea experts outside of China, giving them pause for thought when trying to explain exactly what it is. They are very difficult to find, even in China and China remains the only place of production. I will tell you now, you will not find this unusual tea lurking at the back of a supermarket shelf, or even in many of the more specialist food shops that stock numerous varieties of loose tea. So, you need to be VERY careful when purchasing yellow teas. Much of the yellow tea on the market is fake, often simply green tea fobbed off a yellow. Genuine yellow teas, are hard to imitate. This is a 5!
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)
Next… L is for Lu Yu