In my last post I shared with you some information about Putuo Fo Cha.
Just a quick aside…
Putuo Fo, the Buddha Tea from Mt. Putuo is a semi-baked and semi-stir-fixation green tea. It is picked once a year in the spring after the pure-brightness (which is Qing Ming “clear bright” tea picked before April 4-6). Its fresh leaves are the first bud and the first two leaves. So, let’s talk about this “semi-stir-fixation process. The leaves are basket roasted giving the tea an extra degree of sweetness. The basket firing technique requires attentiveness and quick movements as the leaves can easily be over-fired. This yields various amino acids, alkaloids and polyphenols all of which contribute to the wonderful aroma of this tea. Further, these compounds contribute to create a tea that is fresh and brisk yet also vegetable sweet.
The dry leaves…
Were tightly curled…great care goes into carefully crafting the leaves so that the end result are tight and consistent sized curls. The leaves were a wonderful light green coloration mixed with white buds for its’s tippy appearance.
I used about 3 grams of tea (I always use my Rishi Tea Simple Brew Loose Leaf Teapot) and the water temperature was 170 degrees Fahrenheit. I steeped the tea for just a minute and a half. I was able to get three”steeps”, mainly because this tea is very slow in turning astringent.
WOW! The liquor was a rich, bright yellowish-green with a very sweet pleasant aroma. The infused leaves were soft and bright, and they clustered into lumps. It was mellow and smooth with very little astringency. There was a distinctive vegetal, grassy flavor, with a light note of early spring asparagus; soft and sweet on the palate with a lingering finish! It had a delicate mouth feel – not strong, but with a supple and soft taste. It was lighter, and it had an interesting flower after taste which surprised me. As I have mentioned before, I am not a lover of green tea, but I never tasted a green tea with flowery vegetal notes like this one.
Centuries of cultivation have developed a leaf that has a grassy sweet aroma with fresh, vegetal flavors. It was smooth, with just a hint of astringency. Be careful with the water temperature and steeping times, because it can become bitter quickly. This was the very archetype of a cup of green tea – pale green cup, sweet taste, very mild grassiness, and medium thin mouthfeel. I really didn’t know how to rate this tea – I didn’t dislike it, but since I’m not a huge green tea fan, I wouldn’t purchase it again. I remain a lover of black teas! So, a 4 – because I liked it, but I wouldn’t purchase it again.
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)