Sunday, 25 March 2012

2011 Yixing hongcha

The last Sunday was a bit unusual. Unlike the most of the weekends I woke up early for a sport event called stramilano. We subscribed for a 10km running with two colleagues with whom we go run 2-3 times per week. Physical activity is good! Is good for both the body and mind and I am convinced that humans are meant to do physical work at first place. No wonder that siting all days in an office or in a lab can bring health problems if it is not compensated with some sport (at least in my case). 

But this is a blog dedicated to tea, so lets focus on that.
A free sample of a red tea coming from the birth place of zisha pots, Yixing, was the one which introduced me into the world of hongcha. Since that, I have tried a couple of them and here comes the one which I am drinking recently.

I bought this package in DTH a couple of months ago. The leaves are small and curly. As I open the bag the fragrance is silent but tasty, however, as soon as it hits the hot pot the smell became strong; chocolate, cocoa and cereals, my zisha pot nicely brings out these lower notes. 

This tea requires high load of tea but the result is good. Every time I drink it I am amazed by the sweet (dark) chocolate notes which dominates on every level; it is present in the fragrance of the dry and wet leaves as well in the scent of the liquor and in its taste.
The character is smooth overall, I miss a bit the wildness which I happened to find in some Yixing red teas. There is not too much of that acidic finish which is also characteristic for these kind of teas, but since I am not a big fan of that it doesn't bother me. 

After the first steeps the body loses some thickness and the infusions can become mono dimensional (or one could call it boring) if the steeping times are not kept sufficiently long.
The qi is energetic, if I drink this tea too fast the caffeine rush can be overpowering (especially with the high amount of tea) but it's probably just me. 

My zisha pot (zini clay, 150ml) likes this tea quite a bit, it seams to enhance its smooth an creamy character. 

In overall, it is not the best tea I've drunk but is highly enjoyable once upon the time, especially for the price, and it may work well as a nice introduction into hongcha.

Ps: despite the slow beginning caused by the "traffic jam" we did the 10km in 54minutes.

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