The Green King
One of the memories that will stick with you when traveling to origin, is the smell of the tea factory during harvest season. Although there are a plethora of flavors that can be derived from finished tea, it is the universal smell of fresh tea leaves being processed that is the most memorable (think fresh cut grass, daffodil and sugarcane).
Due to its processing, green tea offers the best way to capture this experience without being in the garden yourself. As we poured boiling water (as they do in China) on the leaves of The Green King, it immediately brought up this aroma and transported us back to Anhui.
Similar to its more famous green tea cousin Dragonwell, this tea is also flattened. However, due to the leaves' size, it is done with a press, not a wok and the result couldn't be more eye popping.
Like all good tea, these beautiful 4" emerald blades hold up well in prolonged steeps, without much bitterness. With notes of artichoke, acorn squash and sunflower seeds, this tea brings that garden moment to your cup, without all that fuss about travel.
Location - Xinming, Taiping, Huangshan Shi, Anhui Province, China
Elevation - 3,300'
Harvest Time - 4/28/2022
- Gong Fu - This tea works best in porcelain or glass vessels. Semi porous clay will mute some of the tea's top notes. Since it is a large straightened leaf that will not fit well in most gaiwans and pots, you can either pour hot water on the leaves (as they rehydrate) and gently push them into the vessel, or go old school and put the leaves in a Collins glass. Extra points here for being able to watch the agony of the leaves.
- Western - Use 3 grams (15 leaves) per 12 oz of water. Add 175F water and steep for 3-5 minutes. Can be re-steeped a second time, adding 2-3 minutes to the original steep time.