Sweet Dew First Harvest 2021 明前蒙顶甘露
March 15, 2021
Mengding Mountain 蒙顶山 in Ya’an Sichuan Province is an ancient mountain, where the history of tea cultivation dates back more than 2000 years. Teas from Mengding Mountain have served as tribute tea to the Emperors for over one thousand years, spanning five Dynasties: Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. Mengding Mountain has five peaks, the highest standing in the cloud at 1460m above sea level. The peaks are covered in mist and fog all year round. Looking down from the peaks, the scenery is stunning - undulating mountains, wide plains as far as the eyes can see and crisscrossing streams, all covered in a layer of mist.
The tea garden of our three teas from Mengding Mountain is located at the peak of the mountain at 1400m altitude. The tea trees, an heirloom varietal called laochuancha 老川茶, are scattered between ancient temples, gigantic rocks and towering conifer trees. The trees are only harvested once per year in the spring, and left to grow on their own without human intervention for the rest of the year.
This Sweet Dew was harvested on March 15, 2021, the most prestigious first flush of the season. Extremely tender and newly sprouted one-bud-one-leaf are carefully picked by hand in the early morning, and withered on bamboo mats indoors overnight. By the next morning, the fresh tea leaves have developed floral and green apple notes. Pan-frying the leaves are done in extremely small batches of 100 grams each time. The fresh tender leaves are continually flipped and rolled for a period of 8-10 minutes to slowly reduce the moisture level. In total, this tea received three rounds of pan-frying. After the final round of pan-frying, the tea is baked over charcoal at 80 degree Celsius.
The finished tea leaves of Sweet Dew resemble tiny little rabbit ears, covered in a layer of silvery fur. Once in water, these leaves unfurl into exceptionally small and tender one-bud-and-one-leaf, the tiniest and most tender leaves we have seen. The mouthfeel is extremely clean with clarity and simplicity. On the palate, it has a bright sweetness with notes of fresh corn.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||6