December 7 - 23, 2020
Snow Huangzhixiang is the exquisite winter harvest of Huangzhixiang Phoenix Oolong.
It was harvested during the solar term, “Great Snow” 大雪, between December 7th and 23rd, in 2020. Temperatures drop significantly during this solar term and it is understood to be when the earth is at its coldest. As the Chinese proverb notices of this time of year, “A timely snow promises a good harvest.”
The tea garden is situated at 600 meters above sea level on Wudong Mountain, within the generational tea farm of Mr. Liu and his family. The tea trees here are semi-wild, growing on their own with minimal human intervention, save for the spring and winter harvests.
As the tea trees develop fewer and smaller leaves in the colder temperatures, only very small quantities of the winter harvest are produced. But what the teas lack in abundance, they make up for in saturation. The low temperatures kill most of the insects underground, and their decomposing bodies increase the nutrients available to the tea plants in the soil. This, coupled with slower leaf development, causes the leaves to accumulate more nutrients and thus, develop more compounds that result in complexity of flavour.
Things move slowly in the winter. The harvesting of this tea is tedious, and the processing of it takes around 3 weeks. It was not sorted and released until January 13, 2021.
The result of all of this Winter effort is a stunning, chartreuse tinted infusion. It carries elegant and pungent flowers: forward notes of gardenia flowers and calla lily, with a silky and lasting underlay of egg custard and honeysuckle. It is a very pleasurable tea, with no bitterness or astringency, and it maintains this austere grace for many infusions.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||8