Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Yu Qian Anji Bai Cha tea review -

Today’s blog post is another review of the teas I received from Masters by Adagio Teas. Today I am reviewing the Yu Qian Anji Bai Cha green tea.

See here for my thoughts on Masters Teas and its website in general.

I took pictures of the tea before steeping and after steeping, but because the light is different on different days, I also included some rosemary and chocolate mint sprigs so you can compare the color of the tea.

Yu Qian Anji Bai Cha:

According to the website:

“With its exquisite spear-like leaves, our Yu Qian Anji Bai Cha is a very young plucking. A gentle yet complex cup, it offers notes of spring flowers, sweet grass with traces of lychee. A beautiful tea for those who want the experience of a green tea without the sharp grassiness found in other styles.”

“This tea contains a moderate level of caffeine. Steep at 170° for 2-3 minutes.”

I put 1 heaping tablespoon of tea in 235 mL (about 1 cup) of 170℉ water for 3 minutes. Since the leaves are extremely long, 1 tablespoon was actually quite airy, so I put a heaping tablespoon rather than just a level tablespoon. For reference, when I typically make sencha, I put two level teaspoons per cup of hot water.

This tea is quite delicate, and without the strong grassiness of a typical sencha. I can definitely taste the hint of sweetness. It had a warm mouth feel that went well with Japanese youkan, a sweet jellied bean paste dessert bar.

I wasn’t sure if the delicate flavor was because there were fewer tea leaves per pot, since the leaves are so long that 1 heaping tablespoon isn’t actually that much tea. So I weighed the tea for the second pot, adding 3 g of tea to 1 cup of hot water, steeped for 3 minutes.

I think 3 g was a little too much of this tea for my personal taste, since the grassiness was stronger. But compared to the other Japanese sencha teas that I’ve tasted, this was definitely on the more delicate side, and even the stronger cup still had that hint of sweetness. Again, this was perfect to eat with Japanese sweets like youkan.

This tea resteeped quite well (170℉ water for 5 minutes), tasting almost exactly like the first cup. The next resteeping (170℉ water for 7 minutes) wasn’t bad, but it was a little weak for my taste. I was impressed by the ability of this tea to steep multiple times, because most sencha I drink does not resteep well at all.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with was that if the tea was not completely poured out of the pot at the end of the steeping time, the tea left in the pot oversteeped and started to become bitter if it was left for longer than 5-7 minutes. Other high-grade sencha teas I’ve tasted have not become bitter despite the water being left in the pot, but granted, most of the time I completely pour the tea out of the pot when the steeping time is over.

When I usually make sencha, I use 2 teaspoons of tea (which weighs between 2 and 3 g) and 1 cup of water at a temperature of 190℉ for 2 minutes. This green tea recommends water at 170℉, which is cooler than I’m used to. I didn’t mind the cooler temperature of the tea, but some tea drinkers like my mom really dislike the cooler water temperature, regardless of how the tea tastes. So I decided to try to make it at a higher temperature just to see how it tastes in comparison to the lower temperature. I also weighed the tea for the third pot, but I only added a little more than 2 g of tea to 1 cup of 190℉ water, steeped for 3 minutes.

The tea tasted very much like it had at 170℉, although there might have been a slight harshness to the flavor because of the higher water temperature. It lost some of delicateness and sweetness of the flavor. I resteeped it for 5 minutes, and it wasn’t bad, but a little weaker than the first pot. The tea definitely tasted better at the lower water temperature, but if I were to brew this tea for my mother, for example, the taste wouldn’t be terrible at the higher water temperature.

Overall, this was a very light and delicate tea. It’s not something I’d drink with a meal or after a meal, because it doesn’t have the strong brightness that I prefer to compliment food. However, this tea was very good with sweets or on its own as a sanity break.

1 comment :

  1. How lovely! I didn't know you did this. I'm interested in trying these teas sometime. :)