2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby ChinesePottery » Apr 5th, '11, 05:21

It’s QingMing 2011 and we went out to have some fun. We visited a water-reservoir and walked around enjoying the sunshine. All in all a nice day already, but on our way back I was thinking about tea. To have been at Chái Lín Jūn’s 2011 harvest was already very exiting, and having stashed away some of his pre-qingming BiLuoChun for myself even more, but today … that was something different!

We stopped on the side of the road, just about 10km or so from DingShan and went up a hillside into the forest to see if we get lucky. Guess what, we did!

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Did you notice the little plant near the path?

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few steps further in a bigger one already, and yes, indeed, they are wild tea plants.

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and more… :)

We intended to find some wild tea when we entered the forest, but I would have never thought it’d be so easy.

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so we started picking of course.

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and the leaves we found where fine. Very fine.

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It was already past our usual lunchtime and we didn’t have too much time to spend, but within an hour we managed to pick this much.

Back home I had to figure out what to do with all the goodness, and so I gave it a go. My first time homemade tea. In theory I do of course know how it’s done and I have also seen it being done live but doing it myself at home was a first. Now, where to start? Shāqīng of course, to stop the leaves from oxidizing any further. That one is not too hard actually. Just in the dry wok, …..

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…. and there we go.

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Now after that was done, how to proceed without equipment?

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Blow-Hairdryer and a kitchen strainer? … not really. I started to activate my mad MacGyver skills and invented.

MacGyver.jpg
MacGyver.jpg (21.75 KiB) Viewed 1447 times


I was a bit worried that the sticky-tape will give out some smell and ruin the tea, but luckily those worries where unfounded.

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And in a box it went. Not all that much, so this time I can’t share any, but I am already planning to cycle out again in the next few days and pick some more. The result of my first attempt at making green tea closeup looks like this:

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I handled the leaves a bit too rough I feel but all in all I’m rather pleased with myself.

THE SMELL, THE AROMA! Not that bad for a first timer.

As always, full version and/or better resolution pictures in my blog.

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 5th, '11, 07:21

This is so lovely! :D

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby lkj23 » Apr 5th, '11, 07:31

envy :x :x

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby fire_snake » Apr 5th, '11, 07:54

That looks incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!

Christian

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby ChinesePottery » Apr 5th, '11, 08:14

First glass, second steeping/refill of the homemade wild forest tea looked like this:
firstwildglas.jpg
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since there have already been envy comments, I rather not worsen that feeling any more by describing in detail how AMAZING the taste is. :mrgreen:

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby Chip » Apr 5th, '11, 09:19

ChinesePottery wrote:First glass, second steeping/refill of the homemade wild forest tea looked like this:
firstwildglas.jpg


since there have already been envy comments, I rather not worsen that feeling any more by describing in detail how AMAZING the taste is. :mrgreen:

Please do! 99.9999% of us will only ever be able to experience this through your senses. :mrgreen:

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby Chasm » Apr 5th, '11, 11:41

Can't wait to hear/see more!

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby Nenugal » Apr 5th, '11, 14:24

Chasm wrote:Can't wait to hear/see more!

+1 :)

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby tortoise » Apr 5th, '11, 15:15

Awesome.

How long did the drying take?

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby bob » Apr 5th, '11, 15:19

Wow, amazing!

It looks very nice, please tell us how it tastes!

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby bagua7 » Apr 6th, '11, 04:06

Nice. :)

What was the altitude in that hill? Was it past the 1500m mark?

Thanks.

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby ChinesePottery » Apr 6th, '11, 05:47

bagua7 wrote:Nice. :)

What was the altitude in that hill? Was it past the 1500m mark?

Thanks.


no, not even anywhere near that high. There are no mountains that high around here.
We picked the tea roughly here:

http://goo.gl/maps/g0zH

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby skilfautdire » Apr 6th, '11, 06:00

So how are the brain-to-USB interfaces these days ? Can you dump your senses in a file, and upload that so it can be replayed ? :)

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby ChinesePottery » Apr 6th, '11, 08:31

Alright then, although I do not have access to a USB2brain interface I'll try and describe it a little.
The first to notice is the aroma, which of course smells of tea but in a way that is hard to describe. It's almost smelling more like tea than tea. Difficult to explain, but if you are familiar with wild European strawberries (Fragaria vesca) and compare that to the common garden strawberry, it's a bit like that. The tea plants there on the hillside where overgrown by trees, shielding them somewhat from direct sunlight. You can probably tell from the pictures. This brought out some sweetness in the buds especially in aftertaste. Not as much sweetness as artificially covered tea is sometimes forced to produce but quite a bit. Noticeably sweeter than Chái Lín Jūn's pre-qingming for instance which already has a good share of sweetness itself.
Whilst picking I got scratched a little on my legs by thorns of what seemed to be some sort of blackberry plants. I didn't pay too much attention to it (sorry) as my head was mostly upwards to the higher tea-leaves. I'll see if I get some more pictures of surrounding plant life next time I get there.
My wife's mom and her mom where out with us that day (3 generations) and although they did pick some tea with us for a while, their attention quickly moved towards wild goji berry plants which they collected leaves of and later also made some sort of herbal-tea from it. The goji berries leave's smell is fairly strong, a bit like fresh hay in summer with a hint of dried bamboo shoots and it seemed to have influenced the tea too.
Starting off very fruity, each refill in my little glass brought out a slightly more acerbic note. No bitterness whatsoever to start with, thanks to small and very young tea buds but also due to the limited amount of leaves I used per cup as well as very short steeping time before the next water top-up just before the leaves are not covered anymore. The bitter note is weak all the way through but seems to peak around the 5th steeping, from which it gets milder again.
I also like to chew up and eat a leave or two, either if they accidentally end up in my mouth or in the end before I start over.

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Re: 2011 Yixing greens, wild tea - homemade

Postby rabbit » Apr 6th, '11, 08:40

You are living the dream man! It's been one of my goals in life to spend a day picking my own tea, I figure that I love the stuff so much I would only appreciate it more if I knew first-hand the labor (and fun) that goes into making it!

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