Monday, June 09, 2008

1997 Wild Hong Yin

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I haven't written a tea review for a long time, longer than I can remember. The Hong Yin deserves a review of its own. I took out a few things for tasting with RS yesterday, some which we didn't get to try. After I rearranged the furnitures, the tea table is calling out to me for tea drinking at that table side with detail utensils as soon as I arrive to work everyday. I gave in and have tea myself, thinking maybe for just an hour. Tea jars from the day before are still out, so I picked the 1997 Hong Yin from the bunch.

The first time I had it, it wasn't impressive after drinking many signature aromatic and honey water like Dan Congs in one seating. The second time I tried it, it was nice and I didn't pay too much attention to it again. Both tastings were a few months ago from today.

Today's tasting turned out wonderful and impressive. Using Chao Zhou Stove to boil water in a Chao Zhou red clay pot, it sure made a big difference. As I also noticed from last tasting session, the color is a beautiful salmon rosie pink with a touch of peach color. It's the most beautiful and unusual color I have ever seen from tea. Pictured is 4th infusion, it still looks like this at 15th infusion. After a quick steaming in a steamy hot gaiwan, the leaves smell like pu-erh, and looks like seaweed. Tea soup is thick and sweet, somewhat reminded me of plum wine, both the taste and color. This sweet after taste is long lasting, I am still drinking it and still feeling it at 15th infusion for 3 hours. Strong qi from the first 5 infusions, I'm now feeling so relaxed, it's time for a nap. :)

Wild Hong Yin is one of the Phoenix Tea varietals, believed to be the original varietal which the rest are mutated from during the past 900 years or more. Due to the coarse texture/flavor and lack of aroma, the locals do not domestically cultivate them, however there are plenty of trees grow in the wild which are collected by the locals for medicinal use. Only aged Hong Yin is drinkable, similar to green pu-erh. Yong harvest can be too astringent for many stomaches. Aged Hong Yin are used to treat cold, sore throat, sinus problem, cough, fever, upset stomach, infections, bug bites, and allergies. It's a miracle cure for minor health issues.

The long lasting sweetness of this 11 years old tea is winning me over. Something that took a few times to uncover it's greatness will hold its place on my list of preferred teas.

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