Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hand twisted and machine pressed Tai Ping Hou Hui

Huang Shan - Yellow Mountain is notorious for sun rise and teas reside here. Sun rise of Huang Shan is ranked number 1 in the world, follow by Egypt, Norway and Ali Shan of Taiwan. The reason for that is the sea of clouds where the sun arises. That means the location has what tea trees want to shrive!

Tai Ping county is nested in Huang Shan, local soil is deep and rich before reaching the granite layer, decomposed granite allows water to sip through and provides rich minerals that nourishes plants and give tea trees its unique regional flavor.
While attending a tea research meeting in An Hui province, hunting for Tai Ping Hou Hui is on top of wishlist, it's I admit my top choice when it comes to green tea. Hence I spend the time to hunt for the right source and learn about it. Here are 2 TPHHs for learning purpose:

Hand twisted from Hou Keng, Spring harvest, leaves are not uniformed, darker in color

Machine pressed also from Hou Keng, Fall harvest, leaves are uniformed, lighter green in color

Flavor of the two are rather different, Spring harvest is rich, sweet, smooth, and very aromatic, aromatic and sweet after taste. Fall is aromatic, can be bitter if over heated and over steeped, however after taste is sweet and lingering, not as smooth as the hand twisted one for 2 reasons: Fall leaves and machine pressed. Stems and partial leave tissues are broken which cause the bitterness and rough texture.


Ho Go said...

How do you like to brew this tea?

Imen said...

Off boil hot water slowly pour from high into a tall glass along the wall, do not cover and let it steep for 2-3 minutes, this tea can endure long steeping time as long as you don't cover the lid.

Ho Go said...

The leaves are giant sized. Not many teapots could accommodate this kind of leaf. Is that why you use a tall glass?

Many Long Jing drinkers also use a glass but I've never liked it that way.

Imen said...

Do not cover lid when brewing green tea for minutes is the key, else it'll turn yellow and taste like spinach, therefore you don't need a tea pot. Glass allows you to see the color change easily when high heat is not required, hence easier to observe readiness. Tall glass traps the fragrance better than gaiwan.

It has not much to do with the leave size. Green teas perform better this way than gongfu.

Unknown said...

I actually tried to make this tea the way I do oolongs: lots of leaves, hotter water, short steps (the first one 10-15 sec).

The results are amazing: a tender, fresh, slightly citrus-ey fragrance slowly giving way to deeper, heavier, and more sophisticated tones. While this is technically green tea, it lasted for 12 infusions.

Imen said...


TPHH has many similarities with oolong, I think that is one of the main reasons why I am partial to it out of tens thousands of green teas. :)