Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Gold World Century LTD, Mountain Top Green Tea
Our tea comes from the serene mountain of Southern China’s Guangdong Province.
Sample provided by Mountain Top Green Tea
A little background, as this will be kind of a different experience for me. Recently, I was contacted by Nathan Burchfield, founder of Gold World Century LTD in Hong Kong, and asked if I would like to review their high mountain green tea. Of course I said yes. Nathan has begun to market his own brand of tea. This particular tea he discovered early in his 6 years living in China. As of this writing the tea is not readily available. The plan is to begin selling it from the company Facebook page. If the tea is still not listed for sale on the page when you visit, message them and see when it might be available for you might try it.
Upon receipt of my sample, I opened the envelop and pulled out a really pretty hand painted cloth tie bag. Inside the bag was a resealable pouch containing what seems to be at least an ounce of leaf.
My first exposure to the tea is the sniff test. Here I get oats, malt, and hay. It is fresh and pleasing to the senses. I removed a scoop for the visual inspection. I am seeing a very dark leaf. I would have guessed this to be a black (red) tea by looking. It is brown with hints of green. The leaf is loose twists.
I used my imagination to come up with the brewing parameters. I used about 3g of leaf in my clear glass pot and water heated to 185F. The steep time was 2 minutes. The liquor is a deep amber color as prepared in my style. A gaiwan would undoubtedly produce something entirely different.
The aroma from the leaf after pouring caused me to pause and notice. It had a sweet aroma with more than a hint of spiciness. It reminded me of cardamom, or something along that line. Very unexpected. In addition there is a kind of earthiness that suggested puerh. It has been a while since I have caught this many nuances in the steeped leaf, which is now forest green and lush.
Ok, so I finally get to start tasting! First thing I notice is a complete lack of bitterness. Also, the bite is so slight as to almost not exist. There is a slight feeling of drying on the cheeks but I kind of like that. I am trying to come up with words... I've used mineral and mountain streams in a few reviews lately. I hate to do so again, but seriously, here it fits the clean taste. At the same time this is quite different than most any green that comes immediately to mind. There is some sense of a vegetative taste. That only kind of captures this tea. You recall how I compared the aroma to suggesting a kind of earthiness as in puerh? That is the feeling I am also getting with the taste. It is similar to a sheng (or raw) puerh without any of the harsh bitterness.
I can see why Nathan quickly became enamored by this tea upon discovering it. While not so different as to be unapproachable or weird, it is somehow different from the standard fare one normally experiences in Chinese green tea - and I happen to love Chinese green tea. The only other review I have seen of this tea is on T Ching. There it is compared as a bridge between oolong and green, allowing fans of one or the other to comfortably crossover (my paraphrase). I saw this tea as a bridge between green and sheng. To me, this differing view shows just how interesting this tea actually is, as it refuses to be defined. If you get the chance to try this tea - do it.