Apr 12, 2014

The last bit of 2013 green tea

I'm sitting in a room full of 2014 new green teas, while drinking this last bit of a 2013 green tea called "wild orchid bud". By the way this is a very unimpressive green tea name, as there are so many "orchid this", "orchid that" tea in China! This is one of my favorites in recent years. Amazingly, this tea still tastes very good. Sometime ago, when I wrote this blog post about shelf life of green tea, I was thinking that among all green teas well made and well stored, some teas simply last longer than others. For example, quite a few Anhui green teas (such as huang shan mao feng and this "wild orchid bud") seem to have much longer shelf life than teas like bi luo chun.

I tasted a few samples of this tea in 2012 and immediately fell in love with it. In recent years, I've decided to introduce at least one or two "new" (I mean new to American market) green teas to America. For example, in 2011, it was Orchid Fairy Twig. In 2012, it was Bai Mei Hua Jian. Up till today, not many people have heard of this latter tea (but the knowledgeable barbel carp tea lexicon has included this tea, impressive!), either in China or else where. But it's not less tasty than many very famous green teas. Last year, my "new" tea to bring up was supposed to be this "wild orchid bud". But unfortunately, a whole shipment with this tea and a few others were lost in transition, and eventually I only got a little bit of this tea as a gift in an order of other teas. But this year, it will come again!


Why would I drink old tea while the new tea is already here? There are a few reasons.

First, I'm very thrifty. Got to finish the old tea, no waste of tea!

Secondly, no matter how good the old tea remains, once you start the new tea, under the comparison, you will immediately switch to new tea and won't want any of the old tea anymore. You all know it.

Thirdly, it's ok to wait for a while. Traditionally, it was recommended that the new green tea should rest for 2-4 weeks before usage. It was for several combined reasons, including the flavor development of the tea and the traditional Chinese medicine theories. Whether or not the tea is healthier after a couple of weeks' resting, there isn't any evidence-based conclusion yet. But I do believe it and wouldn't mind waiting for a big longer. In the old days, one wouldn't even think about whether the green tea needs to be rested for 2-4 weeks, because nobody could get it any time sooner anyway. It used to take weeks for a green tea to be transported from its hometown to the province next to it. Nowadays, it takes several days for a tea to be transported from its mountain to another side of the earth, and it is possible to drink a new tea very soon. But it wouldn't be too much pain to wait for a bit longer. So, try to finish your 2013 tea first! ;-)

4 comments:

SimpliciTEA said...

I have read with Huang Shan Mao Feng sometimes it helps to let the tea 'rest' (to lessen the 'smokiness', I think) but I didn't know it was traditional to let all green teas rest. Glad to read that.

I am with you on wanting to drink all of the old before taking in the new (I am thrifty myself). I have been drinking up the last bits of my 2013 green teas as well (luckily I don't have too much left). Sometimes I leave a little bit of the old to compare with the new (if I buy the same tea). I hear you on wanting to only drink the new once it starts coming in, for then it seems like a 'chore' to drink the old!

It must be fun to be sitting on all of that new green tea. From what I read, so far the harvests in China have been going reasonably well this year?

Gingko said...

Hi Joe, this year seems a great year for green tea. Harvest dates in most places were later than last year, and the weather during harvest season is overall good (no rain etc.) This guarantees elongated growth period and good amount of harvest. So far, the only bad news I've heard of is about silver needle (white tea though), whose harvest was interfered by rain to some degree.

john milton said...

I have got very good knowledge from your blog post. I think we should use green/white tea regularly for our health. Nice to read this post. Please keep further posting.
Thank You.

White tea health benefits

SimpliciTEA said...

Hi Gingko,

I am glad to hear this year is a great year for tea!

Joe