Drum Mountain Clouds & Mist (Mei Lan Chun)
"Reminiscent of nectar from heaven with a rich finish and a lingering, sweet aftertaste." A famous tea buyer's comment after cupping.
“Sweet melon taste and a complexity that is beautiful.” Steepster Tea Review
This is one of China's finest green teas. Crafted with skills that are becoming increasingly rare in the traditional tea world, this cultivar offers highly aromatic leaves and a taste that is complex and rich in vegetal flavors & melon and hints of anise. Grown in Fujian Province and known as "Mei Lan Chun", it is made with the slow-growing "Mei Zhan" varietal. It's growth is nurtured by the clouds and mist that shroud the mountains (an environment the Chinese refer to as "yun-wu" - a perfect place to grow tea). This combination of elevation, soil, clouds and spring rain, then warming temperatures and mists followed by cooling air and colder nighttime temperatures produces this compact and very aromatic leaf. The processing of the raw leaf is tricky and slow, requiring skill and patience as its production requires a deft touch to maintain and bring out the rare flavors the leaves offer. As a result, fewer farmers are making this tea and it is becoming increasingly rare with supply never quite equal to demand.
Why we selected this particular lot. As with any specialty, single-origin, handmade tea, each year the offerings change, bringing new twists to the flavor and the palate. The 2016 version of this tea is everything a truly high-grade, rare tea can offer. The leaves are deep green and long with touches of grey-white. The leaf aroma is sharp and clean with a hint of anise. There is no trace of the firing process allowing the natural sweet notes of the leaf to come through. Cupping the lot, we found it had depth, plenty of vegetal and sweet notes and the lingering clean aftertaste we have come to appreciate. We noted the taste of this tea remained in our mouths well after we had tasted it. We tasted a number of lots from this season and found this our favored one. Rare lot # 8.
Tasting notes. The liquor is pale straw, while the cup boasts flavors of anise, cinnamon, and other warm spices. Balanced with a perfect sweetness, the flavor is uplifting, full and balanced, leaving a wonderful lingering finish on the palate. Note, the leaves produce a high concentration of chlorophyll and nutrients which result in its rich savory flavor.
Brewing suggestions. This tea is strong, use 3 grams for 8-12 ounces of water at a temperature of 185-195 degrees F. This tea offers a very pleasing round taste at these temperatures. Steeped at higher temperatures, the leaves will release more flavor quickly and provide a deeper cup taste. At 2 minutes, there is a wonderful blend of flavors and notes. Longer steep times begin to "crowd" the notes and some of the cultivars subtle notes are lost. Drain all water from the leaves after steeping and you will have multiple steeps.
Silk Road Teas is an award-winning purveyor of rare and artisan teas. Every year, we travel extensively in China, visiting small farms, out-of-the-way tea markets, cooperatives and specialty tea companies to find teas that offer our customers the highest quality and a distinctive taste experience. As a result, our teas are widely recognized for their variety and unparalleled quality. Quite simply, you won't find a finer tea anywhere. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Supporting adults with disabilities
Silk Road Teas is more than just tea. We are committed to giving back to our community by providing jobs packaging our teas to disabled adults. As the older brother of a disabled person, Ned Heagerty, Silk Road Teas President, recognized the challenges and limited opportunities disabled adults face. So he wanted to make a difference. It is a small step, but it is an action we believe in and will continue to follow. Recently, we were honored by receiving the Employer of the Year Award from Integrated Community Services (ICS) for our commitment to employ persons with disabilities.
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The Silk Road Teas Story
Every year, this is a tea on our buy list. A lot was found in the second week of April. Only in limited quantity.
This varietal grows slowly. Processing requires a skilled hand and patience. Too much heat in firing, precious notes evaporate.