Saturday, October 6, 2012
Yongchuan Xiu Ya (NenlüTea)
At first, I thought NenlüTea was just another Chinese Starbucks knockoff - it was nestled into the Chongqing's touristy Hong Ya Dong village next to a Costa Coffee. (The village is carved into the hillside and offers as good a view as you can get in Chongqing).
Turns out, while they do sweetened flavoured tea drinks (their mojito matcha drink is admittedly really tasty), they also carry a good selection of loose leaf. I picked up a tin of their yongchuan xiu ya, which is a green tea grown in Chongqing's surrounding rural areas.
The leaves a dark and tightly twisted with a few white fuzzy tips blended in. The aroma in the tin is vegetal, like spinach but with a slight persimmon undertone.
The liquor is a greeny yellow with a bright, grassy aroma with a slightly floral undertone. The first sip starts out sweet, with apple and citrus flavours, but then becomes very bold, assertive, and a bit bitter. There's notes of dried grass, artichoke, and almost a bit of roastiness. The aftertaste is astringent, then sweetens back up a bit.
This is a wonderfully bold green tea, very solid, with good balance between sweetness and bitterness. I hope NenlüTea gets their website up and makes their tea available online, I'd like to try more.
Yongchuan Xiu Ya at NenlüTea