Saturday, 6 October 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

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