Clear Stream - Qimen Liu An Black Tea 2016 - 2.5 oz
Clear Stream is a unique and wonderful black tea from Anhui Province in Eastern China. Anhui is known for the Huangshan Mountains with their billowy low-hanging clouds, distinctive granite rocks and twisted pines, all the subjects of many classical paintings and poems. The black teas from this region capture the mineral-rich waters and endless stone peaks. After the drying process, the leaves go through a processing stage unique to Liu An tea. The tea is left overnight in thick piles in order to absorb the early morning pale "white dew," which lends a special flavor, aroma and energy to the tea. The final step is to bring the tea indoors for packaging in special bamboo baskets and the final drying or "frame-baking." This extraordinary tea shares many characteristics with Oolong due to the roasted sweetness and golden liquor, but in reality the tea is a lightly oxidized black tea. We find a slight brassy astringency in the first steepings that transforms into sweet, bright, grassy citrus and delicate mineral flavors. In the words of one of the teahouse guests, this teas "tastes like a high alpine stream lined with lemon trees." The tea has a very nice even energy that opens the chest and runs down the arms: even-keeled, uplifting and steady. The perfect tea for summer or fall afternoon.
We suggest brewing Clear Stream around 195 so as to emphasize the sweeter grassy notes over astringent and bitter notes, and especially love it brewed Gong Fu.