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Jay's HK Home Roasted Nantou Cui Yu (100g)

Jay's HK Home Roasted Nantou Cui Yu (100g)

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HK$180.00
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Description

March 1st, 2020

Cui Yu (or Tsui Yu, or Green Jade, if you prefer) is TRES' #13 cultivar. This hybrid was produced in 1981, side by side with the more well known Jinxuan oolong. This cultivar is heavier yielding than Qingxin, and is a hybrid of a classic hard stem, red heart tieguanyin cultivar from Fujian and TTES #80. This cultivar was originally developed for hongcha, apparently, but is also used for baozhong tea. More recently it's been grown for green oolong, as a higher yielding, lower altitude tea that has similar traits to high mountain tea. I must say I'm very impressed by the price-to-quality ratio of this tea!

This tea is supplied to me directly from a vendor in Nantou, where this tea is grown: I don't know how old this material is, but I believe it is from 2016 or 2017. When it first arrived, the tea was clean and smooth, but disappointingly light on flavor. I knew a gentle reroast was in order. I am truly amazed at how much better this tea is now, just under a month from reroasting!

For those of you who are familiar with digestive biscuits (popular in the UK and Australia, among other places), this tea has that lovely toasty wholewheat and caramel aroma I get from McVitie's digestive biscuits. There is surprising minerality to the liquor, and a light and pleasant sourness that I didn't expect. There is also light osmanthus, which I expected given the light reroast I gave this tea. 

The second infusion brings out surprising huigan and lots of fruit aromatics. I find this tea powerfully calming (both before and after the reroast). There is also longlasting cantaloupe and date in the finish, which is a classic flavor in oolongs (and many modern young sheng pu erh). There is definitely character here that is reminiscent of dongding, even if the genetics involved here are different. There is also character I associate with high mountain oolong here, but without the need for destructive cultivation practices that have driven me away from purchasing high mountain oolongs entirely. I felt this tea reminded me of the Taiwanese government's Fushoushan tea, which is very high praise considering how hyped Fushoushan tea is among Taiwanese tea aficionados!

The aftertaste is longlasting, which indicates the material was well grown and is robustly aromatic. While the leaves aren't as pretty and whole as with some of the higher grade Taiwanese dongding oolongs I carry, this is a remarkable tea at this price point, and one I am really very impressed by.

I'm only offering 200g at this time: my initial purchase was only 600g, and I will reroast the other 300g soon. If there is sufficient interest in this tea, I will definitely purchase more as I am really quite fond of this tea, especially at the low price point, and I'd happily drink it regularly!

I originally tested this tea in an 80ml Purion shuiping, and then in a 60ml porcelain shuiping. I found the Purion pot took a fair bit of complexity away from this tea, so I highly recommend brewing it in porcelain. I use water at 95 Celsius, and infusions of 45 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds and two minutes for most oolongs. Add thirty seconds or more for each subsequent infusion if desired.

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