Exotic blossom, plum compote
and roast chestnuts
Salty meat dishes,
anchovy pizzas, tarte tatin
Picked by hand
Secret Garden, China
If you were looking for the Chinese rural idyll, the village of Whangu in Fuliang County, Jiangxi province, would be a contender. Once one of the Tang Dynasty's main porcelain areas, today things are much sleepier among Whangu's forested hills and meandering river valleys. It was on a trip through Fuliang that we discovered this beautiful green tea. The Whangu Tea Farmer's Cooperative is a small but quality-focused group who bring together a wealth of regional tea making experience. Head tea master Mr He Xinsheng oversees every aspect of making this green tea.
The cooperative meticulously hand processes the leaves, which are harvested in the spring from a small, remote garden at an elevation of about 650 metres. The bushes grow in mineral-rich soils here, which helps give the tea its deep emerald colour and plum-like sweetness. The leaves are picked in mid-April, when the prime spring growth ripens in the area's misty hills. Only premium one-bud, one-leaf sets are picked, which are gently withered, fixed (to retain their rich emerald colour), rolled into their distinctive wiry, curly shape, then baked.
LEAF APPEARANCE:Curled and wiry dark green with silvery glints
AROMA:Sweet plum, exotic forest flowers and blanched nuts
TASTE:Smooth and mellow with roasted chestnut and blossom notes
THE ART OF PREPARATION
SECRET GARDEN GREEN TEA
This is our recommended brewing guide, but by all means adjust to your own taste.
- Warm your teapot and cups with boiling water.
- Discard the water and add two level teaspoons of tea to your pot.
- Add 200ml / 7oz water (i.e. one teacup or small mug) at 90°C / 194°F. If you don't have a thermometer, let the boiled kettle sit for four minutes.
- Place the lid on the pot and steep for three minutes. Stir, then strain the tea into your cup.
- To re-steep the leaves, repeat steps 3–5 (up to three times).