Welcome to day 6 aka 1/4 of the way through my advent.
Upon finding the envelope with today’s date I noticed it’s a pretty full envelope. At least considering yesterday was an Oolong. I wonder what’s inside? It feels full leaf whatever it is.
Kinnari’s “Honey Hill” is a youngunripened Pu Erh tea from ancient tea trees in Xiengkhouang, Laos. There, on Phousan mountain, the tea trees are still widely growing in their natural, biodiverse enviroment today. Even picking (1+2) and processing are still all done by hand in Xiengkhouang. The tea’s taste is characterized by sweet and poignant notes, reminiscent of honey and dried fruit, jacketed by a slightly astringent mineralic-green aura.
I just went on a slight rant during my Matcha that’s not actually a Matcha review in my previous post, and I feel it wouldn’t be right if I stated a small fact about this tea. While it is indeed a tea it’s not technically a Pu Erh. Only tea’s that come from the region Pu Erh in Yunnan, China are technically official Pu Erh. Nevertheless this tea comes from very similar trees to those but in the Laos region which is in-between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).
Honey Hill sounds wonderful! I’m already picturing it in my mind…
The leaves are dark brown with some silvery tips present that bare a super shine. They are long and thin, pretty much full leave with only a few breakages that are probably down to transportation. From Asia to England is a long way after all!
Steeping Parameters: 5g leaf, 200ml, boiling water.
First Steep: 3 minutes
Once steeped the resulting tea is yellow and bares a subtle, earthy, floral scent.
Flavour is stronger than it smells. Very mineral and earthy tasting with a buttery, clay like astringency. Rather sweet too.
Second Steep: 4 minutes
Similar to the first steep in terms of strength. Very sweet yet earthy with a dark, smoky tree flavour. Astringent though pleasant.
Third Steep: 5 minutes
Sweet but very astringent, again it’s in a nice way. More honey like to live up to it’s name. Slightly floral though with a very earthy after taste with some dryness.
Fourth Steep: 6 minutes
With the leaves fully open I thought another picture would be handy. As you can see they are very large and mostly full leaf. Here is a picture of random leaves.
Taste wise this is very subtle, even more so than the first initial steep. All that really remains is a sweet essence that lingers with a sour touch in the after taste.
This was a delicious surprise to wake up and find. Granted that sometimes my love for Pu Erh (or any Hei Cha) has to depend on my mood, today was one of those days. Laos still looks magical in my mind 🙂
Join me tomorrow for another advent-tea-ure! (Ha Ha)