Producer: Dian Xi Lin Yun滇西林韻*, (literally Yunnan west forest charm)
* Dian Xi Lin Yun is the brand of a friend. The tea material comes from their gardens and tea was processed at their factory.
Material: The tea leaves of this blend comes from medium-sized tea trees (30-80 years old) in a low percentage and with a larger percentage of big tea trees (more than 80 years old). All tea leaf material comes from a high altitude of 1600 meters.
Area: Lincang, Mengku.
Weight: 357 grams (some cakes of this brand weight more/less than 357g. But we can’t weight every single one of the cakes otherwise we have to open all tongs).
Each tong has 7 cakes and is wrapped in bamboo.
Teng Tiao is translated as rattan which is a tropical climbing plant with thin stems. This tea gets its name because the tree branches are very long and thin.
When it comes to harvesting the tea leaves, they are picked with a longer stem. You can notice that in our pictures of the brewed tea leaves.
These leaves are picked from the side of the tree branches, leaving the tea leaves in the top part of the branch. That’s why the branches grow quite long.
This is an unpretentious tea for a fair price, which in the end means everything in the tea world (price-quality relationship). But don’t let my straightforward style confuse you because these tea leaves have something to say indeed.
After sipping the tea, I got a moderately bitter taste accompanied by some astringency. Then follows a mouth-watering sweet tea soup expected in good teas. A pleasant aftertaste remains for a while in my mouth and the back of my throat.
When it comes to the energy of the tea, it has a comfortably warming body sensation attesting to the purity of the tea leaves.
When it comes to its taste/aroma profile, I would say that it has some flowery aroma (to a lesser extent than Tea Girl) with some darker notes which are hard to put into words, something close to sweet tobacco perhaps. The taste notes feel darker than its aroma. This gets more obvious along with subsequent infusions which reveal its core notes.
To summarise, all my tasting notes I would say that two traits stand out, a warming feeling and profuse mouthwatering huigan (in Chinese nuanshen/shengjin.)
Medium astringency with some bitterness and a thick mouthfeel.
Also gave me some oomph in later infusions. I am rather sensitive to these body feelings. If you are like me, you’ll no doubt sense this.
This tea is quite forgiving when it comes to brewing parameters. Unless you push it, either in steeping time or you pack it with too much tea leaves. I got a good result with gaiwan and a Zisha pot when brewing this one.
Note: The last picture is from a Teng Tiao small tea tree in Xiao Jinggu, is not from Mengku (the previous one is from Mengku). I added it because you can get a much better idea of how a Teng tiao tea tree looks like. Not pretty, I agree 🙂 My friend saw the picture and told me that these tea leaves are from Teng Tiao trees in Mengku that are much older than the one from Jinggu in the last picture which looks fairly small.