Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tea From Vietnam: Ta Xua Mountain Mist, A Tea Review

I took the most epic power nap yesterday, a 17 hour power nap! I think it was the blissfully cool air and cats that would not stop snuggling me that really caused this nap of epicness, it was as refreshing as a mountain spring on a hot day. I broke out one of my sweaters today, a great fuzzy thing with a huge cowl (or a food trough as I call it since you know, crumbs) and a strange slit going up the back that means I always need an undershirt, because why is there a back vent? It is thick and fluffy meaning not a sweater for a hot day...and if it is cool enough you need this sweater you will not appreciate the draft. Mysterious clothing design is mysterious.

Today I am looking at Tea From Vietnam's Ta Xua Mountain Mist, a Maocha from high in the Ta Xua Mountains of Northwest Vietnam. A region, it is pointed out in the description, that borders Yunnan, that grand producer of some of my favorite teas. Honestly if I had no idea where this tea was from, I would wonder if it was a Yunnan green tea, because it has that distinct terroir notes that I recognize from teas in that region, part of the fun part of nature not really paying attention to country borders and just following geology (and weather patterns of course.) The notes I pick up from the dry leaves are woody and smoky with distinct notes of peaches and a touch of spinach. It has the aroma of a distant mountain forest fire, clean mineral heavy spring water, and ripe peaches, one of those teas where the name matches the description indeed!

I decided to brew thing grandpa style, a way I am much enamored of using for green teas from Yunnan, so why not try it with its close neighbor? There is just something very appealing about taking old mountain grown trees and tossing their fluffy leaves into a bowl and adding water, watching as they slowly plump up and unfurl, and blowing them around the bowl as I sip around them. Doubly so while doing so on a sunny morning while lying in bed reading, seriously it is a fantastic thing. Tasting this tea starts off gentle, distant smoke and clean mineral spring water with a distant note of peach. The longer it steeps the more the sweet peach and smoke notes come out, along with a touch of citrus and vegetal notes of steamed spinach and asparagus. After many refills of my bowl (great staying power) it finally faded to gentle mineral notes and a touch of lingering sweetness.

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