Tea: Golden Green (黄金茶1号）
Cultivar: Golden Green #1
Harvest: Pre-Rains, Guyu, Mid April 2022
Region: Hulu Village, Rural Hunan
Producer: Xiangmiao Miao Cooperative
Tasting Notes: loquat, graham cracker, spinach, cream, rock candy.
The Xiangmiao Cooperative's Golden Green tea has become quite popular within China these past few years. A savory and slow to bitter green tea from the minority rich region of central China, this tea is championed not only for its superb taste and brewability, but also for its virtues of developing the economic situation of these primarily Miao and Tujia Minority regions in rural China.
The leaves are loosely curled and a deep green. As this tea is a modern creation, it benefits significantly from well-researched and scientific production methods. There is a long process of drying with hot air and cooling with cold air before a final baking to ensure maximum flavor is left in the leaves and the fragrance if peaked and fixed before it is finished.
The dry leaves give bright notes of loquat and graham cracker. When infused, these larger leaves quickly exude a viscous green-gold brew that is thick on the tongue and deeply savory. Hidden in this textured brew are notes of spinach, cream and rock candy. The liquor is a down-filled yellow gold and the wet leaves exude an almost citrus spice. This tea is very easy to drink, and a perfect hot-weather companion.
In the high mountain hamlets of Western Hunan, the endangered Miao minority language and dress have survived to the present day. It is in this isolated region that the Xiangmiao cooperative is located, growing and producing tea in addition to subsistence crops, this cooperative thrives in the Xiangxi autonomous Ethnic minority zone. This wild area of Hunan was famous for its lawlessness and banditry all the way up to the establishment of the PRC. In recent years, the region is quickly modernizing as new roads and rail are finally connecting Xiangxi and their local products with the outside world.
Brewing recommendation: We recommend drinking this tea 'grandpa style,' as loose leaves in a tall glass; it is easy, simple, and elegant. This is the way almost everyone drinks green tea in China, from office workers to farmers, all in unspoken solidarity.