REVIEW: Tea Masters: 2014 Spring Xue Li

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Tea and origin: Hand-harvested green tea from Gankou, southern Taiwan (March 2014)
Twitter: Tea Masters
Blog: Tea Masters
Link to Xue Li

I recently heard from Stéphane Erler at Tea Masters about reviewing some tea. Stéphane not only writes a brilliant blog (primarily in English and French), but he has an online tea shop with a great selection of teas. This is my first time to try one of Tea Masters teas, and I’m going to kick things off with a green tea from Taiwan.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of full, curly leaves that range in colour from light to dark green. It has a moderate fishy, ocean-like aroma

Infused tea: The first infusion cups out a light green liquor. Subsequent infusions produce a darker liquor. The aroma of the liquor is similar to the dry leaf: fishy, ocean like notes. The body of the tea has a fishy, seaweed-like flavour, and is a bit salty. There is a subtle sweetness to the finish. The tea has a moderate amount of astringency and leaves a dry mouthfeel

Infusion tips: I tried making this tea various ways – various crockery, infusion times and water temperatures. I found that five grams of tea in a 150ml gaiwan with 85C water was ideal for my liking. For the first infusion I steeped it 30 seconds, then increased infusion time by 20 seconds for each steeping thereafter. This a tea that you need to play around with to find its sweet spot for your personal taste – so have some fun with it!

Conclusions: I think this is a really unique green tea. The complexity between the fishy body and the sweeter finish really intrigued me. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but the tea grew on me after trying it with different infusion methods. Its fishy aroma might not be for everyone, but I think it is something tea lovers should try to make that decision

Retail price: 25 grams for $7.65 / 100 grams for $25.20

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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