Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Buddha Hand Maocha

A friend brought back an educational tea for me from his latest trip to Taiwan. He visited Floating Leaves' Baozhong farmer in Pinglin. The farmer showed him an unfinished Buddha Hand oolong. Buddha Hand is commonly roasted, fairly dark, and it has a unique flavor. I've heard it was named after the Buddha Hand fruit, a gangly citrus that is mostly rind.

I finally got around to trying the tea today. It was not something I'd want to drink as a tea, but as an education it was interesting. Because the tea was a maocha (unfinished) it was full of stems and not rolled very beautifully. But that I expected. What did surprise me is how green the tea was, as in not at all very oxidized. I've tried this farmer's Buddha Hand before, and although I never thought it was a very 'deep' kind of roasted tea, it still didn't strike me as a fragrant style tea that had been roasted.

A few leaves had a bit of red color on their borders, but still the tea was more on the fragrant, green side. It is fascinating how much roasting can change a teas character! This seemed much more like the farmer's Baozhong. Not nearly as delicious, because the varietal was strange, but green in the same way. There was a unpleasant 'green' note, a bit like raw brussel sprouts. I find most nuclear green Tie Guanyin has a similarly aggressive green taste. On the flipside, I've noticed some varietals are flexible. Qingxin oolong, for example, makes a killer high mountain oolong and a charcoal roasted Dong Ding. Here's a cute photo of the tea, just rinsed, in a gaiwan.

Altogether this was a great little experiment. I like to know that some varietals only work for me in certain ways. This is one of them! I feel closer to the varietal now, like I've seen it's granny panties for the first time. How fun!


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