Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tai Ping Hou Kui + Dried White Mulberries #MastersTea #Sponsored

This post is sponsored by Masters Teas and Adagio Teas
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review. All opinions are mine alone.

Based on previous collaborations, my contact at Adagio Teas emailed to see if I would be interested in trying out their new line - Masters Teas*. I couldn't reply 'yes' fast enough. We love tea tasting and the opportunity to try such special teas was one I couldn't resist.

Masters Teas was created to share limited edition, small lot teas direct from the farms at which they were grown. I selected eight different teas and am looking forward to sharing my explorations with you. The first tea we tried was the Tai Ping Hou Kui. which was grown by Liang Yu Ming in Huangshan, in the Anhui province of China.

The 2019 Tai Ping Hou Kui is grown at over 1000 feet above sea level and was harvested in early May. Can you see the woven or criss-crossing pattern on the leaves? After the leaves are pan fired, they are flattened between layers of cloth in a bamboo basket for a second firing.

These vibrant emerald green leaves are long - some were over 2" long - and didn't quite fit into my tea pot, so I curled them as best I could.

Tasting notes on the package indicated the aroma or unroasted chestnut and a light fruitiness. So I baked a chocolate cake with whole chestnuts as one pairing and selected dried white mulberries as a second pairing. The first was too heavy and didn't complement the tea very well.

The dried white mulberries were perfect. Their light sweetness and hint of grassiness matched the tea beautifully.

The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf noted aromas of apricot and suggested we try it with dried apricots next time. We certainly will.

And I just wanted to share a few words from the tea master, Liang Yu Ming, who cultivated this tea, excerpted from the Masters Teas website. She was asked  her favorite part of growing tea. She answered, "I love the fresh tea smell while plucking. I am very happy to get paid every day after delivering my fresh tea leaves to the primary factory. I can also buy a little delicious finished tea to drink."

And the toughest part of her job? "I need to climb the mountain to pluck tea leaves. Sometime it is hard for me because my legs are not good anymore. I hope I can still work for several years before I retire."

This was an elegant tea that was delightfully aromatic. I, for one, am grateful that Liang hasn't retired yet! I will definitely seek out more of her teas in the coming years.

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