jeudi 10 janvier 2013

Qimen Mao Feng First Grade

What I mostly appreciate, on very cold winter days, back from a long walk, is a warming chinese red tea from Qimen (Anhui). The Mao Feng types are picked on early spring days. The one I'm tasting is from the very first days of harvest, and offers small buds with a very tender leaf.

The leaves appear to be quite dark, with just a bit of golden down. They also are very curly, and not that easy to handle.

An intense flowery and malty fragrance is released when pouring water into the zhong. That's already a warming sensation. The liquor is a shiny dark red, pure and clean. The very first brew offers a surprising gentle flower aroma.

The following brews give more chocolate and malt flavors. But the flower note is still present in mouth and throat. The velvety texture melts into the body providing a very soft and soothing sensation.

This is one of the finest Qimen Mao Feng I have tasted so far, and I find the floral aromas quite unusual. After five or six brews, the fragrances and flavors start to slowly fade away.

For this tea session, I chose a Jingdezhen porcelain zhong, ivory white pitcher, and gorgeous celadon flower cups. The choice of the accessories is very important on the general feeling you're going to have about the tea itself, and tea time. Because tea is also poetry. And when I think of tender spring buds, I naturally want to associate them to delicate butterflies, and cups suggesting a flower shape in a subtle green color. And when the sun shines on such a tea set, although it's so cold outside, you can almost feel blessed by Nature's harmony. And most of all, you are not freezing any more !

4 commentaires:

  1. il faudra un jour que je goûte un "bon" Qimen... les rares que j'ai eu l'occasion de déguster ne m'ont vraiment pas encouragé à poursuivre dans cette voie.
    Au passage, très chouette ton zhong Jingdezhen. Il a l'air très fin non ?

  2. Salut Sébastien,

    Ce qui me plait le plus dans un Qimen c'est la rondeur en bouche. C'est rond, ça coule, c'est... à tester en effet. Un autre paramètre intéressant, l'aspect chocolat. Des souvenirs d'enfance.

    Bien à toi

    PS : vraiment chouette ce zhong :)

  3. Bonjour tout le monde,

    I just love a good Qimen in winter time. It's warm, smooth and comforting ... non mentionning this exquisite chocolate taste like you said, Nicolas ; scrumptious !
    I agree with both of you about this incredible zhong. Amazingly graceful and delicate. A very high quality piece I guess.
    All the best
    Tanta Meno

  4. Les "bons" thés rouges de Qimen expriment souvent des notes chocolat ou cacao, avec, comme le soulignent Nicolas et Tanta Meno, la rondeur, la douceur. Ils ont quand même un caractère bien différent des autres Hong Cha.

    Le "super zhong" est fin et transparant, la porcelaine a un toucher doux et soyeux, et les peintures sont délicates et précises. Un vrai bijou ! Je dois avouer qu'il n'est pas donné non plus.

    A plus tard...