Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Stateside Steeps post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Adagio Masters – 2019 Yu Qian Anji Bai Cha. If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months you’ll know that so far I’ve had an amazing experience with the 2019 Adagio Masters Teas I’ve tried, so going into this tasting session I was definitely excited to see if I was going to enjoy this and if it was going to be as delicious as all the other amazing Green Teas I’ve had so far from Adagio Masters. Unlike the others I’ve tired that were all from Japan, this one is from China so I was intrigued to see how the difference in location was going to effect the overall flavour profile of this tea.
Here’s what Adagio Masters themselves have to say about this tea on their website: ”The 2019 Yu Qian Bai Cha offers a gentle yet complex cup, silky texture, with notes of delicate lily, sweet grass, and traces of lychee. It remains a beautiful tea for those who want the experience of a green tea without the sharp grassiness found in other styles.”
”Grown at 900 meters above sea level the 4 cm long leaves are hand-plucked in mid-April, from 8-year-old trees. Its local name is “Shi Nuren”. With “shi” meaning stone, and “nuren” meaning woman. The metaphor is that it is difficult for the stone woman to produce children, as it is difficult for the Anji tea trees to bear seeds.”
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session I tried this tea two ways: on its own hot and on its own iced. I saw some people on the Masters website say they iced it in their reviews and they they really enjoyed it so I though I’d give it a go. It’s not something I would normally do with a tea like this but I though I’d push myself out of a comfort zone and see if it paid off in the end. I would have loved to have been able to to a Gaiwan session with this tea but I’ve just not been well enough to sit and devote lots of time to it recently. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go back and do Gaiwan sessions will all the 2019 harvest teas they sent at some point and I am keeping them aside until that time arrives. But let’s get back to this tea shall we?
The cup I had on its own I steeped western style for 2 and a half minutes with 80-85°C filtered water. It resulted in a light green cup that gave off the aroma of fresh cut grass on a cold autumn/winter morning. It smelt fresh, crisp and vegetal and in terms of it’s taste it was for the most part incredibly similar to it’s aroma, only there were some delicate lychee notes, subtle Lilly-esque florals underpinnings and a nice subtle sweetness. In terms of it’s steeping time and water temperature, I think I made the best choice this time around and it result in such a delicious cup. This is definitely different to the Japanese green teas I know and love but it’s fantastic and makes me want to try more Chinese green teas in the future. I was expecting it to have a smidge of astringency to it and for it to be drying in terms of its mouthfeel but it was smooth, silky and delicate and there was no sign of astringency at all.
The iced cup I had in terms of flavour profile was pretty similar to the hot cup only the sweetness I picked out in the hot cup was stronger, as were the lychee notes and floral notes. The vegetal notes were similar in strength to the hot cup and it was just as silky smooth and easy to drink as the hot cup was. There was still no astringency to it but I did find that towards the very end of this cup it started to leave a slight dryness in my mouth which I think is because those lily-esque floral notes were a bit stronger. I think in terms of the description provided by Adagio they are spot on with this tea everything they included I could pick out easily and its not very often that happens.
This was incredibly comforting to drink and really did help me to relax a little bit it both it’s hot and iced forms. I would say brewed both ways this is the perfect Chinese green tea for summer and if you are yet to try any green teas from China this is a great one to start with. I do want to try and do a tasting session with this with my gaiwan but it think it is definitely a tea that is best steeped either western style or grandpa style. I also recommend experimenting with steeping times as well. I’ve brewed this for as long as 3 and half minutes and it doesn’t seem to develop strong level of astringency at all so it’s a great one to experiment with.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Adagio Masters Teas and purchase some of this teas (2019 or 2020 Harvest) you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll do my best to answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in the post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*