Qing Xin Gan Zi (青心柑仔) is a top grade early spring green from Taiwan. Made from the Qing Xin (青心), or Green Heart cultivar that is normally reserved for oolong teas, it has a brilliantly floral profile. It is somewhere between a light green tea and a light, minimally oxidised floral oolong! Qing Xin Gan Zi is grown around Mingjian Township of Nantou County and was hand picked from the fine early spring leaves in April 2018.
The Qing Xin Gan Zi name actually refers to the varietal used for this green tea. This is a sub-varietal of the widespread and popular Qing Xin cultivar known for a particularly floral character. The Gan Zi sub-varietal is extensively used for high grade Oriental Beauty Oolong teas due to large amount of buds that these plants tend to produce. This results in finer and more characterful profiles and translates extremely well to this fine, particularly floral, Taiwanese green tea.
While Qing Xin cultivars are a popular choice for fine floral teas from Taiwan, these plants are not as popular with the farmers. It is generally thought that this particular cultivar naturally evolved and developed over time from ancestor plants from Fujian. Unlike the many scientifically selected and developed cultivars from Taiwan that are hardier, more resistant and featuring increased output, the Qing Xin cultivar does not have such characteristics. As such the farmers are unable to produce as much tea from these plants, leading to higher prices. However the unique character of this cultivar makes the challenge all the more worthwhile for the farmers!
This Qing Xin Gan Zi has a very bright and clear liquor with a yellow-green light colour. The aroma is slightly vegetal and highly floral. This tea features a floral character with smooth and comforting notes that are lightly vegetal. The taste of this tea starts on a fruity note, followed by a stronger floral middle notes and finishes on a slightly sweet yet drying aftertaste. Overall this is a fine green tea that has a slight vegetal profile typical of green tea while definitely being dominated by the more unusual floral notes.
It is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.
This Qing Xin Gan Zi green tea will be featured in our November 2018 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.