Song Zhen Anhua Pine Needle (安化松针绿茶) is a fine spring green tea from an organic tea garden, located in Anhua County of Hunan Province in China. The leaves are shaped to resemble small pine needles, earning this green tea its name. It produces a bright aromatic liquor with a mellow fresh taste and complex verdant and vegetal umami notes. This particular batch was harvested on 6 April 2022.
While we’ve had a Yunnan version of Song Zhen in our shop for quite some time, it is the Anhua Song Zhen that is considered to be the most famous type of ‘Pine Needle’ green tea in China. Being a famous tea from Hunan Province, this tea enjoys a local history spanning some 400 years. Pine Needle green tea from Anhua is characterised by a smaller and finer leaf due to earlier picking and use of smaller leaf local cultivar plants. This particular tea is grown at an altitude of around 1,100m at a garden that is managed to organic standards.
Anhua Song Zhen has a very fine leaf, mostly consisting of one bud and two leaves standard of picking. The leaves are smaller and younger, leading to a mellow liquor. During the final stage of processing Anhua Song Zhen is shaped into a long straight shape that resembles pine needles. It produces an aromatic liquor with a savoury green tea aroma, green-yellow colour and good clarity. The mouthwatering taste is fresh, verdant and vegetal with a pronounced savoury umami edge. It has notes of asparagus and a sweet mouthfeel. The aftertaste is mellow and lasting with a touch of herbaceous astringency. It’s a nicely balanced tea and the savoury edge makes us think of more Japanese-style green teas, like our Kamairicha.
We suggest brewing at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed around 2-3 times depending on your preference.
Song Zhen Anhua Pine Needle green tea was featured in our August 2022 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.