Zhu Ye Qing (竹叶青) is a famous Chinese green tea made from fine, select buds that are carefully picked and processed by hand. Grown on the slopes of Mengding Shan (蒙顶山) in Mingshan District of Sichuan Province at an altitude of around 800 metres, it produces a delicate liquor that is vegetal and herbaceous. This particular batch was picked on 5 March 2021.
The Zhu Ye Qing name translates as ‘Bamboo Leaf Green’ and it originated from the nearby Emei Shan (峨眉山). While Zhu Ye Qing from Emei is the truly authentic and original version, the name has been monopolised by the producer from Emei Shan, at least in China. Due to the fine appearance of the tea, it is considered a particularly suitable tea for presenting as a gift in China, further driving the price for the authentic Zhu Ye Qing even further. However many other producers are making tea in the Zhu Ye Qing style and this version from nearby Mengding Shan is a fine example. So here we present an opportunity to try a rare and famous tea that strikes a good balance between price and quality and delivers an experience closely matched to the authentic Zhu Ye Qing.
Mengding Shan is a famous tea growing area with a history of cultivation that stretches over 1,000 years. Around 1,200 years ago, Mengding Shan became one of the areas to be designated for production of tribute tea to the Chinese Imperial Palace. Teas here are generally picked earlier than in many other places in China, with most of the picking occurring in the middle of March and as early as late February.
Our Zhu Ye Qing consists of small green buds that are flattened by the hands of the tea master during the wok drying stage. The neat green leaves resemble small green bamboo leaves in the glass hence the descriptive name. The liquor has an attractive yellow colour with good clarity and a mild aroma. The taste is complex and smooth with a thick mouthfeel. There are creamy, vegetal and herbaceous notes of buttered asparagus with a sweetness present throughout. The aftertaste is very clean and there is minimal dryness or astringency.
It is best brewed at 80°C for about 1-2 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed multiple times. Due to delicate nature we suggest using good quality spring water to get the best out of this tea. Brew in a tall clear glass to see the leaves dance vertically at the bottom and top of the glass!