- Tea Knowledge
Some teas lead with a stunning aroma, others convince with an emergent taste. This yan cha, however, arguably belongs to a third possibility: those teas whose most remarkable quality is their texture. This is not to say it is lacking in flavor, for indeed, it has the rich, tongue-stinging sweetness of brown sugar. Yet that delicious molasses is reflected in its mouthfeel, which seems to curl around the tongue, brushing the palate with a slight astringency, before plunging down the throat. Its yan yun then wafts up with the fruitiness of juicy lychee, while the roast takes the character of fresh hazelnut. Somehow creamy, juicy, syrupy, and almost chewy, its tactile sensations offer as much of a ride as its exquisite aromatics.
Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Mount Wuyi region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys next to the cliffs in a mineral-rich soil.