It’s Tuesday, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for a Teatime Tuesday post! For eight weeks, we’re highlighting teas from Seven Cups Tea, a local Tucson tea shop. Offering everything from traditional tea ceremonies to over 70 loose leaf Chinese tea varieties, Seven Cups is an Arizona resource for exploring both Chinese tea and the traditions that surround it.
Today’s tea is the Jin Guan Yin, a yellow-green tea that is suprisingly sweet for a green tea, and delightful for afternoon sipping. The joke around Seven Cups is that Austin Hodge, Seven Cups’ founder, paid for this tea with his knees and spine. To find the producer’s farm, he rode in the cramped passenger seat of a compact car, knees smashing into its dashboard, for about four hours up mountain roads. While they say they got a great producer out of it, it took Hodge at least a few months to recover.
What to look for:
Jin Guan Yin teas have as a kind of plum-skin sourness in its aftertaste. General manager Andrew McNeill says that is a flavor characteristic of the specific tea bush cultivar used for this tea, and advises people taste for that specific sour note in order to tell if they’re drinking a real Tie Guan Yin or not.
Made from leaves harvested on the sunniest day of the year, a practice believed to increase their flavor and aroma, Jin Guan Yin is strong enough for seven infusions. It retails starting at for $22.95 for 50 grams of tea (and at 3/4 tablespoon per 16 oz of water, that’s a lot of tea in one small bag!) and can be purchased in-store or online.
Stay tuned for next week’s tea highlight – we’ll put the kettle on!