Today’s tea is a 2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan. I recently made a list of all the samples I have laying around so I have a nice overview of what I can drink and write about. Last year, Tea Joint sent me a nice sample package and I still have some samples left. It seems like winter is back for a couple of days so I picked a dark tea: the 2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan.
2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan
The 2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan is a type of heicha that is very old and is one of the original types of post-fermented tea. Because of its fermentation process, tiny yellow fungus is visible on the leaves. It’s actually a kind of mould, but the good kind. Many people specifically look for this ‘golden flower’ because of its health benefits.
- 6g for a 130ml zini teapot
- 99°C Water
I see brown leaves with some stems. What immediately catches my attention is the high amount of ‘golden flower’ as I’m seeing yellow spots almost everywhere! The aroma is sweet and musty with a touch of dry wood. It feels like being in a small room without ventilation on a hot and humid day. Really interesting aroma!
Infusion 1 (20 sec): this is an infusion that is really gentle on the tongue. It enters with relatively subtle and sweet flavours and slowly transforms into a mellow sweetness with a touch of dry wood. This is a solid infusion to start the session. The aftertaste is pleasant and has a slumbering sweetness to it.
Infusion 2 (25 sec): the colour is darker now. Flavours are similar but I feel this one has a spicy twist to it. When I take a sip, I experience a tingling sensation everywhere in my mouth. The aftertaste is similar and lasts quite long. After this infusion, I felt very relaxed.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): it’s so smooth. It flows well and it feels full and round. Flavours did not change much but I noticed that the spiciness has diminished. I’m not an expert on Fu Zhuan teas so my palate is quite limited to pick up tiny details in this kind of tea. I do know I’m having fun and that I’m enjoying the brew.
Infusion 4 (40 sec): still really smooth and it goes down so easily. I’m starting to pick up something I haven’t noticed in previous infusions. It’s hard to describe because I recognise it, but can’t really name the exact flavours. Nevertheless, it’s complex and I feel that it’s changing.
Infusion 5 (50 sec): no big changes but the dry wood has shown itself more.
Infusion 6 (long): there are no big changes in this one either. However, I feel the flavours are fading a bit. It also feels a little bit less round. There is still an underlying sweetness with some of that sweetness coming to the surface at the end. The aftertaste shows traces of dry wood.
Infusion 7 (long): this is a really long one to get the most out of the leaves. The flavours have faded a bit more.
I’m happy I picked the 2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan today because it suits the colder weather perfectly. I experienced some good flavours and felt really relaxed during the session. Drinking this tea had a calming effect and was exactly what I needed.
This was a rather sweet tea with a spiciness in the early infusions and some dry wood popping up as well. This combination worked well in my opinion and I’m happy I still have some leaves left to brew another time.
If you want to try the 2017 Hou Qinqiang Fu Zhuan click here.