It has been a while since I’ve done a proper tea tasting so I decided to do one today. I received a 2021 Fo Shou yancha sample from Xin An Chu and the description on the website looked really promising.
2021 Fo Shou
The 2021 Fo Shou is a yancha that is not a native varietal in the Wuyi area. Originally, it was from Yongchun county but now it’s grown in the Wuyi area. Fo Shou means Buddha’s Hand and is a fitting name when you look at the massive leaves. They are almost as big as a hand!
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This tea is also known as Xue Li, which means snow pears. This is because this varietal is supposed to have a certain pear fragrance. I really liked the fact that they offer two versions of this tea: 2019 and 2021.
The 2021 Fo Shou (the one I’m having today) is less roasted and has stronger pear notes. I’m definitely curious to try the 2019 version as well to see how it compares to this one.
- Water 99°C
- 3.5g for an 80ml porcelain gaiwan
The leaves have a dark brown color with a reddish-bordeaux tint. Really big twisted leaves. The aroma definitely has toasted notes to it. A very slight hint of something fresh, but not sure if it’s pear. The aroma is both warming and refreshing at the same time. I’m also getting a trace of coffee when the leaves get wet.
Infusion 1 (10 sec): not getting any of the toasted flavors in the infusion itself. The aftertaste feels a bit toasted, but only very slightly. The flavors are fresher and less warming. It feels as if this one isn’t as roasted but has preserved more of the freshness. I completely understand why it’s called ’snow pears’. The finish has notes of pears to it and this continues into the aftertaste. The aftertaste feels warmer than the infusion itself.
Infusion 2 (14 sec): less of the toasted notes and more about the refreshing pear notes. Towards the finish, I’m even getting an intense sweetness right before the end. Some of the pear notes linger in the aftertaste and stay around for a while. I can’t seem to lose the impression that I’m also getting the slightest trace of coffee…
Infusion 3 (18 sec): it feels really similar to infusion 2, but with more toasted notes. The aftertaste stays with you for a very long time.
Infusion 4 (25 sec): more refreshing and less toasted. Some of the pear flavors are really coming through in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is on a whole other level! It’s super sweet so it almost feels like pear sorbet (if that exists). Definitely one of the sweetest aftertastes I have ever experienced in a yancha.
Infusion 5 (long): no big changes as I mainly got notes of pear with a touch of something toasted.
The 2021 Fo Shou is unlike all other yancha teas I have drunk, but this is not a bad thing. It has to be the first tea in which I tasted pear notes.
It was a nice combination of toasted notes and pear, but the pear became more dominant towards the end of the session. The later infusions also had a really intense and super sweet aftertaste. If you want to try an unusual yancha, I definitely recommend this one!
You can buy it over here.