PROFILE: GREEN PLUM, RAISIN, MOSS, STONE, FLORAL, SPICE, SHENG-STYLE
ORIGIN: Y TI, LAO CAI, VIETNAM
HARVEST: OCTOBER 2019/ APRIL 2020/ APRIL 2021
A distinctive and very well balanced sheng-style dark tea from Y Ti in Lao Cai province. Produced in a Red Dao community where families live either side of the Vietnam/ China border which is separated by a simple stream here. This is another complex tea with a broad range of flavours – green plum, raisin, moss, stone, floral, mild spice and dried hay – that take turns to explode in the mouth. Pleasing bitterness and a very long sweet aftertaste make Forest Genie an extremely refreshing tea.
Wild trees grow deep in the ancient forest in Y Ti at altitudes of 2,000 metres and above. Harvested leaves are collected and taken to the village where they are gently pan-dried, rolled and left in the sun to dry in small batches by an artisan tea-maker.
I am not a big fan of young sheng, but this tea hits a mark that makes it an attractive brew for me. It has a slightly forward balance of bitterness and astringency that seems to support the overall flavour profile. It suggests nice fruit aroma and flavour with a wondrous sweetness and spice notes on the tongue and through the finish. With no edges at all, I find all the elements are in balance in a way that really hits the mark for me. This is really outstanding tea.
Light brown sugar sweetness to start, moving to citrus rinds, and developing in later infusions to a well-rounded smoothness that reminds me of some aged sheng. Medium thickness and a lengthy finish. Really impressed by the Genie!