PROFILE: STRAW, PEAR, MOSS, STONE, SPICE, SHENG-STYLE
ORIGIN: Y TI, LAO CAI, VIETNAM
HARVEST: APRIL 2021
Forest Genie is a distinctive and pleasingly balanced sheng-style dark tea from the Y Ti commune of Bat Xat district in Lao Cai. Produced in a close-knit Red Dao community whose families live either side of the Vietnam/ China border which is separated here by the narrow Lung Po stream.
Wild trees spread deep into 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.
Forest Genie is a fascinating and complex tea that offers generous depth to the drinking experience that stretches from the tongue to the nose, palate and back of the throat.
Although the 2021 Forest Genie has yet to develop signs of ageing like its 2020 cousin, it shares many of its attributes. Mossy, mineral, straw, and fruity notes are foremost but with a little spice, reminiscent of aniseed or fennel. The pale-yellow liquor still has the bold, youthful bitterness typical of young sheng, while delivering exceptional depth and a delightfully balanced long-lasting experience in the mouth and throat.
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