Cui Lu is one of the exceptional Yunnan green teas. As with so many China teas, the appearance of the leaf is ‘almost’ as important as the taste of the steeped liquor… This is a beautiful tea in all three of its phases: its dry leaf form; while it is steeping and being re-steeped; and then as spent, rehydrated leaf. The budsets start out an elegant emerald green color with silver edging and, when wet turn light avocado in color. The coloration of the leaf and the liquor reflect perfectly on the transliteration of this tea’s name in Chinese: ‘Jade Green‘, because green jade (especially when polished) shows many shades of green, beige, and silver-white, often with veining and fluctuations in density. This leaf has that style of coloration and is truly beautiful to observe.
Cui Lu has a focused, clean flavor, similar in a way to our old friend Nine Dragons (another western-China green) but Cui Lu has no hint of smoke. It has a classic chestnut background flavor but what predominates is that hint of stone fruit flavor and aroma of apricots and peaches. The liquor is bright and clear, and is ever-so-slightly reminiscent of the liquor of a sweet, early season Japanese green tea.
Harvested and manufactured by hand in early spring of 2020, with leaf from tea bushes in the prime tea-growing highlands of Simao (a region better-known to tea enthusiasts for its Pu-erh and black tea harvests).