One of the topdogs from YQH. This is a dark, potent premium Yiwu tea. Thanks to Emmett for sending it our way.
2006 Yangqinghao Wushang Miaopin [Episode 204]
6 responses to “2006 Yangqinghao Wushang Miaopin [Episode 204]”
Heyo, how long did you guys let this tea rest before drinking it the first time? #pharmacological
Super strong tea. Do you think the menthol flavor is a sign of stronger fermentation midway in the natural fermentation cycle ? I’ve always felt the menthol flavor to be very invigorating. Compared to the 2004 Dingji Yesheng which also has a thick flavor and sauce, what would be some defining comparisons between the two? I tasted the Wushang Miaopin last year and although I appreciated its strength, didn’t get the same kind of subjective enjoyment from it as the ’04 DJYS.
One of the most likely reasons for the strong menthol like flavour in teas is due to the presence of terpenoids, there has been some suggestion that the levels of these is determined by leaf size and variety (Zhu et al 2017), so I suspect it is less about the fermentation more about the origin.
Interestingly enough, often the terpenoid content is higher in bug bitten or stressed trees. Tea trees will accumulate terpenoids as part of herbivore defense, but also in response to herbivory and many other biotic and abiotic stresses, such that climate changes between production years may alter content in the leaves.(Perhaps this was the reason teas were initially blended)
However it is not without saying that fermentation and storage mediates this in the brew. Having the quality of mostly insoluble in water but volatile in heat and oxidisation, I suspect that a drier hotter storage it likely to reduce terpenoid content over wetter hotter storage.
Zhu Y, Shao CY, Lv HP, Zhang Y, Dai WD, Guo L, Tan JF, Peng QH, Lin Z. Enantiomeric and quantitative analysis of volatile terpenoids in different teas (Camellia sinensis). Journal of Chromatography A. 2017 Mar 24;1490:177-90.
Methyl salicylate is another compound produced by tea leaves as a anti-herbivore defence and has similar tastes and aroma as menthol (it’s used in gum and mint production as a flavour agent). It’s interesting to note that studies show that quantities of this chemical drastically reduces in the de-enzyming process of rock oolong production (Ma et al 2018) hence it’s likely to be higher in “rawer” and less processed tea such as Sheng.
Again, I therefore think the strong menthol flavour is to do with the original tea material rather than fermentation/storage however it would be interesting to see if such a tea with a strong menthol profile was stored in Kunming still had the same levels in taste and experience than one stored in Taiwan or Guangdong.
Ma C, Li J, Chen W, Wang W, Qi D, Pang S, Miao A. Study of the aroma formation and transformation during the manufacturing process of oolong tea by solid-phase micro-extraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry combined with chemometrics. Food Research International. 2018 Jun 1;108:413-22.