And so it’s begun: first flush season at Jersey Fine Tea is underway!
Our first pluck was tiny (just a few hundred grammes) and our expectations, too, were low – the leaves were a little peaky and our experience to date shows that very early picks can be underwhelming in our still young plants. Yet the ladies couldn’t resist making a test batch of wok-fired green to taste check. This also gave our trainee Solenne a stress-free chance to practise the art of tea making on less than perfect leaves.
The results were encouraging: the dried leaves retained a lovely bright green colour with a dominant aroma of asparagus. In the cup the liquor was a limpid, very pale lime green. On the palate: light bodied, mouth-watering, vegetal (those lovely asparagus notes shone through) and with a nuttiness reminiscent of Long Jing.
Our later-season teas give us more complexity and body, as well as toothsome second and third cups, but the flavour of this over-eager and premature pick was spent in the first.
Still, what an inspiring first sip and an excellent spring-board for the season. Here goes!