24 March 2010
Chinese Green Art Teas - Yin Yuan
I have received a few Chinese Green Teas that have been hand crafted into intricate shapes - they are called Art Teas or Flower Teas and they really do look exquisite. And for those tea drinkers like me, who love the ceremony and artistry of the whole pallaver of making tea, Art Green Teas are a wonderful luxury.
Yin Yuan is made from green tea that has been tied together and pressed into the shape of a coin; the word yuan is a type of round coin in China while yin is dark as in yin and yang. Hidden inside are a few chrysanthemum blossoms tied to a piece of string. Ideally you should brew this tea in a big glass bowl as the green tea opens out into a huge spectacle of tentacles or fronds like a chrysthemum flower or a sea anemone. I think it looks really quite amazing and I liked watching the tea fold out and the blossoms suddenly float upwards; it's mesmerizing and slightly mindless - a bit like watching a fish tank for hours on end - but strangely peaceful.
The tea itself has a lovely light green colour and tastes green and fresh, with hints of flowery blossom coming through. There is no hint of bitterness and the flowers give a delicate peachy sweetness. Yin Yuan Green Tea is one to indulge with yourself selfishly when there's no-one else around to disturb your thoughts or noise to intrude your few moments of peace.