Tiger Monkey Vietnamese green tea has a special appearance, special scent and an incredible hui gan. Sold by Vietnamese tea shop Hatvala.
Name: Tiger Monkey Green Tea
Tea vendor: Hatvala (Vietnam)
Type: Vietnamese green tea
Tiger Monkey Vietnamese green tea – description
Dry tea leaves are (again) beautiful, greenish-grey with a lot of white hairs, curled up and very firm. They have a kind of wild, but elegant, look. Name suits then very well. The name comes from a completely different reason, however, it really does suit them well. It comes from Vietnamese lunar calendar, day of the Tiger and day of the Monkey, during which these tea is being sold on local markets. This tea has been fired in cast iron pans over the wood, which is evident from the scent and taste.
Tiger Monkey Vietnamese green tea grows at the altitude of 1500 meters, which also surprises. White Taiwanese teas grown on high altitudes are really expensive, Vietnamese ones are more than affordable. They cannot, of course, be compared, but both are extremely aromatic and special. This tea smells great, sweet, woodsy, earthy, with a pine wood note. Extremely smokey, intense, it fills up your nostrils. It comes from Camellia sinensis var. Assamica, which is used primary for Indian teas. Price is 3.46 USD for 50 grams.
Again, surprisingly small amount of tea leaves is needed for preparation. 3.5 gram per 200 ml water, temperature 85 degrees, 2, 2.5 and 3 minute steepings. Aromas of Hatvala Vietnamese teas have really surprised me in a positive way. I must admit that I can not understand why these teas have not (yet) gained popularity.
Pine and cypress forest, scent of tea leaves after first steeping is unbelievable. They open up evenly into beautiful large leaves of intense green and fresh color. This is the first time in 15 years of high intensity tea drinking that I found a tea which resembles the scent of cypress in this way. Liquor is full yellow-greenish color, more towards brown. It corresponds to the scent completely. It does have a bit of astringency which temporary dries the mouth. This kind of taste links to the pine wood association completely. After the second steeping they retain the scent, a little lighter and with more smokey and a bit of hay notes. Leaves are beautiful, not so much in shape, as in texture – they look full, fleshy and large. Color is a little bit darker yellow, but still very intense. Taste is almost identical to the first steeping, a little bit fresher and sweeter. After the third steeping taste gets lighter with more dry hay notes, which are mixed in the mouth with hui gan from the previous steeping.
This tea offers a real hui gan which is highly mentioned over gao shan teas. That sweet returning taste can literally be felt traveling all the way from throat to mouth. It’s not one of those that appears in the mouth.
Used tea leaves are very fleshy, with a lot of buds and stems. Veins are highly visible. Stems are also fleshy, a bit rubbery, but little less than in Purple Rain green tea.
Tiger Monkey Vietnamese green tea is one more little wonder among teas. I would not recommend it to Japanese tea lovers or the ones that prefer lighter Chinese teas or teas with a lot of green freshness. This tea is full-blooded, heavy, with unbelievable and intense combinations of taste and scent. However, there is not even the smallest amount of bitterness, only the indications of astringency which contribute to the overall impression and experience.