Baisao wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:08 am
Andrew S wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:45 pm
…then very 'saline' (in a nice way), then fruits and spices, but then with a strong aftertaste of nuts and herbs. Very interesting.
I was enjoying a TeiLioHan yancha the other night and was surprised by its saline flavor. I didn’t notice it at first but it became stronger after 5-6 steeps.
I had assumed that the minerality that people describe is simply glutamates but this tasted distinctly like NaCl.
I did a small amount of research and found that a number of plants will either accumulate or excrete salts when grown in soils with high salt content, like coastal marshes and rocky soils.
I am tempted to reduce a small amount of this tea to ash and taste that to find if it still has a noticeable saline flavor, since the salts would be retained in the nearly flavorless ash.
That's interesting; I hadn't heard of that before, but I suppose that salt could end up in the final product, unlike other 'mineral' characters. LeoFox's post here suggests that that could be the case for salt: viewtopic.php?p=35040#p35040
This character isn't something that I've encountered so clearly before, but I also wasn't looking for it (and perhaps a hint of salinity tends to suggest other things when combined with various flavours and sensations, such as 'freshness', 'zestiness', 'citrus' or such). I'll see if I can detect it again in another tea (this sample's all gone, sadly).
However, for my part, I wouldn't describe this particular sensation as being 'mineral'; to me, minerality is a kind of 'austere' flavour and mouthfeel. Perhaps it's better to say that something with 'minerality' doesn't 'taste' like 'minerals', but rather its flavour and mouthfeel make you think about minerals / rocks etc. It seems more like a structure or a backbone to the tea, rather than a flavour of its own. But that's just my way of thinking about it.
For example, there seems to be a difference generally between old bush shui xian grown in the protected area, and 'ordinary' shui xian grown outside, and, for me, one of those differences could be described as a minerality in the former which is absent in the latter.