HOJO TEA : A Gift From The Mountain.

Meng Ding Gan Lu: Chinese Green Tea : HOJO TEA

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HOME > Green Tea >Meng Ding Gan Lu

 

Cui Luo

The Flowery Flavor and Lingering Sweetness

The Meng Ding Gan Lu is one of the representatives of Sichuan tea. Some literature said that this tea had 2000 years of history. According to the history, tea was planted since B.C.50. During Han Dynasty, there was green tea processed by the monks. At that time, only the temple had the organization and sufficient work force, and normally they were appointed to produce the tribute tea for emperor. In the past, the excellent quality of the teas from Meng Ding mountain was ahead of other teas. In year 813, the record mentioned that about 40 types of tea were regarded as the tribute tea, and tea ranked first was the tea from Meng Ding mountain in Sichuan.

Meng Ding Gan Lu

This is the oldest temple situated in Meng Ding mountain. This is where the history of green tea has began.

Meng Ding Gan Lu

Meng Ding Gan Lu is produced in the Ming Shan county. Ming Shan county can be reached within a few hours' drive from Chengdu City. In Ming Shan county, there is Meng Ding mountain and this mountain crosses another county called Ya-an. Meng Ding Gan Lu is processed from the tea planted at the peak of this mountain. The highest peak of Meng Ding mountain is up to 1440 m a.s.l.Meng Ding Gan Lu

However recently the Meng Ding mountain is becoming a very famous tourist spot and is always crowded with visitors. Most of the tea gardens depend on the direct selling of their teas to the tourists on the spot. If they are mainly dealing with tourists, the quality of tea won't be important. Most of the tourists somehow does not really know how to judge the quality. They are happily buying tea on the spot believing that they are paying for the very authentic and excellent quality.

Meng Ding Gan Lu

As a result, most of the producers in Meng Ding Mountain emphasize the quantity rather than the quality. They over use the fertilizer and trim the tea tree in order to increase the output. Nowadays, it is very difficult to find the quality Meng Ding Gan Lu.

Because of the above reason, for us it is very important to visit the local producer and purchase this tea on the spot. Although our purchasing quantity is not very high, we are visiting Ming Shan county in order to maintain the consistent quality. The process of Meng Ding Gan Lu is similar to that of Bi Luo Chun: in early spring, the young bud is hand-plucked, pan-fried, hand-rolled and then dried. However, as compared to Bi Luo Chun, you can obtain a higher quality of Meng Ding Gan Lu at the same price range, since Meng Ding Gan Lu is not as famous as Bi Luo Chun.

Meng Ding Gan Lu
The main character of this tea is its sweetness that spreads over from the mouth down to the throat. The tender leaf gives a clear liquor, intense floral note with hints of nut undertones, and leaving a very sweet lingering taste that lasts for a long time.
This tea is also very nice if you brew it with cold water.

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Hojo Standard Brewing Method

Water

 

In you are using tap water, it is necessary to filter the water using an activated carbon filter. If not, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the authentic taste of tea. Chlorine is added to tap water in order to sanitize bacteria. This chlorinated water will also harm our body cells. Concerning about our health condition, it is very important to remove chlorine from drinking water. The most effective method in removing chlorine is to install an activated carbon filter. This type of filter is designed for removing organic substance. It will remove not only chlorine, but also other harmful substance such as contaminated pesticide. The activated carbon filter can be easily obtained from the common hardware shop in most countries. If activated carbon filter is not available, please place a charcoal inside the water and leave it for over night. The material composed of activated carbon filter is made of ground charcoal.  The difference is that activated carbon filter contains much finer particles and hence it has extremely large surface area for a better efficiency in filtration. We do not suggest RO water (reversed osmosis water) or distilled water. This water carries no mineral, the taste and flavor of tea tends to be very unstable, unless you have very superior quality tea and tea equipment.
It is also advisable not to use fresh tap water. The intensity of after taste becomes stronger if water is kept overnight. Keeping water with stones or inside clay jar will increase the content of minerals. However, you need to confirm whether or not the water kept inside particular jar or with stone is suitable with your tea or tea equipment (such as teapot). If water jar carries certain minerals like copper or zinc, it will rather spoil the taste and flavor of tea. For this, you need to confirm with experiment on try and error basis.
For boiling water, please do not use aluminum or copper kettle. It spoils the taste of water. We suggest using kettle made of iron, stainless steel, tin or glass. 

In the long run, you may observe a thick layer of scale accumulated inside your kettle. Our mother usually taught us to wash and remove it with citric acid. But please do not even try to remove the scale. Scale consists of minerals that exist in the water. The mineral composition is reflected from the water you used. If you remove the scale, the mineral ion balance between scale and water is destroyed. This balance is called buffer effect in science. The flavor and taste will seriously run out and you won’t be able to get previous taste and flavor for a long time. It is also important to stick to the same type of water whenever brewing tea. If source of water is changed, it carries different type of minerals. It will affect the mineral ion balance too.


Go to further information about suitable water for brewing tea >>

 

Brewing Method

The volume of water and quantity of tea leaf

The quantity of tea leaf can be calculated by a formula that "Divide the Volume of Water by 5". For example: the volume of teapot = 200ml; 200ml/50 =4g. You need to measure 4g of tea leaves for 200ml of water. As opposite to the traditional brewing method, the modern style uses more volume of water. A teapot with the size about 150-220ml is just nice for one person.

Temperature

Cool down the boiling water to 80 degree Celsius. Use the same temperature for a series of brewing until you feel the taste no long remains. Finally, you can use boiling water to bring out the remaining taste and flavor.

Brewing time

For sencha, the first brewing period is 1 minute.The second brewing must be less than a few seconds. The third brewing is the same. From the forth brewing onwards, increase to additional 10 seconds for the each subsequent brewing.

Suitable Tea Equipment

Clay teapot and Tetsubin makes the taste of Sencha even better. It is mainly because of the iron that is released from the equipment. In particular, the iron enhances the depth of after taste.

 

Meng Ding Gan Lu

It is also very nice to brew this tea in the long glass as above photos. In particular, I suggest this method if you want to drink tea at work or when you do not have enough time to all the way prepare tea using teapot. All you have to do is to put one tea spoon equivalent quantity of the leaf and pour hot water that temperature is at around 80 degree C. Once you finsh drinking tea, you can refill the glass with hot water over and over again.

 

Cold Water Brewing Method

 

Most of Green Teas can be brewed in cold water. The higher the grade of tea, the more suitable it is with cold water brewing.

Brewing method using the large container

1. Measure 1 table spoons of tea leaves for 500ml of water.
2. Pour the water into a glass jar or bottle and leave it for more than 1 hour.. It is also a good idea to put the tea leaves directly into a PET bottle.
3. Gently sway the container in order to get an even concentration.
4. Usually the taste of tea gets thicker when it is brewed for more than a few hours. In this case, pour in additional water. Eventually tea can be brewed more than 1 liter per 1 table spoon of tea leaves.

Brewing method using a clay teapot

1. Measure 4-6g of tea leaves for 200ml of water.
2. Pour water into a clay teapot and brew for 3 minutes.
3. For second brewing, brew for 20 seconds. Alternatively you can also switch to hot water from second brewing onwards, if you wish. If using hot water for second brewing, pour boiling water and brew for less than a few seconds. Since tea leaves are very cold and wet, the temperature drastically drops to less than 60 degree Celsius.
The benefit of cold water brewing is tea can last for a whole day and the taste is refreshing with a natural sweetness. Thanks to the cold water extraction, the level of caffeine in tea is very low. You would not suffer from sleepless nights. Even kids can enjoy this tea.

 

6. Storage of Tea

Keep tea away from moisture

Once a bag of tea is opened, please finish it within 3 months if you wish to enjoy its freshness. From the medical point of view, it is safe to consume the tea even if it is kept for a few years. However the freshness disappears if it is kept for too long. Tea must be tightly sealed before it is kept. Tea should be kept in ambient and dry conditions such as in the living room, but it must be completely away from humidity. Tea should not be kept in the kitchen as the environment is very humid. Avoid enclosed area such as inside the cupboard or drawer as these places are damp. Also avoid opening the bag of tea in humid atmosphere. It is recommended to open the bag during a sunny day or under air-conditioned atmosphere. Once tea leaves absorb moisture, deterioration of tea will be triggered within a few days. Tea will then give an astringent taste, sometime it tastes sour. The fresh aroma also becomes weaker.

Beware of keeping the tea in the fridge

The quality of tea lasts longer if it is kept in the fridge. However we strongly recommend you not to keep tea in the fridge. When tea is withdrawn from the fridge, there is usually condensation. Once tea is exposed to moisture during condensation, the quality will deteriorate within a few days. The higher moisture content in the tea leaves will trigger oxidation and it will completely destroy the quality of tea.

Here’s one frequently asked question: what happens if bag is sealed using tape or tea is packed in zipper bag and kept inside the fridge?

For your information, these simple sealing methods are not sufficient. When the bag is withdrawn from the fridge, it is cold inside the bag and therefore causes negative pressure. Air will be drawn from outside and condensation will occur. In addition, if the bag is taken in and out from the fridge very often, this will cause heat stress to the tea leaves as temperature is increased and decreased very frequently. If tea is kept in the fridge, when it is withdrawn from the fridge, it is necessary to leave it in ambient atmosphere for more than 24 hours in order to warm up the tea leaves. Based on our experience, 12 hours is not long enough. We may think tea is warmed up, but inside the bag, the tea leaves are still cold due to insulation effect.

 

 

Safety as a Part of HOJO's Quality

 

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Payment

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We accept various kinds of credit card through Paypal.

Only if customer prefer other option of payment, we suggest "Bank Transfer".

 

Shipping

Various choice of shipping method

EMS, SAL, Small Packet, Small Packet (SAL) Yamato Express and Surface

For shipping tea, we usually suggest small air parcel, the estimated shipping cost of tea in 100g (with wrapping material ) is

Small Parcel

USA JPY 600, EU JPY600 and Asia JPY470

Small Packet (SAL)

USA JPY380, EU JPY380 and Asia JPY320

The shipping fee to oversea by small air parcel happens to be even cheaper than domestic shipping fee in Japan.

 

Custom Fee

For your information, some countries, EU in particular imposes custom duty. We need buyer to bare the duty. We are sorry, but we cannot change the amount on the invoice, and we do not mark any packages as gifts. We will strictly follow the custom regulation.

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