After I fried my leftover bouquet peach gyoza, it was time for another food-tea pairing trial.
Just last week I bought a couple of ounces of Jun Shan yellow tea (Jun Shan yinzhen 君山銀針) from the Golden Tea Shop for $5, which I think is insanely cheap. I didn’t know that it was one of the “famous Chinese teas” or that it was a preferred tea of Mao Ze Dong, not that that means anything, since the communist officials have a habit of hoarding everything and pretending that they have enough aesthetics to appreciate them. I bought it because I hadn’t tried it. (When I said I wanted to buy this kind, the lady at Golden Tea Shop asked me with a doubting, somewhat disapprovingly astonished tone, “you like that one?” Maybe I shoulda take the hint?)
Well, in all fairness, it’s not bad. But it’s nowhere near impressionable. Appearance-wise, it looks like a white tea (Silver Needle, White Peony, etc) minus the fuzz on the buds. It smells and tastes just like the boil water of a summer gourd, more specifically, of an old Vietnamese luffa (mướp). This tea doesn’t sing, it’s mellow, it’s comfortable, and it’s easy like mainstream pop music. Its saving grace is the soothing linger at the end.
Because it’s similar to a white tea, I used hot but below boiling water (~190 F), first a quick rinse, then steep for 45 seconds.
Seeing that the Jun Shan bears summer gourd characteristics, I pair it with my fried squash-blossom-and-peach gyoza. Not much happens except the tea washes off the greasiness and slightly brings out the nuttiness of squash blossom. At times the pair also spikes up a bitter second, which quickly subsides, however it’s clear that this was not a good pairing.
Goji berry tea and the gyoza make a different story. The tea makes the gyoza sweeter, nuttier, more floral, it brings forth all of the qualities of the squash blossom and the peach that were locked in when I fried them up. It makes the gyoza light again. Great combination.