Sinensis assamica var. Kucha – or in plain English, bitter tea, is a sub-variety of sinensis assamica that grows in the Meng Song area. For reasons which are doubtless obvious, it’s not the most sought after of Puer tea, but with a light touch when brewing it can be rather pleasant, with a distinct, lingering, but not overwhelming bitterness.
A friend just dropped by with a few handfuls. We plopped some in the gaiwan. It’s not the prettiest maocha you’ll ever see, but it’s totally honest, unadulterated.
With maybe 5-6 grams in the gaiwan and very quick steeping times, the bitterness does not become overpowering and there’s some decent flavour and fragrance.
The soup is clean – when sampling it’s good to use a gaiwan – not a pot – and no strainer. The broth has a pleasing colour with a hint of pale, almost pinky, gold.
See here for an earlier post about Meng Song: www.zhizhengtea.com/puerblog/stone/