80
drank Wuyi Sacred Lily by Peony Tea S.
1257 tasting notes

This is the last of the three teas PTS gave me for free as part of the shipping experiment. I don’t think I’ve had this type of oolong before, but I’m not certain. I’ve only got a human brain’s worth of memory to work with and as we all know that can be a rather dodgy piece of equipment sometimes. But to the best of my knowledge, this would be my Sacred Lily debut.

The dry leaf had a rather strong, toasty aroma. It reminded me a little of coal, with some wooden sorts of side-notes. If you take a couple of leaves out in your hand and breathe on them before smelling them, the aroma really comes out in spades.

After steeping it was less intense, though. I found it more like baked goods and a bit of cocoa in the background. But yeah, it did seem a bit more thin, like I heard to search through the steam to find the aroma.

Flavourwise, I’m afraid I felt a little let down. The first note I got out of it was a strong mineral one. Almost like I was actually sucking on a pebble dipped in tea. Along with that there was a strange, slightly tart note which initially made me think of seafood and lemon.

Yes. Seafood and lemon.

How’s that for an O.o experience?

Thankfully, after the tea had cooled off a bit to a more drinkable temperature, this went away, and I got a fairly strong note of caramel for a while. Caramel and cake.

So I thought it was all rescued and all I had to do was let it cool down a bit and then enjoy a cup of caramel-y cake-y oolong.

No. Because as I drank and it cooled off even further, it went away again! It’s like the chameleon of tea, this stuff, constantly changing flavour and confusing me. Once the caramel note had disappeared, the mineral flavour came out again, along with the exact same notes I had found in the dry leaf aroma. Woodenness and a bit of burnt toast.

It seems that to have this tea at it’s very best, one has to let it cool off slightly until it hits that caramel-y cake-y phase and then drink quickly!

That can’t be right. I’ve never had an oolong behave like this before, so there must be some way of ensuring better success. Auggy once worked out that some teas change character when they are brewed in larger or smaller quantities even if the leaf to water ratio is exctly the same. I made this as a large pot to share between the two of us, and I think it might benefit from being made in a smaller quantity.

The husband didn’t seem to really recognise my experience of it, so it may also have been a question of me having simply come across something that were different to my expectations and failed to adjust myself accordingly.

I don’t think I can give it a rating right now. With all this flavour-changing action, it’s really so all over the place that I don’t even know where to begin. It will just have to come later, because I refuse to believe it’s really actually supposed to always behave in this peculiar fashion.

Colour me confused.

Auggy

Seafood and lemon → caramel and cake → Woodenness and burnt toast. o.O That’s quite a tea rollercoaster you had there! Crazy!

Lynne-tea

What a crazy combination of flavours! Very neat leaves =)

Thomas Smith

Sacred Lily is kind of a stretch at a name for Shui Xian / Water Immortal AKA Water Fairy or Narcissus Oolong or Water Lily or Long Life Oolong or Wuyi Cave Oolong… The cultivar is also the progenitor of Dancongs from Fenghuangshan / Phoenix Mountain, though.

Thomas Smith

I also have a lot of issues with Wuyi Yancha and Fenguang Dancong shifting in character pretty dramatically at different volumes even when the ratio and time and temperature are the same. I chock it up to differential in leaf movement (turbulence) and heat retention in larger volumes.

Angrboda

Auggy and Lynne-tea; Yeah, I went all O.o several times during the cup and wondering what on earth was wrong with my tongue!

Thomas Smith; I haven’t had this happen quite so much before. It’s wednesday today though, which is traditionally a Day Of Much Tea since I’m not at work, and it’ll be brewed in my small pot too since it’s not for sharing. I plan to see later today if that gives me a different experience.

Also, Yancha? I feel I ought to know that word… Could you define that for me please? Is it a type of oolong?

DC

Thomas: Sacred Lily is the name for the flower- Narcissus Tazetta from which Shuixian gets its name, sometimes known as Daffodil. A word for word translation would result in quite different translations since shui is water, xian is immortal – notwithstanding the fact that this immortal doesn’t exist in common Chinese folk lore.
As a point of interest- Shuixian (which originates from Jian Ou, North Fujian) that is used for Wuyi Shuixian is actually a distinct cultivar from Fenghuang Shuixian.
Fenghuang Shuixan was actually known as Niao Zui Cha- Beak Tea until 1956 when they decided to change the name- probably for marketing purposes.

Angrboda- Yan Cha is literally translated as tea of the rock or cliff. It is a general term to describe oolong tea from Wuyi shan including Big Red Robe, White Cockscomb etc.
The official definition restricts it to the 70 sqm area within Wuyishan that is known as ‘zheng yan’ or core producing area.

Angrboda

So it’s a geographical sort of term. Like champagne is only produced in the Champagne district, otherwise it’s not champagne… I’m sure I’ve had this explained to me before. Once I saw the explanation it seemed familiar.

I’ll have to get a better map of China so I can look it up! Keeping track of the provinces of China and my recent Explore Outside Fujian order is much easier when I can look up where it is on a map.

Thomas Smith

Thanks for the correction for the separation on Fenghuang Shuixian versus the Shuixian grown in Wuyishan (got the information I used from one of the Heiss’ books and Roy Fong at a workshop, but I’d noticed from photos that growth habit is very different). I take it that Central Fujian Shuixian is closer to the Wuyi form?

K.C. Chen of Bih Lu Gardens in Taiwan has started marketing twisted leaf dark oolongs and red teas supposedly from abandoned growing sites where tea was left unmanaged as Taiwan Yanchas recently. The similarities are pretty much constrained to the leaf shape, oxidation level shown on unfurled leaves, and charcoal roast – they lack the characteristic mineral qualities oolongs from Wuyishan frequently express.

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Comments

Auggy

Seafood and lemon → caramel and cake → Woodenness and burnt toast. o.O That’s quite a tea rollercoaster you had there! Crazy!

Lynne-tea

What a crazy combination of flavours! Very neat leaves =)

Thomas Smith

Sacred Lily is kind of a stretch at a name for Shui Xian / Water Immortal AKA Water Fairy or Narcissus Oolong or Water Lily or Long Life Oolong or Wuyi Cave Oolong… The cultivar is also the progenitor of Dancongs from Fenghuangshan / Phoenix Mountain, though.

Thomas Smith

I also have a lot of issues with Wuyi Yancha and Fenguang Dancong shifting in character pretty dramatically at different volumes even when the ratio and time and temperature are the same. I chock it up to differential in leaf movement (turbulence) and heat retention in larger volumes.

Angrboda

Auggy and Lynne-tea; Yeah, I went all O.o several times during the cup and wondering what on earth was wrong with my tongue!

Thomas Smith; I haven’t had this happen quite so much before. It’s wednesday today though, which is traditionally a Day Of Much Tea since I’m not at work, and it’ll be brewed in my small pot too since it’s not for sharing. I plan to see later today if that gives me a different experience.

Also, Yancha? I feel I ought to know that word… Could you define that for me please? Is it a type of oolong?

DC

Thomas: Sacred Lily is the name for the flower- Narcissus Tazetta from which Shuixian gets its name, sometimes known as Daffodil. A word for word translation would result in quite different translations since shui is water, xian is immortal – notwithstanding the fact that this immortal doesn’t exist in common Chinese folk lore.
As a point of interest- Shuixian (which originates from Jian Ou, North Fujian) that is used for Wuyi Shuixian is actually a distinct cultivar from Fenghuang Shuixian.
Fenghuang Shuixan was actually known as Niao Zui Cha- Beak Tea until 1956 when they decided to change the name- probably for marketing purposes.

Angrboda- Yan Cha is literally translated as tea of the rock or cliff. It is a general term to describe oolong tea from Wuyi shan including Big Red Robe, White Cockscomb etc.
The official definition restricts it to the 70 sqm area within Wuyishan that is known as ‘zheng yan’ or core producing area.

Angrboda

So it’s a geographical sort of term. Like champagne is only produced in the Champagne district, otherwise it’s not champagne… I’m sure I’ve had this explained to me before. Once I saw the explanation it seemed familiar.

I’ll have to get a better map of China so I can look it up! Keeping track of the provinces of China and my recent Explore Outside Fujian order is much easier when I can look up where it is on a map.

Thomas Smith

Thanks for the correction for the separation on Fenghuang Shuixian versus the Shuixian grown in Wuyishan (got the information I used from one of the Heiss’ books and Roy Fong at a workshop, but I’d noticed from photos that growth habit is very different). I take it that Central Fujian Shuixian is closer to the Wuyi form?

K.C. Chen of Bih Lu Gardens in Taiwan has started marketing twisted leaf dark oolongs and red teas supposedly from abandoned growing sites where tea was left unmanaged as Taiwan Yanchas recently. The similarities are pretty much constrained to the leaf shape, oxidation level shown on unfurled leaves, and charcoal roast – they lack the characteristic mineral qualities oolongs from Wuyishan frequently express.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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