2010 Spring Wu Liang Mtn - Xue Dian Mei Lan - Yunnan

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Green Oolong Blend
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Edit tea info Last updated by deftea
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165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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7 Tasting Notes View all

  • “First try with this was from a free sample a included with a recent order. I can't remember much about it except that I liked it enough to keep it in mind for the next order. Tried this again...” Read full tasting note
    teaddict 311 tasting notes
  • “This is a weird and wonderful tea that doesn't know whether it's a green tea or an oolong. When I first opened the package of this tea, the aroma was so floral I thought it might even be a single...” Read full tasting note
    deftea 24 tasting notes

From Norbu Tea

Xue Dian Mei Lan literally means “snow flecks, plum blossoms” in English. It got it’s name from the flecks of silver from the delicate tea buds and from its floral aroma. This is a unique tea made of late Spring harvest Wu Liang mountain tea varietal by a tea master from Taiwan. The style of this tea is loosely based on Baozhong, a style of tea originally from Fujian but quite popular in Taiwan, which falls somewhere between green and oolong tea in terms of processing.

During the past several years, a number of Taiwanese tea growers, tea masters and entrepreneurs have settled in Yunnan, bringing their own distinct styles of processing with them. This tea is, in my mind at least, another fantastic example of what outside influences & expertise can do with Yunnan’s high quality raw materials.

This tea is comprised almost entirely of hand-picked, young, tender, in-tact two leaf and one bud sets. When I first looked at this tea, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the high standard used in its harvest. In terms of processing, the leaves were picked and wilted similar to a green tea, but there was some shaking done during wilting to the leaves to bruise them & allow what I estimate to be about 5-10% oxidation to occur. After the brief wilting/oxidation period, the tea leaves were wok fired to kill off most of the remaining enzymes that would facilitate further oxidation before being dried and packed for shipment.

Despite its Baozhong-influenced processing, to my taste at least, Xue Dian Mei Lan really comes across more as a green tea in the cup. There are floral, fruity & sweet elements in the flavor & aroma due to the slight oxidation period during processing, but the vegetal, grassy, astringent, green tea type flavors are more pronounced than in the more traditional Baozhong we carry from Taiwan.

When steeping this tea, different temperatures bring out different elements of its flavor. On the one hand, if you use a lower temperature (175 f) like you would for more traditional green teas, you will get some of the floral elements and less of the grassy/green flavors. But, on the other hand, if you use a higher, oolong type temperature (195 f), the floral/fruity flavor is more assertive but retreats a bit behind the more assertive, “green” flavors. I will be very interested to see how people decide this tea is best steeped. If you decide to leave a review for this tea, please include your steeping time, temp and amount of leaf used.

All in all, this is a wonderfully assertive & unique green tea from Yunnan, and I am pleased to carry another example of what Taiwanese tea processing methods can do with Yunnan tea varietals.

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7 Tasting Notes

311 tasting notes

First try with this was from a free sample a included with a recent order. I can’t remember much about it except that I liked it enough to keep it in mind for the next order. Tried this again semi-western style: 2.5 grams of leaf to 5 oz of water, with longer infusions than usual, but it was too dilute and the personality of the leaf was lost. Guess I need to stick to the brewing parameters I’m more comfortable with.

Another round with 6 grams of leaf to those 5 grams of water, and now it’s starting to sing out brighter: sweet, fresh peas, caramel, sun-warmed hay. Mellow. First infusion was about 30 seconds at 160 degrees; 2nd 1 minute, same temp; third was 2 minutes, water 170, and it was a bit overdone—bitterness creeping in. Backed down a little by diluting and it was better, but I’ll be a little more circumspect with the next one. 1 minute and the sweet mellowness is back, rich and caramel and floral. Very nice tea. But I’m running out of room to drink more; will have to set the leaves aside for a while and continue later.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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24 tasting notes

This is a weird and wonderful tea that doesn’t know whether it’s a green tea or an oolong. When I first opened the package of this tea, the aroma was so floral I thought it might even be a single bush tea from Guangzhou. Out of habit I brewed it like a heavier roasted oolong (fish eyes 185º or more) and by mistake, left it a bit too long (pot 2/3 full of leaves, 2+ mins). Happy accident! I got a nutty, almondy taste and a wonderfully pleasant back-of-the-throat astringency. Next infusion, cooler, shorter, and I think I smell the eponymous plum blossoms, again reminders of Dan Cong but much lighter. I think I prefer the oolong type brew: raw almonds and pea shoots and subtle floral elements are in the cup as much as aromatic; it delivers in its taste what some green teas only promise in their smell. The dry rolls of leaves are very long and surprisingly dark with silver bits, but the tea has a beautiful pale color brewed and full mouth feel for such a light tea. I believe TGY and Alishan drinkers, as well as green tea drinkers will find this tea a real treat. I usually don’t find green teas this interesting. Oh wait, this is an oolong!

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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