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Recent Tasting Notes
Alright, here is the final review from the backlog for the day. I finished a 25g pouch of this tea back around the third week of June. At the time, it was a tea I did not know much about, and unfortunately, I still know very little about it. I forgot to save or jot down production information for this tea before it went out of stock. All I know is that it was a spring 2016 tea, likely harvested in May, and most likely originating from a garden in either the Banyan or Zhengyan area. It seems that most of Wuyi Origin’s offerings come from one of those areas. I know that their 2018 Baijiguan is a Zhengyan tea, but since they source from both areas, I have no clue if the same can be said of this earlier offering. It seems likely, but I cannot be sure. Regardless, I found this to be an extremely high quality Bai Ji Guan. Like most Bai Ji Guans, I would not want to have it every day, but I could see this making a more or less dynamite special occasions kind of tea.
Predictably, I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of roasted grain, rock sugar, mushroom, honey, and raisin. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, watercress, longan, and wood. The first infusion brought out some faint dandelion and rose aromas along with a stronger mushroom aroma and hints of roasted chestnut and orange peel. In the mouth, the tea liquor opened with notes of roasted grain, mushroom, honey, and golden raisin before transitioning to showcase longan, wood, and roasted nut notes. Cream, butter, and rock sugar impressions then made themselves known on the finish. Interestingly, I failed to pick up any vegetal character. The subsequent infusions saw cream, butter, hay, and celery aromas begin to appear. Dandelion, watercress, orange peel, and rose notes belatedly appeared in the mouth alongside new mineral, coriander, hay, moss, lemon zest, popcorn hull, umami, grass, carrot, sour plum, and caramel impressions. The final infusions were soft, smooth, and subtle, offering lingering salty, brothy umami, mineral, cream, butter, roasted peanut, popcorn hull, wood, and golden raisin notes underscored by fleeting notes of coriander, mushroom, celery, lemon zest, and caramel.
I know the above description made this tea sound weird, but to be perfectly honest, Bai Ji Guan is kind of a weird tea. Fortunately, the strange combination of floral, savory, earthy, nutty, vegetal, fruity, creamy, buttery, and sugary sweet characteristics that this sort of tea typically offers works most of the time. I know that everything worked wonderfully in this tea. I would not recommend that a tea like Bai Ji Guan be one’s first Wuyi oolong, but if you just have to jump in the deep end with a tea of this type, an offering like this would be one with which to do it. Even though I swore that I would not spend any more money on tea this year, I now may have to use part of my next paycheck to acquire the 2018 Bai Ji Guan offered by Wuyi Origin. I just have to see how it compares.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Caramel, Carrot, Celery, Chestnut, Coriander, Cream, Dandelion, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Moss, Mushrooms, Orange, Peanut, Plums, Popcorn, Raisins, Rose, Sugar, Umami, Vegetal, Wood
A really nice black tea in an unusual, very pleasant style. Some of their teas are on the sweeter, fruitier side and this version was like that. Initially it tasted more like fruit in the range of peach than last year’s, which had included more citrus, which transitioned later to a creamy range that reminded me a lot of butterscotch. Some of the flavor range is common to other black teas, a very mild form of malt, and some underlying mineral, but it’s a lighter, sweeter, more refined form of tea than most black tea versions. Other above average unsmoked Lapsang Souchong versions I’ve tried usually taste more like a mild malt, maybe with some sweetness and complexity, but typically not the same level of fruit and overall range as this one. That pretty much covers it but there is more detail here:
A nice version of this type. It does taste like almonds, but also with floral aspects underlying that, and an initial peach-like fruit transitioning to a general creaminess and liqueur-like effect later on. Astringency is minimal, just enough to add to fullness of feel. Aftertaste (long finish) and pronounced aroma stand out most. Good sweetness and balance indicate the level of roast worked out well, perhaps medium for Dan Cong, light related to other roasted tea styles. More review details and photos here:
This is as good a version of this oolong type as I’ve tried, with intense peach, lychee, and floral flavors, a thick mouthfeel, and a pronounced aftertaste effect. There’s minimal astringency, not really any astringency in the typical sense, not even much in the way of that unripe fruit effect Dan Cong sometimes have, just enough of that particular mouthfeel effect to give it some structure. Usually this version of Dan Cong can exhibit great flavors but it’s nice that this one is more complex in other regards as well. I wrote a long version of that in this post: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.com/2018/05/wuyi-origin-old-bush-mi-lan-xiang-dan.html
(If you don’t want to read my thoughts, skip down to the last three paragraphs for flavor notes.)
I’m under the impression that most of us in the West have yet to experience really good white tea. For whatever reason, white teas just aren’t popular outside the Chinese cultural realm. And Westerners who practice gongfu-stlyle tea drinking gravitate towards oolong, black, pu’er, and green teas.
White tea is comparatively more subtle, which requires more attention from the tea drinker to appreciate its nuances. You’d be hard pressed enough patience in a post-modern Western society to generate a market for something as soft-spoken as authentic Fujian white tea.
I think of white tea as naked tea. It cannot impress with flavor and aroma alone like, say, an Assam black tea or Taiwanese high mountain oolong. Therefore, leaf quality and skilled processing will have to speak for themselves – which my fellow sheng pu’er drinkers understand can be expressed via: mouthfeel, aftertaste, sensations (cooling/tingling/silky), viscosity, qi, and throat / body feel.
Cindy emphasized the strength of this tea, and I can see why. I haven’t had a white tea like this before. This tea has all of the above, including strong aroma (ripened peach and pear and fresh chamomile flowers) and subtle, sophisticated flavors (Korean pear, chamomile, sweet grass, raw sugar cane juice, and a hint of nutmeg).
What’s really incredible about this tea is it’s very strong mouthfeel, which combined with qi will take the drinker for a nice euphoric ride. The leaves are quite green and non-uniform compared with regular silver needle – which to me makes them more attractive.
I drank this at work with a tumbler and at home using a gaiwan. Maybe my office’s water filter was recently switched, but I enjoyed my office session a lot more. I had to actually step away from drinking it because the combo of qi and mouthfeel was so intense. It made the world stop for a moment.
This is the kind of green tea I’ve been looking forward to all winter. I sort of internally celebrate each year’s harvest – it’s really my chance to experience different tea regions. Based on the description, this one is from Zheng He county in Fujian, where Cindy sources her Advanced Bai Mu Dan white tea. I think it shares many similarities with that tea.
The dry leaf aroma is intoxicating – ripe fruit and orchids. It has good structure to it – beyond just flavors, as it’s more subtle than other green teas, with a sweetness that is closer to mineral than vegetal. It somewhat resembles the Laoshan imperial green tea (of which I am a fan) in appearance and Huangshan maofeng in its flavor characteristics, but I this one wins in terms of qi, mouthfeel, and depth. It also feels more refined and can for at least 7 steeps.
For me, black teas need to be outstanding for me to bother with them. I just find other teas more agreeable taste-wise. This was one of those exceptional black teas that has me coming back for more. It’s got that typical malty black tea thing, but there’s so much more going on here. Very nice mouthfeel and feeling in the throat and body. It’s gentle, yet assertive in its uniqueness. Great depth and viscosity as well. The leaves look “wild” – spindly tendrils with a maocha-like appearance.
It’s highly fragrant, both dry and wet leaf – musky floral and sweet forest mist – and not smoky at all (huge plus in my book). This is reflected in the flavor, which has an intriguing character – mellow mineral sweetness with notes of dried cherries, wild flowers, molasses, and moss. This is one of those feel-good teas. Cindy has been sourcing these leaves and processing them herself for a long time. I think it’s this combination that makes this tea extra special. Black tea-lovers should definitely check out Wuyiorigin and try this one.
It was 81 degrees in Missouri yesterday. Today it is snowing! After reading so many good reviews I went ahead and placed my first order with Wuyi Origin and broke out this 2017 Rou Gui as the first to try!
The dry leaves smell amazing — a perfectly balanced roast. Very full bodied with strong cacao notes. The flavor is very complex with the typical minerality as its base. Citrusy finish of lemon zest that makes me smile. I brewed at 205 F, but would maybe consider taking it down to 200 next time around. Love the mouthfeel, super thick and oily and leaves a mouth watering menthol flavor all over the palate. After seven infusions the flavor seemed to be keeping steady but I could not go on. Peak flavor at the fourth steep (I will have dreams of that fourth steep!) with intertwining notes of cinnamon, tobacco, and lemon.
Glad I got this one. Am really interested in the Rou Gui “Fruit style” from them as well, but will have to wait till next time. Looking forward to trying the rest and seeing how they compare!
Ordered some of this based on tanluwils’ recommendation, was not disappointed! This is a somewhat tippier Bai Mudan. Tastes of dry grass, citrus, dried mint leaf, sugarcane, and musk. While I’ve already had a tea session this morning, so I can’t say that it’s all from this tea, I’m getting nice relaxing qi feelings. This is an excellent white tea!
Compared to Yunnan Sourcing’s Bai Mudan, this one is a little bit milder, and tastes more of citrus while YS’s tastes more of peach. Both are excellent, but I think I slightly prefer YS’s.
Today I am repotting my tea plants! It’s long overdue as they are almost two years old and have been in twelve inch pots for over a year. I think they will be much happier with more room to grow :)
Flavors: Citrus, Dry Grass, Floral, Lemon, Mint, Musty, Sugarcane
I open the bag, breath in the smells, and know immediately that I’m going to like this one! Dark whole leaves and aroma of raisins, tobacco, and a hint of smoke. Brews a little darker than the Rou Gui or Bairuixiang, medium orange.
The taste, like the aroma, has a nice raisin/date note as well as flavors of spiced rum, oatmeal, and dark wood. Just a touch of smoke, this tea also reminds me of nice cigars. The flavor lingers in the mouth and is super deep and complex. Really makes my mouth water. As I keep brewing, the flavor becomes lighter and a mild floral note appears. This tea fades faster than the Rou Gui, but gives a decent number of brews and the flavor hits really hard. I definitely need more of this tea!
Flavors: Dark Wood, Dates, Mineral, Oats, Raisins, Rum, Smoke, Spices, Tobacco
Opening the bag I get a roasty and sugary aroma. Reminds me a bit of kettle corn at the state fair. (In a good way) Brews a medium light orange, a bit lighter than the Rou Gui.
Very rich and thick in the mouth. Notes of rock sugar, caramel, minerals, roast, and flowers with a slight “green” quality. The floral note isn’t airy like jasmine, it’s more thick and heavy like bulb flowers; tulip or hyacinth. Besides sugar and caramel, the sweetness reminds me of a really good, really fresh, really sweet raw onion. That may sound like a turn off, but I mean it in the best way possible. This is a very nice tea, but not as much to my personal tastes as the Rou Gui.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Mineral, Popcorn
I was very excited to find this aged bai mudan cake for such a low price. Opening the wraper, the tea is crumbly and dusty and smells of a damp basement.
Brews a medium orange. Taste is medicinal and musty with a very thin mouthfeel. None of the thickness and sweet dried fruit flavors that I’ve gotten in other aged white teas. To be honest it’s not very enjoyable and a total letdown.
I will store away the cake and hope that the musty character fades over the coming months. I hope it does, since otherwise there’s no way I could finish this whole cake.
Flavors: Medicinal, Mineral, Musty
Nice whole dark leaves with a fruity aroma. Brews a light orange. Prominent fruit flavor like ripe melons, cinnamon spicyness, and notes of baked bread, mineral water, and dry wood. Dark chocolate bitterness, low astringency. Puts up with quite a few infusions, considerably more than I am used to for a Wuyi oolong.
This stuff is top notch! Smooth, complex, infusable, and most importantly tasty. This is the best Wuyi oolong I’ve had, can’t wait to try the others that I got from Wuyi Origin.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Melon, Mineral, Oak wood, Spicy
Steeped 13th times at 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and 75 secs each steep with 8 grs. of tea. water temperatura 190 farenheirin a gaiwan 160 ml.
Wet leaves has a wondeful deep rocky aroma. Liqour of deep brownish golden color. It’s smell so milky, so creamy. First infusional has a very very deep yanyun taste. It’s amazing powefull and intense. It’s maybe the must intense Wuyi Yancha I has ever taste. It has a large varieties of flavors: Mineral, wood, chocolat, milk, spicy, sweet and no bitter at all. The finish is very round, but it’s intensity it’s wonderful. Just with the first drink you have your mouth full of yanyun flavor. It’s a shot of flavors but all armonize them and the finishi is indescribably mineral and sweet. Second, thirth, fourth, five, six infusions keep their strength and the amazing absense of bitterness. Untill seventh infusion you can distinguish a ground sensation in the base of your tongue, but the aftertaste is so rich, so intense, so powefull. From eight to thirteen infusion, mineral notes go away very slowly but never go down completely.
Finally the tea gives you a lot of energy, is like Popeye eating it’s spinach, and at the end of the session you are full of yancha notes that say you: “you can’t forget me”.
I can’t express with words the the magnificent experience with this tea. If you are curious to know it, you must try it.
Flavors: Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Milk, Mineral, Spicy, Wood
Infused 10 sec. first steep, adding 5 seconds each next steep until 1 minute, then 15 sec each until fourteen infusion..
Wet leaves has an almond aroma, fresh, creamy, flowery. First infusion shows subtle mineral notes, almond notes, nutty notes, very sweet, round, elegant, fine and a lovely balance. Liquor of bright golden color and a sweet aftertaste. From second to eight infusion the almond notes predominates accompanied with a very subtle mineral notes a deep sweetness and an overall roundness. Difficul to resist its charm. untill thirth infusion the tea hugs me, very slowly with an irresistible seduction. Oh my God! its sweetness makes me drunk. Then I was spellbound with it’s flavor. It’s like the kiss of a beautiful woman who just brushes my lips. Then The liquor runs through my body giving it a warmth of life. Then, after the ninth infusion it’s beginning to slow down, but now I’m full of it’s wonderful flavor. It’s like the woman who kiss me goes out, but my lips remain vibrating with his memory. After all it’s beauty, it’s roundness, it’s sweetness remains now in my memory because is one of the great moments that a cup of tea gaves me. The tea vibrates and I vibrate with it. I don’t know if it’s the best tea that I was tried but it allows me to feel its essence…
Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Milk, Sweet
I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow, I’ve turned 180 degrees from my stance on black teas at the beginning of my tea journey. When I started exploring loose leaf teas, I could not find black teas that I enjoyed. Now, it’s the type of tea I drink most.
Maybe I just needed to find the good ones.
This is a good one.
Sweet, floral aroma to the dry leaves, with a backbone of sweet potato
Brewed aroma: floral, fudgy, sweet potatoes
Brewed tea: rich, smooth, full, malty, sweet potato flavors, starchy
There is an addictive quality to a very few black teas, something in the smell and taste that drives my senses wild. This tea has it. Another black tea with that quality is Whispering Pines Wild Taiwanese black, although this tea is heavier while I think of the Taiwanese as quite light in nature.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
I’ve had many sessions with this tea and it continues to impress. Dried leaves smell like roasted leaves without any remarkable scent, but once hot water hits them I am immediately hit with rich, almond (yes, really!) essence, sweet buttercream, orchids, and hazelnut. The rinse is thin-bodied, but already exudes a nice mouthfeel. This is a testament to the skill and expertise that went into the roasting, which has enhanced the inherent qualities in the leaf.
The next 4 steeps intensify in aroma, qi, texture, mouthfeel, and flavor. The almond here reminds me of fresh traditional Cantonese almond cookies. It’s very full in the mouth and feels nice in the throat. This one goes strong until the 7th or so steep where it gradually fades. It performs best in a chaozhou red clay teapot.
Exemplary, requisite caramel, malt and throw in some dried blueberry and clove. A real gentle sweetness that last throughout the gong fu session and absolutely no bitterness or astringency. Leaf quality A+, long thick firm strands steeping out to 10-12 times and a cha qi that sneaks up and places you on a cloud. Again exemplary.
Soft & gentle roast, honeyed sweet body. I found it fairly light with the orchid perfumes but there is a gentle hint of fruits in the background, I have found this with other WO teas. Its a good thing having fruit flickering in & out (especially for me who likes fruit-forward in everything), even if verrry subtle on this one.
The roast fades pretty quickly over the session into really subtle soft perfumed wuyi leaf oolong. Dark greens, good looking leaf.
‘it is quite welcome by most of the tea friends in China’ on the website, and ‘most approachable’ mentioned here. I think that sums it up.
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This is the only tea I have had from Wuyi Origin that was just a little disapointing, not bad, just not as amazing as the others. I am sure this is me, since I don’t care as much for this style of tea.
Nose; Sweet, light, hazelnut, tulse.
Palate; slight floral and vegetal, very much like a Taiwan Oolong or a Tie Guan Yin,