89

Here is another review from the backlog. I think I finished a couple samples of this tea during the first half of November, but I can’t really be sure. Prior to trying this offering, I discovered that I had actually tried a Bai Hao green tea back in 2016. That kind of surprised me too because they are not the most common things in the world. Unless it is Liu Bao, you do not often see Western tea drinkers paying a lot of attention to teas from Guangxi. Interestingly, I rated this tea about the same as the one I tried a couple years ago. I found it to be very, very good, but maybe not quite something I would seek out for daily consumption.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 185 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of peach, apricot, straw, and plum. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of chestnut, sorghum, and sweet corn. The first infusion then introduced a malty scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of sweet corn, corn husk, peach, apricot, sour plum, chestnut, and malt that were backed by hints of sorghum molasses and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of lemon zest, grapefruit, spinach, green olive, and hay. New impressions of minerals, lemon zest, grapefruit, cream, butter, spinach, hay, umami, pear, and green olive appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging straw notes and stronger impressions of sugarcane. As the tea faded, notes of minerals, malt, straw, chestnut, and corn husk came to dominate the mouth, though they were backed by hints of lemon zest, umami, sorghum molasses, butter, and sugarcane.

Brewed gongfu, this was a surprisingly thick, filling tea. I was greatly impressed by the strength of its aromas and flavors as well as its longevity. It had something of a unique profile compared to many of the other Chinese green teas I have tried; in some ways it was a little reminiscent of some of the higher end Vietnamese green teas that are currently available. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this tea, but it would not become an everyday thing for me. Its chewiness, heft, and richness marked it as being just a little much for a daily drinker. Still, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable, resilient Chinese green tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Grapefruit, Hay, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Olives, Peach, Pear, Plums, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

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