Here is another sipdown from earlier in the month. I think I finished what I had of this tea back around the start of last week or the end of the prior week. I can’t be sure at this point. Anyway, this was yet another excellent Guizhou offering from What-Cha.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 167 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased 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 emitted aromas of malt, hay, zucchini, cucumber, baked bread, and chestnut. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of sugarcane, straw, honey, butter, and toasted sweet corn. The first infusion introduced aromas of lettuce and bamboo. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, hay, grass, zucchini, lettuce, bamboo, chestnut, and cream that were chased by cucumber, sugarcane, butter, and toasted sweet corn hints. There were also some hints of plum in the aftertaste. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of minerals, green olive, pine, yellow plum, snap peas, and spinach. Impressions of honey, straw, and baked bread emerged in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediate notes of toasted sweet corn, butter, and sugarcane. There were also more prominent and immediate yellow plum notes. Notes of minerals, spinach, green olive, lemon, snap peas, pine, and green beans appeared as well, and I even noted some faint umami, apricot, and peach impressions here and there. At this tea’s peak, each swallow seemed to bring out honey, yellow plum, lemon, toasted sweet corn, and sugarcane notes that lingered for a considerable amount of time. As the tea faded, the liquor became somewhat astringent and emphasized notes of minerals, green beans, cream, malt, pine, cucumber, snap peas, hay, green olive, spinach, and chestnut that were underscored by hints of lemon, grass, zucchini, sugarcane, honey, and toasted sweet corn.

This was a ridiculously aromatic and flavorful yellow tea. Though I am certainly nowhere close to being an expert on yellow tea, this was easily one of the better yellow teas I have tried. It struck me as being both more accessible and more drinkable than some of the more celebrated and traditional yellow teas on the market. Overall, this was a more or less excellent offering. I could see it being a great introduction to Chinese yellow tea or a tea that fans of Chinese white and green teas could use to branch out to other types of tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Bamboo, Bread, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Cucumber, Green Beans, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Olives, Peach, Peas, Pine, Plum, Spinach, Straw, Sugarcane, Toasted, Umami, Zucchini

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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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.



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