Alright, I’m finally back. Not only have I been swamped at work for the last week, but I have had very limited internet access at home, so posting reviews ended up falling by the wayside for me. I finally managed to regain consistent internet access this morning, so now I am taking a break to get some stuff posted here. My lack of activity would not allow anyone to know it, but I have been on a huge Shui Xian kick for the last little bit and have taken to comparing teas from different terroirs. This tea went head to head with an old bush Zhengyan Shui Xian, and surprisingly enough, it came out the winner in my eyes.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted aromas of char, pine, honey, and raisin underscored by a hint of cinnamon. After the rinse, I noted the emergence of stronger char and pine aromas as well as a hint of baked bread. The first infusion then introduced a hint of rock sugar to the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of char, pine, honey, raisin, cinnamon, and rock sugar backed by hints of baked bread. Subsequent infusions saw the nose turn creamier and a bit spicier. New notes of minerals, cream, spruce, and juniper showed up in the mouth. The final infusions offered notes of minerals, char, and pine that quickly gave way to subtler notes of cream, raisin, and rock sugar.
At first, I did not know what to make of this tea. I am very used to Wuyi Shui Xian, so this seemed very soft and subtle in comparison. Taking my time with each infusion, however, yielded tremendous rewards. Once I adjusted to the tea’s softer, smoother, simpler character, I found an easy-drinking tea with admirable longevity and great texture in the mouth. Should What-Cha ever restock this tea, I will most definitely be buying more. It made for a great break from the heavier traditional Wuyi Shui Xian oolongs to which I am so accustomed.
Flavors: Bread, Char, Cinnamon, Cream, Herbaceous, Honey, Mineral, Pine, Raisins, Sugar