Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring 2007 Top Grade 'Lily flower' Baozhong

This top grade lightly oxidized Wenshan Baozhong is 100% made of luanze (Qingxin) Oolong cultivar. The dry leaves have a typical beautiful dark turquoise color. Oxidation of these handpicked leaves is light.

The color of the infusion is light gold. Clarity is good.

The smells are typical of very good light oxidized Gao Shan Oolong: light flower smells, cut grass, candies. The light oxidation is like a mix of the vegetable, grassy smell of green tea, and the sweeter, light lily flower smell of a more oxidized Oolong. These 2 facets appear differently over the different brews and depending on the infusion time. That's why it's always both a challenge and a wonder to brew such a Baozhong, because each cup will be different a little different from the other.

Since this Baozhong is based on the luanze Oolong cultivar, the aftertaste is particularly long. Before that, the taste is mostly sweet. I feel a gentle tingle on my tongue and this makes me salivate just under my cheecks. Some tannins fulfill my whole mouth and they turn dry and sweet. I also realize the cooling effect of this light oxidized Baozhong - no wonder I've been reaching for it often during those last days when the temperature reached summer season levels-. And because of its light oxidation, I recommend to drink this Baozhong on a (partially) full stomach.


Price level: same as Top grade Baozhong from 2006. 1 size: vacuum sealed packs of 150 gr.

6 comments:

Aaron M said...

This is really an amazing tea!
The first two or three infusions reminded me of the aroma of flowers even more so than one that includes flowers in it.

After this, it tasted more like a standard tea. Long aftertaste and exceptional quality. Many thanks for the sample.

Aaron M said...

I just sampled a mid grade baozhong I purchased a little while back, and while highly enjoyable, it doesn't even begin to match the quality of this! While the lily flower is extremely floral, this is more along the lines of sweet and honey like.

Jim said...

I am trying to undertand the varietals of tea trees. What is the difference between Qingxin, Luanze and Qing Xing Wu long?

Thanks,
Jim

Stephane said...

Jim,

Qing xin Oolong = luanze Oolong.
Qing xin is an abreviation of Qingxin Oolong, but it can be confusing, because there is another tea tree called Qingxin Dapa (used often for Oriental Beauty).

Jim said...

Thank you Stephane! I would very much like to read a characterization of each of the major varietals. For example, you characterize luanze has having a very long lasting flavor. This prompted me to wonder what unique characteristics the other varieties have. I even began cataloging the varieties (with other attibutes) into a database to increase my understanding.

Thanks again,
Jim

patrick said...

Bonjour,
Un petit commentaire en français sur ce thé...
Je l'ai testé trois fois aujourd'hui, en gaiwan. Je n'utilise ni balance ni chronomètre, difficile donc d'être mathématiquement précis ! Cependant :

- 1er essai, faible grammage (les feuilles emplissaient le gaiwan au 3/4 à la fin), eau filtrée : j'ai tout de suite compris pourquoi son surnom est "lily flower" ! Des notes douces et sucrées ensuite.
- 2ème essai, même quantité de feuilles, eau filtrée + charbon actif : à la première infusion, d'un temps à peu près égal à celle du premier test, c'est le caractère "thé vert" qui m'a frappé, épinard et artichaud...
- 3ème essai, grammage beaucoup plus important (feuilles un peu trop serrées à la fin), eau filtrée + charbon actif : un mélange étonnant d'artichaud, de confiture de lait (?) et de fleurs, un parfum de rose et de miel sur les courtes infusions suivantes.
Et dans tous les cas, une longueur remarquable.

Un thé plein de surprises, qui suit l'humeur du moment !