92
drank Bai Ji Guan by Verdant Tea
1254 tasting notes

Another 5g sample. Spring 2017 harvest. This is only the second bai ji guan yancha I’ve tried, and is, if I can recall, much different than the other one which was twice light-roasted.

I got 10 steeps with 5g of leaf in my 100mL clay gaiwan. Boiling water and a short rinse.

The dry and rinsed leaf presented as very fragrant with an aroma of musty hay, orange blossom, yeast, cream, sweet pea floral, and elderflower.

Immediately with the first steep of 5 seconds, the pure golden liquor was swimming in taste. Sweet pea floral and vegetal, elderflower, hay, buttered yeast roll and mineral. The liquor was fragrant, brothy and tart with an already strong, lingering sweetness. As the session progressed, the flavors amplified. More elderflower sweet-tart came forward turning into mineral lemon water. Something reminded me of vanilla sugared egg yolks and a hint of lightly drying salted almond butter. The aftertaste was strongly floral and sweet, sometimes like honey, sometimes like white sugar. I went to the post office and grocery mid-session and was gone for an hour, all the while enjoying the persistent aftertaste. Toward the end, a pleasant brassiness and citrus zest showed up in the mouth with the brothiness transforming into a thickness. One thing I noted was if allowed to cool, the butteriness and some astringency became prominent. I was reminded of movie theater popcorn butter flavoring. I would recommend a strainer for this tea since it seems some of the delicate leaf disintegrates with boiling water.

Overall, I’m really digging this tea. It has such a complex and deep profile and strength in aroma and taste while remaining bright. Too sweet of an aftertaste for me to be a daily drinker but I’d like to keep some on hand.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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