Alrighty, I’m back with a new series of reviews. This one, like virtually every other review I have posted lately, comes from my backlog. To be a little more specific, this was one of my sipdowns from October, a month in which I didn’t really drink a ton of tea. This also seems to be a tea that only I liked. Yunnan Sourcing’s Bai Ji Guan seems to draw mixed reviews here on Steepster, but I seem to be the person who consistently likes it from year to year. I enjoyed this one greatly.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 13 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of mushroom, hay, grass, golden raisin, and cedar. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted carrot, roasted almond, rose, custard, dandelion, and longan. The first infusion introduced aromas of spinach, turnip greens, and burdock. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of hay, grass, dandelion, cream, rose, butter, longan, custard, golden raisin, roasted almond, and roasted carrot that were chased by hints of turnip greens, spinach, and burdock. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of Asian pear, apricot, roasted chestnut, orange zest, baked bread, plum, and coriander. Stronger and somewhat more immediate notes of turnip greens, burdock, and spinach appeared as did belatedly emerging cedar and mushroom notes. New impressions of minerals, straw, roasted chestnut, apricot, Asian pear, vanilla, baked bread, dandelion greens, plum, orange zest, apple, honey, coriander, and lemon zest also appeared alongside brothy umami notes. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized mineral, hay, grass, roasted carrot, orange zest, umami, roasted almond, turnip green, and spinach notes that were balanced by hints of longan, lemon zest, mushroom, Asian pear, honey, cream, butter, coriander, and roasted chestnut.

This was a very interesting and complex tea, but it was also very approachable and drinkable. I found the texture of this offering’s liquor to be firmer and more defined than that of the spring 2016 offering. I know I have said it before, but I enjoyed this tea greatly. It should once again be noted, however, that my takes on Yunnan Sourcing’s Bai Ji Guan seem to be very different and consistently more positive than those of the majority of other reviewers, so any interested parties might want to take my high recommendation of this tea with a large grain of salt.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Carrot, Cedar, Chestnut, Coriander, Cream, Custard, Dandelion, Fruity, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Pear, Plums, Raisins, Rose, Spinach, Straw, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal

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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