drank Bai Rui Xiang by Tea Urchin
106 tasting notes

A treat for turkey day! Super excited to try this, I cracked open the sample bag to unearth leaves that were not quite tall, but dark AND handsome, in addition to smelling like cocoa and burnt sugar and tantalizing danger to my wallet (we’ll keep this little encounter a secret from the SO, haha).

I started off hitting this with boiling water, which was a mistake. It was delicious nonetheless, with a strong mineral roast flavor across the spectrum, high and low, along with lingering sweet caramel afternotes and a bread-y flavor that ended in an intense dance of orchid bouquet flavors that accompanied each exhale, but was very strong on the roast bitterness and much improved when I switched to 180 F halfway through the session.

The lower temp water brings out an AMAZINGLY buttery slick, creamy mouthfeel along with a decadently rich honey and orchid flavored body and a distinct peach fruit aftertaste, well balanced and accentuated throughout by the now calmer, subtler roast.

There is astringency and bitterness to this tea, particularly at the start where I hit it with (I realize now) much too hot water and the roast stood out strongly, but it is well balanced throughout and I feel complements the underlying flavors, helping them to stand out rather than detract.

The mouthfeel, as mentioned before, is a lovely creamy slickness that coats the throat steadily across sips and brings out a nectar sweetness in the throat that slowly shifts to a more mineral, sugar sweetness and even a surprising subtle menthol cooling quality as it dies. It and the bright peach notes were the highlight of this tea for me.

The energy on this one was excellent and strong, I could feel it rushing to my head by steep 3 and it steadily built over the session in a very invigorating (but calm) way. It fades fast in flavor intensity after steep 10, but those 10 steeps are bursting with flavor and an intoxicating ride, definitely a great way to prepare for the food prep and festivities to follow today.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t break my wallet when it does get released, ^^;.

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Creamy, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Orchid, Peach, Roasted, Sugarcane

7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Favorite Tea Type: Darker oolong and sheng puerh

Rating Scale:

90-100: Amazing. Will buy and keep on hand all the time if finances and circumstances allow.

80-89: Strong argument for keeping it around all the time, even more than the prospect of trying more new tea. It’s that good.

70-79: Pretty solid. Glad I tried it, several factors that were unique or that I highly enjoyed.

60-69: Nothing that stands out for the most part, but with a quality or two that speaks to me.

50-59: Fairly run of the mill, pleasant but not much more to be said.

40-49: Something here is off putting in an otherwise decent tea.

30-39: There are a few things wrong with this tea. I did not enjoy.

20-29: Disliked this, could maybe see something, some redeeming quality in it others might find worth drinking without spitting back out.

10-19: Begin to question whether any tea is actually, in fact, better than no tea.

0-9: This causes actual food poisoning.



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