Hu Zai 8 Immortals

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong
Flavors
Bitter, Bread, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Graham Cracker, Milk, Orchid, Tannic, Yeast
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
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From Hugo Tea Company

NOTES— GRAHAM CRACKER | SOURDOUGH | TANNIC
HU ZAI 8 IMMORTALS is a dancong oolong made on Hu Zai mountain, a name locals use for a specific hillside of Wudong Shan in the Phoenix mountains of Chaozhou, Guangdong, China. This production is of ba xian cultivar tea trees—"eight immortals", a Taoist reference to the supposed 8 original varietals of tea plant used to make dancong. Mysticism (always) aside, there are relatively few dancong producers not making ba xian—it’s hardy growing, popular in the domestic market, and has an unchallenging flavor profile perfect for newcomers to the genre.

This lot comes to us from the Cai family at Hu Zai tea farm, a midsize organic operation churning out dancong standards in the old world style. The trees used are middle-aged, around 70-80 years old. HU ZAI 8 IMMORTALS undergoes classic dancong styling (pluck, controlled whither, hand-roll, and baked to dry) with a slightly heavier bruise that imparts a pronounced “cong wei” (a woodsy quality in older tree dancong and yancha). More highly oxidized than Cai’s duck shit, their eight immortals is user-friendly but packed with enough cha qi to keep dancong regulars on their toes through a session.

Most dancong lots drop from August through October, when spring productions have been rested and are ready for fresh post-production roasting. Because what’s left of this 2018 lot is not sufficient to justify another round of baking, we’re letting this tea shed its roast in favor of its inherent yeast and burnt bread crust qualities. This tea has an unchallenging, easygoing flavor profile perfect for newcomers to the genre. Expect a drying sensation when pushed with near-boiling water for 2-3 minutes, lighter sugars and graham cracker when flash steeped with slightly cooler water.

VINTAGESPRING ’18
STYLE — BA XIAN XIANG (“EIGHT IMMORTALS SCENT”)
CULTIVAR — BA XIAN
REGIONCHAOZHOU, GUANGDONG, CHINA
LOCALE — HU ZAI TEA FARM
ELEVATION — 900 METERRS
PRODUCERCAI FAMILY
NOMENCLATURE — BA ( 八)—"EIGHT" | XIAN (仙)—"IMMORTAL" | XIANG (香)—"SCENT"

STEEPING PARAMETERS
(use freshly boiled spring water)

modern, large format
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]

5 grams — 195°F (90°C) — 2 minutes

traditional, small format
[150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]

6 grams — 200°F (93°C) — 15 seconds (no rinse)
+10 seconds each additional steep

About Hugo Tea Company View company

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1 Tasting Note

1708 tasting notes

I hesitated when this one was initially released because “sourdough”=something probably heady and astringent or drying by dancong standards. I still wanted to try it though, and decided to take the sample. The Hu Zai duck was immense with crystalized minerals and sweet, ripe longan in a fruity and intensive liquor. This one, on the other hand, was a lot more toned down and creamy.

I should have expected that since Ba Xians usually are more mellowed out anyway. Brewing it up no rinse, the aroma was really nice and was on the milky floral spectrum, bordering between iris, maybe orchid, and lily. I poured a little sip after 20 ish seconds, and sugar floral cream was in my cup, no drying qualities yet. After I settled for the full 2 minutes, the cup produced the sourdough buttery bread quality with only a hint astringency. I can kinda see graham cracker, but maybe in the bready aftertaste. The tannin pops through more too in a drying way.

It only lasted three next steeps, with the short ones being more floral and creamy, while the last longer one was thin, bready, tannic, and somewhat bitter. I like the Duck more, but I like this one is not as abrasive. I think this one is better gong fu based on this session. We’ll see what I get in the future. I like it and I’m going to rate it in the future.

Flavors: Bitter, Bread, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Graham Cracker, Milk, Orchid, Tannic, Yeast

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