I’ve noticed that I have been reviewing more flavored teas and tea blends lately. That’s not a bad thing, but I started posting reviews in an effort to highlight the various unflavored teas that I had been drinking. So, with that in mind, I decided to get back to work on unflavored teas. Expect more straight tea reviews in the near future.
This green tea is what I hope will be the start of me getting back to doing more straight tea reviews. I have been drinking this off and on for the last week. It is a nice tea to unwind with in the afternoon. Since the name really does not tell us much about the tea itself, allow me to state that this is a San Bei Xiang from Ningde in Fujian Province, China.
I prepared this tea using a three step Western infusion. I started with a 2 minute steep in 8 ounces of 170 F water. I followed this infusion with 2 additional infusions at 2.5 minutes and 3 minutes respectively.
Prior to infusion, I noted that the dry tea leaves produced a mild, slightly smoky vegetal aroma. After infusion, the light yellow tea liquor produced a mild, pleasant aroma that reminded me of a combination of pine, grass, hay, straw, and corn husk with a slight floral undertone that reminded me a little of squash blossoms. In the mouth, I picked up notes of grass, hay, straw, pine, smoke, and corn husk. There was a very subtle sweetness on the finish that I couldn’t quite place. The second infusion produced a similarly colored liquor with a simultaneously fruitier and nuttier aroma. In the mouth, I noted more pronounced notes of grass, hay, straw, and corn husk joined by lemon, chestnut, sea salt, and a hint of minerals. The final infusion produced a light yellow liquor with a subtle aroma that put me in mind of a combination of minerals, lemon, sea salt, and corn husk. In the mouth, there were fleeting, indistinct notes of minerals, sea salt, lemon, grass, hay, straw, chestnut, and corn husk.
Prior to trying this tea, I was not familiar with San Bei Xiang. The information provided by the merchant seems to suggest that this is a straight-ahead tea, and I found that to be very accurate. This is not the kind of tea one would really want or need to dig into and analyze. It’s more of a pleasant daily drinker. In that respect, it succeeds quite easily. It is the sort of green tea that doesn’t excite me much, but if I were to be in the mood for something mild, pleasant, and soothing, I could see myself reaching for this one again.
Flavors: Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grass, Hay, Lemon, Mineral, Pine, Salt, Smoke, Squash Blossom, Straw