Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Life In Teacup, Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong
It is from Southern Fujian, made with the same tea cultivar as for Wuyi Qi Lan. However, this tea is nothing similar but everything different from Wuyi Qi Lan. It has gentle yet long lasting orchid fragrance from dry leaves to several infusions later.
Sample provided by Life In Teacup
First off, I usually don't list the price unless the tea is very expensive or is quite a bargain. If this tea turns out to be tasty then it is in the category of quite a bargain.
The sample is vacuum packed. There is no English on it except the little sticker Gingko at Life In Teacup put on it. Inside the leaf is sealed in a plastic wrapper. Removing it allowed the tightly rolled leaf to slightly expand.
The dry leaf is much darker than I expected. I thought it would be green rather than brown. The scent I can't describe except to say it smells very fresh and alive, like sticking your face into green plants. It is not grassy. It is more vine-like.
I used half the sample - I'm guessing 3.5g. I heated the water to 195 F because I wasn't sure and steeped for 2 minutes. Ginkgo uses only 30s on the first steep and you can see from the picture how light is the color of her liquor. Mine is more golden. The wet leaf is only partially relaxed and has an even deeper vine-like fragrance.
The taste is again difficult to describe. I can taste some very light notes of roasting which is the only similarity I am getting to any Wuyi I have tried. There is an almost pineapple element in the taste. The two combine to give it an earthy quality. A floral fragrance is also making itself known mid sip. Often oolongs, especially tieguanyin have what I call a geranium taste - others who don't care for it have called it latex. Here the floral fragrance is more subdued. Life In Teacup says this is a gentle orchid fragrance. I know nothing about the fragrance of orchids but if this is it then it is wonderful. This ends with a sweet aftertaste.
I love teas that leave me befuddled to describe. This is such a tea. It is green and earthy. It's fruity. Kind of floral and kind of roasty but not too. Sorry folks that is the best I can do. At the price I suggest you just get some and experience it for yourself.
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