Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bai Hao and Wu Ling

Today hasn't been the best day to drink tea because I've been getting my room ready to be painted, but I now have a chance to try another tea. This is another tea thanks to Salsero.

'05 Bai Hao from Dragon Teahouse
I used 8g of leaf in a gaiwan, and after a rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 60s, 120s.

The leaves after the rinse smell like a combination of red tea, and that purple oolong. Thankfully, it doesn't taste like the purple oolong. It's like a red tea with kind of a grainy and woody taste. it leaves kind of a malty and grainy aftertaste. The following infusions where pretty much the same.

Not bad. It has a kind of flavor I would describe as "refreshing." It may be blasphemous to say this, but I think it would make an excellent iced tea.

'06 Summer Formosa Wu Ling from teafromtaiwan.com
I had a little more free time than I thought, so I'll try another tea. This next one is a light oolong which isn't exactly my favorite kind of tea, but after smelling the leaves, I couldn't wait to try it. Before, I mostly noticed a grainy and buttery aroma in the leaves, but now, I notice gingerbread in the aroma.

Now, how to brew it? Since it's a light oolong, it should either be brewed with cooler water and normal times, or boiling water, and shorter times. Using Boiling water makes a couple good infusions, but then makes it hard to brew the tea without cooking the leaves. And I just have no clue what temperature to use if I use cooler water. Hmmmmmmmmm.

I'll take my chances with cooler water. I heated the water untill the bubbles got large, and just started getting rapid. I decided I would pull out the thermometer to find out how hot the water is just for the purpose of blogging about the tea. It was almost exactly 85C.

I used 7g of leaf in a gaiwan, and after a very quick rinse, I brewed it for 30s, 30s, 45s, 60s, 120s, and one long infusion.

1: Putting the leaves in a heated gaiwan brought out a stronger, green tea like scent, with gingerbread and butter. Then after a rinse, a stronger vegetal aroma came out. The tea itself smells very green tea like, with gingerbread. It tastes like a green tea with gingerbread, and shortbread.
2: The aroma of the tea is mostly a green tea like scent. It tastes very similar to green anji from Adagio. Buttery and vegetal. Gingerbread is very faint in the light aftertaste.
3: Gingerbread has returned in the aroma. The tea tastes the same as last infusion, with an added minty type bitterness.
4: It's starting to lose the smooth sweetness, but gingerbread came back in the flavor.
5: A light grainy flavor. A flavor I have found to be common as lightly oxidized teas start dying. Although, some gingerbread is still present.
6: Light, minty astringency.

Surprisingly good. It's not the kind of tea that blows you away with complexity, it just has a very simple, but pleasant flavor. Light oolongs aren't exactly my favorite kind of tea, but this one seems to be an exception. Maybe it has to do with the gingerbread flavor. This is the first tea that I noticed a gingerbread taste in.

/me waits for Salsero to read his and laugh at me for saying that I actually enjoyed a tea that was secretly scented.


Salsero said...

I really like your butter and gingerbread analogies. I think they show real insight into this tea. It certainly helps me understand it better.


Hobbes said...


I've been reading your blog daily for quite a while, but thought it high time I sent a note of thanks for the great articles. I appreciate the detail that you provide, and the wide range of accurate tasting notes. I notice that I've a few notes on some of your more recent teas, and look forward to comparing the two.

Thanks again, and toodlepip,