Jan 16, 2009

Xue Pian (winter tea) Ba Xian (8 immortals) Dan Cong (雪片八仙單樅)

Ah! Very fragrant. There was an emperor who commented on Bee Luo Chun (碧螺春)by calling it "frighteningly fragrant". I would call this Ba Xian "frighteningly fragrant", admiringly. Haha.

Not expensive at all. It's Dan Cong by modern concept (from single bush propagation group), not literally single bush. Thanks to modern propagation techniques.

Dry leaves:

Warm-up infusion (3 sec.). So fragrant. I drank it anyway to avoid being wasteful.

First infusion:

Second infusion:

Third infusion:

Wet leaves after 3 infusions, still tight

Tea water and wet leaves after 6 infusions

I lost track here, guess it's after 10-12 infusions.

The end. I didn't around 18-20 infusions. After about 15 infusions, it was mainly just background flavor and fragrance, but it was intensive background, with a taste of sweetness backward on the side of tongue. RS said, sweet without being sweet... hehe...

Overall the fragrance faded very, very slowly, and meantime astringency (in the nice way) picked up very, very slowly. I liked the pace of flavor change in this tea. Because I was "frightened" a bit by the intensive fragrance, I did 5-8 sec. for all first 10 infusions, and less than 15 sec. until near the end. I wasn't sure if that was optimal infusion time, just thinking shorter infusions are generally safer.

If giving some critics, I would say, the flavor and fragrance are not implicit or subtle enough. It's rather intensive and expressive. Implicitness is a very important value in Chinese aesthetics, hence in Chinese tea aesthetics. But no I won't criticize this tea. I am not tired of crazy fragrance yet and am very happy with this tea.

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