Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, tightly rolled
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep orangish gold
I always look forward to seeing Zhen and Phil from Zhen Tea whenever I go to World Tea Expo. Last time around, they kindly gave me several samples of their teas that they thought I would enjoy, including this one. It’s taking some time to get them published because of my backlog. I’ve been trying to publish multiple reviews every week to start to work through that. This oolong tea hails from Dadong Mountain in Fujian, China. It was harvested in early May of 2019.
The dry leaves were fairly dark in color and tightly rolled into small balls. A bit of green was visible when I placed them under my bright photography lights. They were not quite uniform in shape but there no stems or broken pieces in my sample. The aroma was super sweet and roasty, even before they were added to my gaiwan.
I prepared this tea using Zhen Tea’s gongfu brewing recommendations, fully boiling water and a 30-second long first infusion. I then added 10 seconds for each consecutive infusion. The leaves unfurled to fill my gaiwan completely. They were much greener in appearance and I was able to see the reddish edges of oxidation.
Zhen Tea Bai Ya Qi Lan brewed up a deep orangish gold color. The taste was sweet with mellow baking spices (think cinnamon and nutmeg) and sweet potato notes. It had the same roastiness that I picked up in the dry leaves but with the faintest hint of cocoa. The mouthfeel was thick and syrupy. Later infusions brought creamy florals that complimented all of the spicy and sweet notes very well. I was able to get seven very enjoyable infusions but I found myself craving more.
Needless to say, Zhen Tea Bai Ya Qi Lan was a wonderfully delicious and comforting oolong. I can imagine brewing it outdoors on an early fall day when there is just the slightest chill in the air. Better yet, paired with a fresh-baked pastry!
Have you ever tried Zhen Tea Bai Ya Qi Lan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!