Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig) 2008

Tea: Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig) Dan Cong Oolong 2008
Vendor: Seven Cups
Price: $9.40 / 50g
Source: Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province, China
Vendor Description: This tea is made from the Huang Zhi Xiang bush that has been cultivated from the oldest Dan Cong bush (700 years old). Its special character is the light gardenia aroma. This lightly oxidized tea has a light honey yellow tea color and sweet, mellow flavor. This is a great tea for new Dan Cong oolong tea drinkers because of its high fragrance, light flavor and affordable price.

Additional Vendor Information:
Tea Bush: Huang Zhi Xiang descendent from original Feng Huang Shui Xian
Tea Master: Ye Han Zhong
Harvest Time: middle of March
Picking Standard: zhong kai mian (2-3 slightly open leaves)
Brewing vessel: glass cup, gaiwan, glass or porcelain pot, yixing pot
Brewing Guidelines: 1st i
nfusion 1 Tbs per 12 oz 212F for 1 min
Infusions: at least 6 times

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is a dark almost black color. As with most Dan Cong oolong it is very light and fluffy. The leaves are large and fragile. There is not much of an aroma to the dry leaf, but it hints at the Dan Cong aroma.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 208F, 45s, 5s rinse

1st Infusion: This infusion has a very strong floral aroma. The color is a golden brown color. The aroma continues to exhibit a sweetness along with it's floral strength. There is a light and smooth flavor to the tea. It is lightly floral and lightly bodied.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 1 min, 208F

2nd Infusion: This infusion has a more golden hue than the first. The aroma again is both sweet and floral. The flavor is very smooth to the tongue, it has a very light bitterness that leaves a very clean feeling. It is relaxing and has a very light sense of astringency.

3rd Infusion Parameters: 1:30, 208F

3rd Infusion: This infusion had the same color as the second infusion. The aroma is not quite as floral anymore. It is still very light, airy and sweet. There is less flavor, but it feels thicker this time. The infusion finishes with a light sense of astringency.

4th Infusion Parameters: 2:00, 208F

4th Infusion: This infusion is a more amber brown color. The aroma is thick and rich. The tea itself is lighter in flavor and less bodied. The flavor is more centered to the core of the flavor and centered on the middle of the tongue. There is a medium sense of astringency to this infusion. It has slight pings of bitterness at the edges of the flavor.

5th Infusion Parameters: 3:30, 208F

5th Infusion: This infusion is a lighter amber color. The aroma is sweet and creamy with a certain thickness to it. The flavor feels emptier than before, but retains the late portion of the flavor. There is a medium sense of bitterness accompanying the flavor.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: Hands down this is quite a good Dan Cong Oolong. It is not the best one that I have had, but at a price under $10 for 50g it feels like quite a bargain. It produced 5 very solid infusions, and possibly could have gone for more. Thank you very much to Jessica over at Authoritea for the sample of this tea.


Pat Canella said...

Quite a thorough test and review! Tell me, why does steeping at different intervals and multiple times change the taste? I can tell it does but I don't know the "science" behind it. Send me an email and let me know, teacastfans@gmail.com!

Eric said...

Different intervals change the taste because as you infuse a tea different chemicals come out of the leaves at different rates. So the parts responsible for one flavor in your tea may come out faster than the other. So for a faster chem, the first few steeps will show it. Later steeps won't show this as it will have already been pulled from the leaves. The different infusions show the different characteristics. The infusion time varies to get a more uniform intensity cup out of each infusion. The later you get into different steeps it takes longer to bring out the equivalent flavor.