Thursday, June 18, 2009

Snowy Leaves

Tea: Snowy Leaves
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Price: $7.00 / 50g
Source: Guandong, China
Vendor Description: Oolong tea which is commonly used in Guangdong Province. The very large tea leaves picked from ladders from self-standing single tea trees characterize this tea. Rich and mellow aroma and solid taste.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea consists of large dark black leaves. There are small hues of brown and grey on the leaves, nothing out of the ordinary for a Phoenix oolong. The leaves are a moderately large size for their type, not overly large or small.

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

1st Infusion: This tea has an amazing aroma to it. It is floral, yet sweet and malty at the same time. It is very distinctively a phoenix oolong aroma, but it is not terribly refined or clear. Instead it is a broad encompassing, yet pleasant aroma. The tea itself is a beautiful brown hue. It has a sharp flavor, yet has a very smooth body to it. There is a long aftertaste and a mouth watering and warming feeling accompanying it.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 45s, 208F

2nd Infusion: This infusion has a lighter aroma, but still the same inviting floral feel to it. The flavor for this infusion is richer and bolder. It has a golden brown hue with hints of red. Again the flavor has an interesting mouth watering feel ot it. Overall it has a very bodied flavor.
3rd Infusion Parameters: 1:30, 208F

3rd Infusion: This time around the hue turned to a more golden color. The aroma has died down a bit, it is not as heavy anymore, but the floral characteristic is still readily found and it is more noticeable. The tea itself has a full body with a lighter flavor to it. The core of the flavor feels a bit empty though. It finishes nicely with a nice light sense of astringency.

4th Infusion Parameters: 2:15, 208F

4th Infusion: This infusion was lighter, but still had a rich color to it. The aroma was just noticeable at this point, with traces of the floral characteristic shining through. The flavor was richer than the 3rd infusion, with a generally intensified feel to it. This infusion felt smooth and welcoming, and left with a light sense of astringency again.

5th Infusion Parameters: 3:00, 208F

5th Infusion: This infusion had a light background aroma, nowhere near as prominent as the first few infusions. The flavor mirrored the waning aroma, in that it was much lighter and nowhere near it's previous bretheren. There was no astringency, but even in it's weakness this tea felt calming.

Rating: 10/10

Conclusion: I have been searching for different Phoenix Oolongs for a while, trying to find one more apt for daily drinking than some of the higher end ones. This seems to fit the bill quite nicely. It has a very solid and lasting flavor, with no major downsides. It is not overly cheap, nor overly expensive. It fits the bill quite nicely for a nice Phoenix oolong. This is one of my preferred Phoenix oolongs now.

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