24 November 2011

2008? Ban Tian Yao (半天腰) Wuyi Oolong

Like so many teas randomly found in small bags in the various boxes where I store samples, I cannot remember where this one came from, exactly. I can say with some certainty it came during a large yancha order as an extra sample, hence why I place the production year around 2008.

2008? Ban Tian Yao (半天腰) Wuyi Oolong - dry leaf

Just opening the bag, the tea offers a smell of roast and raisins. And upon tasting it, I felt glad that I had waited so long; whoever made this tea did a heavy high fire roast. I imagine the roast flavor even stronger two years ago.

The first two infusions offer strong flowery notes with equally strong--too strong--roast, making the florals turn toward bitter/charred flavors. Subsequently, the tea has a combination of roast and flower flavors that remind me of very "bright" coffee.

The energy of the tea and the texture are both good. It has a soupy, brothy thickness to it, something thicker than water but thinner than milk.

2008? Ban Tian Yao (半天腰) Wuyi Oolong - brewed

Eventually, the roast calms to an enjoyable level and becomes part of a complex group of flavors: grain, floral, raisin, whiskey. But this lasts for only three or four infusions before it becomes bitter and thin.

I have enough of this left to try it once or twice more, and I hope airing out the tea will alleviate some of the less desirable traits. Also, some extra brewing practice would probably help, too. I still feel my gongfu skills are rusty after brewing no gongfu teas during my last two weeks in California.

2008? Ban Tian Yao (半天腰) Wuyi Oolong - brewed leaf

1 comment:

Chinese Tea said...

I tried the 80's Ban Tian Yao cliff tea before, it is very smooth and sweet aftertaste lingers in your throat. This tea is really great and very hard to find.