THESE DAYS WE ARE MOVING TO AUSTIN. NEW ORDERS WILL BE DISPATCHED ON JULY, 1. THESE DAYS WE ARE MOVING TO AUSTIN. NEW ORDERS WILL BE DISPATCHED ON JULY, 1.

Bai Rui Xiang

Some teas lead with a stunning aroma, others convince with an emergent taste. This yan cha, however, arguably belongs to a third possibility: those teas whose most remarkable quality is their texture. This is not to say it is lacking in flavor, for indeed, it has the rich, tongue-stinging sweetness of brown sugar. Yet that delicious molasses is reflected in its mouthfeel, which seems to curl around the tongue, brushing the palate with a slight astringency, before plunging down the throat. Its yan yun then wafts up with the fruitiness of juicy lychee, while the roast takes the character of fresh hazelnut. Somehow creamy, juicy, syrupy, and almost chewy, its tactile sensations offer as much of a ride as its exquisite aromatics.

  • ORIGIN:  Lianhua Feng, Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian, China
  • MEANING:  White daphne (bái rǔi xiāng)
  • CULTIVAR:  Bai Rui Xiang
  • HARVEST TIME:  28 April 2020
  • TASTE:  Brown sugar, lychee, hazelnut
  • ROASTING:  Thrice (last on 3 November 2020)
1
3 Items left
$13.00 $13.00

Preparation

IN THE TEAPOT
  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • Infusion time: 5 min
GONGFU CHA METHOD
  • Quantity: 3g / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • 4 infusions: 45, 45, 60, 90 sec

For best results in gongfu cha, brew in the traditional gaiwan or in a Yixing teapot. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.

Additional Information

Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Mount Wuyi region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys next to the cliffs in a mineral-rich soil.

Tea leaves have been processed here for at least a thousand years. From the 11th to 16th centuries, when Oolong tea was yet to be invented, there was an imperial tea farm on the mountains, producing green tea for the imperial court. Oolong production was boosted in the 17th century thanks to the great export demand from Europe. At that time, Wuyi was known in England as “Bohea,” and the tea imported from this region was labeled black tea. Note that black tea, as we know it today, was created centuries later.
Today Wuyi Yan Cha is one of the most valued teas in China. Because it has become a status symbol, many wealthy Chinese are willing to pay a fortune for it without even knowing how a proper Wuyi Yan Cha should taste. The result has been prices inflating to unjustified levels and quality often sacrificed for quantity.
Unique to the Wuyi Yan Cha is a mineral savor coming from the soil and the surrounding cliffs. Being the oolong with the highest fire finish, fresh Yan Cha may as a result be strong and pungent. Sharpness and too-prominent astringency subside upon ageing. Premium high-fire Yan Cha tastes better after a few years of storage. Use a Yixing teapot to soften the tea, should it be too astringent for your palate.
The overall taste profile is rich, complex, and deep. Depending on cultivar and environment, the mineral-roasted flavor is refined by floral, fruity, nutty, or woody accents.