24 May, 2007

2006 Oriental Beauty

Whilst at the conference, I snapped this tea-related photograph just as I was about to leave for breakfast. It looks as if someone is having a sip of morning tea on his own... (click to enlarge)

Having returned late, this evening, a brief of a tea that typically doesn't require too much attention is in order: an Oriental Beauty. This is from TeaCuppa - thanks to Lisa.

Baihao [white tip] or Dongfangmeiren [Oriental Beauty], I'm sticking with its actual name in the English (as before).

Caledonian Springs @ 90C in 10cl hongcha pot; 3-4g of leaf; 1 rinse

Dry leaf:
Whole and small. Some fully oxidised, some very green, some tan-brown, some pure, white tips. Quite a display, as one would hope from Oriental Beauty. The aroma is quiet, and is the typical malty, wild-flower aroma.

15s, 15s, 30s:
You'll notice that this tea only ran for three infusions. The opening infusion is where the action is: it's quite an acrobatic tea. The beidixiang is a definite, unmistakeable cinnamon current-bun, much like the Xinzhu County OB from Teamasters. A tangible flip occurs after a few breaths into a deep, sour (and pleasant) lengxiang. It's a hard-working aroma.

The initial flavour was similar exerting: very sweet in the foretaste, with no real body, but finishing in a striking huigan of cinnamon currant-buns. The texture was smooth, from the tippiness, but there was no observable chaqi, or any remarkable patience.

After the first infusion, the earlier acrobatic qualities had clearly exhausted the tea, as it was simple hongcha by the third infusion (though not unpleasant).

Wet leaves:
Amazing. As they fell out into the chahe, I did a "double take" - are these leaves really two-tip-and-a-bud? Rather a surprise. The entire tea is from a particularly good grade.

Given the clearly good grade of leaf, it was a real surprise that this tea showed so little endurance. In the first infusion, it was dramatic and pleasing (though lacked body). This rapidly decreased in the second, then vanished by the third.

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