10 August, 2007

2007 Xizihao "Longfeng"

The "Longfeng" [dragon pheonix] is one of the more inexpensive 2007 Xizihao bing, whose name (in Chinese culture) brings to mind the union of opposites. At the wedding ceremony, dragon-and-phoenix symbology abound regarding man-and-wife. I wonder if this dualism is intentional for this cake, or whether they were picked simply because they sounded poetic. The jury is still out on this one.

Brita-filtered water @ 100C in 12cl shengpu pot; ~8-9g leaf; 1 rinse

Dry leaf:

Tight compression. The leaves are apparently from Hekai Village, in Menghai County The product page claims that it is made from 2-leaves-1-bud systems, and while quite a few can be discerned, it is mostly filler leaf. The aroma is sweet and dark, very strong, and exceedingly pleasant. What a perfume!

3s, 5s, 7s, 9s, 12s:
A dark-gold soup. The tips impart a certain smoothness to the texture which is absent in the other cakes.

This cakes starts out muted and low, with a straight, honest pu'er flavour that I rather enjoy. Later infusions see the sweetness increase, to the point where it is tasting like a rustic honey. A touch of citrus lives about the edge, and the yunxiang [aroma after swallowing] is buttery, akin to gaoshan wulong.

By the fifth infusion, the tea has turned a corner, and fades rapidly (though in a controlled fashion).

Wet leaf:
Mulch, with some spring tips. A few dark leaves, must mostly a sea of bitty, green fragments.

Not as much to my liking as the 8582, it is fairly decent. This is definitely Division Two tea, compared to the quality of leaves used in the expensive pair of cakes. Rough honey, tangy, quite enjoyable. It's one of those rustic, tobacco-esque numbers. I quite enjoyed the rolling huigan, too.

August, 2013

This seems to be yet another cake that I have not tried since buying it.  I recall being anxious about spending what was then £23 on a cake.  These days, even the most basic would cost around that price.

It is dark, now, and has a delightfully low and rich aroma.  Zidu [purple belly], my teapot, gleams in anticipation.  The scent really is rather delicious.  The small, fragmented leaves appear most appealing.

The dragon-and-phoenix motif usually signifies the coming together of two opposing principles - typically the masculine and feminine, hence its frequent use as a symbol of matrimony.  In tea, it can refer to a blend of two very different, but hopefully complementary, regions.  I suspect that the cake may have aged to the point at which identification of its components will be a difficult task.

Strong, becoming orange, and woody-sweet as with many of my English-stored cakes, this bing is travelling in the right direction.  I take the second cup to my dear wife, who is gardening, and who stops to enjoy it with a complimentary sound.

The long sweetness folds into the kuwei [good bitterness] in the throat that keeps this tea interesting - and satisfying.  It endures very well; I wrote previously that it could manage only five infusions, whereas it now steams past five while remaining solidly sweet.  It is something of a success, for such a low price.


謏 約翰 said...

David, I’d like to think the use of LongFeng is intentional. I have; boy and girl twins, they are often referred to as; Dragon and Phoenix. As I encounter the use of “longfeng” it tends to a purposeful usage, not frivolous. I’ll check with my local tea aficionados and see what they say …john

MarshalN said...

Well, boy and girl twins are by definition Longfeng -- that's what we call them, longfeng tai (the longfeng birth). There isn't another term for it, afaik.

ankitlochan said...


i wish to subscribe to your blog.

can you help me do that please.


Hobbes said...

Dear John,

I look forward to hearing what the teafolks there have to say on Longfeng - I wonder if it's the tips vs. mulch duality.



Hobbes said...

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