19 April, 2007

2005 Nanjian Fenghuang Xiangbing

A fast, yet deadly, review today.

This shengpu sample was kindly provided by VL (proprietor of Tealogic) and originated from Royal Puer (TeaSpring's puer outfit). This is one of a pair of teas, the other being a 2004.

This is allegedly from young spring Wuliang-shan tea, hence the "xiang".

Method: 15cl shengpu pot; Caledonian Springs @ 100C; 1 rinse; 2 scoops of loose leaf.

Dry leaves:
2cm lengths; dark, with a few tips. A loosely-compressed section of an apparently iron-pressed (Xiaguan-style) bing. I have a strange passion for heavy compression; perhaps it's the gradual release in the pot, acting as a restraint on these energetic young leaves.

12s, 10s:
Just two infusions. Tasting was interrupted, and not resumed due to overwhelming mediocrity. I'll be less cruel to this tea in subsequent sessions.

Clear orange-yellow, with the straw-and-sugar beidixiang that one would expect from a tea with a small number of years of aging. This isn't "xiang" in any respect, excepting a little menthol in the lid-scent. [Gaixiang? Maybe I can invent a term!] Very little aroma from the leaves themselves, which is surely a questionable sign.

Quite sharp, with a touch of smoke. "I would say that it is very simple, but pleasant."

Hmm. Definitely not unpleasant. This is as crushingly average as one could get, I think, precisely straddling the boundary between "good" and "bad". If I were being kind, I would say "a daily tea". Refreshing, drinkable, but with nothing to recommend it.


Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

It could well be a blend of lincang and wuliang material, the taste is after all quite mixed... just curious does it specifically say anything about origin on the wrapper?

I too thought it was average, at best... oddly this tea makes an appearance in the "First Step To Pu-erh" by clouds; perhaps we're all missing something... (or not)


Hobbes said...

Hmm, lincang too? I can't say that I'm familiar enough with lincang to be able to say... what made you think of that in particular? I would definitely have trouble placing it as wuliang, I have to say - it's so nondescript.

Ahh... "First Steps to Puer Tea" - I was after a copy myself, but notice that Guang has sold out. Any other ideas? I'd *really* love to hear what Clouds makes of this. I'm pretty sure this cake has no depths to hide. :)



Vladimir Lukiyanov said...

Thats the point; it makes an appearance as simply a picture... actually that pretty much sums up more than half of the book, it's just pictures. The rest is mostly information that is quite openly available online. Not so useful...

I just remember hearing somewhere those were a blend of lincang and wuliang... maybe that was wrong...


Hobbes said...

Ah, perhaps not quite as urgent an addition to my shelves as I had imagined then - thanks.

I'll see if I can find some lincang in the ol' sample boxes for the sake of scientific investigation. :)