Thursday, April 16, 2009

2008 Yong Pin Hao Lan Xiang Wild Arbor

This sample was kindly sent by Hobbes and is the first infant shang peurh consumed after ones recent round of digestion problems. It's a big test but, finally those cravings are quenched. Let's see how it goes...

Looking through the plastic baggie ones eyes are already pleasured by the healthy chunk of very loosely compressed leaves, some of which are the fuzzy baby variety, others seem bigger but not too big. It looks like some very nice spring growth. The smell of these distinctly different leaves is of tobacco lost in a sweet mysterious musk.

These leaves are effortlessly freed from the chunk and stuffed into yixing where very hot water brings them to life again.

The first infusions invite soft acidic and mild bitter grapefruit-like high notes to challenge creamy woody tobacco low notes. The 'wild' natural grapefruit sourness is that which would only be expected from arbour trees. There is lots going on in the mouth with this one, but no chaos or confusion, an easy transition. In all of this there is still a certain gritty, wild, toughness about this tea that doesn't overpower, only adding to its whole. The mouthfeel is unpretentious, when given attention it deserves a nod as it does a nice job of coating fully the tongue, mouth, and throat in softness. Its cha qi is very noticeable from the first infusions on.

Middle infusions bring more creamy and tobacco and less acidic and grapefruit. Later ones fetch more sour high notes. This teas flavour is nice throughout.

This tea is a dichotomy of sorts. It is creamy and smooth yet wild and rough, a plethora of rich low notes and acidic vibrant top notes. Its mouthfeel is full but not distracting, and its energy is edgy yet smooth. Its cha qi is amazing. Ones body takes cues from this dichotomy and is nudged into balance inducing long bouts of meditation. This tea makes one glow. It doesn't seem to cause any ill affects to ones systems. Although one can sense its mild edginess nothing happens. Nothing happens...

On this gloomy day where grey skies give nothing but rain, one feels completely energized and relaxed.

As infusions push on the liquid becomes more mild and a bit minty and rubbery before not much is left of these smallish and very stemy spent leaves.


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