Thursday, March 24, 2011
2004 (A) Xiao Bing From Camellia Sinensis
Much has been said about the famous Canadian tea company Camellia Sinensis from other tea bloggers. Something Smuggled In has claimed that that their aged oolong selection is worth checking out while Marshal'N reeled about the exorbitant prices they charge for their puerh. So it was nice to receive a sample from a fellow tea friend in town, to see what their puerh is all about. This sample comes from a shang xiao bing and is one of their more pricey offerings.
The small dry leaves offers of a wonderful aroma of very sweet creamy apricot in a soft tobacco base. These leaves are rinsed in the very early hours of the morning and the tea session commences.
The first infusion contains juicy creamy slight tobacco that evolves into apricot and mushrooms in the mouth all over top a very malty sweet caramel base. The aftertaste produces a fruity sweetness.
The second infusion initially presents a cool menthol start that quickly transforms into juicy mushroom and creamy pasty sweetness. These flavours evolve into a creamy, slightly sour, mushroom taste. The mouthfeel is such that the whole mouth is a dry tart which plays more at the front but still hits the back and the upper throat nicely. The qi flows into the lower abdomen these first infusions.
In the third infusion sweet malty wood notes present up front before stretching into a slightly soapy floral taste. The aftertaste is dry and woody after a while it has a faint tobacco feel to it.
The fourth infusion has a lively spiciness in its profile of light malty apricot. That malty sweetness returns in the aftertaste.
The fifth infusion looses most of that lively spiciness but is still packed full of juicy malty sweetness. The chaqi of this tea is very energizing and shows little signs of any harshness. There is a slight warm feeling even in its youth.
In the sixth and seventh infusions a wood and peach flavour emerges and is quite noticeable and enjoyable. It presents upfront with the previous notes of malted sweetness. The aftertaste finishes with a fruity, woody, and almost tobacco taste on the breath. The chaqi is warming, friendly, and slightly drying.
In the eighth, infusion woody tastes now seem to overtake the fruity notes with the sweetness still quite apparent. In the ninth infusion wood predominates.
This tea is taken for a few very long steeps and somewhat flat fruity tastes are revealed. The mouthfeel still nicely stimulates the mouth and throat.