Good Mingnan Oolong tea from Pinghe, Fujian, China. Mid-grade quality. Very good as an introduction to the oolong world.
White Orchid - Bai Ya Qi Lan - Mingnan Oolong
Harvest time: Spring 2021
Terroir: Da Qin Shan
Altitude: 1500 m
Cultivar / Tree: Bai Ya Qi Lan
Roasting / Oxidation: medium
Further information: it is not a rock tea but a Mingnan Oolong
Bai Ya Qi Lan (Baiya Qilan) belongs to the category of oolong teas and is produced in Pinghe County in Fujian Province. According to legend, during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty (1735-1795), a special tea tree grew at the "water fountain" at the foot of Da Qin Mountain Pinghe County. The newly sprouted buds and leaves were white and green. So the fresh leaves were picked to make oolong tea. It was found that the tea had a special orchid scent, so the tea tree was named "Bai Ya Qi Lan (White Bud Orchid)" and the Oolong tea made was also called "Bai Ya Qi Lan". It has been grown by asexual reproduction for over 250 years.
This Bai Ya Qi Lan was picked and made in Da Qin Shan, Pinghe County. It was medium oxidized and burned with charcoal at low heat. which explains the warm and creamy smell like roasted chestnuts (in a warm gaiwan / mug). The tea tastes sweet, fruity and mineral.
Aroma of dry leaves: nutty like chestnuts, roasty and a little smoky like roasted chestnut skin.
Aroma of wet leaves: very fruity like peach, Pomelo and some other citrus fruits, roasty like chestnuts, flowery like some tropical flowers
When one use 8g for 150ml water of 95°C and brew the tea for 30 seconds, it has zero bitterness and medium astringency. It feels smooth in the mouth but the liquid is a bit thin or medium thin.
Tastes: very sweet like some tropical fruits, subtle citrus sour at the back of the tongue, very mineral especially after 3rd infusion
In a nutshell, the good points of this tea is that it tastes very fruity, sweet and mineral; the downside of the tea is that one feels the dryness on top of the tongue after drinking and a little prickling feeling like after drinking a tea made of the skin of some citrus fruits.
Tasting Notes from a Tea Friend Who Tried White Orchid or a Rock Tea for the first time:
“The dry tea leaves smell smoky and roasted, reminiscent of coffee, but there is also a slight freshness like that of moss. The overall aroma is nutty and very round and soft. "
“Dry and tart. The roasted note is much more subtle than the mere smell, but the nutty accent is much stronger. Really "golden" and clear. In retrospect, a very light, sweet note remains on the tongue. "
How long should this tea brew?
Depending on whether you like the tea western style in a large jug prepare or in the traditional "Gong Fu style" you should pay attention to clearly different brewing times:
- For example, if you brew a liter of oolong, you should use the tea about 3-4 minutes to let go. If it pulls even longer, it becomes correspondingly more intense. It's best to use 2-3 teaspoons of tea leaves for this amount of water.
- Do you choose the preparation Gong Fu style In a gaiwan or a small clay pot (yixing) you should let the tea steep for a much shorter time. As you know, you pour away the first infusion. For the second infusion, a guideline value of approx. 20-30 seconds. The amount of tea you add is, however, much higher! Use approx. 8g on approx. 150ml tea! Due to the short steeping time, the tea does not become too strong. The aroma and intensity of the taste is overwhelming. Can you see the different nuances?
Please note that the tea comes in different packaging, but the inside is the same White Orchid (Bai Ya Qi Lan)