Sunday, August 7, 2011

2008 Xiaguan Baoyan Jincha

I'm almost finished with my 2008 Xiaguan Baoyan Jincha. Will I buy more of it? It's hard to say. Smoke, leather, and brown sugar are all that I can taste in the tea, with the later infusions taking on a sweet grainy taste. But honestly, I can't taste an overwhemingly difference between the jincha and Xiaguan's offering of their iron cakes which are priced cheaper at http://www.jas-etea.com/products/-2009-Xiaguan-Yellow-Crane-Iron-Cake-Pu%252derh-Tea-%252d-357g-Raw.html and for more product at 357 grams vice 250 grams.
Perhaps due to the warmer weather with temperatures reaching in the 100's, my tastes aren't inclined to the smoky, leathery teas and I'm finding them a tad overwhelming. Whatever the reason, this jincha is made with the same formula as Xiaguan's Baoyan brick (at least I think it is because of the "Holy Flame" moniker), but it just doesn't taste quite the same. The "Holy Flame" Baoyan bricks that I do own taste like mulled cider with hints of wood and the leaves are tinged with a beautiful rust brown at the tips due to the oxidation process. Perhaps it's due to the lighter compression with the bricks, or the increased surface area, or even because I've had them longer and more exposed to Virginia's humid climate that they've aged more than the jincha. But I'm still not in the mood for them just yet.
What I am in the mood for, and a lot of it, is the Ti Kuan Yin oolong. With its lightly nutty and vegetal taste, it's bridging the gap between a green tea and a strict black tea. But I still doubt I'll buy more than 100 grams at a time considering I've got several bings and bricks of spring harvest sheng pu'er to go through!
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