Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yunnan Sourcing's Tribute Grade Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun White Tea

Yunnan Sourcing's Description
Pure buds picked in the earliest spring harvest. The buds are small and uniform in size and shape. The tea is processed much like white tea and is incredibly aromatic and fresh with hints of sugarcane and fruit, but with a thick vegetal sweetness that enlivens the mouth and throat.

My thoughts
I was looking through past posts here and noticed a distinct lack of white tea. For whatever reason, I don't drink very much white tea even though I like it just as well as any other type. I do tend to keep a lot fewer white (and green) teas on hand as compared to black and puerh, simply due to the fact that they don't keep fresh nearly as long as other types. This is one I received in YS's tea club last month.

I'm not entirely sure what "tribute grade" means, but I assume it's a grade of tea that falls somewhere in between one you'd offer to a king or emperor as a sign of respect, and one you'd serve to Galactus so he doesn't eat your planet. Either way, I'm guessing that this tea will be a good one.

Dry leaves - The fuzzy leaves are fairly uniform in size and color, and twisted into loose curls. The silvery-green leaves emit a wonderful sweet vegetal/fruity aroma.

Brewing parameters - 176F, 8s first, +4s after. Continuing with the gong fu trend I've been in here.

Tasting notes - Sweet, sugarcane, fruity, cooked spinach, buttery, rose

Steeps 1-3 start off with a very thick, sweet, buttery mouthfeel with notes of cane sugar and fresh fruit. You know the smell of a farmer's market in the late spring when everyone's selling apples and pears and peaches? That's the fruitiness of this tea. It's not so much the taste of fruit as it is the aroma of the fruit that comes across in this tea. I have no idea if that made any sense or not, but screw it I'm going with it.

Steeps 4-7 are lighter and more vegetal and less sweet, with hints of cooked spinach taking the lead now. The fruitiness is still there and hasn't changed much from earlier steeps, but it is joined by a mild rose florality that really balances the tea out.

By steeps 8-11, the thick buttery mouthfeel has faded entirely and is mostly just a sweet lightly fruity and floral broth.

Overall, this is an excellent white tea, and certainly more flavorful that many other white teas I've had. The fruitiness in this tea is what really sets it apart for me, and it is definitely worth your time if you're a fan of lighter teas.

You can buy this tea from Yunnan Sourcing here and here.

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