This review marks another Dancong sipdown. Prior to trying this tea, I was wholly unfamiliar with Ba Xian Dancong. I was aware that Ba Xian was popularly referred to as “Eight Immortals,” but aside from that tidbit, I could not tell any of you anything else about it. It took a couple days to grow on me, but for the most part, my first impression of this type of Dancong oolong was thoroughly positive. I found this to be a mellow, aromatic, and flavorful tea with more than enough complexity and depth to satisfy.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced curious aromas reminiscent of flowers and stone fruits. After the rinse, I was able to pick out somewhat clearer aromas of orchid and some emerging scents that were simultaneously citrusy and vegetal, yet I still could not place the stone fruit aromas. The first proper infusion brought out touches of pear, magnolia, and jasmine on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered pleasant notes of orchid and magnolia on the entry that were quickly balanced by impressions of pear, peach, and lychee before a subtle grassiness emerged on the finish. Subsequent infusions brought out hints of jasmine in the mouth and a little more pronounced grassiness. New impressions of apple, almond, lemon, orange zest, violet, orange blossom, plum, honeydew, and minerals also appeared. The later infusions retained subtle impressions of minerals backed by fleeting notes of pear, grass, citrus, almond, violet, and a belatedly emerging maltiness.
An interesting and satisfying Dancong oolong, I could not find much to fault about this one. For me, it ended up being an exceptional introduction to Ba Xian-I am now looking forward to trying at least one or two more in the coming year. Though the leaves in my gaiwan were not as long and intact as those in the photographs provided by Yunnan Sourcing/Yunnan Sourcing US, I would not display much hesitation in recommending this tea to anyone curious about some of the less heralded Dancongs.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Jasmine, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Violet