The first tea I tried was Ba Xian. This one was really chosen at random because I did not know where to start quite honestly. I wanted to take some time to tell the story about each of these teas. I am so excited for the opportunity to review these that I want to make sure I pay proper tribute to each of them.
What is Ba Xian?Ba Xian, otherwise known as the eight immortals, grows in only a handful of villages in Wu Dong and it is not mass produced. Ba Xian has a very complex aromatic profile, with 53 distinct aromatic molecules. That means that it is almost impossible to identify all of the different scents and it is very possible that different people will notice different components. The tea is known for its fruit and flower sweetness that dominates the flavor profile. If you want to get really technical, the flavor at work here is the White Magnolia, which is very easy to notice in the scent.
What Does Ba Xian Taste Like?This tea seemed to be lighter than most of the Oolongs I have tasted in the past. It has some subtle floral notes that hang on towards the end. I actually describe the taste as slightly peachy. For some reason, I have this thing where black tea tastes a bit like apricot to me and I think that is what is going on here. It is definitely noticeable if you really pay attention to the flavors. The other thing I really noticed is that the flavor is a bit more tart than other oolongs. While the beginning is crisp and refreshing, there are some lingering notes that hang on to the roof of my mouth. That is what sets this apart I believe. If you want to really get technical with the taste, about 90% of it comes from the roof of your mouth, when usually most teas are more noticeable on the tongue. The traditional Oolong flavor (which I have described as being reminiscent of warm toast) is still there but it is hidden. You can still expect it towards the end. I guess my one recommendation with this is to include a little more leaves than you normally would. With oolong, I tend to err on the side of caution so I don't end up with a giant pot full of leaves that looks like a salad when I’m done. This time, the taste was a bit subtle at first until I added a few extra leaves to the pot.
Overall, I really like this tea. It definitely has a lot more dimension than some of the other Oolongs I am used to. I am used to experiencing only one flavor when I have some lower quality oolongs and with this, I notice at least 3 all at the same time.