Usually I order teas from William based on samples. When I found this Daxueshan on his website, I ordered 100g witout sampling. Somehow I've got the feeling that I can't go wrong with Daxueshan (1,2,3) if ordered from a reputable source. This assumption was strongly affirmated today.
Dry leaves are (guess what) ... beautifully healthy looking, olive green with lots of silvery shine to them. Pressed not too tightly, they separate without any perceivable damage. Their fragrance is fresh and flowery-fruity. There is none of the minty coolness I have come to expect from Daxueshan teas.
|Do you feel tempted to take a bite? I did (well, felt tempted - didn't really sink my teeth into the bing)|
Once the leaves are rinsed, their fragrance transforms into a surprise: crema di balsamico! As they cool down, the fruity fragrance changes into a more refined herbally impression, reminding me of both the Tengzi and Daxueshan which William offered back in 2012.
|The light wasn't very good when I took this pic. Actually the tea looked much greener.|
First infusion - light colour, quite green. Even for a sheng so young I was expecting more yellow. My nose is confused: neither balsamico nor Tengzi-like herbalness found before. Now it is slightly salty, like a breath of ocean air. Next is taste: slightly herbal, refreshing cool. Seemed to be such a pretty, dainty, neat tea of the extremely young type. But this is the real stuff - a grown-up tea despite its young age.
The next infusions turn out a bit darker, more yellow. Perhaps it is a bit more fullbodied now, with a hint of salt. Herbalness is less pronounced, taste is interesting, with slight hints of a Jinggu characteristic (always reminding of chewing gum that has been chewed out of any added flavours) which is faint enough to be intriguing instead of repelling. So the taste is somewhere between spring meadows next to thawing glaciers on one side and crashing ocean waves on the other hand ... but it doesn't get my full attention. That is given to mouthfeel and mood. Roof of mouth, gums, tongue, throat are pulsing with a sensation of cooling. But while sometimes lingering on aftertaste and mood makes me feel drowsy, today I am vitalized, invigorated.
This is how the tea marches on over the next infusions. Cool, fresh, vitalizing. After 11 infusions I transfer the leaves to a matcha bowl - now leasurely enjoying this tea in Grandpa Style. The only drawback I have found in this tea: I have to lengthen brewing times quite early. So Grandpa Style seems a natural choice in the later state of the leaves. Even without any gongfu, the pleasantly cooling effect still kicks in.
Well, as mentioned further above: this tea is really a good choice for a fan of Daxueshan teas like me. The biggest surprise to me is the fact that this tea is described as being "processed rather green" - something I am not overly fond of usually.
This tea is not a frilly-fragile affair of flowers, it is BIG (Da 大)
Its cooling properties remind me of ocean spray and ice ... close enough to SNOW (Xue 雪)
And now I leave it up to you to figure out how the MOUNTAIN (Shan 山) fits in - while I sit back, relax and enjoy my tea with a cooling soundtrack provided by Solstafir.