1996 Xia Guan Butterfly Spring Tou Sheng is packed in lovely paper, the name and the year of origin are promising...
Before we will take a look inside, let's read vendor's words about it:
"This tea was made in 1996 for Taiwan market. According to the supplier, leaf maretial of this tea was from 300 years old arbor tea three. Although this connot be physically proved, it is very likely to be true, as indicated by the leaf quality. The tea has been in purely dry storage over the past 15 year and demonstrates features of high quality dry-aged sheng. The flavor is significantly different from that of shengs aged in humid storage. Current price of this tea is based on supplying cost. The price is subject adjustment in the future based on rarity"
More you can find here, on Gingo's blog
On pictures bellow you can see naked leaves.
Pressing is, compare to other Xia Tou I have, lighter. It is still Xia Guan toucha and inside you will find more compressed, not-easy-to-separate, leaves. But taking leaves from side, I did not even have to use my puehr needle and I got leaves like that...
Smell of dry leaves is gentle, just light wood and ripe fruits. These are stronger on wet leaves. First infusion (ten second) already gives dark orange tea. As you can see on picture bellow, color is (as always) very relative...
|First infusion is in both cup and faircup. Fair cup is just deeper.|
In first infusion I can find mixture of light pine nuts, oranges and some flowers. From second brew, the Xia Guan origin is already unconcealed. There is smoke, resin, orange-peel- all mellowed thanks to sixteen years of aging.
Focusing on taste and mouth feel during the fourth infusion I found spicy, hot, almost pepper like, effect on my lips and tongue. It was in contrast to cooling menthol-camhor sensation in my throat. I know that this is probably not attractive for everybody. It is like Islay Whisky- peat, iodine, pepper... Why should one drink something like this? Yet, there are many Islay fans as there are many fans of traditional Xia Guan products. And I do understand them...
|Another opportunity to test another stove...|
|Why are you smilling? Is it the tea inside you or sun up in the sky?|
Thank you for reading!