Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Xu Fu Long Ya

Tea: Xu Fu Long Ya

Vendor: Tea Spring

This is my first time having this tea, though every time I go to Tea Spring's site it has teased me.  This year I finally gave in to it.

The first thing that struck me upon opening the package was the tiny leaves (looks like they are almost entirely buds or one leaf-one bud sets.), and the intoxicating smell.  They smelled very green and had an aroma that makes me think of something slightly spicy... I want to say black pepper.

Dry leaf in my cha he (presentation vessel).
  I went fairly heavy on the leaf to water ratio with this tea as I usually tend to end up with a weak brew when it comes to Chinese greens.  This ratio might have been a bit too much the first time I tried it as I ended up with something not resembling what I expected of this tea.  Very astringent and much too bitter.  This might also have been my water temps being too high.

For my next tasting I approached much more cautiously.  I still went heavy on the leaf, but kept the temperatures near 160F.  The result was a much better tasting brew with little astringency and virtually no bitterness.

My first infusion was steeped for about 45 seconds (most cautiousness on my part) at 165F.  Very light green-yellow colored liquor.  The aroma was sweet and vegetal with a slight spiciness.  The taste was very mellow and sweet in the back of my throat.  This reminded me a little of a yellow tea I had from this vendor before.  There is a slight astringency.  This is either a very fickle tea or the astringency is just unavoidable.

First infusion in the cups.

The second infusion was very similar to the first, at least to my inexperienced palate.  The wet leaves in my gaiwan smelled like steamed sugar-snap peas.  Very sweet and vegetal like the liquor.  The tea still hints that it's being steeped at too hot a temperature.

Steeping tea.
The third infusion saw the flavor diminish greatly.  There is a light astringency and a very sweet and spicy taste with the same vegetal flavor as before.  There is no bitterness to speak of at all.

In the fourth infusion I taste a slight butteriness after swallowing.  The spiciness that was present has given way to a very weak floral note.  The leaves in the gaiwan have cooled and smell much more grassy than before.

Much of the tea slips through the gaiwan into the filter.
Overall I enjoyed this tea, but my steeping of it does need refinement.  I have enough left for one more session, and maybe I can unlock what this tea seems to be missing.

Next I will be doing a post on the Long Jing I received from this vendor and possibly a green TGY.  Hopefully at the end of this week I will also be ordering a few sheng pu'erh samples that I will post my experiences with.

Thanks for reading everyone!  Cheers.


  1. The small bit of experience I've had with similar teas has taught me to keep the infusions short. The temps seem to be good: 160-165. Maybe drop your infusion down to 8 or 9 seconds? With the Long Jing, its sweet spot seems to be about 155-158ish with no infusion going over 10 seconds. The result is a beautiful herb-y sweetness.

    looks like a gorgeous little tea!

  2. Maybe I will try another round with this tea with very short infusion times. I still have yet to sit down with the LJ for a real taste (I made it once, but there wasn't a huge wow factor). I will definitely take your suggestion and put it to use.