So I went ahead and tried one of the free samples I got from yesterday’s store.
ROC Year 77, Biyuzhu, which literally means “Bluish-Green Jade Pearl”, or perhaps slightly better, “Bright Jade Beads” or some such. There’s nothing jade-ish about them, since they’re now rather black, but I suppose once upon a time, they were really nice and green.
The tea was a spring pick, and the leaves are all very small and tender. The tea brews a darkish colour
Although by the time of the third infusion, I realized I had horribly underestimated the amount of leaves in the little bag, and had overfilled my gaiwan. I took a bit of leaves out of it, but I suspect I could’ve taken out more and still gotten a good cup. The tea is nice… very perfumy despite the long age, no sourness detectable, not too sweet, and in fact, still a little green in the taste — you can sense that this was once a green Taiwanese oolong. Now it’s an aged green Taiwanese oolong. The laobanniang said this tea was never re-roasted, and I sure believe that, because I don’t detect any sort of roasted taste. It’s a very interesting tea, although perhaps not an everyday kind of tea.
The wet leaves are still greenish-brown.
Definitely worth picking some up though. The perfume notes are quite alluring. I should try making it with even less leaves next time — brew it just like a light Taiwan oolong.