50g Yellow Twig 黃枝香

Chen Bingdu

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Bag Size:
50.00 Grams
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Yellow Twig (黃枝香, Huáng Zhī Xiāng, "Yellow Twig Fragrance") is one of the ten ancestral Phoenix Oolong varieties. It is characterized by its bronze color and twisted leaves. It is medium-oxidized, with a tropical fruit flavor and a satisfying deep huí gān 回甘 ("returning sweetness"). An intensely fragrant tea with a tempestuous character, redolent with the scent of cooked tropical fruit with slight caramel and butterscotch overtones. Steeping notes: This tea, when brewed quickly, carries a bright and easy sweetness. Steeped too long, it can become bitter and astringent. This tea is representative of the medium-oxidation Phoenix oolongs in that it can be challenging to brew, requiring great precision and skill, but the results, when successful, are outstanding.

1 Review

  • 5
    Elusive, tricky, and utterluystunning...

    Posted by Stephen Cull on Dec 5th 2023

    Well we'll, just when I think So Han and Co have done it all another gem arrives and blows my socks off. The oolongs here on WCT are all fabulous, and each is so distinctive its a bit like trying to pick a favorite child so I'm somewhat reticent to speak in such terms, but I must idmit to being utterly, incandescently smitten with this temperamental gem of a tea. And make no mistake, this little diva is indeed temperamental - water hotter than 190 F and steeps longer than about three seconds can very easily, and in fact more or less inevitably will, pull a puckeringly bitter, almost caustically astringent cup, so some degree of skill and speed is required to have any sort of pleasant experience. However, with a bit of care, dedication, and coordination (word to the wise keep your cup or gong dao bei directly next to your brewing vessel so you can just pick up said vessel and poar...) this tea unfolds like a good book, as little nuances unfurl and hidden depths are brought to light all in their proper time. The dry leaf is subtly but intriguingly fragrant and very pretty to boot, the qi lovely and sparkling, and a little goes a long way given said leafs resilience to multiple steepings. (I've been doing as many as twenty and still enjoyed them all...) The hui gan is also strikingly intriguing, with a buzzing, almost effervescent quality that's unusually neutral (not cooling in the least) and quite unlike anything else I've experienced. The fragrance is gently citrusy, teasingly fruity, and delicately indolic over a base of rich but not overpowering lactones, with a slight tang that always makes me catch myself and suck in another curious inhale as I try to place a note I can never quite catch enough to describe. The flavor is...elusive, with a fresh citrus quality layered over the cocktail of a gently spicy base and lighter fruity-floral topnotes that, for some reason I can't quite find since it isn't actually like it, all come together to put me in mind of the classic Thai melange of Galangal, Lemongrass, Cilantro, and Kaffir Lime leaves mixed with creme brulee, all over a tannic profile and mouthfeel that almost feels like a red or yellow tea. (The consistency is actually quite reminiscent of yellow tea, now that I think of it - don't know how I missed that until just now...) The entire profile is, when properly brewed, also strikingly robust without being overpowering, which results in a liquor that can cut through fairly oily, fatty, or spicy dishes (Thai curry is a case in point actually and makes for a scrumptious pairing) or a complex, rich dessert, offering a sparkling counterbalance to both savory and sweet dishes, and as a result this is quickly becoming one of my favorite food teas. All in all a delight to work with, more than worth the bit of extra work and planning required to brew it properly, and at this price an absolutely absurd bargain. My only regret is that I didn't purchase 100 grams, a sad state of affairs that is, fortunately, quite easily remedied...