I have just tried Dragon Tea House’s Supreme Anxi Ben Shan Se Zhong
I've dedicated a Yellow Division Clay Teapot made by Wang Xiao Fei for Ben Shan. A cheap and cheerful Yixing which I bought for $20
The teapot is titled "The Goodness of Water" and was accompanied by the seller's description as such
This item is gorgeous and magnificent. The Chinese idiom says the highest good is like that of water. The goodness of water is that it is willing to carry all beings. The drawing seems to be something like traditional Chinese painting. The wash is the most difficult job to be done as details outlined and the style of writing are all requested perfect. The engraving is both powerful and spiffy. The author has spent a lot of time and efforts in design and creation. Sentiment is a nice match for the scenery.
I warmed the pot 250ml, and measured the tea at 12 Grams.
I used my normal kettle and tap water to warm the pot and other vessels and for the pre-wash of 2 seconds.
I used my Kamjove and bottled water for 4 brews.
The teapot was 1/3rd full of dry leaves and ½ full after the pre-wash.
The dry leaves photographed as not too tightly rolled pellets of 2 different colours (not so obvious to the naked eye, so the camera exaggerated the difference)
The 1st Brew
20 Seconds. Kamjove on a setting at the high end of Oolong
A very pale delicate colour unable to capture with my camera (/with my camera skills) it came out looking colourless.
Aroma faint and delicate.
Taste weak but Definite not washy. It gave me the signature flavour that I have been getting from all my lightly fermented lightly roasted Anxi Oolongs – smooth grassy, pleasant pea-pod flavour and a couple of pleasant edges that I have never been able to adequately describe. The first edge may be Orchid, I say “may” because I have no idea what Orchid tastes like but lots of reviews of Anxi oolongs, Ben Shans and Se Zhongs claim it is there.
The flavour was nice but weak and delicate possibly not enough leaf, possibly not enough time. Hmmmn! Watch me overbrew the second pot.
As I raced through cup after cup, the flavour built up in my mouth and I became more appreciative, so I will not go mad with time on the 2nd brew.
The teapot is now all but full of leaf, I will not get as much water in this time.
The 2nd Brew
35 Seconds. Kamjove on a setting at the high end of Oolong
Deeper colour, fuller flavour but no change to the flavour, bolder with no sharp edges, no bitterness or stringency.
Again going through cup after cup as the flavour elements build on my tongue and in my mouth – I detect slight changes first I detected that the 2nd edge referred too above has intensified – This is a flavour I first encountered in a 7 Cups Zi Yun Shan and then again in the 2 Mao Jies that I have had. I can only describe it as the very pleasant sweet taste that you get in really good really fresh Shellfish like Crayfish, Prawns and Crab – a slight fishy sweetness that is very pleasant in new shellfish and very unpleasant in stale shellfish.
Secondly (by the 5th cup) I noticed the brew starting to taste more robust with slight sharpness showing through reminiscent of minerals and branches.
The 3rd Brew
42 Seconds. Kamjove on a setting at the high end of Oolong
Similar colour to 2nd brew Flavour perhaps not as full – but more rounded
The peapod and grass elements have diminished but the Mineral and Branch elements of the 2nd brew are also much more rounded.
However much more floral – is this where the Orchid describers get it from!
A very satisfying brew – nice – BUT was it because I had started eating supper between sips
The 4th Brew
60 Seconds. Kamjove on a setting at the high end of Oolong
Similar colour and flavour to the 3rd brew very pleasant – nothing stood out or shouted at me to make a re-purchase (however I have enough for several more sessions so let’s see – but all in all I liked this tea.