36 Tasting Notes
Every now and then I treat myself to this.
The aroma is like honey and sweet grass. Reminds me of summer time – which of course is when it was harvested. The color is rich golden, unlike many other teas. The texture is thick like milk, not quite like syrup. The flavor lies at the top of the tongue, almost the roof of the mouth – maybe reminiscent of acorns or tempeh – almost beer-like.
This roasted high-mountain oolong from Taiwan is way understated. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get into the high-mountain oolongs. Gentle and sweet. My guess as to why it is so affordable is because the leaves are individual and not the two leaves and a bud, and therefore not ideal for gongfu cha presentation.
In any case, I still brew this tea gongfu style with my zisha yixing pot that I use for high-mountain oolongs and a simple aroma cup set:
Aroma: Dark clover honey or brown sugar and a little sweetgrass
Taste: Milky, honey, sweetgrass with a little caramel. The light oxidation brings out the tart fruitiness of leechees.
Using my green clay Year of the Tiger yixing pot that I use for Formosa (summer) oolongs
Aroma cup: Honey!
First steeping: creamy, smooth, mild mixture of vegetal and floral, like artichoke
Second steeping: Deeper floral tones
I think of Gui Fei as definitely more of an esoteric tea, just because it’s not one of the famous teas, like Tieguanyin or Wen Shan or Dong Ding. But it is a real treat, almost a dessert.
Using aroma cup, the initial aroma is like brown sugar. The first and second steeping are very creamy with a nice musky, earthy flavor that lingers quite a long time. Less roasty than I expected. Notes of honey and sunflower seeds. My last sip was three minutes ago and I can still taste all those flavors. Very satisfying.
Using an aroma cup, I get the aroma of sweetgrass. And as the cup cools down, there is a lingering essence of burned braided sweetgrass in a small room. My first steeping has a complex mixture of honey and roasted brazil nuts with a long aftertaste on the cusp of sweet and bitter. The second brew is slightly less sweet but fuller-flavored and solidifies my first impression – honey and roasted nuts (maybe filberts) with the robust essence of burning sweetgrass.
Smooth, round flavor. Sweet, dark. This tea has a very yin quality. Rosey color. So, even though this is a shu cha, it is one of the few I’ve had that approach the character of a sheng cha. It’s not quite as musty/muddy as other shu cha. I don’t know if it is because it has aged for 11 years.