Mountain Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

92
drank Amber Oolong by Mountain Tea
165 tasting notes

Tightly rolled medium brown leaves. Brews and amber color. Has a fruity pineapple note as well as hints of roasted barley, pistachio, brown sugar, cannabis, cream, and cinnamon. A nice medium roasted oolong.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cannabis, Cinnamon, Cream, Nuts, Pineapple, Roasted Barley

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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88

First steep: 10 oz disposable coffee cup (because I forgot my travel mug) + boiling water that makes tea undrinkable for like an hour because it is so hot
The pearls unraveled very fast and now fill up the entire teabag (they have expanded about 3x their previous size)

The tea was extremely flavourful and typical of a good quality black tea. I love how it is as strong and bold as a tea that would normally be bitter, but there is no hint of bitterness or astringency from this tea. I also taste oats and tannins.

Second steep: same deal
It only steeps medium gold this time and it a little bit weaker. It taste mostly spaghetti noodles with no sauce, like wheat and wet straw.

Overall, this is a very strong tea the first steep but then is not quite as strong in the next cup. I might experiment with the water temperature to try to get 2-3 cups out of my next leaves.

Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Oats, Tannic, Tannin, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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87
drank Milk Oolong by Mountain Tea
494 tasting notes

Mountain Tea adds flavoring to this one; their unflavored milk oolong is marketed simply as Jin Xuan. Nevertheless, this tastes very natural to me, even if the creamy buttery flavor is a little stronger than what you would find in unaltered tea. So smooth! So mellow! Really enjoying this one :)

Flavors: Butter, Creamy

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

How does this one compare to Mandala’s? I’m wondering because I’ve been looking for the best Milk Oolong for the best price. Mandala’s is the best I’ve tasted, but one that I can’t quite afford to drink everyday. I was wondering if this one could compare.

Tamarindel

Mandala’s milk oolong is by far the most buttery version I’ve ever tasted, so if you’re expecting to get the same experience from Mountain Tea’s milk oolong, I think you’ll be disappointed. That said, Mountain Tea’s milk oolong is still delicious — the creaminess and butter flavor are just on the light side, compared to Mandala’s.

Daylon R Thomas

That’s what I thought, thank you! I actually like lighter teas anyway. How does it do on the sweetness scale?

Tamarindel

I confess, I usually add just a pinch of sugar to this tea. Unaltered, I find it’s slightly on the savory side, but the sugar enhances both its natural sweetness and saltiness, and just seems to give it a richer flavor profile in general.

Daylon R Thomas

Cool. Again, exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you! I might get a smaller sample of it then to try it out.

Tamarindel

Happy to help :) I’ve been very pleased with everything I’ve tried from Mountain Tea so far (which is this one, Black Pearl and Jade Oolong). Their Jin Xuan and Honey Jade sound really good too, so that will probably end up in my next order :)

Daylon R Thomas

Heritage Honey interested me for a daily drinker. $10 for 5 ounces is tempting for that

Tamarindel

Mmm, that sounds really good!

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89
drank Jade Oolong by Mountain Tea
494 tasting notes

Sipdown of this one too :( It didn’t take long for this to become my go-to afternoon tea, so the 2 oz. I purchased to try went really fast. Must get some more asap.

Nicole

they’ve got a sale going on, but not for this one. :(

Tamarindel

I saw that! Still sounds like a good sale though, I would never say no to Black Pearl :)

Nicole

Same here. :)

Nicole

Oh, and the honey jade for sure. I’m about out of that one!

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89
drank Jade Oolong by Mountain Tea
494 tasting notes

I wish Mountain Tea did samples (I think I would have purchased a sample of each and every one of their oolongs if they had). But even going in blind, jade oolong seemed like a safe bet. Every jade oolong I ever had has been delicious, and this one is no exception. Mountain Tea’s version has a lot of nuance: the honeysuckle note is strongest, but there’s also a hint of butter and a very slight tang. I don’t know that I would have thought of honeydew if I hadn’t seen it in the notes, but I can see how that tang could read as honeydew. Overall, a delightful tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

I really haven’t had anything bad from Mountain Tea.

Tamarindel

That’s good to hear :) Any in particular you’d recommend?

Nicole

Well, you’ve reviewed my favorite – the Black Pearl. :) And I’m not sure but if this is the same as Honey Jade Oolong, then you’ve had both of my favorites!

Tamarindel

Actually the Honey Jade is different — I almost grabbed that one, but my budget kicked in and I decided to save it for my NEXT order. Glad to hear it’s good though. And yes, Black Pearl is irresistible. I had another cup today, and despite getting distracted and way oversteeping it on the second round, it was great. I’m always grateful for a tea that can withstand a bit of negligence.

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84
drank Black Pearl by Mountain Tea
494 tasting notes

So excited to get my first order from Mountain Tea :) I received some of their tea in a Tealet contest and was completely won over. Normally I stick to greener oolongs, but I made an exception for this one — it’s SO dark, the first time I had it I was convinced it was black tea. It tastes like raisins and malt, and holds up well to re-steeping. I think a little sugar helps bring out the raisin notes, but it is good with or without.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

Love this one.

Tamarindel

It’s so unique! Or at least, I have yet to encounter anything like it.

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81

Delightfully brisk, floral, and nutty aroma as well as a pretty light gold color. Refreshing aroma, surprisingly sweet, but with some vegetal flavors at the end. Overall pleasant, although I’m not a fan of the syrupy feeling it leaves behind in the back of the mouth and throat. First quality oolong I’ve bought, though, and pleased with it.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Hay, Honey, Nutty

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Many thanks to TheLastDodo for this welcome sample; it was noted in her stash sale that she would throw in some samples based on what was purchased, and I’ve got to say her choices were amazingly on the nose — I’ve been wanting to try this particular tea for awhile :)

In terms of the dried rolled leaf, this is the greenest oolong I’ve ever seen. It’s like an emerald green. The flavor has some floral notes, but it’s not a sweet tea at all, so it’s interesting to taste the floral combined with the savory notes. It holds up well to re-steeping. This isn’t as much to my taste as the Banten Honey oolong, but it is a good quality tea, very smooth and well-balanced. Thanks, LastDodo, for the chance to try this!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Plunkybug

I love broth oolongs…

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89
drank LiShan, Spring by Mountain Tea
133 tasting notes

First impression from a gongfu session with 190 degree water is awesome! Very floral flavors, with a delightfully sweet finish. This sweetness remains in the mouth for a couple minutes after drinking the tea, and is accompanied by a grassy taste in the mid-late steepings. I wish I had more practice with tasting as it would be neat to be able to pick out the different floral notes in the tea, as were noted on Mountain Tea’s website. Good body to it, especially in steeps 2 and 3, with an alluring crispness.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83

Good stuff. Just finished the 2 oz of it I ordered, and for the last 5g, I decided to give it a whirl with boiling water/shorter steeps. As expected, more bitter than using 190 degree water like I was before, but I did not find this bitterness unpleasant. The tea had a bit more of a punch. Less sweet, and tasted the roast more. The first couple steeps had what seemed like a slightly buried fruit flavor – I tasted it more crisply with the cooler water.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Roasted, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83

Aroma of the leaves makes it very obvious these were roasted, as they smell of toasted grass to me. The wet leaves’ aroma reminds me in some way of popcorn, with their almost salty notes (maybe more caramel corn). The flavors are as advertised caramel sweetness with some floral undertones as well. Not only good gongfu style, but an awesome one for grandpa style on the go in a thermos. Just a few leaves at the bottom got me through a whole day :) A good one for a great price.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Floral, Sweet, Toasty

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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89
drank Honey Jade Oolong by Mountain Tea
751 tasting notes

This is lovely. I’ve had it several times now but am just now doing a note for it. Green oolongs are my favorite oolongs.

Visually this is appealing as are most oolongs. Leaves unfurling to immense sizes compared to the tight little balls they start as. And there are little hints of reddish brown around the edges which is neat.

This one has nice floral notes up front with a light buttery feel. Almost a jasmine but not really. Second steep becomes more like jasmine. It goes well with a jasmine green tea rubbed goat cheese drizzled with a tiny bit of honey. The strong sour notes in the cheese are offset by the floral jasmine tea leaves, which also bring out more jasmine in the tea itself.

Lengthy steeping brings out a faint bitterness so avoid that. I started with about 30 seconds, left leaf in water while drinking, so probably 2:00 for second cup, 4:30 for third, 6:00+ for fourth – by then it was developing some bitter notes. Watch water temp as well.

With the second pitcher, I waited about a minute before pouring the first cup. Third pitcher was still decent.

Fourth pitcher and a large portion of the flavor was gone. So a good 8 ounces, a decent 4 ounces and then a not great but drinkable 4 ounces on a teaspoon and a half of leaves.

And continuing Use All The Teaware month:
http://tinyurl.com/o2ksfpj

http://tinyurl.com/jdlz5fa

I think I got this travel set from Verdant last spring. I really haven’t used it much. It’s pretty but 1) I’m nervous about traveling with glass and 2) the infuser basket takes up a good chunk of water space. It came with 6 cups but you’d only be able to serve 4 mostly full ones on a single steeping. I like the cup size, but for this pitcher, they are too large. Not that it matters tons, I rarely have anyone at all to drink tea in this style with me, much less 6 someones. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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90

This is an interesting one, sent kindly as a sample from Mountain Tea. im doing gong fu @ 90 degrees, 10/15/25 etc. the first few steeps have got almond-y notes and later its tasting a bit more like a jade oolong. milkyness in taste and slight butter aroma.

nice lingering aftertaste that changes. im getting some orchids now, similar to a dan cong orchid flavour but without the roasty savouryness.

theres some kind of sweet in there from my childhood too. ahh its milk bottles :)

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Milk, Orchid

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g

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94
drank DaYuLing by Mountain Tea
183 tasting notes

Tried this Gong Fu @95, 5/15 , and now western style @85 3mins.

Lovely butter aroma, and nice ‘green’ notes. not sure what, but very nice. Gongfu was delicious, sweet & classy, wheras western style provided more of the jade magic. felt like drinking the colour. lovely. The oils are buttery or creamy and has a zingy mouthfeel.

Its feeling is quite spritely, which was surprising. higher in caffeine than i thought it would be? Im very sensitive to caffeine after giving up coffee due to overload. im tapping away on the keyboard really fast. (i have just drank a fair bit of this though)

really really nice, not a bad flavour in there!

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Grapes, Grass, Green, Sugar, Sweet

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100

My third ‘competition-grade’ OB that i have tried, this one is from Hsinchu county, 2014 winner. Compared to the Miaoli county winner i have, this has a deeper smell, less cinnamon-y (or whatever that fragrance is i cant quite put my finger on), with more honey and fruit present.

My favourite way to drink oriental beauty is western style, 3g to 10 oz water, and as the cup begins to lose heat, more honey notes are released, along with subtle notes of peaches and flowers sliding around in my mouth. Even Cherry popped up to say hello for a second. Or was it cherrywood? I dont even know what cherrywood smells like, but its how i imagine it might.

less spicy than the Miaoli, which has made me realise, that is a special trait of that tea.

Also has that lovely roobois edge to its being that all dong fang mei ren has – tastes healthy & clean, a relaxing headfeel, woody and natural, like you are drinking a good plant that will look after you.

Amber goodness!

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Cinnamon, Flowers, Grapes, Honey, Peach, Rooibos, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Rasseru

I would just like to add, im started doing this one gongfu style yesterday evening, and im on my, well ive lost count. 7th steep and its still going strong? I dont like it as much as the explosion of honey & spice you get western style, with big flavourful gulps and heady aroma, but good to know it lasts very well this way.

Rasseru

why i like this stuff western style is that over the course of it cooling down the flavour changes from spice into honey. so good, i know that certain Oolongs are supposed to be served at 70, and this is one that can benefit from that :)

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The name was a typo-I wish I could edit but I’m a newbie. Anyway, the name is Milk Oolong and is one of the teas that I would really like to sample from The Mountain Tea Company.

Nichole

You should be able to edit the name. Click on the name and then then you’ll see a blue link that says Edited last info or something like that. Click on it and you should be good to go. If not, I can try to fix it for you :)

Daylon R Thomas

Got it! Thank you Nicole. The first time on Steepster I tried to edit another tea I added, but it would not let me edit. Glad I can now.

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85

I think this is what I’m drinking. The package only says "Aged Oolong 95C mountaintea.com). So, I’m taking a guess. The little pebbles are a dark brown and slight oily skin. They are heavily compressed and give off a dry wood and roast scent. I placed a generous amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave em a shake. The smell is quite potent and heavily fruited. There is an underlying smoke aroma and prominent raisin tone. I washed the pebbles once and prepare for brewing. The flavor is unlike the aroma. The liquor is pale bronze and very sweet. The taste is very fruity and juicy, yet there is an underlying roast that lingers on the tongue. This brew has a “fruit by the foot” flavor hahah. It reminds me of my childhood snacks. This was very good, and a decent quality aged oolong. I’m glad that I didn’t judge a book by its cover on this, for the packaging was not that attractive.

Also, there is a lingering sweetness that does last for what seems like forever. I feel like I just had a bunch of pastries with berries in them :)

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Honey, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
boychik

I want to try it for some time . Did you get it from Whatcha or MT?

Haveteawilltravel

this is from MT. Do you brew gongfu or western. I have enough for a western session.

boychik

Gongfu. Do you have 3g? i have my teeny 50ml gaiwan lol

Haveteawilltravel

Yes I do, msg me address, and I’ll have it sent out with some goodies :)

Haveteawilltravel

This fruit aftertaste lasts literally over an hour after drinking xD

boychik

thanks, i will :)

curlygc

Aaaaaand another tea goes on my wishlist!

Haveteawilltravel

I’m only here to help xD

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86

There’s an entire page for this, but apparently, it’s misplaced. Oh well, here’s my review of it.

I like this one a lot, and makes me feel relieved in terms of budget. I was actually recommended this one as a bagged, and based on the descriptions of caramel, I had to try it.

First time, I tried to do it Gongfu, but wound up Western on accident. I definitely got something like a spicier yet lighter black tea, but the more subtle notes like caramel were overwhelmed after two minutes. There were even seaweed notes that were kinda good, but something I have to be in the mood for. It got sweeter in the later steeps with something that reminded me of a cooked cherry, but not entirely.

Finally got to do it Gongfu tonight, with a ten second rinse at 195 degrees, using six grams in six ounces. The first rinse had a taste that replicates rose water. This tea is VERY close to a Laoshan black because it has the same type of rosy, cooked fruit character. Laoshan’s are one of my favorites, and in comparison, this one is a lighter brother or cousin that does not have the robust malt or chocolate of a black. It also doesn’t have the same dehydrating effect that a black does.

Steep two, 30 seconds, and still very rosy with a faded molasses bitter sweetness. Steep three, a full minute, and darker, redder, and something closer to a black tea. Four at two minutes, and something like a cherry black, but lighter. Five at three, and cooked cherry.

I really liked this one, but it is a toss up. When I’m in the mood for it, I would probably rate this one a 90; when I’m not, an 80. I still need to figure out better steeping parameters for this one. It was sweet, but not as sweet as I was expecting. I didn’t get the full caramel or honey like described, so I’ll be back on this one pretty soon.

Flavors: Cherry, Honey, Molasses, Roasted, Rose, Salt, Seaweed, Smooth, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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94
drank Lishan, Winter by Mountain Tea
19 tasting notes

I’ve seen Mountain Tea’s LiShan name-dropped a few times on Steepster and r/tea due to its abnormally cheap price. With 5 ounces going for only $25, could it actually be any good? Well, judging by the reviews on Steepster and r/tea, people seem to be quite impressed.

Mountain Tea recently started selling a Spring LiShan that created a bit of a buzz on r/tea, which reminded me that I had a box of the Winter LiShan still sitting on my tea shelf. I figured it was about time that I got around to writing about it.

LiShan is probably my favorite type of oolong tea, so I couldn’t wait to try Mountain Tea’s version. LiShan is a mountain in central Taiwan. Its name translates to “Pear Mountain,” which conjures up lovely images of pear orchards and tea fields. And from what I read online, that image is quite accurate. LiShan is home to many pear and apple orchards, which require the cool mountain temperatures in order to thrive.

This is the last Mountain Tea I have to review, so there won’t be any more in the future….sorry if I’ve been reviewing too many of their products lately! For the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on White2Tea’s newer offerings.

I drank this tea while constructing a tea table, so pardon any messiness or sawdust.

Dry Leaf

The dry leaf looks like a standard rolled oolong. Most of the leaves were a dark grey-green color, but there are also a few bright green leaves floating around. There are a few stems thrown into the mix.

image(89)

These leaves certainly smell like high quality LiShan. They give off a very grassy and floral aroma, but with a certain richness to it that is very hard to put into words. The closest thing I can think of is perhaps a roasted nut or coconut aroma.

Teaware

I got to break in my beautiful new teapot for this review. I just got this Ruyao Triad Teapot from White2Tea.

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I’ve had my eye on this teapot for several months since I’m such a huge sucker for ruyao teapots and it matches my ruyao teacup perfectly. After gushing about this teapot to all of my tea friends, I finally received it as a gift. There is a lesson to learn here. If you drop subtle hints about a teapot long enough, somebody will buy it for you (sarcasm).

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I used 9 grams of leaf for this 150 ml teapot.

Brewing

I started out brewing this tea at 190° F. The first steep is a light buttery yellow color with a touch of green.

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The upfront taste is light and extremely floral, somewhat similar to a Jin Xuan milk oolong. However, the herbal notes take over quite quickly and begin to dominate. The mouthfeel is very thick and pleasant, which is a feature that I really enjoy in high mountain oolongs.

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The aftertaste is very sweet and floral, and left my mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

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The second steep is a bit lighter in color. The mouthfeel is still very thick, but the flavor profile changes. The herbal flavor fades away and is replaced by a sweet and fruity flavor, perhaps pineapple as other reviewers have mentioned.

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I think I left the third steep to sit a bit too long, so it came out noticeably darker. This tea is still very pleasant when oversteeped.

I continued to drink this tea for about 7 or 8 infusions, so it can certainly last through a longer tea tasting session. After finishing this session, I felt extremely relaxed and calmed, perhaps even more so than I usually do after sitting down to drink tea. That’s a good sign I suppose!

Finished Leaf

The finished leaves were very large and full. It looks like there are more stems than I noticed before, so perhaps they were curled into the balls.

image(94)

Conclusion

This LiShan may not be quite as good as the super duper top-notch stuff you can find in high-end Taiwanese tea stores, but it is still a wonderful tea. I would definitely recommend grabbing a bag of this from Mountain Tea. As far as the quality to price ratio goes, you can’t do much better than this LiShan.

I am elated to have found this tea, because I can now drink quality LiShan on a regular basis without breaking the bank. This tea is cheap enough that I can drink it regularly without feeling guilty about the ridiculous amount of money I spend on tea every year. With 5 ounces of this tea only going for $25, I wouldn’t pass it up. I will definitely be buying this tea again, and I can’t wait to try the Spring LiShan to see how it compares.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on White2Tea’s newer offerings. It’s been a while since I’ve tried any new and interesting puerh teas, so I am looking forward to it!

http://mountaintea.com/collections/green-oolong/products/lishan-winter-1

Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 9 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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90
drank LiShan, Spring by Mountain Tea
193 tasting notes

Yet another delightful tea from Mountain Tea Co! This one isn’t as quite floral as I expect LiShans to be, but it’s incredibly tasty. There are still a good deal of floral notes hiding out in there, but there is also a nice brothy character and a bit of cream. It’s more savory than I usually find these types, and I really enjoy it. I’ll definitely be trying the 2015 as soon as I create some more room in my cupboard.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Talk about a mellow oolong…
I was curious about the olive oil tasting note, but it’s true! This goes down like olive oil mixed in butter, smooth and runny. Even though there is little flavor, the liquid is very pleasant to sip on. This would be a fantastic oolong to introduce someone to oolong teas.
Guaranteed to provide a mild and wonderful session.

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94

2003 Aged Green Heart Oolong from Mountain Tea and What-Cha

The 2003 Aged Green Heart Oolong came to my attention after some of my reddit buddies on r/tea messaged me about six months ago and raved about how delicious and nuanced this tea is. I kept this information in the back of my mind, where it lay dormant for several months. Then I saw the results of the 2014 North American Tea Championship and saw that this tea won 2nd Place in the Aged/Baked Oolong category. I’m not entirely sure how reliable these results are, but I figured that this tea was probably worth a shot regardless. I’m a huge fan of aged oolongs, especially ones with bolder flavors and a nice mouthfeel.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.17.33 AM

This oolong is from Wushe in Nantou, Taiwan. It has been stored in Taiwan since 2003 and has been roasted every two or three years to remove any accumulated moisture. The elevation of the Wushe tea garden is 1500 meters, or about 5000 feet. I suppose that this tea would qualify as a “high mountain” oolong, although it was not advertised as such. The site described this as 30% oxidized, so this tea belongs on the greener end of the oolong spectrum.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.23.27 AM

The What-Cha website also mentions that this tea comes from the Qing Xin varietal of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. Qing Xin is one of the most common varietals of Taiwanese tea. Although the varietal is nothing too out of the ordinary, I appreciate that the website gives out this information.

Dry Leaf

The leaves looked typical of a rolled style Taiwanese oolong. The color was very interesting, a sort of dark green-brown thanks to the aging and roasting process. The dry leaves are very full and unbroken, which is a good sign. The stems are still on many of the leaf segments, which is a bit unusual.

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These leaves simply smell incredible. This is definitely one of the best smelling teas I have come across in a very long time. The primary aroma is of roasted nuts and freshly baked bread, very “roasty” and almost yeasty. The background aroma is very herb-like and malty. The Mountain Tea website also picked up on the herbal aroma, describing it as an “enticing herbal fragrance, including thyme and dried basil, finishing with a hint of something malty.” There is a certain brightness to the aroma that I can’t quite describe, but it certainly made me want to continue smelling this tea for a very long time.

I placed the leaves into a warmed gaiwan and was amazed by the amplified smell. All of the previous aromas were still there, but a very pleasant fruity, grape-like smell developed. This tea has every smell that you could possibly want in an aged oolong…simply incredible!

Teaware

I used 6 grams of leaf for my gaiwan that is just a bit over 100 mL. It looks a lot larger than it is because the walls are very thick. I put 3.5 grams of leaf into my 70 mL Yixing pot.

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I decided to brew this tea two ways. I really wanted to break out my adorable Yixing pot that I use for greener aged oolongs. I bought this guy from a tea master in Taiwan. I don’t get around to using it much, but it brings back great memories every time I see it on my tea shelf. I also used a gaiwan in order to give a fair taste test, since Yixing pots can affect the flavor of certain teas.

Brewed Tea

I started out brewing this tea with a few shorter 15 second or so steeps, and then moved up to a few minutes per steep by the end of the session. I played around with the water temperature a bit. The Mountain Tea Site said to use 95 °C/203° F water, while the What-Cha site suggested 85° C/185° F. I leaned towards the side of Mountain Tea on this one, since this tea is from their company. I didn’t find a huge difference either way, although I slightly preferred the hotter water. I used 93° C/200° F water for this taste test, so your own experience with this tea may be slightly different if you use a different water temperature.

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I gave the tea a quick rinse and then started with the brewing. The first steep came out a beautiful golden color with a slight orange-red tint. After this first steep, I looked at the leaves in the gaiwan and noticed that they were barely even open yet. Perhaps aging tea makes the leaves more resistant to opening?

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The first and second steeps were very fruity and malty. The fruity character is more like a dried fruit taste. I would describe the taste most accurately as nutty and raisin-like, with a background taste of charcoal. The little hint of smoke or charcoal on the back of the palate really adds a lot to the character of this tea.

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The mouthfeel of this tea is very smooth and thick, almost buttery. I could feel the sides of my mouth being coated with the strong flavors of this tea.

This tea really excels in the aftertaste category. The aftertaste is extremely long lasting, and very smooth and malty. There is also a very noticeable lingering sweetness present. I could still taste this tea in my mouth 30 minutes after finishing a cup.

The third and fourth steeps were much sweeter tasting, which was a nice surprise. The “juicy” thirst-quenching attributes of this tea came out in these steeps as well. The flavor is much brighter and an interesting sharp and tangy note developed. I would describe this as lemon or citrus fruit perhaps. The herbal notes in this tea were quite noticeable in these steeps as well. The thyme and basil sort of flavors really play quite nicely with the dried fruit taste.

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The later steeps were very different. The dried fruit notes almost disappeared, and the charcoal and smoke flavors became much more apparent. At this stage, the tea tastes almost like the later steeps of a heavily baked oolong such as a Muzha Tieguanyin. I finished this session after about nine or ten steeps, so this tea can certainly handle quite a few infusions.

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After this tea session, I went for a run in the beautiful Maine spring (hooray, over 60° F for once). During my run, I kept on noticing the smoky raisin taste still in my mouth. This aftertaste just keeps on going and going…

Finished Leaf

The finished leaves were a bit darker than I expected. They were very curly and twisted still, even after all nine or ten steeps. They never really opened up fully into large flat leaves like oolongs normally do, but I suppose that is probably because the tea has been aged for quite a while. The stems on these leaves are very long and coiled as well.

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Conclusion

This is one of the very best aged oolongs I have had, especially for the price. This tea is not even very expensive. On Mountain Tea, you can buy 2 ounces for $16, which is a little pricy. But if you are willing to buy in bulk (and you will want to), it’s not too bad. Mountain Tea also sells 5 ounces for $35 and 10.5 ounces for $60.

On What-Cha, 50 grams/1.76 ounces in $10.50, 100 grams/3.5 ounces is $19.53, and 250 grams/8.8 ounces is $45.68.

I give a lot of favorable reviews on this blog, but I don’t often repurchase the same teas again and again. However, I just placed an order for 250 grams/8.8 ounces of this tea, so obviously I enjoyed it! In order for me to buy that much of any tea, I have to really be in love with it. I can’t stop thinking about how I just bought this tea at barely over $5 per ounce. I feel like I’m stealing. If I could pay more money to Mountain Tea/What-Cha for this tea, I would…and that’s coming from me, one of the cheapest people you will ever come across.

Go out and buy this tea now, before the rest of the online tea community finds out and buys it all! It also might be fun to buy some of this tea and play around with aging it for longer.

~”There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://what-cha.com/oolong-tea/taiwan-2003-aged-green-heart-oolong-tea/

http://mountaintea.com/collections/competition-grade/products/aged-green-heart-oolong-2003

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Floral, Olive Oil, Vegetal

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