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Recent Tasting Notes
So I tried a slightly younger version of this tea today. Still 1980s, but a looser leaf cake. I wasn’t sure if I should add a new tea since it’s not easily available, and I have to special order it from Taiwan. Anyway, this one has less spice, more sweetness and the hui gan is looooong lasting. The chi is more mellow, and dare I say, more refined? The drinking longevity of this tea is still pretty incredible, I have to say. I think I went to 8 steepings before the leaves even started to look exhausted. I really like these sheng cakes…
There’s just something about drinking a tea right from the cake it’s been aging in. I broke off several chunks of this tea this morning, popped them into my purple sand yixing pot dedicated to such purposes and promptly steeped up repeated infusions of this fine elixir. The energy of this tea is awesome. I’ll be pumped all day at this rate. My thoughts on flavour stand: there’s a hint of smoke though this time that’s coming out a bit more, and nuts, and the pu erh maltiness is a bit more pronounced than in the past. Great way to start the day.
Mmmmmm… I started with Da Yu Lin oolong this morning and then transitioned to this tea with a bit of Rainbow pu erh on top because it has larger leaves and tends to hold down the smaller particles of this tea, but the energy and flavour matches well. I nearly went into a trance after all the tea this morning and just made it to work on time (though my shirt was a little wrinkled since I didn’t have time to iron it). But here I sit at 9PM and still full of energy!
Drank this tea again this morning. 3g of leaf in a 100cc gong fu yi xing pot. I lost count of the number of steepings after about 9 I think. This tea has real drinking longevity. The colour was an intense burgundy. I’m a big fan. Spice, smoke, almonds are all flavours and aromas to describe this tea. And very potent energy.
This is the tea I started with this morning: love the spicey smoke. It’s very different from some of my other sheng, wet-stored, aged pu erh and the edges are a little less smooth, but I like the wildness of it. There’s a hint of citrus there too. I used one of hte first teapots I ever purchased from Yixing to brew this, one that has seen a lot of use over the years and is very ‘raised.’ I was on cloud nine before 7AM. I’m still there I might add, largely because I continued the pu erh journey with Joy from my store which I logged previously. Two very chi potent, powerful teas.
Had this tea today after the 1960s Oolong. Pairing such potent energy teas has some interesting effects sometimes. I was already happy as a clam with the oolong, but adding this one has made me feel a bit, well, surreal. Everything around me is super sharp and focused. I can feel my own chi pressing on my third eye. This sometimes happens when I do Tai Chi or soft Kung Fu, and occasionally when I drink high energy teas, especially back-to-back. Zen calm is a good way to describe my being just now. Ok, past the energy, the tea itself smells of decomposing fall leaves and a dry sweetness, and the flavour is similar, but very, very smooth on the tongue from front to sides to back. My mouth feels extremely smooth and clean right now (a feeling you should always have if the tea itself is clean and without pesticide). All around an excellent tea. Now I have to focus on my day.
I tried this tea after my 20 Year Old oolong from my own store: what a pairing. The combined energy of the two teas left me mute and seeing energy fields. The tea itself is dark and nutty with a depth of flavour unlike any of my other pu erh. The aroma is reminiscent of that smell just after kicking into the air a pile of freshly raked oak leaves.
This tea. Wow. Upon the first whiff of the perfectly formed, dry, luminescent green leaves I knew I had something special. A sample was sent to me by a friend in Taiwan, but no note as to what it was so my first taste was completely blind. It wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered just how special this tea is. The first steep was fast, less than fifteen seconds and I needed very little leaf in the pot to get a really nice aroma and flavour to naturally show. The scent was of apple blossoms in springtime, just as they open, when they are at their freshest and this smell lingered seemingly forever. Then the flavour: crisp and incredibly clean. This tea left my mouth feeling silky smooth with a lovely returning sweetness on the tongue and in the back of my throat. The flavours were reminiscent of green apples blended perfectly with honey and a hint of cinnamon. I was able to re-steep at least 8 times, but I lost count so don’t quote me on that. It presented well after innumerable steeps.
And the energy. The greatest quality I look for in any new tea I try: it left me speechless and a little dumb-founded. This tea presents the energy of a well aged pu erh, and it’s fresh! I’m very used to high energy fresh oolongs from Formosa, but this one was explosive and left me seeing stars. The energy was probably enhanced a little because I used a fresh-oolong, well seasoned yixing, red clay pot from the late Ching dynasty to drink it (a pot made with clay from the lost clay process), but having also consumed it through a gaiwan, I know it presents almost as well without the yixing.
I have since learned that this tea has year after year been graded the highest grade oolong in Formosa and is grown with the strictest of organic standards. I will probably never have the chance to try it again beyond the small sample I have left as the waiting list to procure any is apparently ten years or more, but I will forever be indebted to my partner for finangling this small sample to try.
I had this tea for the first time when I was living in Taiwan and visiting with the tea master from whom I procured it. I knew upon the first whiff of the dry leaves that it was special and unique. It stands alone in the oolong family of teas proudly with its smokey sweetness and very smooth finish. The energy of this tea is incredible, very uplifting and calming at the same time. An excellent Tibettan tea for sure!
I started my oolong experience with this tea today and it was a great beginning. Along with the tea description I wrote above, it leaves a crisp, clean feeling in the mouth, suggestive of particularly high grade formosa oolong.
Sweet mother. I just drank this tea again after drinking a 1988 oolong (courtesy of Cloudwalker Teas of course). I floated off into never never land and suddenly it was two hours later. Good stuff. I blended it with a pu erh called Joy which has a similar energy/taste/aroma but helps to keep the bits in the pot since Great Ocean is quite broken up and Joy has larger leaves. Oh, flavours, aromas (sometimes I forget these when the chi is so potent). Earthy, dark, hint of spice, cinnamon maybe? Aroma matched the taste. As with most pu erhs: hot, hot, hot. And for steep time, 30 seconds at first, increasing by “felt” increments from there ensuring the colour stays dark red and the taste remains strong. I do like a strong cup of good aged, sheng, wet-stored pu erh…
The nutty clove with smoke is unmistakable, and makes this tea particularly interesting to drink. The nutty flavours really make it buttery smooth as it washes across the palate. The scent matches the flavour with a touch of nutmeg. I really, really like this tea. So good. Energy is calming. I started drinking in a particularly foul frame of mind and by the end of the session I was calmer, more at peace and not even thinking about whatever I was in such a bad mood about before I started drinking it. And THAT is why I drink tea. For aged sheng, wet-stored pu erh I usually steep it for thirty seconds at first and then adjust accordingly. For this one I increased by about 15 second intervals with each consecutive steep and I’m fairly certain I got between 8 and 10 steeps out of it in my tiny early republic Yixing teapot.
My tea master friend in Taiwan sent me this tea to try some time ago. I’ve been saving it. As I knew it was particularly special already I waited until I had enough time to sit and properly enjoy it, i.e. this fine Saturday morning. I heated my water to a fisheye boil, started up my Lin Ceramic stove and poured the hot water into my Lin kettle and placed it on the stove to keep it hot. I then prepared all of my tea making utensils, chose a tiny, 80 year old, yixing purple clay teapot which I have used for plenty of pu erh over the years, and sat down on my yoga mat in front of my gong fu set for a good tea session. I put enough leaf in to completely cover the bottom of the pot. I poured off the first rinse of liquor (standard practice really), then settled in to pour the perfect cup of Great Ocean tea.
Let me say that this tea comes by its name honestly. After the first sniff and sip I was gone, floating away to never never land (or into an ocean oblivion). The energy of this tea was overwhelming. It rolled through me like an electric charge, leaving me completely blissed out and high as a kite. Every so often I would become aware that I had paused in mid sip, with the cup raised to my lips and had no idea for how long I’d been sitting like that. I should mention that the duration of this tea session was over an hour and a half.
It was hard to concentrate on the other aspects I usually look at when evaluating a tea, however, here they are as best I can remember. The aromas. This tea is indeed complex. Aromas were spicy, bringing memories of cinnamon and oranges with a hint of walnut. Also just a faint waft of jungle floor plant matter. The flavour was full and very robust. The spices and nuts blended together in an incredible mouthful that left a very smooth, clean finish that was almost sweet.
All around, one of the best damn teas I’ve probably ever had.