I was going to get into some of my reserve club puerhs today, but then I read the tasting notes for this one and I decided to have it instead. It’s a roasted wuyi oolong, so not my favorite type, but I am of course looking forward to trying it out.

The steeping instructions call for a crazy amount of leaf per ounce for gongfu… almost double what I usually use. But I followed them, using almost the whole package for my 6oz pot (10g). It did fill the pot 2/3 full, which is what the instructions say that Master Bi does with this tea. The warmed leaf smelled like a toasty oolong, but also intensely fruity, and I definitely could smell raspberry distinctly. It smelled very promising!

This, of course, yields a very strong tea. The rinse was crazy dark, and the first 3 steeps (only 3-4 seconds each) were just too strong for me, with a note that edges on bitter to my palate. I did get berry notes on the aftertaste and maybe a hint of bitter chocolate, but overall the bitterness was overwhelming my palate in the main part of the sip.

Quite a few steeps in (I lost track how many) it started smoothing out and losing that unpleasant (to me) edge. The sip was bright and minerally, not so roasty (I think I washed a lot of that out). There’s actually kind of a sweetness here that is very nice. It’s still quite fruity as well, and with a lot of body.

In the end this was a pleasant tea and I enjoyed my tasting, even though it is decidedly Not My Style. But I didn’t expect it to be, and this club is all about tea adventure to me.

Terri HarpLady

Haven’t tried this one yet. In fact, I’ve barely started on the TOMC box. I’ve been so busy, I just haven’t had time to really relax with my teas. Thanks for sharing your experience! Although I like my tea strong, I probably won’t go quite that strong! :)

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Terri HarpLady

Haven’t tried this one yet. In fact, I’ve barely started on the TOMC box. I’ve been so busy, I just haven’t had time to really relax with my teas. Thanks for sharing your experience! Although I like my tea strong, I probably won’t go quite that strong! :)

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I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

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Ohio, US

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