74

I reached for this one this morning because I’ve seen a couple of great reviews of it recently. To be perfectly honest dark oolongs aren’t really my favorite kind of oolong; I tend to prefer the sweet, fresh taste of green oolongs over the roasted flavors. I still enjoy them ok, but they just don’t blow me away… but maybe this one will. :)

The dry leaf smells sweet and leafy; not green, but no distinct roasted aroma either. Of course, after brewing that definitely changed. The scent of the steeped tea is roasty, toasty grains like the other Da Hong Paos I’ve had. The first thing that strikes you about the sip is less the flavor than the texture, which is bright, crisp, almost metallic, or perhaps the mineral sparkle of high-end mineral water. The main flavors of the sip are what I would consider toasted, almost burnt grains. As the cup cools, a whisper of fruit plays in the aftertaste, which I definitely enjoy. Overall after my first steep I’m left with an odd, dry sensation in my mouth. The second steep is definitely less overwhelmingly roasty, even brighter and more minerally. I’m left with the feeling that this is no doubt a fantastic tea, but I really just can’t appreciate it properly. Big Red Robe Oolongs just aren’t for me! If this tea couldn’t convince me otherwise, I’m pretty sure nothing can.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

The green oolongs are a little easier to drink and appreciate. :)

Mercuryhime

I think we have the same preferences for oolong. Yay green oolongs!

Uniquity

I know it’s a silly question, but I have no experience in Oolongs – would a ‘green’ oolong be more like a green tea in flavour? I have only ever tried one unflavoured oolong (A Tie Guan Yin) and I really didn’t have a good experience with it. I do have a very generous sample of this one at home that I should clearly be trying out, though!

Dinosara

Green oolongs can sometimes have that “green” or vegetal flavor from green teas, but I rarely find them to be grassy. Honestly I haven’t tried a lot of different kinds of unflavored green teas! Tie Guan Yins are pretty typical green oolongs, but I’ve found the flavor to vary quite a bit among the ones I’ve tried.

Charles Thomas Draper

Verdants Handpicked was the BEST

Dinosara

Charles, your past tense verb had me go check Verdant’s site, where I discovered to my sorrow that the handpicked spring Tieguanyin is indeed sold out! It wasn’t as little as two weeks ago, when I first tried my sample and thought about ordering some before it disappeared. Curse my procrastination! (And yes, that one was the best tieguanyin I’ve tried!)

Charles Thomas Draper

Past tense is correct.

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TeaBrat

The green oolongs are a little easier to drink and appreciate. :)

Mercuryhime

I think we have the same preferences for oolong. Yay green oolongs!

Uniquity

I know it’s a silly question, but I have no experience in Oolongs – would a ‘green’ oolong be more like a green tea in flavour? I have only ever tried one unflavoured oolong (A Tie Guan Yin) and I really didn’t have a good experience with it. I do have a very generous sample of this one at home that I should clearly be trying out, though!

Dinosara

Green oolongs can sometimes have that “green” or vegetal flavor from green teas, but I rarely find them to be grassy. Honestly I haven’t tried a lot of different kinds of unflavored green teas! Tie Guan Yins are pretty typical green oolongs, but I’ve found the flavor to vary quite a bit among the ones I’ve tried.

Charles Thomas Draper

Verdants Handpicked was the BEST

Dinosara

Charles, your past tense verb had me go check Verdant’s site, where I discovered to my sorrow that the handpicked spring Tieguanyin is indeed sold out! It wasn’t as little as two weeks ago, when I first tried my sample and thought about ordering some before it disappeared. Curse my procrastination! (And yes, that one was the best tieguanyin I’ve tried!)

Charles Thomas Draper

Past tense is correct.

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Bio

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.

Location

Ohio, US

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